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Fatalism is that future events are pre-determined and subject to fate, often according to "God's plan". The idea is generally considered to be incompatible with the concept of free will. Belief in fate was found to be 93% among Muslims in Africa and the Middle East, 88-91% in Asia, and 57% in south eastern Europe. [1]

Avoiding safety improvements[edit]

"The LORD will keep you from all harm-- he will watch over your life"

Psalm 121:7 Bible-icon.png

Dangerous driving[edit]

The belief of inevitability of death provides a rationalisation for bad driving practices. According to the belief, there is no point in taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of accidents. This belief is common in Islam.

"The children who died in that crash would have died for some other reason anyway, because death was their fate and that was their day. Death was fated for these children who were sitting on the top of bus. This was inevitable, and the driver's mistake just becomes the source of that crash. The sitting of the children on the top of the bus also became a source of death. If they had not had to face death, they would not have sat there. It was also the driver's destiny that it was in his fate to face difficulties of life in this way. [2]"


Families in Bangladesh are reluctant to improve swimming abilities among children because their deaths by drowning might be "God's will".[3]

Deaths of pilgrims during the hajj[edit]

"As for the things that humans cannot control, you are not blamed for them. Fate and destiny are inevitable"

— Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh after a stampede that killed 717 pilgrims [4]

Climate change[edit]

The belief we live in a fallen world means attempting to mitigate climate problems is against God's plan. In Christian eschatology, the Earth is devastated and then restored by God; attempts to influence or resist these prophesied events are contrary to God's plan. [5]

"Climate change may or may not be real, and may or may not be human-caused. What we can know for certain is that God is good and sovereign, and that Planet Earth will be our habitat for as long as God desires it to be. Psalm 46:2-3 Bible-icon.png [6]"

Since these events are supposedly certain to happen, it is pointless attempting to try to mitigate climate change.

The poor will always be with you[edit]

The Bible records Jesus saying:

"The poor you will always have with you"

Mark 14:7 Bible-icon.png (Matthew 26:11 Bible-icon.png, John 12:8 Bible-icon.png)

Some Christians take this to mean that helping the poor is futile, because they will always be with us. [7][8] Fortunately, this seems to be a minority view.

Political leaders[edit]

The New Testament says that political leaders are appointed by God and should not be rebelled against (even if they are evil) Romans 13:1-2 Bible-icon.png. This attitude discourages improvements to a country's political system.

Skeptical view[edit]

Fatalism does not provide any testable predictions and is therefore unfalsifiable. Fatalism may be true or not but either way it does not directly impact reality as we perceive it and is largely moot.

The belief ignores the possibility that safety measures can be put into place that reduce or eliminate accidents or reduce the harm that results.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]