Though we all might initially scoff at the far-fetched stories of mythology, the reality is that most people worship the Fates to this day. Watch people and listen to them closely and you’ll find that regardless of people’s claimed religion or lack thereof, they are devout, practicing Fatalists above and beyond all else in their beliefs. Ancient pagan religions are more prevalent today than any other belief system.
The Fatalists’ tenets:
Things are a certain way. Period. Change is an omen, not a consequent of our choices. Life happens to us. We are captive to a preset. Attempts to alter our paths will result in dire consequences and ultimately no substantive improvement in outcome. Genes/gods/the past made me this way. Those on hard times are playing out their appointed scenario. Those with riches are playing out their appointed scenario.
I was reading through the scientific literature on type II diabetes recently trying to pinpoint the moment when people began to think it was an irreversible disease. I came up empty-handed. Even papers in the 50s, 60s, and 70s just plainly accepted that it is entirely reversible. But somewhere, out in common society, the Fate-worshippers are so piously intent on their religion that people came to view it as a disease, an affliction, ever-moving toward an impossible unchangeable endpoint. It, like all else, is simply the directive from the Fates.
These ancient ideas are so pervasive that we don't even notice them. In a country whose founders were predominantly Protestants and whose tenets are founded in freedom, it's more common to hear statements of ancient Greek worship, or ancient Chinese ancestral worship, or ancient Indian concept, than it is to hear something based on modern Christian thought or non-religious contemporary scientific thinking: "Don't bother even trying." "Your hand has been dealt." "Your dice have been rolled." "Your caste or social standing in life is preordained." "Your parents handed down to you the lot you must live out."
People sacrifice more to the Fates than anything else. They give their hope, dreams and lives as an offering to the almighty Fates. They accept that the Fates measured our cords. And they honor the Fates by accepting that this is just the way it is. As much as they might give lip service to free will, mercy, and forgiveness (all of which recognize the OPPOSITE of fatalism), the same people will ultimately circle back to their fatalist idolatry, talking about anointed leaders when it’s their guy and hardened hearts when it isn’t. They’ll talk about submitting to the will of the Fates when things are going their way, but they invoke the Oracle and prophetic rebuke when things aren’t. When their efforts work, it’s a “blessing.” When their efforts fail, it’s a “curse.” We are pawns without agency, subatomic particles without power, vessels without capability.
People may claim all flavor of theism, deism, agnosticism, atheism. But really most are Fatalists in a very thinly veiled cloak. Greek mythology never died. It is alive and well.
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