Difference Between Fate and Destiny

Fate vs Destiny

 

We often tend to confuse Fate and Destiny as synonymous, even though there are differences between the two terms. This is mainly because Fate and Destiny are two words that bear close similarity in their meanings. While some consider these terms as different, there are thinkers who have considered these two terms as synonymous. They say they are one and the same. According to them, both are predetermined and unaltered in nature. They are hence interchangeable according to them. Through this article let us make an effort to identify the difference first through an understanding of each term. Fate can be defined as the power that is believed to control all events. Destiny, on the other hand, is the hidden power that is believed to control future events. When focusing on the definitions what is apparent is that both speak of a higher power that can control events. This gives the idea that Fate and Destiny can be viewed as similar. But, if we were to view Fate as the power that determines events whereas the destiny is what is destined to happen, this presents a difference in meaning. Through this article let us approach the terms in this point of view and understand the difference.

What is Fate?

First let us understand Fate. This is the power that determines events.  It is believed that fate can be changed by hard work and perseverance. Fate though is also predetermined can be altered by human effort and mind. There are a number of mythological stories from several countries and cultures that can prove that fate can be altered. When a person engages in positive thoughts and actions, it has the potential to create a change in the fate of a human being. In some religions, the idea of Fate is very much emphasized. It is interesting to note that the word ‘Fate’ always begins with a capital ‘f’ wherever it is mentioned. On the other hand, it is not the case with the word ‘destiny’. This is also an important difference between the two words. It is a general belief that Fate is written by the creator, and we will act according to what is written by Him. Fate is considered by many thinkers as a non-existent entity, especially by the atheists. According to them, everything is dependent on human actions and hence a human being can script his fate, and nothing can be determined by God.

Difference Between Fate and Destiny

What is Destiny?

Now let us move on to an understanding of Destiny. Unlike Fate, destiny cannot be changed. It is predetermined and hence cannot be altered at all. Also, even though ‘Fate’ always begins with a capital ‘f’, it is not the case with the word ‘destiny’. Thinkers believe that destiny is the result of the human effort. You will become what your efforts are up to. If a person’s actions are negative and harmful, his destiny is shaped accordingly. Simultaneously if a person’s actions are positive, nurturing, helpful, and kind towards others, then that person’s destiny is shaped in accordance with the standards that he has displayed. Destiny is not created by a higher power; it is the individual himself who has the power to frame his future. Now let us summarize the difference in the following manner.

Fate vs Destiny

What is the Difference Between Fate and Destiny?

  • Fate is often considered as power that determines events whereas the destiny is what is destined to happen.
  • It is believed that fate can be changed by hard work and perseverance. On the other hand, destiny cannot be changed. It is predetermined and hence cannot be altered at all.
  • Fate is also predetermined just as Destiny, but it can be altered by human effort and mind. There are a number of mythological stories from several countries and cultures that can prove that fate can be altered.
  • It is interesting to note that the word ‘Fate’ always begins with a capital ‘f’ wherever it is mentioned. On the other hand, it is not the case with the word ‘destiny’.
  • Fate is considered by many thinkers as a non-existent entity, especially by the atheists. On the other hand, they believe that destiny is the result of the human effort.

 

Image Courtesy:

1.”Alphonse Mucha – Fate” by masterpieceart.net [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2.”Schadow Grabmal Alexander 2″ by Johann Gottfried Schadow [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons