Key Difference – Fate vs Coincidence
Fate is a power that is believed to control what happens in the future. Coincidence is an occasion when two or more similar things happen at the same time, especially in a way that is unlikely and surprising. Both fate and coincidence are two things that cannot be controlled by humans. The key difference between fate and coincidence is that fate is considered to be predetermined or planned (by a divine power) whereas coincidence is accidental and unplanned.
What is Fate?
Fate refers to the development of events outside a person’s control, which are regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power. It is based on the concept that there is a fixed natural order in the universe, which cannot be changed no matter how hard we try. Thus, fate is believed to be unavoidable or inevitable. It is also considered to be divinely inspired. The word fate comes from, Latin fatum which means ‘that which has been spoken’.
In Greek mythology, fate refers to the Moirai or spinners – the three goddesses Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who control the birth and life of humans. According to this mythology, each person was thought of as a spindle, around which the three Fates would spin the thread of destiny.
When compared with destiny, fate is often associated with negative connotations. For example, an individual who has gone through a bad period might resign himself to fate. Since that person believes that fate is inevitable, he wouldn’t try to change his future. The belief that all events are predetermined and inevitable is called fatalism.
What is Coincidence?
Coincidence is a situation where events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected. Although they happen by accident, they always seem to be related.
Two people’s birthday falling on the same day, or two girls wearing the same dress meeting on the road, meeting a friend you were just talking about, two friends having the same name, etc. are examples for coincidences. From a statistical viewpoint, coincidences are natural and inevitable, and they are not as remarkable as we think they are.
Meeting my brother in Paris was a remarkable coincidence.
It was a coincidence that she was wearing a dress like Martha’s.
By coincidence, I met two girls who were going to the same show.
By coincidence, we arrived there at the same time.
We haven’t planned to meet that evening – it was a happy coincidence.
What is the difference between Fate and Coincidence?
Fate refers to the development of events outside a person’s control, which are regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.
Coincidence is a situation where events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected.
Fate is predetermined; it is believed to be planned or arranged by a supernatural power.
Coincidence is not planned; it happens by accident.Image Courtesy: “Coincidence!” Riley (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr “Fates tapestry” (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia