1. Sounds like an interesting show. I don’t think we can ever know for sure exactly how much fate plays a part in our lives, but I believe that we either have complete free will or a blend of free will and fate. Blend in the sense that God probably planned or wants some things to occur, so maybe he’ll ensure that certain things happen, but along the way people can choose nearly every other thing they want. Or maybe if people keep denying God’s plan over and over again, he might just throw up his hands and let them do whatever.

    So, let’s say that he planned/wanted a particular guy to become a researcher that cured cancer. Any number of things could happen on the way to that, so although the smallest choices can affect outcomes, God would still be able to steer someone back to the simple goal of researcher that cures cancer. So he wouldn’t have to micromanage what flavor of ice cream the guy eats one day or what hobbies he has. But maybe the guy keeps making bad choices completely against the plan. Maybe he gets into a drug addiction and refuses to leave it, eventually dying of an overdose. That guy might have made enough bad choices to make God be like ‘Fine, do whatever you want.’

    To an extent, Steins Gate had an interesting look at fate. In some ways the concept of fate was an implied question, since the main char tries to save his best friend over and over without success at first. And then there’s the concept of world lines in that story. In one line, maybe a person ends up dying no matter what. But in another line, maybe a different person dies instead. But obviously the character’s choices still affected the way things ended up, even with the possibility of fate in their lives. If fate exists in that story world, maybe it could be seen as there being an infinite number of fates(through world lines). But only a few are going to be reachable to the chars within a particular world line, and so the chars have to choose between those few fates.

    It’s interesting to hear there’s an ancient mythical char named Cassandra, since the name sounds so modern now. When you described it, my brain started going to loopholes or ways to get around her curse. But then I realized that Apollo might notice those loopholes being used and punish Cassandra for using them. Maybe I’ll write a story with that concept some day :p

    • notleia says:

      What, you didn’t have a Greek myth phase circa middle school? But anime hadn’t percolated out to my neck of the backwoods by my middle school years. (Does this mean I’m an Old?)

      • I actually didn’t. I liked some of the story ideas and mythical creatures, and occasionally read stories based on them, but I didn’t actually research Greek myths. Back then they just weren’t my thing because I didn’t like the particular versions of them people made. But as I got older I learned more about the original versions of the myths and liked them better. There’s been a few versions of the Hades and Persephone myth I’ve really liked, for example. So far my favorite is probably Punderworld by sigeel. The comic is on Line Webtoon and Tapas and is very good so far.

    • Travis Perry says:

      Thanks for the comment.

      But the question that really drives some people crazy is if God is able to enforce His will at times, as you suggested with the cancer researcher, why doesn’t He enforce it at all times? I could say pages about this topic but the bottom line would come quite close to just saying, “I don’t know for sure how it works, but I do know God allows things to happen the Bible says He doesn’t like and the Bible also says He’s in charge of everything.”

      As I mentioned, most Christians do believe in freedom of will, but the issue is actually thorny. It’s one of those things that the more you think about it, the more complicated it seems.

      But anyway, it was only like a month ago I was reading though I Samuel again for the I-don’t-know-how-manieth-time that I realized I’d never noticed before that in contrast to what C.S. Lewis has Aslan say, David is specifically told what would happen if he made a different choice.

      Really that’s just one Biblical place that points to choices being real, but for me, I found that particular passage especially telling.

  2. I saw the 12 MONKEYS movie well over a decade ago — not in theatres, but on video after it had been around a few years. I remember thinking it was really clever, and being especially surprised and impressed by Brad Pitt’s absolutely gonzo performance, as I’d written him off as a boring Hollywood romantic lead type and didn’t know he was capable of being so weird and unglamorous.

    Anyway, interesting post!

    • Travis Perry says:

      Thank you! My own viewing of it was totally influenced by seeing La Jetee first. I think of it as a movie most sci fi fans would like, but I wonder if I would have been as interested if I’d seen it by itself.

      Yeah, this movie features a very atypical Brad Pitt!

  3. Hey Travis, 12 Monkeys is one of my all-time favorite films. It came out when I was in high school and I must have watched it a dozen (ha!) times. The ending was always so sad and satisfying and horrifying all at once. And then there’s the line, “Insurance,” that always made me laugh even though it’s terrible in its own way (or rather, the person saying it is terrible). Interestingly, I became a Christian about a year after this movie came out, and looking back I can see how God was getting my attention through end-of-the-world stories like this. Madeline Stowe’s character references the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and so that got me to read Revelation. But also there were subtle things, like how Bruce Willis sacrifices himself to save the world (or at least to try). And like you’ve pointed out, the heavy theme of fate really got me thinking. It gave me a hunger for there to be a Purpose or Design to everything.

What do you think?