In discussing the concept of fate, Lex Fridman and his guests explore how fate is intertwined with mortality, creative growth, and human decisions. Here are three perspectives discussed in various episodes:

  1. Mortality and Fate: John Vervaeke argues that our reality is directly influenced by our mortality, which is an integral part of our existence rather than a distant future event. He explains that mortality is filled with fate, not in the sense of predestined events, but as a demonstration of how indifferent the universe is to our personal narratives and projects. For example, a sudden accident can disrupt a lifetime of plans, highlighting our vulnerability to fate 1.

  2. Manifestation and Creative Growth: Neri Oxman discusses fate in terms of personal and creative growth. She mentions the idea that focusing intensely on a vision can lead to its manifestation, likening it to "pointing to the moon" in order to get there. This form of fate involves directing energies purposefully towards achieving specific life goals, suggesting that while some aspects of our lives might be shaped by chance, others can be steered by our actions and intentions 2.

  3. Free Will and Fate: Zev Weinstein touches on the interplay between free will and fate from a philosophical and scientific viewpoint. He suggests that if we knew everything about a system, its future could possibly be predicted with full accuracy, implying a predetermined fate. However, he argues that this does not make our decisions within that system illegitimate or meaningless. Rather, it presents a paradox where our felt experience of making decisions coexists with the theoretical predictability of those decisions, perpetuating the illusion of free will within a deterministic framework 3.

    Mortality and Fate

    John and Lex discuss how mortality is not just an event in the future but a state we are in right now, subject to fate. They also touch upon how humans fear not just death but the death of status and reputation, and how we construct illusions to escape the reality of our mortality.

    Lex Fridman Podcast

    John Vervaeke: Meaning Crisis, Atheism, Religion & the Search for Wisdom | Lex Fridman Podcast #317

Each of these discussions provides a unique lens through which fate is viewed, from the inevitability and indifference of mortality to the engaging agency in manifestation and the philosophical ponderings on free will.