Fate The Story of Osmo
Fatalism • Fatalism: Whatever happens is unavoidable. • Determinism: Everything that happens is causally determined by the past, together with the laws of nature. • Divine Fatalism: Whatever happens is unavoidable, owing to divine foreknowledge. • Logical Fatalism: Whatever happens is unavoidable, owing to logic.
The Story of Osmo The book ended on a terribly dismal note. It said: “And Osmo, having taken Northwest flight 569 from O’Hare, perishes when the aircraft crashes on the runway at Fort Wayne…” And that was all. That was the end of the book. So that’s why it had only twenty-nine chapters. Some idiot thought he was going to get killed in a plane crash. But, Osmo thought, he just wouldn’t get on that plane. And this would also remind him to keep his insurance in force…
The Story of Osmo About three years later our hero, having boarded a flight for St. Paul, went berserk when the pilot announced they were going to land at Fort Wayne instead. According to one of the flight attendants, he tried to hijack the aircraft and divert it to another airfield. The Civil Aeronautics Board cited the resulting disruptions as contributing to the crash that followed as the plane tried to land.
Four Questions • Why did Osmo become a fatalist? • What, then, did Osmo believe? • Was Osmo’s fatalism justified? • Is the doctrine of fatalism true?
Two Laws of Logic • The Law of Excluded Middle: Every statement is either true or false. • The Law of Non-Contradiction: No statement is both true and false.
The Logical Argument • It’s either true that you will eat dinner tonight or it’s true that you won’t. • If it’s true that you will eat dinner tonight, then dinner is unavoidable. • If it’s true that you won’t eat dinner tonight, then not eating dinner is unavoidable. • [So] Whatever happens – dinner or no dinner – is unavoidable.