General Question

niks1112's avatar

Do you believe that everything happens for a reason?

Asked by niks1112 (410points) August 26th, 2010

From the saying, ” Everything happens for a reason” is a thing some of us believe, and some of us don’t. Do you agree or disagree, and Why?

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73 Answers

Winters's avatar

I would disagree, most things happen for a reason because someone or something is behind it purposefully trying to get some sort of result out of it. But many things occur that were outside the awareness of all the individuals involved, which would be coincidence.

sferik's avatar

I don’t believe there’s an intentional purpose for every action, but I do believe there is some causal reason.

marinelife's avatar

I think a lot of chaos and luck come into our lives.

It is our tendency to search for meaning in every event in our lives.

Coloma's avatar


I beleive that everything has an interconnectedness, even when the connection cannot be found on a surface level. Quantum physics.

Anything that happens, cannot, not have happened.

Austinlad's avatar

I started to say some things happen for a reason and some don’t. But then I thought about that a few minutes and realized what I really believe is that everything does happen for a reason—some for reasons we can figure out and some for reasons we’ll never fathom.

Sarcasm's avatar

That depends on what you’re asking.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, that’s Newton’s third law of motion.
So yes, if something happens, there is a reason behind it. The apple hit you on the head because gravity sent it downwards.

But if you’re wondering if there is a higher power out there creating a destiny for us, then no, I don’t think there is a reason for everything. I don’t think that there is a destiny.

AmWiser's avatar

I believe everything happens for a reason. Why would it happen if there was no reason for it.

Just's avatar

Believing is the death of intelligence.

JLeslie's avatar

@niks1112 Because shit happens all the time that totally sucks. I do think we can learn from bad situations, but there are many times when I wish something did not happen, no good in what happened, there is simply not always a silver lining.

I think these saying grow from religion, similar to God only gives us what we can handle and God has a plan These sentences are used to comfort people during bad times. You might be interested in the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People I have not read it, but it is supposed to be very good.

CMaz's avatar


Everything is action reaction.

Aethelwine's avatar

It sure seems that way for our family lately. We’ve had a terrible time the past year dealing with bankruptcy, foreclosure and deciding if we should try to save our house or not. We are coming close to the sale date for our house, September 27.

Just last week I found a rental house that we can afford. The funny thing is, the house is 15 minutes away from the university that my son is attending. His move in day was this past Saturday, so we made arrangements to look at the house that day. The university is almost 1½ hours from our current home, so I couldn’t believe how things fell into place at just the right time. We fell in love with the house, and the landlord happened to know my husband’s boss. He said he had several applicants, but he would let us have it. We move in a few weeks.

To answer your question, yes I believe so.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. Except when it doesn’t.

john65pennington's avatar

I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. when i was much younger, i was engaged to this girl. we dated for about 5 months and she called off our wedding. she never did tell me why and i still wonder today. i was told that she had a twin sister that was mentally challenged and maybe this had some bearing on her decision. anyway, calling off that marriage was just supposed to be. if not, i would never have met my wonderful wife of 44 years.

JLeslie's avatar

@niks1112 In your question did you mean every action has a reaction, or that things always work out, or when bad things happen something good always comes from it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

There is a monumental difference between Cause/Reaction and Thought/Action. Only one of those scenarios is based in reason.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Cause/Effect is not equal to Thought/Affect.

All Reason is manifest upon a code. Without a code, there cannot possibly be any support to conclude that Reason is present.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Yes i do, even if we have no idea what the reason is, and even if we never in this lifetime find out what the reason was.

chyna's avatar

I believe that when it is convienient for me to believe so. For when I need an excuse for myself. Such as, I was laid off from my job because a much better job is just around the corner, waiting for me.

Seaminglysew's avatar

Agree!! I have had things happen that I didn’t understand, but they were necessary to get me to this point in my life. I wouldn’t change that for the world.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

There seems to be a great deal of confusion on this thread with people synonymously exchanging the word Cause for Action. Actions are a property of mind. Cause is a property of chaos.

zophu's avatar

We make our own meanings in life. Events may happen without reason but we can give them reason by accepting them as a part of our lives.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s right @zophu. Reasons are always created by sentient minds. You can provide me with a reason why you may disagree, but an earthquake will never provide me with any reason at all. I must create the reason as to why the earthquake rumbled, and in creating that reason, I will never deny or confuse it with the actual cause of the earthquake.

The cause is completely different than the reasons I create.

Blackberry's avatar

@niks1112 It depends on what you are referring to, but usually when people ask this, it is a question concerning some type of god or higher power having a hand in our lives.

Katexyz's avatar

I think it depends on what you mean by “a reason.” If you mean everything that happens is part of a large universal plan, then I would say no. If instead you mean that everything has a cause and effect, then yes, naturally.

Now this doesn’t mean that bad things are only bad and you should be depressed or down about them. We are free to associate reason or meaning with something and make it into a positive occurrence.

ucme's avatar

Do you know what? I think on balance yes I probably do.

Robot's avatar

I definitely believe it, altho many of times i might not like to, but I do think everything does happen for a reason. Relationships starting or ending whether that’d be friendships or more aswell as tragedies. I think there is a lesson to be learned in everything and hopefully lessons are learned.

downtide's avatar

No. I believe that most things have a cause but not a reason in the sense of any higher power or destiny. Also, the universe is full of randomness.

lillycoyote's avatar

No. Not at all, at least not in the way that phrase is commonly meant.

Blackberry's avatar

My ex-wife was kind of religious. When I left a technical school in Mississippi to go to my next duty station, I had previously asked to be stationed in Florida, but I was sent to New Jersey. When we were settled in NJ, a hurricane hit Florida and there was horrible flooding where we would have stayed if I was stationed in Florida, and that was an excuse for my ex-wife to try to make me start going to church and said god was watching us.

In retrospect, I was very condescending when she made religious comments and I probably shouldn’t have done that, but she deserved ‘em because she said some stupid shit lol.

harple's avatar

Yes I do, and I enjoy looking back through my life and seeing how it all fitted together despite my ignorance at the time.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I do think everything happens for a reason. Some reasons we see right away, some we learn after time, and some we never know.

Facade's avatar

Yes, I do. It’s proven to be true in my life.

cockswain's avatar

Yes. Not necessarily to balance our sense of justice or our emotions, but as a result of something else happening before it. The universe seems like an endless cascade of events, following rules we’re endlessly trying to understand, uncertain why or how it all began. that almost seems like I could turn it into a nice haiku

JessicaisinLove's avatar

With somethings the reason can only be as disgusting as what happened.
In many cases beyond reason.

Nullo's avatar

Not everything; I’m no fan of determinism. But I _do believe that everything can be strung together into a coherent whole.
Say your house gets flattened by a tornado. Tragic, but it provides the opportunity for your communities to grow together. It shows others the importance of being prepared for emergencies. It finally gives you an excuse to get rid of that thing that your mother-in-law gave you but which you neither want or particularly like.
There could very well be a net gain.

Unless you were talking about causality? In that case, every effect has a cause, the reason for the happening.

ducky_dnl's avatar

No. If everything happens for a reason, then why the heck am I on fluther? lol

Coloma's avatar

Even the worst, ( in terms of what we believe is the worst ) a child being murdered, war, cruelty, and all things beyond the comprehension of caring and relatively ‘normal’ human beings still have a silver lining if one is truly open and has a deep understanding of what suffering does to a human soul/psyche.

Suffering renders one even more compassionate.

So, if one believes as I do, that part of our purpose as evolved and evolving beings is to find compassion for and within every situation, then one believes that compassionate growth IS the silver lining that is born out of the deepest tragedies.

Would I rather never experience the murder of my child, of course.
BUT..I have no doubt that through that pain I would emerge even more compassionate, and yes, that compassion would extend to the murderer as well.
One who was once an infant themselves, loved by someone or many, born with infinite promise as we all are.
A child that most likely did not have in mind becoming a murderer and wanted what everyone wants, peace, love, happiness, a puppy for Christmas, friends, a decent life.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sure, just not always for the reason you’re thinking of wishing for.

Zyx's avatar

I think this universe as a whole serves a purpose.

Steve_A's avatar

Truthfully, I simply do not know. Perhaps in this lifetime I will never know.

chocolatechip's avatar


How could a purpose exist outside of the universe?

Blondesjon's avatar

No I don’t but I believe there is a reason for that.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I believe that for everything that happens, some people will attribute a reason to that event.

Some outcomes have a cause, many have no known cause, and most of those have no cause.

Those who prefer to assume that all events happen to serve some purpose can’t deal with the discomfort associated with not knowing what will happen.

cockswain's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence I agree with everything you said except the second sentence. Could you give me an example of what you consider to be an event with no cause?

RomanExpert's avatar

No. You make it happen.

lynfromnm's avatar

There is a reason for everything that happens, based in physics and natural phenomena. That isn’t the same as “everything happens for a reason”, which means there is an ultimate or underlying purpose intended in every action. To that question I can only answer that I don’t know. How can I possibly know whether there is a purpose for my friend’s son getting leukemia? It’s certainly beyond the realm of any certainty, but it is possible.

Dewey420's avatar

Things happen or they don’t. There’s no changing something that has already happened, and there’s no way to fully predict the future. For the sake of cause and effect, yes everything happens for a reason. As in divine intervention & destiny, no things do not happen for a reason.


Yes. I am not a religious person, but I do believe everything happens for a reason, according to God (or an unseen Power).

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

By no cause, I meant and should have said, no cause other than the laws of physics.

CMaz's avatar

“Cause is a property of chaos.”

It is “chaos” because you don’t see or are incapable of seeing all the elements that cause the causality.

There is no magic energy that finalizes a decision. Just an accumulation of information that fires off a response.

Action – Reaction.

Zyx's avatar

@chocolatechip How can can a computer serve a purpose outside it’s OS?

chocolatechip's avatar


Not an appropriate analogy. The universe encompasses everything that has, is, and ever will be. To say there is a purpose to the universe implies there is something outside the universe, but that is contradictory to its definition.

Blackberry's avatar

@lynfromnm When it comes to stuff like bad things happening to good people like diseases, I usually just consider it a random occurence due to the myriad complexities of our body and environment. My girlfriend’s mother was diagnosed with ALS, she is a good woman that lead a good life and this horrible thing just happened to her and her family out of nowhere, it’s just so wrong, but I don’t see it as a sign or anything. I’m sorry about your friend’s son.

CMaz's avatar

“I usually just consider it a random occurence due to the myriad complexities of our body and environment.”
Pretty much says it all.

Zyx's avatar

@chocolatechip Which is where I distinguish between the universe (all we might ever know etc) and the omniverse (the stuff we could never know). Don’t know if anyone else makes that distinction.

lynfromnm's avatar

@blackberry – I agree. But that example illustrates the point that there IS a reason why someone gets ALS – they had a genetic predisposition that developed into a disease, or whatever. My point is, that’s not the same as “everything happens for a reason”, which usually means someone is looking for the “plan” of a superior being, or as you said (and I agree) it is a random occurrence.

Coloma's avatar

People tend to personalize things that are of an impersonel nature.

I like the saying of instead of “Why me, why NOT me?

Of course most folks do live in that realm of ‘it’ll never happen to me’.

Wanna bet? lol

chocolatechip's avatar


Everyone is someone else to someone else.

LostInParadise's avatar

From a strictly scientific point of view, everything happens for a reason, but in trying to find the reason, things can get very complicated, wheels within wheels. A solider dies due to being hit by a bullet. The bullet was fired by a terrorist. Why did the solider volunteer and the terrorist become a terrorist? More reasons to unfold, and so on.

busymommy247's avatar

I definitely believe everything happens for a reason. There are a few different reasons why; I had a child very early in my life and I grew up to be a fairly responsible and very down to earth type person due to that. I feel that if I would not have gotten pregnant at the age of 15, I would have continued on the road I was on and gotten in a world of trouble. I could have just put her up for adoption but I felt it was my obligation because I got myself in that mess. She is a very well rounded and intelligent child.That hits more on the spiritual part of my beliefs.

Scientifically speaking, I agree with LostInParadise. It is complicated but it’s true.

A person doesn’t like spiders and considers them a pest (wonders why spiders ever came into existence). Spiders are in part prey for frogs and spiders eat flies thus helping control the population of flies. (This is a very simple example)

JessicaisinLove's avatar

@ Nullo, Lies. deceit and complete forced betrayal in the most disgusting manner to humiliate and tear down all the trust and safety in an attempt to prove a point is reprehensible.
A point that was not even necessary to make.
Thinking themselves to be wise they became fools throwing out the baby with the bath water.
The only thing coherent about that is the sickness that resides within those who made that
decision in the first place.

Dewey420's avatar

I’m definitely seeing a pattern here. People will choose something that happened in their life as an example to how they act today. ex. I had a child which made me responsible person, as apposed to a gun slinging drug addict. However, you could have just as easily held up a convenient store and served 3–5, became a born again holy roller, and became responsible that way too..or had a near death experience..or maybe you just plain grew up. Maybe you met the love of your life on a plane trip that you didn’t plan on taking but decided to go anyway at the last minute. All this stuff just sounds like life taking it’s course to me.

LostInParadise's avatar

One thing of interest is how predictable our behavior is in aggregate. Auto insurance companies work off the premise that the chances of a car accident at a given age is fairly stable. A given person may be able to smoke and live a long life, but life insurance companies can calculate on average the effect of smoking a pack of cigarettes a day will have on a person’s life expectancy.

Blackberry's avatar

@Dewey Yes, it’s a typical logical fallacy: Well this happened to me so it must be true…

katieclassy's avatar

Yes. I do. But hey, you never know.

CMaz's avatar

“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”

-Merchant of Venice

LucyH's avatar

I hate being a pessimist but,... no :P

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