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The idea of fate has always had a special appeal in religious, mystical, and philosophical thinking. There are several compelling reasons for this fascination, the most obvious of which is that human life is short and human efforts are frequently futile. As a species endowed with the capacity for thought, people want to find some kind of explanation, purpose, or meaning for their lives. The idea that a superior force--fate--shapes the course of their lives and determines what becomes of them helps people to interpret their experiences and adjust themselves to their circumstances. Arising out of a state of anxiety and bewilderment, it thus fulfills a basic human need for order and harmony.

DALYA COHEN-MOR, introduction, A Matter of Fate


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