Fate and Free Will- Isabelle Berman and Ariela Rivkin

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Slide 1

Fate and Free Will Is it possible to have both? Integration Day Isabelle Berman and Ariela Rivkin

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What is it? Free Will Active A person is responsible for his own actions. He makes his own choices and sets his own path in life. Fate Passive A person’s path in life is predetermined. Their actions do not affect their future.

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Fate and free will have conflicted from the very beginning... In ancient Greece: The gods know mans’ future but cannot change it. They can simply warn and threaten punishment. Greek mythology: the three sisters, aka the fates, controlled the metaphorical thread of life. They chose when to cut the string.

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How tightly is the thread of life pulled? Hades thread is loosely wound. He can now choose whether or not he want to eliminate Hercules before fate plays its hand. Click Video

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Do we have free will? How Christianity Differs: Because of Adam and Eve’s original sin, man is born evil Man’s actions will not help him. Only the passive belief in Jesus Christ will save their souls. We as Jews believe that we have free will. Because of all the rules, and commandments, it may seem as though our lives are set in stone but it is ultimately our choice if we want to follow that path.

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Genetics Today: Are we playing God’s role? In vitro fertilization: Being able to fertilize an egg in a Petri dish for those who were having trouble conceiving. Modern science gives us many ways to help people birth healthy babies. Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis: Using IVF, parents can choose the healthiest, disease free zygotes to put back in the mother.

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GATTACA VS. TODAY To what extent can you genetically design your child until it begins to take away from their free will? The society portrayed in GATTACA is the extreme example of genetic alteration. In GATTACA, gene therapy is a common practice used to create the superior baby. Parents choose what aspects of themselves they would like their child to inherit in hopes of creating a certain future. For example: In GATTACA, Jerome Morrow was designed by his parents to be a gold medalist Olympic swimmer. Now a days, we use genetic engineering in attempts to eliminate the possibility of a fatal disease.

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Is it morally okay to genetically engineer your children? We are partners with God in creation. ראוי לכל צדיק שיעשה כן ולא יבטח על הנס Radak (Genesis 12:12) The מאירי states that it is our job to complete God’s creations as long as it is within Halachic parameters. Rabbi Broyd: Just like we must heal the ill, we are also obligated to prevent the disease in any way that we can. To have a child specifically to save the life of another is doing two good deeds: having children and saving a life. God does not want us to rely on a miracle. He will only help us when we help ourselves.

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“I not only think we will tamper with Mother Nature, I think Mother wants us to” – William Gavlin “It's not who you are underneath - it's what you do that defines you.” -- Rachel Dawes (Batman Begins)

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