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Difference Between Fate and Coincidence

Fate Vs Coincidence

The occurrence of any event in a person’s life, which he or she would have never expected or anticipated and that has also changed his or her course of life is often referred to either as fate or coincidence. While some term it as fate, others term it as coincidence, because they could not explain it with any clarity how the event took place, in the first instance.

At a personal level, the words ‘fate’ and ‘coincidence’ have significant impacts in a person’s life. Fate, otherwise referred to as destiny, is nothing but the result of a person’s actions in life (either the present one or the past life) according to atheists and followers of Hindu philosophy.

Newton’s third law of motion, ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ can be cited as a reference point for the term fate. The other idiom or saying that comes to mind about fate is ‘“ ‘As you sow, so you reap’. According to philosophy, man is destined to reap the benefits of his actions, be it good or bad, and cannot escape from them. Man, by nature, has the tendency or inclination not to accept his faults or mistakes. When faults or bad actions react on the life, man finds ‘fate’ as the lame excuse for all the bad things and ‘luck’ or ‘coincidence’ if the results turn out to be good.

Coincidence, on the other hand, has nothing to do with destiny or fate. People, unaware of the term fate or who do not believe in God or philosophy, might use the word ‘coincidence’ in common parlance to explain an unexpected event. While the word ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ cannot be explained with the help of science, the term ‘coincidence’ has a meaning in scientific parlance. Even subjects like mathematics and statistics use the term ‘coincidence’ to explain a particular event or outcome.

Probability theory comes to mind immediately when we talk of ‘coincidence’. Coincidence, viewed from the scientific or mathematical point of view, does not prove any relationship. On the contrary, ‘fate’ or ‘destiny’ has a relationship with man’s actions and partly concerned with his inability to own responsibility for his actions.

In a nutshell, fate and coincidence differ in the following aspects:


Fate or destiny is the result of action or inaction in a person’s past life and has some relation with that life.

Coincidence, on the other hand, has no direct or indirect relationship with the series of events and cannot be explained in simple terms.

The term ‘coincidence’ is used in science, mathematics and statistics to explain some unrelated events or happenings under given circumstances.

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