Riddle About Fate

1. Jay causes a traffic accident which severely wounds another driver and her child but spares Jay any injury and barely even damages his car. He is however arrested on suspicion of recklessness following an investigation of the accident scene. After a night in jail, Jay has to face his father, Zed, who has come to bail him out. Before he agrees to pay, Zed asks his son for an explanation. “Everything happens for a reason,” he says to Jay.

2. Kay lies in her hospital bed clinging to life. She had been drinking heavily the night of the accident, while driving her daughter home. Deeply shamed by her behavior and buoyed by the outpouring of love and concern from her friends who visit her bedside, Kay reconnects with her life and family and resolves to quit her irresponsible behavior. Suffering intense pain from her injuries, she nevertheless tells her friend, “Everything happens for a reason.”

3. Jay has no contact with Kay during her hospitalization, but the death of Kay’s daughter fills him with guilt and remorse. He sees the accident as an indictment of his recklessness but senses the hand of God at work in sparing him. He doesn’t change his behavior in any way, but ever after believes that whatever occurs in his life is God’s will, over which he has no control and for which he has no responsibility. “Everything happens for a reason,” is how he describes the human condition.

4. Zed regrets having raised a son as irresponsible as Jay and resolves to do a better job with his daughter Dee. Together they form an organization called Teens at the Scene that promotes safe teenage driving, accident prevention, and emergency responsiveness. After years of labor, they take the group national, score big, and become very influential, as well as rich. Zed proposes a toast to their good fortune, but Dee replies, “Dad, everything happens for a reason.”


Regarding the four declarations that “everything happens for a reason,”
in a Reply below,

  • First identify which of the four declarations are expressions of a belief in fate.
  • How would you describe those that are not?
  • Number your answers 1-4.

30 thoughts on “Riddle About Fate”

  1. 1. Not fate. His father wants to know the reason the accident happened, rather than an existential statement of how the universe was unluckily gruesome.
    2. Fate
    3. He is using “everything happens for a reason” and a belief in god to excuse his foolish actions. A pathological lie that he believes in fate.
    4. Fate

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1) not fate, Jay does not believe in fate because it seems like his remark is almost like he is kidding. When you get in trouble like that you are going to be thankful to your parents for bailing you out. Jay seems like he is just a punk who is a bad driver.
    2) fate, it was Kay’s fate to get into that accident because of her bad behavior which then causes her to stop
    3) fate, Jay believes in God and that it is his fate for the actions that occurred
    4) fate, Dee believes in fate because she turned into the good sibling and that may be what she wanted all along


  3. 1. Cause and effect- because of his careless driving, he caused a fatal accident
    2. Fate
    3. Fate
    4. Cause and effect- their hardwork and sensible organization led them to having good fortune and influence


  4. – cause and effect, if it were not for his irresponsible actions they would not be in the situation.
    – cause and effect, her drinking got her into a mess with more than just her life.
    – cause and effect, jay is the one who caused the accident he should have showed his maturity by showing his efforts towards kays daughter.
    – fate, it was fate having a son like jay. the saying “everything happens for a reason” can apply by since the tragedy they can promote safe driving.


    1. We don’t agree on much here, SummerGirl, but I’m intrigued by your explanations. I may have confused you about what I was looking for. #3, for example, can best be explained by cause and effect, but the question was: What did the speaker believe?


  5. 1. Not fate he is using it as an excuse for his actions.
    2. Yes it is a belief in fate
    3. Not fate because we have control over our actions he is using it again as an excuse.
    4. Yes it is a belief in fate


    1. We don’t agree on 3 and 4, TJJ, but that doesn’t make you wrong. Most likely, we disagree on what the question is. I asked you what the speaker believes. When you say 3 is Not Fate, I agree, but it seems Jay would call it Fate. The opposite is true for 4. Zed seems willing to toast “Fate,” but Dee wants to credit their hard work.

      I see your side. Do you see mine?


  6. 1. Does not believe in fate, he is just using it as an excuse for why the accident happened
    2. Fate
    3. Fate
    4. Does not believe in fate, cause and effect they would have never started the organizitaion if Jay had not caused/gotten into an accident


  7. 1. Not fate, Jay just got into a car accident and was lucky to not have gotten hurt.
    2. Fate, she resolves to quit her bad behavior because of the accident.
    3. Not fate, Jay just comes to the realization that God is the reason for things that happen everyday.
    4. Fate


    1. We disagree on 3 and 4, NR, but that doesn’t make you wrong. Regarding 3, our divergence might be caused by my failure to distinguish between God’s will and Fate. Regarding 4, though, I think Zed is willing to credit Fate (or good Fortune), while the speaker, Dee, wants to credit the agency of their hard work.


  8. 1) Not fate. He wants to know what was going on in Jay’s life that was distracting him from driving responsibly. This could be things such as stress, anxiety, depression, maybe a work problem, relationship issues, etc. Or, maybe he just always drives recklessly, and that’s not fate, that is his own choice.
    2) Fate. This accident, although it is terrible, might have been necessary for Kay.If she drinks heavily all the time, odds are her little girl is suffering at home, and so is Kay’s relationship. Causing injury to herself and to her child because of her drinking is fate. She didn’t mean for it to happen, but her drinking habits caused it. Fate is trying to tell her to snap out of it and to realize the damage she has caused.
    3) This one is tricky. I don’t know what side to pick. God is sparing him, if that is the case, would be fate. Maybe God is thanking him for making Kay realize she has an addiction. But the death of the little girl is terrible. The fact that he did not communicate with Kay after the accident is awful, especially knowing the girl has died. Although Kay was drinking, we don’t know how the accident happened. Maybe Jay crashed into her when her car wasn’t moving at a red light, or hit them head on.Those would be Jay’s fault entirely, not Kay’s drinking. But maybe if she were sober, she could have swerved the car away or reacted in time.
    4)Not fate. He decided to make that program with his daughter. He had no intention of getting rich though, that part I think is fate. But setting up the program and being successful was not fate, he was simply regretful of raising his son poorly and wanted to do well with his daughter, so he made a program due to his son’s mistakes.


    1. I love your deliberations, AO. You’ll have to forgive me (or not) for not being clearer, but I tried to indicate in the first few words of #1 (“Jay causes a traffic accident”) that Kay was not responsible. Your answer to #4 indicates most clearly that you are willing to think more carefully than necessary to answer a question. 🙂


  9. 1) Not fate- Careless driving lead to a accident.
    2) Cause and Effect- She is changing her ways because of an accident. It was not her “fate” to change without consequences to her drinking.
    3) Fate and Cause and Effect- I believe it could be the daughters fate to die but it is his choice to keep living without changing his responsibilities.
    4) Cause and Effect- Because of a tragic accident, they had a successful organization.


    1. You and I agree that Cause and Effect is the most likely agency in all four cases, LB, but the question was “What does the speaker believe?”
      Does that change any of your answers or explanation?


    1. Our answers don’t agree half the time, Picklerick, but that doesn’t make you wrong. Can you offer a more complete explanation for #3? I’m surprised you don’t think Jay believes in Fate. He says he does.


  10. 1. Zed’s expression that “everything happens for a reason” seems more like an expectation for Jay’s reason rather than an understanding that fate caused the accident to happen. He seems to be saying, “what was the reason this time?” rather than saying “it’s not your fault, it was fate.”

    2. The concept of fate seems to be believed here. Kay believes that the car accident and the death of her daughter happened as a result of her irresponsible behavior. She believes that it was fate that it should happen, and that she needs to change her ways.

    3. Jay doesn’t seem to believe that changing his behavior will change anything in his life, so he does seem to indicate a belief in fate.

    4. Dee seems to believe that the success is simply something that is happening to her, rather than something that she brought about. This seems to indicate a belief in fate.


    1. I love your explanations, DK, and agree with them 3 times out of 4. Your answer to 4 surprises me, leading me to doubt my own efficiency at crafting the question. I thought Zed’s readiness to toast Fortune meant he would credit Fate, whereas his daughter’s reminder that “Everything happens for a reason” was a reminder that they both worked hard to bring about their success. Did you read it differently?


      1. I didn’t even think about that possibility. That would make sense too.

        “Zed proposes a toast to their good fortune, but Dee replies, ‘Dad, everything happens for a reason.'”

        I presumed that she said this to mean that “Come on, dad, you know that it would have turned out like this regardless of how hard we worked.” As if to say that it was not fortune, but simply fate, that led them to where they were.


  11. 1. fate is a route believed to hold all of your life actions and purpose
    2. fate
    3. the main reason this is difficult to determine because of of life processes such as determine the death of Kay’s daughter. he believed his actions a re not reliable and uses fate as an excuse.
    4. not fate, through their hard work they pushed themselves to allow each other to create a program to benefit others in due to his son’s past mistakes.


    1. I appreciate but don’t exactly understand your explanations, PS. Mostly I can’t determine whether you’re answering for yourself or whether your answers reflect what you believe to be the speakers’ opinions. I was hoping you’d provide the latter.


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