Fatalism and Free Will: How Good Friday Changed Everything

Dwight Longenecker
4 min readMar 29, 2024

I am sure some philosopher much brainier than me has worked this all out, but it occurs to me that before Good Friday the world was different. Yes, we use religious language and say, “Mankind was locked in sin” and “Jesus died to save us from our sins” but for many people these religious phrases are meaningless.

However, it occurred to me recently how there is a fresh angle on this. I think, before Good Friday, the world was locked into a cycle of blame. We were unhappy so we found someone else to blame. Its there from the beginning. “Adam, did you eat of the fruit I commanded you not to touch?”

“The woman you gave me made me do it!”


“The devil made me do it!”

This is the default setting, and it eventually leads to scapegoating and killing the innocent one we blame. But I think there is another angle to it as well. As long as we blame someone else for our fault we promote and nurture the worldview of fatalism.

Fatalism is the belief that we are not masters of our own destiny, but there is another force that determines our fate. It is the gods. It is nature. It is our karma. It is the ones with power.

Fatalism is fatal. It keeps everyone who follows it enslaved. Now, before Good Friday…



Dwight Longenecker

Catholic priest, author and speaker. Read his blog, browse his books and be in touch at dwightlongenecker.com