The essence of the fatalistic doctrine is that it assigns no place at all to the initiative of the individual, or to rational sequence of events.
Prayer, however, is regarded as an impertinent interference with the Creator; while, at the same time, instead of the fatalistic predestination of Mahommedanism, the freedom of the human will is distinctly maintained.
Its intense pride, its fatalistic indolence and ignorance, its honesty and its bigotry, tempered by a keen sense of humour, are well-known characteristics.
Even those theologians, however, who have laid special stress on the limitations of the human will have repudiated the strictly fatalistic doctrine which is characteristic of Oriental thought and is the negation of all human initiative (see Predestination; Augustine, Saint; Will).
On the other hand they are generally written by men of affairs - governors, secretaries or ambassadors; and a fatalistic temper leads their authors to a certain impartial recording of everything, good or evil, which seems of moment.