Free Will Essay

1840 Words Apr 13th, 2013 8 Pages
Prof. Kellenberger
Phil 310
Free Will When grumpy old Scrooge of the famous movie A Christmas Carol went home on Christmas eve, he had no idea what awaited him. He experienced a night of anguish and terror after three ghosts visit him. Scrooge was a grumpy mean-spirited man after the death of his sister Fan. Just to prepare him for his “life” in death, his dead partner and friend Marley, who facilitates the entire nightmare, shows him the lost lonely spirits who were mean-spirited in their earthly lives. The first ghost who visited him that night was “the ghost of Christmas past”. This ghost serves to remind him how others had been kind to him during past Christmases in his youth and how people in his past embodied the Christmas
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Scrooge’s story can be used as an example to illustrate Schopenhauer’s thinking. When Scrooge wakes up in the morning, he will feel like he can will to fire Bob, or he can will the exact opposite and thus keep Bob. Let us say that Scrooge fires Bob, can he really attest that he is the one who caused the will to fire Bob, or is it just the mere feeling that he could have chosen otherwise giving him the impression that he actually has free will? Schopenhauer would say that Scrooge’s consciousness duped him into thinking that he had free will, but in essence, his decision and action to fire Bob, was necessarily caused by all the circumstances (prior events) surrounding it. One of them could have been that Scrooge subscribes to fatalism! This thought brings to discussion what difference there is between fatalism and determinism in matters of free will only. It does not make sense to say that determinism is different from fatalism because if all events are necessarily caused, then there is no event that can be influenced by a non-caused event. Even blame, as suggested by Stevenson, will not come to the rescue, unless it was necessarily caused. What difference then is there, if I may beg, between determinism and fatalism when it comes to free will? Schopenhauer may argue that Marley’s intervention may ultimately show the difference between fatalism

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