Freedom vs. Determination Essay

1495 Words 6 Pages
      Are we determined or are we free?  This is a question that is hotly debated on both sides of the issue. Determinists would say that we, as humans, are determined through our society, religion, and, most of all, by our families.  However, supporters of free will would have arguments for each of these same points in their favor.  I say that no matter which way one approaches this subject one finds both, free will and determinism, in each of these arguments.


      Society, for one, can be seen as determining one's public behavior, moral responsibility, and how one is to survive in today's environment.  So how does society determine these points?
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(Huxley)  In his short story, people are cloned to produce the seemingly perfect society.  This is accomplished by creating four separate classes of humans each with its specific social function.  The society, under the guidance of one man, pre-programs these clones to perform two distinctive purposes.  One purpose was to maintain separation of the classes, so as to keep the gene pool "clean."  The other purpose was to provide a consumer base for their industry.  While some classes benefited from this arrangement, others inevitably bore more of the burden.  Not only did this society determine social order, but personal contribution as well.


Conversely, in Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman, we see the effect of free will on society's determination. (Atwood)  Atwood's main character, Marian, struggles with society's constraints on how the "female" is to behave.  Marian devours a cake in the shape of a woman to make for a very powerful metaphor against determination. She doesn't wish to be "assimilated" into the package that would be socially

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