To What Extent Are We Free To Make Decisions In Life?

1718 words - 7 pages - nachodurban ✓ Expert Reviewed

In the movie “Final Destination 5” Sam and a group of friends gather together for a company retreat. During their bus ride to their destination, Sam has a premonition that his friends and other people on the bus die horrifically in a bridge collapse. As his vision ends, the events that he had imagined start to occur. Before anyone got hurt, Sam guides everyone to a safe location before Death claims them. As the movie goes on we learn that these unsuspected souls were never supposed to evade death, as death approaches them one by one, until fate successfully completes its cycle. The stimulus of “Final Destination 5” raises a range of questions such as; Are we free to avoid our fate? Additionally, the stimulus questions whether humans are determined to act in a certain way or not?

“Death doesn’t like to be cheated”
“You're supposed to die on that bridge…you're not supposed to be here… You shorted death. So you let death have somebody else in your place”

Word Count: 206

In the stimulus, Sam and a group of friends are on a bus ride to their destination for a company retreat. As the bus approaches a suspended bridge, Sam has a premonition that most people of the bus die horrifically in a bridge collapse. After his graphical vision ends, Sam rushes everyone to a safe location, and saves the people on the bus.
As the movie goes on we learn that these unsuspected souls were never supposed to evade death, as death approaches them one by one, until fate successfully completes its cycle. This essay explores many theories regarding free will and determinism. Philosophers beg the question, whether choices can be made in our lives, or whether every move we make and do, are destined to happen. This essay will analyse hard determinism, soft determinism and finally the theories regarding libertarianism.

The first argument that the essay will analyse is hard determinism. Hard determinism is a free will view, which believes that human behaviour is determined by external factors. Therefore, hard determinist disregards the freedom of making choices, as all choices are determined and controlled. Hard determinism is called “hard” due to its strict deterministic nature, as we are not responsible for the choices we make. Baruch Spinoza supports this idea by stating “In the mind there is no absolute or free will; but the mind is determined to wish this or that by a cause, which has also been determines by another cause, and this last by another cause, and so on to infinity”. Hard determinists believe that people are like machines. If a machine is faulty, it needs fixing, therefore a person cannot be blamed for violence, as either their violence can be “fixed” or if this fails they can be sent to jail in order to stop their violence. Clarence Darrow supports and believes in this idea of hard determinism, as in 1924, he defended two young adults being charged of murdering a young boy. He supported his decision by stating that the two murderers were the product of...