Free Will; Do We Have It Or Not

1218 words - 5 pages

Free Will; Do We Have it or Not
The question of free will is one which has been hotly debated for millennia. Some people believe that humans have the capacity for free will - the ability to choose their actions without being forced to follow a certain course by either by the influence of others or by natural laws. For many theists, free will is regarded as a special gift from God. The notion of human free will is also an important premise for a lot of what happens in human society - in particular, when it comes to our legal system. Free will is necessary for the notion of personal responsibility. If people do not have free will, then it is difficult to argue that they are personally ...view middle of the document...

” All this was confusing and upsetting for him to the point where it poked at his self-esteem, forcing him to dwell upon it and constantly making him feel that the Burmese people made his job impossible.
British Imperialism dominated not only Burma, but also other countries that did not belong to England. At the time it may appear, from the outside, that the officers were helping the Burmese because they too were against oppressors; however, from the inside, they too were trying to annex other countries, this show how British were also oppressors. One could see that he didn't want to shoot the elephant. “It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. I was not squeamish about killing animals. But I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal." This shows that he really didn't want to shoot the animal. It was only out of pressure and to gain respect. He was put on the spot because the natives of the country viewed white men as being cruel and they were looking on expecting him to shoot. He felt pressured it's almost like he was forced into a role that he isn't quite made for. But convention has forced him to pull the trigger.

In the essay “Shooting an Elephant,” George Orwell describes an internal conflict between his personal morals and his duty to his country. Orwell’s decision to kill the elephant is a direct result of oppression. Oppression perhaps goes deeper than the average man would imagine, noticeably hindering even the lives of the oppressors. Orwell’s moral values are challenged in many different ways, ironically enough while he too was the oppressor. Oppression is shown by Orwell through the burden of servitude placed upon him by England: “I had already made up my mind that imperialism is an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically- and secretly of course- I was all for the Burmese and against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than perhaps I can make clear.” (853) “All I knew was that I was struck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beast who tried to make my job impossible” (853). Orwell finds himself in a moral predicament no different than the ones placed on the white men in the East. Orwell justifies his actions, “solely to avoid...

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