Free Will Essay

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Free will is a seemingly simple topic: people do what they want based on what they think works best. When athletes sign major contracts worth several millions of dollars, they do it because the alternative would mean that they have a lot less money. When a man marries his wife, he does it because he believes he can love her "until death do [they] part". He thinks that, without her, he cannot be a complete person. When a student opts not to do his or her writing assignment until the day before it is due, it is because he or she feels that the best solution is to not waste time on something until it needs to be done. There is only one reason that all these events can happen: man has the power to choose what he wants to do, for better or for worse. This is the definition of man having the free will to do what pleases him. There are many theories, such as determinism and naturalism, for why man makes certain decisions, but they cannot fully show why people of the world make the decisions that they make. In The Fountainhead, Rand shows a clear preference of determinism in some of her characters. Ellsworth Toohey, for instance, grows up to be a manipulative sociopath because that was what he needed to do in order to survive as a child. His first desire in all things is to look good. It is for this that he went to the unpopular boy's birthday party rather than the popular boy's. It is for this that he gave up the jelly bean bribe to his teacher after letting another boy look at his test, but did not reveal the name of the cheater (218-225). He did this so that he looked good in the eyes of the teacher as someone who can be trusted not to let anyone cheat off him; however, he also looked good in the eyes of the other students because nobody got in trouble. He does this for his whole life because that is the person that he is. He is greedy. He is sneakily

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