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Motion pictures are an outstanding way for demonstrating philosophy.

When it arrives to the conception of free will,


The Adjustment Bureau is among the recent big screen movies to showcase this theme. The motion picture, which stars
Matt Damon and is masterminded by George Nolfi, was established on the 1954 short story Adjustment Team by Philip K.
Dick, the science fiction author and self-described fictionalizing philosopher. The Adjustment Bureau is a 2011 American
romantic science fiction thriller film, which conveys the story of a young man named David, who observes that what appear
to be unplanned events in his life cycle, are checked by a technologically advanced intelligence network. Later on an
incident that is not adjusted by these regulators occur, a chance meeting with a young aspiring dancer whose name goes by
Elise, he fights against their handling in spite of their promise of a great future for him.
The growing romance amongst a rising U.S. congressman and a gifted ballet dancer expectedly became
complicated by otherworldly forces pursuing to drive them away from each other by distorting the very fabric of reality. David
Norris is a rising New York congressman whose charisma has received him a devoted following among locals of New York.
One night, after suffering a devastating political loss, David is practicing his concession speech in a hotel bathroom when
out of one toilet stall wanders Elise, who was hiding out from security guards after gate-crashing a marriage.
The chemistry between David and Elise is instant. But as fast as she appeared, Elise has gone, leaving behind
David a kiss and to ponder whether if he will ever see her again. A few days later, as if by accident, David is entering a bus
for work when he somehow spots Elise in a window seat. Though he manages to get her number this time, David is terrified
when he arrives at his new job and discovers a mysterious group of men performing an unusual procedure on his paralyzed
co-workers. Informed by the imposing and sharp-dressed Richardson that he has just seen behind a curtain that few will
ever know even exists, David agrees never to tell anyone of their encounter or talk to Elise again lest his entire memory be
completely erased. But three years later, when David spots Elise walking down the street from the window of a city bus, he
can't resist the urge to rekindle their romance. Unfortunately for the two young lovers, the mysterious agents at the
Adjustment Bureau are determined to keep them apart at all costs in order to ensure there is no deviation from the master
plan drawn up by "The Chairman" for the future of all humankind.

He learns that she dances for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. The Bureau tries to stop him from renewing their
relationship by altering their schedules. David races across town, fighting the Bureau's abilities to "control his choices" to
ensure he will meet Elise. During the chase the Bureau uses ordinary doorways to travel instantly to distant locations. Senior
official Thompson takes over David's adjustment and takes him to the warehouse, where David argues he has the right to
choose his own path.

Thompson says humanity acquired free will after the peak of the Roman Empire, but humans then also brought
the Dark Ages upon themselves. The Bureau took control after five centuries of savagery, and formed the Renaissance, the
Enlightenment, and the scientific uprising; when free-will was fixed in 1910, it gave rise to the first world war, the Great
Depression, Fascism, the Holocaust and the Cuban Missile Crisis, prompting the Bureau to once again regain control.
Thompson infers that without Elise's impact, David might even become President of the United States of America, and
notifies that if he stays with her, he will ruin both of their futures. Thompson causes Elise to sprain her ankle at her
performance to validate his power, and David forsakes her at the hospital to save them from the destiny Thompson
described to him. Eleven months later, Charlie tells David of Elise's upcoming wedding as he begins to campaign again for
elections. Harry interacts with David through secret meetings in the rain or near water, which inhibits the Bureau from
tracking them and finding out their location because water is their weakness. Harry discloses that Thompson overstated the
negative outcomes of David and Elise's connection, and shows David how to use doors to teleport and dodge the Bureau's
alterations. Just before the wedding, David reaches Elise, exposes the Bureau's existence to her, and demonstrates to her
how he journeys through doors. The Bureau chases them across the City of New York. David decides to discover the
Chairman to conclude the chase, with Elise by his side. They enter the office of the Bureau, still with its agents in their trail.

David and Elise find themselves encircled by agents on the observation deck of the building. They proclaim their
love and kiss passionately before David can be reset of all his memories. When they set free of each other, the Bureau
agents have gone which were just surrounding them. Thompson appears but is interjected by Harry, who shows him a
renewed plan from the Chairman: one that is blank starting from the present moment. Harry praises them for their undying
devotion to each other, then says they are permitted to leave the premises and start their own life uncontrolled. While David
and Elise walk down the street, Harry ponders that the Chairman's actual aim may be to ready humanity to write its own
"Plans".

As David fights to pursue his seemingly undying love for Elise, the Adjustment Bureau tests his free will, or do
they, really? What if David doesnt even have free-will in the first place? This is the one single most important question
supposedly raised throughout the film. At one part of the story, Terence Stamps character, Thompson or the Hammer,
daringly stated that David doesnt have free will but only the appearance of free will. And if the seemingly invasive
adjustments of the Adjustment Bureau match with reality, one must ponder whether or not only the appearance of free-
will is all we truly have and if so, is that appearance seem to be adequate?

According to the internet, free will the ability to make your own decisions about what to do, rather than being
controlled by God or Fate. It is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of sensible agents to choose a
course of action from among various alternatives. In discussions over morality, an often repetitive claim is that 'without free
will there can be no responsibility'. Initially, it is significant to note that such an assertion makes responsibility, not free will,
now the focus of the discussion. So if the conversation was originally about something like souls then it has now changed to
responsibility. Secondly, there are two claims embedded in such a claim: Is the existence of responsibility important? Is it
necessary to possess free will to accept responsibility?

What appears easy to agree here is that responsibility is important, as without it, we cannot only not have ethics
but also suffer no societal or legal obligation. Responsibility appears too important and built into the fabric of our social
interactions to do without - so this claim panders to a fear that without responsibility, anything goes. Even so one should be
leery of seeking comfort over truth.

It may easily be the case that responsibility does not exist and we are all running under a psychotic belief that it
serves. If this is the case it would certainly be important to know this or should one be concerned about 'breaking the spell'
and so not think about it? However, once these questions are posed there is no turning back, since avoiding exploring what
others may already have done is barely potential to benefit oneself and more probable to leave one at a disadvantage,
compared to those other daring explorers. Hence this is not exactly a sensible and fair question to pose, but an significant
one to respond and this requires knowing that such concerns should not preclude one from honestly appraising reality.

If the said entitlement is simply an appeal to fear, then seeing its importance it is safer to overcome that rhetoric
and be fearless, honest and rationally considering the possibility that responsibility is simply a misconception.

Without needing to resolve this new question, it instantly becomes clear that once one has taken out the appeal to
fear built into the aforementioned title, that this claim cannot be employed as a defense of free will, since we demand to
know how responsibility does work, if it exists, before forming a conclusion over free will. That is, we need to do the second
embedded claim - is free will necessary for responsibility?

Responsibility may or may not exist, however important we regard it and to choose to believe in free will just to
reassure us that responsibility exists is an argument from comfort not a real argument. And this opens up another possibility
that responsibility exists, but only if free will does not. So anyone who makes the aforementioned claim and is truly
concerned over the existence and importance of responsibility should be willing to consider not only that responsibility does
not exist but that free will also might not exist and it is possible that free will and responsibility are mutually exclusive - and
responsibility exists and free will does not. If they are not willing to entertain these questions then surely they are just
wanting to defend free will at any cost regardless of and contrary to the implied importance of responsibility. That is, they are
not willing to engage in charitable, fair and rational debate and are hypocrites.

My main driving force here is that although I will soon be contending for a naturalistic responsibility absent of free
will, I prefer that all fit in that responsibility exists and we can operate upon and utilize this in mutually beneficial ways,
irrespective of how we think it originates. Do disputes over the origins of responsibility therefore matter? I would argue with
one caveat no, since pragmatically once we have reasonable notions of responsibility we can work with them directly,
regardless of how people understand how this works. The caution is over retribution and desert, but I imagine this can be
shelled out without needing to address free will directly.

Why does this interest me? Comfortably it is one thing to argue for improving the ethical motive of our world, by
removing double standards for example, it is another that makes this predicated upon requiring too many people to make up
too many cherished beliefs, this builds the challenge that much harder and is something to be warded off if possible. Even
amongst atheists, brights and free thinkers belief in free will persists longer than many other discarded beliefs. Let's not
make the job of improving ethics in the real world harder by asking that everyone gives up notions such as free will. So my
tactic will be to prove that existence or not of free volition is not pragmatically important and that irrespective of differing
ideas of the origination of responsibility, there is sufficient overlap in understanding how it works and that is all that is
required.

The movie provides the viewer an intriguing blend of freewill, soft determinism, and probability. In answering this,
Nolfi has certainly attained his goal, which he expressed in a magazine interview, I want the film to be seen by people
whether religious or not or whatever religion they are. I require them to engross with the central question bringing their faith
and views and grappling to the board. Then when they pass on, the question of how much of your life is handled by external
powers and how much of you is key, and that has been around since the ancient Greeks. I merely desire to have people
have a great time at the flicks in a romantic thriller with a sci-fi tinge to it totally, leaving with their own questions brought to
the table.

But why does exiting with queries matter? Well, to put it simply, it brings the importance of ethical activity into
focus.

The entire debate on free-will is largely concerned with morality, will, and moral activity. Few people (if any) take
interest in the debate because they have a real hankering to know whether or not they are freely choosing to put their shoes
on in the morning. Menial actions such as these are of little concern. Nevertheless, when morality comes into play, knowing
whether or not one is loose, determined, or harassed by the phenomena of chance becomes a large mess. Everyone
appears to possess a vested interest in morality, which is probably why a movie like The Adjustment Bureau can get off with
being expelled on the large screen; it has quite a large appeal. Hopefully, everyone who sees the film will go away having
been encouraged to reflect on moral reality.

Afterwards all, the apostle Paul claims that mankinds purpose on earth is to feel around toward God, in the hopes
that they might find him, and the moral dilemma soundly places people in that position bearing in mind their natural
processes, the effects of their activities, and the moral import of their actions in all of animation.

Throughout the film, circumstances brought about by the Bureau, at the behest of The Chairman, hinder Davids
plans. However, Harry, the main adjuster assigned to David, experiences inner conflict with what is happening to David and
Elise. Harry, along with David, wrestle with their roles in this world and, the movie thus tackles the subject of free will.

In the film, reality consists of order maintained by the invisible hand of The Chairman and is administered by the
Bureau. Any disruptions to this order produces chaos in the world. The destiny of all humans is preordained. However,
despite this deterministic program, the main characters are confronted by another reality: their desire to act in the way they
wish. David, Elise, and Harry choose to resist the Bureaus plans and create their own path. The message seems
paradoxical, (at least to an incompatibilist): there is free will but the world we live in is largely deterministic. Moreover, the
mysterious existence of The Chairman is central to the engine behind the deterministic themes. The Chairman largely is
absent to the viewer, a quite intriguing idea because it leaves the viewer wondering who Dick envisions as the Chairman. Is
he a deity of some sort? Is he good, neutral or evil?

The Chairman has a design for each soul; a right design if you abide and a consequent inferior plan if you do not
suffer. The Chairman wants the good plan to be fulfilled or else the adjusters would not be necessary. It is in this relationship
between the Adjustment Bureau and the dwellers of the world that free will and determinism collide. Although the idea that
humans in suits secretly controlling the destinies of people is improbable, the plot along with its imports is quite interesting
because there are clear resemblances to the universe we live. It is great amusement but, more significantly, the
philosophical implications are both heavy and lasting.

Free will is the apparent capacity at least human beings possess to choose a path of action among alternatives.
The most vigorous debates throughout history involving free will, have sought to answer two questions: Do humans possess
free will? And are humans morally responsible for what we do and appear to prefer? It is question 1 which is most relevant
to the celluloid. Even though Agent Thompson claims that there is no free will, The Adjustment Bureau portrays a universe
that contains some free will, albeit modified, but simultaneously portrays a world in which free will seems impossible*. This
paradox is the merchandise of two elements that are proposed throughout the plot of the film: theological determinism and a
materialistic position of humanity.

Although the nature of The Chairman is not clearly revealed to the viewer, you bring a sense that The Chairman is
a god and the providence of this deity guides the affairs of mankind. This case of determinism, held by some spiritual
customs (most notably the monotheistic religions), puts forward that God ordains everything that goes on. Within theological
determinism, there are two groups: hard and soft theological determinism. The latter states that humans have free will
despite the fact that God ordains all events. Although God ordains and knows what will happen beforehand, man still has the
ability to freely choose their courses of action. The former argues that free will is non-existent and God is in complete control
of events including human action (the fact that we think we make free choices is just an illusion of some sort). Although each
view has rational difficulties, the film opts for a kind of theological determinism in the form of The Chairman and The Bureau
secretly conducting their life-altering activities. An unseen chairman who runs the world, knows its outcomes, and charges
his agents to execute his plans suggests this type of determinism albeit with some deviations. One of those parts is the
unusual part of free will with this type of determinism.

The beloved story of David and Elise adds the philosophical secrecy. Their intense love for one another leads
them to continually fight against the fate that has been ordained for them. This fight culminates in their attempt to find The
Chairman to convince him to change the plan for their lives. Their effort was futile, but their perseverance has made a
change in their life plan. Towards the conclusion of the motion picture, atop a New York City building, Agent Mitchell explains
to David and Elise what is penned on a report that he is sustaining in his hand, It articulates that this situation between the
two of you is a serious diversion from the program. So The Chairman rewrote it. The selections of two human agents,
struggling with their assigned fates, we're capable to change the mind of a divine or divine-like shape.

Some may contend that even the apparent free acts the players make are not free acts because the brain
determines their actions even when the Bureau is not implied. When certain people did not comply with their preordained life
plan, the adjusters simply altered your brain. David accidentally witnessed this process being performed with his
acquaintance. This alteration causes you to construct the right conclusions and stay along the determined path. This method
undermines free will as humans are perceived as merely machines that need to be physically or chemically altered.

All of these issues articulated in the film seem to raise more questions than answer them. Ironically, the director of
the film, George Nolfi, stated that the "intention of this film is to raise questions. Yes, this film has raised questions. But one
also gets the sense that being able to choose the course of ones life is something at least the filmmakers, or Dick himself,
values. We ultimately may be fully determined but if so, it is something we should fight against. The biting irony in that last
sentence creates the core of the plot of the film. Dick suggests its also the core plot of our lives. That's definitely worth
thinking about.

David seeks to evade his fate so he can carve out a future with Emily Blunt's Elise. Yet he didn't come by his
desire for her through any choice of his own. Romantic love may be a product of pheromones, social conditioning or genetic
predisposition, but by common consent it ruthlessly commandeers the hearts of those it ensnares. David could have decided
the problem with which he's presented if he'd been capable of willing himself to descend out of love with Elise, however this
is a freedom that remains denied to him.

David is invited to choose between love and vocation. However, he can make only one choice, because he's
David. He hasn't got to himself what he is; childhood experience in concert with parental example and perhaps hereditary
traits are credited with much of this labor. Meanwhile, Elise informs us that to be a great dancer you must be birthed with the
correct and right body. To bewitch a big-shot politician as dishy as David, you may well need much the same thing. In both of
these characters' cases, willpower alone wouldn't have cut it; nurture and nature was calling the shots.

It's not only the feasibility of free will that's cast into question; even its desirability starts to look dodgy. David gets
rewarded for choosing the dangers of self-realisation over the security of submission. Yet the terrors of the course he takes
seem overwhelming; he has to be allowed to evade them through what seems a fraudulent device. If this is what it takes to
create your own essence, some watchers may decide: "Rather him than me."
Subsequently all, though the movies may be sold on free will, the rest of us are perhaps less certain. We're well
mindful that to be the God of your fate can have its downside. We're happy enough to choose mocha over espresso, but
prefer to leave our healthcare to the state. We expect applause for our achievements, but attribute our failures to the
system. We like to conceive of our transgressions as caused less by our own knavery than by the wrong genes or
maltreatment in childhood.

The Adjustment Bureau wants to tell us that our destiny is within our grasp. It suggests, however, at a different
message: free will doesn't exist, and even if it did, we wouldn't want it.

Free will and determinism are both true. This philosophical attitude, called compatibilism, requires a true and
specific understanding of the two central concepts required. Determinism is bound to stay on one of the most intriguing
problems in philosophy every bit well as skill. As the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says: There is no agreement over
whether determinism is dead on target (or even whether it can be known true or fictitious) and what the import for human
authority would be in either case.

The determinist position is that, in a world ruled by the strictest natural laws, all events arise naturally and
inevitably from causative factors that follow these laws. Determinism thus affirms the inevitability of the existent. It is hard to
understand how this can be disproved conclusivelyeven in theory.

As far as the physical, inanimate world is worried, the determinist position has been severely disputed by the
discovery of indeterminacy at the level of subatomic particles. This indeterminacy exists with regard to what can be
measured and what can be foretold, yet what actually occurs is the crucial matter. But yet this limited predictability
disappeared, when the effects of dark holes were taken into account. The loss of particles and information down black holes
meant that the particles that came out were random. Thus, the future of the universe is not completely determined by the
laws of science and its present state, as Laplace thought. God still has a few tricks up his arm.

It would be recklessly presumptuous of a layman to question Hawking, but its hard to understand how the inability
to make definite predictions can affect what actually occurs. Determinism is about what actually happens.

Inferring from the behavior of subatomic particles to the phenomena of the macro world does not seem to be
justified. But extending indeterminism to mental eventsand to the exercise of free willcan plausibly be justified on the
evidence that all mental events involve subtle events at subatomic levels. The question of free will leads to issues of moral
obligation. And these two issues are of direct interest to humanism. There are those who think that determinism is
incompatible with free volition and moral responsibility. As Immanuel Kant says: If our will is itself determined by antecedent
causes, then we are no more accountable for our actions than any other mechanical object whose movements are internally
conditioned. But David Hume, a leading advocate of the compatibilist position, kept back the position that freedom and
moral responsibility can be reconciled with (causal) determinism.

Bertrand Russells views on determinism and moral responsibility (from his Elements of Ethics) are worth citing at
length. The evidence in favor of determinism appear to me overwhelming, and I shall content myself with a brief reading of
these grounds, he writes. The question I am concerned with is not the free will question itself, but the question how, if at all,
morals are affected by assuming determinism.

Among physically possible actions, only those which we actually think of are to be regarded as possible. When
several alternative actions present themselves, it is certain that we can both do which we choose, and choose which we will.
In this sense all the alternatives are possible. What determinism maintains is that our will to choose this or that alternative is
the effect of antecedents; but this does not prevent our will from being itself a cause of other effects. And the sense in which
different decisions are possible seems sufficient to make out some actions as good and some as improper, same as moral
and some as immoral.

It would appear, thus, that the objections to determinism are mainly attributable to misunderstanding of its spirit.
Hence, ultimately it is not determinism, but free will that has subversive consequences. In that respect is thus no reason to
regret that the evidence in favor of determinism are overwhelmingly hard. Contemporary British philosopher Galen Strawson
has another opinion. For him, whether determinism is true or not, no one is ever ultimately responsible for his actions,
morally speaking.
Among humanists, opinion about determinism seems to be split. In Corliss Lamonts 10 Points for Humanism
listed in his volume, The Philosophy of Humanism, the fourth period is: Humanism, in opposition to all theories of universal
determinism, fatalism, or predestination, believes that human beings, while conditioned by the past, possess genuine
freedom of creative choice and action, and are, within certain objective limits, the shapers of their own destiny.

Barbara Smoker, on the other hand, thinks that most humanists are deterministic. In her book, Humanism, she
writes: Believers in a just and almighty God generally believe in human freedom of will, for how otherwise could human
beings be given the full blame for their sins, let alone for the iniquities of the universe? Most humanists, even so, so far as
the old free will/ determinism argument lingers on, are deterministic. This does not imply that they refuse all human
freedom and responsibility, but it does entail that we are less loose than we feel we are, since our activities are fixed
(caused) by the genes we were born with (hereditary) and the things that have occurred to us in life (environment), for what
else is there to cause them?

What do we mean by free will? Is there any activity that can attest the existence of free will? All creatures act to
abide by an urge. Is a moth circling a flame acting freely? Spinoza compares the notion of free will, we are told by Will
Durant in The Story of Philosophy, to a stones thinking as it travels through space that it finds its own trajectory and selects
the place and time of its fall. Ace has to accept Strawsons contention that there is a fundamental sense in which free will
is impossible. By this he probably intends that it is unacceptable to demonstrate free will by objective measures.

The significant affair is to know the essential subjectivity of free decision. A person is convinced that his actions
follow his own decisions and impulses; he is not cognizant of any military units (inside or outside) pushing him. In cases
where he works in spite of himselfas in cases of compulsive disordershe cannot be supposed to be practicing his free
will.

Lastly, no serious discussion of determinism can be complete without taking a view about the nature of time. As
per the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on causal determinism, Physics, particularly twentieth-century physics,
does have one lesson to impart to the free will debate: a lesson about the relationship between time and determinism.
Newtonian time, the time of our everyday experience, has been superseded, but no universally accepted model seems to
have emerged so far. Einstein says to a friend: People like us know that the distinction between past, present, and future
is only a stubbornly persistent illusion. In this photograph of the universeEinstein and Minkowskis block universethe
past, present, and future, as comprehended by us, exist together in another proportion. In Einsteins words: From a
happening in three-dimensional space, physics becomes an existence in the four-dimensional world. Like the figures in
a celluloid film, the past, present, and future already (if that is the appropriate word) lives. Each observers now travels
along the film to make his particular experience of fourth dimension. Our world is inescapably indexical.

This picture of time is highly repugnant to those who see it as negating free will. And if I am going to be told that
my idea that I make choices, take action, interfere, possibly change the future, is all an illusion, protests the novelist J.B.
Priestley in his nonfiction work, Man and Time, then I shall want to know how this block universe, this frozen history, came
into existence, who colored it, and what is the point of this vast, idiotic conjuring trick. A consciousness that is no more than
a policemans lantern moving along a back alleyand indeed a good deal less, because no natural process can follow from
itis not worth having. Perhaps there is no pointor it is up to us to understand the stage.

Humanists, as rationalists, believe in the sovereignty of fact. But where facts are not ascertainable, rational and
constructive assumptions have to be taken in. It might be named as the regency of assumptions. Since neither determinism
nor free will can be proved to be a fact, pragmatic humanism must assume that every person bears moral responsibility for
his or her actions. Any other path is bound to have disastrous social effects.

It seems, that free will is a kind of illusion. The more developed the being is (emotionally, morally, spiritually, and
so on) the less of the free will it has. Experiences and wisdom takes away your freedom to make wrong choices. When you
too well know, what is right, you don't really have any other choice, than to do things well.

When someone takes away your freedom, you still know, what it is like, you still want freedom, you won't lose it in
your heart and memory, but the awareness described, is probably the end of a concept of free will. It doesn't matter then,
what you want, what you must, what you should, what you will do, all this is just one thing, the only right thing to do. I don't
say I mind it, after all, everything we do is meant to be a good choice, and by time, we will be able to make only good
choices, nothing less.

The normal theistic response to the question if free will is actually important, is 'Because god didn't want robots.
He wants us to choice to serve him.' The fact that he could have created us to not know or care about the difference seems
irrelevant. I wonder though, the world you describe seems to match the Garden of Eden. Did Adam have free will? God
spoke and lived plainly with him, so he had no doubts as to god's existence. Why doesn't god do this today? It'd relieve a
great deal of hassle.

In my view, the fact that we still only accept two choices, heaven or hell, does not constitute free will at any rate. If
that's the god's idea of free will, I don't desire to take in this repression. Many theistic believers love using free will because
it's a cop out to many controversies. That's what I'd say. To even suggest free will can exist with an all-knowing being doesn't
make sense. "Yes, God knows beforehand what you will answer, but you're still free to make out something else."

It appears that when people give up thinking they are free agents, they stop seeing themselves as culpable for
their activities. Therefore, they act less responsibly and feed in to their baser instincts. Philosophical conflicts over such
concepts as free will and consciousness often have their roots in ordinary intuitions, and the historical debates often end in
stalemates. Experimental philosophers maintain that we can move past some of these impasses if we understand the nature
of our gut feelings. This nascent field will probably not grow a silver bullet to fully restore or discredit our beliefs in free will
and other potential illusions. Only by realizing why we find certain philosophical views intuitively compelling, we might see
ourselves in a position to know that, in some instances, we have little reason to hold onto our intuitions.