Free Will : Ancient Literature

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Concept of Free Will: Ancient Literature in the West
Free will is considered to be a philosophical term for a course of action among many possible options. It is a topic that almost every philosopher has debated for over two millennia. “Free will is defined as the ability to select a course of action as a means of fulfilling some desire” (O’Connor, 2002). Many philosophers think that free will is closely associated with moral responsibility as well as freedom of action. Free will is a human necessity that has helped transform our society into the civilization it is today. “Determinism is another philosophical concept, which states that human life is pre-determined by such forces as gods, fate or destiny” (Cross Reference Project, 2015). The concept of free will versus fate is a prominent theme in much of literature especially those of the ancient West. Stories such as Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey as well as Virgil’s Aeneid helped pave the way for literature to inspire society to evolve and provide us with depictions of characters who had the ability to freely choose actions and struggle with their consequences versus living lives pre-determined by events due to environmental factors, original sin, and gods. The similarities of Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas are that all three men were able to freely think and make decisions. During the B.C era many people were slaves; therefore possessing the ability to make decisions was atypical and not the norm. So for these

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