Determinism In Sophocles 'Oedipus The King'

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Free will and determinism have been debated by philosophers for centuries. This topic was debated as early as around 430 b.c. when Sophocles wrote Oedipus the King. Oedipus the King is a play about a man who is given a horrible prophecy. When Oedipus was born his parents were told that he would grow up to kill his father and marry his father. His parents were disgusted by this prophecy and decided to leave Oedipus to die in the mountains with his feet nailed together. His parents thought they were safe from the prophecy but, a herdsman found Oedipus and brought him to another royal family to be raised. When he grew up and found out about the prophecy, he fled from his parents not knowing that they were not his real parents. This decision to…show more content…
This is a logical response to this sort of prophecy. Oedipus thought that he was using his free will to decide to flee so that his prophecy wouldn’t come true, however, he actually wasn’t. Given the information that he had, he believed that Polybus and Merope were his real parents. This led him to his decision to run away If he had known that they were not his real parents he might have chosen to stay with them and, therefore, not fulfil the prophecy. He would have never chosen to stay based on the information he had because he thought that Polybus and Merope were his real parents. This shows the cause and effect that determinism runs on because when his parents decided to lie to him, that led him to the decision to runaway. He would have never made any other decision based on the information he had. Although Oedipus thought that he was making his own free choice, he wasn’t because his decision was directly in response to his adopted parents actions to lie. This is why his actions were not free will but…show more content…
Determinism says that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical cause and that it could be an invisible cause in our brains. Such as, the information someone has and how someone views the situation plays a part in our decision making. These are what causes us to make the decision and based on these things. Someone would never make any other decision than the one that they made. Oedipus also thought that he was freely deciding to run from his adopted parents, however, based on the information he had he would have never made any other decision which proves that there was really no choice. This is why fate is predetermined and that free will is not something that can override
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