If in the future, specifically in the year

If we want to know how the movie relates to free will and determinism, we must know what compatibilism is, which is that determined actions can be nevertheless free, meaning that if determinism is true, we can still have free will. According to the book “Even if science succeeds in showing that all of our behavior is determined, we need to not give up the belief that we can be held responsible for what we do.” Ordinarily we believe that people shouldn’t be locked up before they commit a crime. It will be unfair to be punished for something they haven’t done. Because compatibilists believe in causal determinism, they have no grounds for not locking someone up whom they have good reason to believe is going to commit a crime.

Punishers can’t resist that the person might change her or his mind because, in their view, what people think (and what people do) is totally determined by forces beyond their control. Traditional compatibilists don’t want to give up the notion of free will and they don’t want to give up the notion of causal determinism. Accepting traditional compatibilism means rejecting a number of our traditional beliefs regarding punishment. According to traditional compatibilism, two conditions must be met in order for an action to be free: First, the actions must be caused by one’s will and it must not be externally constrained.

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 The minority report movie covers a lot about how free will is implemented and the existence of it. The movie is based in the future, specifically in the year 2054, Captain John Anderton which is the main character of the movie, leads the Washington DC “PreCrime” division. The movie starts with the Precog’s prediction of an immediate murder. Captain John Anderton notices immediately what’s happening and find the exact location of the predicted murder. When he arrived just in time, he understood that the Precog’s prediction was true. The division’s goal is to prevent murders before they occur. The PreCrime division uses three Precogs which help them to predict the time, place, and scenario of all future murders that a person does or will do.

In the movie, fate is predetermined, meaning that individuals don’t have free will, and their actions are result of necessity. No matter what they think, they can’t avoid their future. The PreCrime division says that once an individual is proven to commit murder, they can’t do anything to avoid their fate.

 The film Minority Report talks about free will, and predetermination in human behavior. For instance, if an individual is aware of his or her future, then how can an individual change their destiny? Is he/she unable to alter his/her destinity? According to the film, Captain John Anderto have several confrontations with different people that he interacted with in his life. Captain John Anderton believes in predestination because of how the Precogs are never wrong, however, as he learned more about how the Precogs evolved through several experiences that shook the boundaries of predestination, such as his interactions with three main characters, which are Leo Crow, Lamar Burgess and Danny Witwer, he soon determined in a strong belief towards free will. Since the world in the film of Minority Report really believes in the existence of determinism.

The murder rates drop as the PreCrime division apparently prevents all of the murders of the future. There are cameras and any type of vigilance equipment that can be placed throughout the city for the protection of the citizens. Captain Anderton totally believes that the PreCrime division is perfect and that its existence could have saved his son. This lack of doubt is brought into question when Anderton is predicted to kill Leo Crow in short notice. Anderton was accused of murder and seen as a criminal because of the prevision. He went on the run in order to escape from his predicted destiny and try to change it. He took action of the situation in order to see if it was possible to alter the future.

While escaping from the Precogs, he stopped by the house of Dr. Iris Hineman, which is a retired pioneer of Precrime. He came to her mind if it was possible to fake a prevision, with this being said, it put into question how predetermination works. Dr. Iris reminds Anderton that the PreCrimes are never wrong, but they occasionally disagree. With that being said, he finds out that there are flaws in the minority report which leads Anderton to believe that some innocent people have been convicted from crimes that they never did. Also, he is told that the records of previous crime of all the minority report are destroyed, only leaving the original reports in existence.

The reason why they destroy the records is because they want to prevent weakness. Finding out all this information reassures the unreliability of a precogs prevision. If these previsions are not accurate, the predestinations are damaged. Now that Anderton have all the necessary information, he tries to convince himself that the prevision of him is not accurate. He goes and modifies his body in order to reduce the risk to catch him. He finds Agatha, a precog that contains the original information of the minority report so he can alter his future. To Anderton’s disappointment, he didn’t found his minority report, meaning that he can’t alter his future. Reminding, Agatha, the precog, told him before that he has the choice to leave, meaning that in reality he does have alternatives to alter his future.

Maybe the precogs made them believe that they were never wrong in order for them to predict future decisions and actions. With what Agatha said, this applies the power of free will. Other event that applies to free will is when Anderton’s predestination was to kill Leo Crow, Leo wanted to be dead but instead Anderto choose to arrest him, meaning that Anderton possessed self-control by choosing that decision. He used his free will to arrest him and not killing him at the time that was predicted in the prevision which showed the failure in the precog prevision system. That event is a demonstration of the intervening power of free will.

 Another event that applies free will and predetermination is when Anderton and Lamar (which is the antagonist of the film, responsible for the death of Agatha’s mother) confront each other. In the altercation Anderton makes a dilemma that if Lamar kills Anderton, it proves that the precog system works, but this also means that Lamar will be imposed to a life sentence. The other alternative is if Lamar chooses not to kill Anderton, then this proves that the Precrime system is damaged and Precrime would be forced to shut down.

Anderton reminds Lamar about free will by saying that everybody knows their own future, that we are able to change anything we want. After that, Lamar uses his power of free will and challenges predetermination by not killing Anderton as it was predicted to be. Instead, he commits suicide. With that being said, the unreliability of Precrime was displayed and Precrime was soon down.

The act of free will dominated predetermination. For the ending of the movie, there was a situation in which Anderton throws a wooden ball to one of the characters called Witwer, he catches it and Anderton ask why he caught it, and Witwer said that it was going to fall. With these words, Anderton says that the fact that he prevented it from happening does not change the fact that is going to happen. Because Waiver knew that the ball was going to fall, he changed the ball’s future by using his own free will. Even though the ball does not have free will, Witwer had to alternatives, let it fall or catch it, meaning that it was his choice to stop the drop.  As humans, we like the idea that we can get out of any factor from the past, meaning that we have alternatives psychologically and physically. Despite all our past behaviors, there is nothing that can stop us from making a decision, meaning that we have control of our destiny.

Determinism suggests that all actions are caused by past events. Determinists believe that if we understand the brain and mind, we can predict or at least get into a possibility what someone will do in any situation. Soft determinism suggests to find something in between. The relationship between determinism and free will is not mutually exclusive because free will is essential to a deterministic universe. If the world is predetermined then all our choices are.

With this being said, we are responsible for our decisions and our actions. The film is successful because it brings into subject that hard determinism is not possible and that humans will always be able to choose freely against a predetermined destiny. This theory is called indeterminism, which suggests that predictability is certain to become extremely developed, meaning that uncertainty still rules. In other words, humans are free and also morally responsible for our own actions.

 In conclusion, it is sure that the free will and predetermination is presented in the movie. If we analyze the confrontations that happened in the movie, it is clear that Anderton’s initial belief in predetermination disappeared as he evolved over time. His interaction with other character supported his growing belief that free will dominates predetermination. Meaning that we have the power to alter the future even though if it seems too sure that something will happen, there will be always a possibility that will not.

     

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