1. Love to Write
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    Love to Write I'm a lover of writing. What else is to be said? Contributor

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    "There is always a choice"

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Love to Write, Jan 24, 2014.

    "There is always a choice." You hear this all over the place; movies, books, tv shows, even radio. The statement is usually made when a hero makes difficult decision in which he/she felt like there was no other choice because the other choice wasn't an option.

    However, even though the other choice wasn't an option in their mind...it was still a choice. They still had the opportunity to choose between two options. I was thinking about this last night tying to come up with scenarios that dis-proved the statement "There is always a choice." But I couldn't come up with any.

    I couldn't come up with a single releastic scenario in which the person had to do something and had no choice in the matter.
    So my question is this: minus the sci-fi things like mind-control and hypnotism...is it even possible to have a scenario where a character/person literately has no choice...and has only one option.
     
  2. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I have one for my screenplay. The human race is in danger of extinction due to the machinations of powerful, greedy people starting a massive war that's done too much damage to the ecosystem. Their survival depends on outside aid, but that aid won't get rendered because those powerful, greedy people survived and plan on taking power again, despite the world dying. Better to let them die now by their own hands than to risk having to kill them later. So, my MC, who doesn't want to be the last of his kind, and influence character kill those powerful, greedy people and install new leadership that isn't so greedy and bloodthirsty.
     
  3. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Even indecision eventually becomes a choice itself.

    No, there is always a choice even if its simply giving up.
    Fun thing about reality: Your wife is dying in your hands and the only way to save her is to sacrifice yourself. Instead you begin to breakdance.

    Always a choice; you just might not like it.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    If there is no alternative, there can be no option or choice.

    Even if a person is falling toward an airless planet (no wind resistance) in a rigid casing with no means of propulsion, he or she still has a choice: accept the fate, or keep trying to find a way not to die. Even if there is no choice of action, there is always the choice of accepting or rejecting surrender, unless you have taken away the person's freedom to think.
     
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  5. Love to Write
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    Love to Write I'm a lover of writing. What else is to be said? Contributor

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    Sounds interesting but it still sounds like he had a choice. He chose between either being the last of his kind or installing new leadership. Not much of a choice but still, a choice.
     
  6. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    True, but then perhaps a better question to maybe ask is what are you willing to kill for? Love? Money?
     
  7. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I think the choices in the dilemma are more about your possible actions not your mind of thought.
    If it came down to the psyche, there would always be the choice to close your eyes, go "lalala" and go to your happy place while the world moves on without you.

    When it comes to action 1, action 2, and inaction, there is always a choice.
    The consequences or risks may be unfavorable but it's still there.

    Here's a fun example taken from real life with some deviation:

    A wife, husband, and their two children are at home.
    The house catches fire.
    The children are trapped and so is the husband.
    The wife is free and has to choose to save her children or her husband.
    She chooses the husband.
    The next day on the news, she is reported to say: "I loved my husband more than I did my children."
    Instantly, the entire world damns her for making the wrong choice.
    Or, in certain words, demonizes her for making a choice when, in our culture, saving the children would be the only choice.

    Let's not discuss the legitimacy of loving your spouse more than your offspring as that's off-topic but this shows that choices can and may not exist all at once depending on who's evaluating them.
    Social and cultural upbringing can most likely make us blind or refuse to act on certain choices all the while enabling us to do more.

    @Love to Write
    Consider checking out The Trolley Problem
    It deals with just that, making impossible or, in certain standards, non existing choices.
     
  8. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Killing to defend your life is not a no choice situation either, because the person could accept death.

    True insanity might have a place in the no choice situation since the sufferer is not connected to reality.
     
  9. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Reality isn't much of a precursor for choice making simply the stage upon we act.

    Let's say a demented person see's something that isn't there.
    As far as they know, there is something there.
    They act on it using whatever rational they have.

    Now, would a hindered mentality mean they have less of a choice or are simply unable to make a "real" or "educated" choice?

    With that logic we can easily wonder how much choice animals have when their genetics and instincts aren't up to snuff to deal with the human world.
    Such in old adages of curiosity killing the cat.

    And for fun, if we live inside out head.
    So maddened, that our mind conjures a fantasy land for us to live in happily.
    We garden, we love, we go to work, we drink coffee.
    It's all in our heads but we're still doing the choices much as we do in lucid dreaming.
    It may be hindered or even influenced, but as far as the subject knows, he made a choice.

    Whether it impacts reality or not, the choice lies in what the actor perceives.
     
  10. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    @A.M.P. Did you ever see the movie "Sophie's Choice?"
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I have, many times. I was at DLI and the movie had just come out and the students of Russian, Polish and German were all in love with the film for all the foreign dialogue. Sophie had a choice. It broke her irreparably, but there was a choice. The outcome was unthinkable, but there was a choice. A heinous choice, but a choice. We mustn't confuse something I would not / could not chose to do with no choice. In some ways, it's the point of that book (read the book). There are some choices that can be made, which no one should ever have to.
     
  12. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I wasn't. I haven't seen the movie, but I read the synopsis. It sounds like the Trolley Experiment.
     
  13. A.M.P.
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    @Robert_S The Trolley Experiment encompasses an interesting amount of the spectrum.
    It can be torn apart for religion, ethics, metaphysics, or anything you'd like.

    Never read Sophie's choice, though.
    Didn't peak my interest.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    imo, there is only one situation in which no choice exists...

    you're in a place where therr's no escape from noxious fumes that will kill you if you inhale them... you have no choice but to breathe, since even if you hold your breath for a while, you cannot keep from breathing eventually...
     
  15. Love to Write
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    Love to Write I'm a lover of writing. What else is to be said? Contributor

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    Nice one!
     
  16. A.M.P.
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    You could still choose your last moments to break dance or claw at the walls.
    Or beg for your life, or pray or whatever.
    Them's are choices.

    I figure the topic is more about when you are pushed down a path where the choices seem impossible or quasi-nonexistant.
    Having your freedom taken away though is most likely the only way to keep free will front ever entering a situation.
     
  17. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    You don't have a choice whether or not to die. When you're dying, you can't just decide not to die. (I'm not talking about having positive thoughts that somehow cure you.) When you die, you die.
     
  18. A.M.P.
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    True, we are slaves to nature but this is an event. It occurs whether you like it or not. I think the topic is more about situations, not events, at when choices are possible and not wholly taken away by an outside force.

    There isn't much to say about when there literally is no choice by nature or man as the possibility can't exist. It's not much of a situation where no choice exist but more an event.

    Also, depending on how you are dying, there are choices that can be made.
    Some people managed to survive with a bullet to the heart, so even extraordinary circumstances are possible.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  19. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    your so-called 'choices' have nada to do with the choice I was referring to, which is simply to breathe and die, or not breathe and live [even if one were capable of not breathing for more than a couple of minutes, which no one is, they'd still die from lack of oxygen!]...
     
  20. A.M.P.
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    @mammamaia Well, just for fun, inherently there is still the choice on how to die.

    You can't choose to not NEED, hence NEED, to eat, drink, sleep, or whatever.
    Without those basic natural needs, you die.

    Those aren't situational choices.
    They're eventual choices.
    Meaning, there is no choice that can be made that change their outcome.

    So, having someone tie you up in unbreakable chains and locking you in an empty room removes all choices from aside of eventual choices.
    You will get thirsty, you will get hungry, and you will die from it.
    It's an event, not a situation.

    The only way to create that scenario is to remove all freedom from a human being which generally means you chain them up, drug em beyond belief, or put them smack middle of the Sahara desert.

    What OP is trying to get at are impossible choices, not having your free will or freedom removed.
     
  21. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Philosophically speaking, those who believe in hard determinism would say that free will is merely an illusion.

    So it may be the case that none of us ever have any true choices.
     
  22. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    The real interesting question is, why there has to be a choice.
     
  23. A.M.P.
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    Because no choice means inactivity.
    Bad for real life and fiction.
    Not the same as making no choice, as that's a choice by itself to not choose.
    Inactivity means frozen state.
     
  24. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    That's not the reason.
     

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