Oedipus the King: The Cost of Free Will

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The Cost of “Free” Will in Oedipus Rex (the King) Perhaps the Greek playwright Sophocles never had the concept of “free will” in mind when writing Oedipus Rex, but the play does allow for that interesting paradox we know today as free will. The paradox is: if Oedipus is told by the gods' oracles that he will kill his father and marry his mother, does he have any power to avoid this fate? That's a basic free will question. If Oedipus manages to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother, he will prove the gods wrong, and the oracle prediction turns out to be no prediction at all. How free can we truly be if created by an all knowing being? If God knows, even at the moment before our births, that we are already destined to ascend to Heaven or burn in Hell, can we move through life making truly free decisions? Or are we always to be viewed as puppets of destiny? Was Adam to be blamed for the fall? Or was that actually God's plan? So what is this idea of "original sin?" Shouldn't we celebrate Adam as a hero for freeing man from the state of unawareness that he lived in until he consumed the sacred pomegranate? Recall that the very first line following Adam and Eve's sin is "And they saw that they were naked." This nakedness is not so much of the body (though early Christians loved to view it that way), but rather a sense of viewing, as Joseph Campbell puts it, "duality," the basic difference between man and woman, right and wrong, and, ultimately, man and god. What Adam and Eve finally see is themselves, and they see they are not gods, and they see mortality. So their eyes have been awakened. When they had eyes in Eden they were blind, and now that they are blinded to God they can see. This same idea pops up in Oedipus Rex, which might be read as the Greek version of the Hebrew story. But should God have made Adam out of sterner stuff? Whose fault is the fall? And did Adam truly have free will? Could he have said "No" when Eve offered him the fruit? Most free will arguments stem from the observation of vision in perspective. In other words, it depends upon the fact that we cannot see what is destined, so it is said that we do have choice.
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