Free will is a tricky subject. Whether or not we actually possess free will – or merely the illusion of free will – has been a favorite discussion topic of philosophers for centuries. The debate is twisted and complicated, and I won’t go into it here. However, the question I pose is: should we have the power to take away one’s free will in the event they deserve it?
Let me clarify: obviously I support incarceration of criminals. This severely limits their freedom, but not their will. They can still make choices for themselves. What I am talking about is the actual altering of a person’s brain so they are unable to choose certain actions; is it wrong to change a violent offender’s brain so he physically can’t be violent anymore? Can goodness be forced, or must it come from within?
This is the philosophical debate explored in this week’s installment of the Cinemark Classics series: A Clockwork Orange, directed by the great Stanley Kubrick and starring Malcolm McDowell as the creepy and enigmatic Alex. Alex’s favorite pastime is meeting up with his droogs (read: friends) and hitting up the town, beating and raping people to their hearts’ content (the ol’ ultraviolence). After being captured and imprisoned, young Alex is subjected to a new form of treatment: using the principles of Classical Conditioning, his brain is altered to react violently against images of violence and sex – he becomes basically mentally castrated.
A Clockwork Orange screens twice today at Cinemark Tinseltown: at 2:00 and 7:00. Tinseltown is located at 4400 Towne Center Drive, in the Springhurst Shopping Center. Further theater information and advance ticket sales can be found at the Cinemark Tinseltown website.
Image: Internet Movie Database