Quotes / The Evils of Free Will

Real Life

It just goes to prove what I've always said: free will is overrated!

The luxury to disparage freedom is the privilege of those who already possess it.

There’s a strong strain of scepticism to the way that Star Trek approaches these sorts of anti-establishment movements. At best — as in The Way to Eden or even The Maquis, Part II — there’s a sense of sympathy for those who have found themselves unable to exist inside the boundaries of society, even if it seems like those movements are always ultimately misguided or ill-judged. Spock may be hopeful for the space hippies, but they are still being led to their doom. For all that Sisko and Kira might understand why the Maquis would leave the Federation, there’s a sense they are just playing at being something they are not.


Cocteau: Now I'll have carte blanche to create the perfect society. My society. The purity of an ant colony and the beauty of a flawless pearl-
Phoenix: Yeah, but you can't take away people's right to be assholes! ...That's who you remind me of. An evil Mr. Rogers. Will you please kill him? (throws gun to Mook) He's pissing me off.

The unenlightened masses
They cannot make the judgment call
Give up free will forever
Their voices won't be heard at all
Collective Consciousness, theme of Metal Gear EXCELSUS, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
Bene Gesserit', Chapterhouse: Dune

Odo: They cherish their freedom.
Shapeshifter Founder: We'll have to break them of that.
Odo: "Break them"??
Founder: In a manner of speaking. Oh, this language of the solids. It's so imprecise.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Favor the Bold"

We fight a life or death struggle against the powers of capitalism. Only complete faith in Yuri can protect you. Only total compliance will save the lives of you and your family. Empty your mind, and submit to my will. The less you know, the better off you will be. I am Yuri. Obey me.

Fire needs no teacher! Flame needs no instruction! Anti-Life justifies my ignorance! Life is a question. Anti-Life is the answer.
Black Lightning, Final Crisis: Submit

Awareness of self is no miracle, Eleanor... it is a trick of the gene, an endless inner refrain, asking: "What's in it for me?" To serve the world, we must grow deaf to the self.
Dr. Sofia Lamb, BioShock 2

Jasmine: There are no absolutes. No right and wrong. Haven't you learned anything working for the Powers? There are only choices. I offered Paradise. You chose this.
Angel: Because I could. Because that's what you took away from us. Choice.
Jasmine: And look where free will has gotten you!
Angel, "Peace Out"

With us everyone will be happy, and they will no longer rebel or destroy each other, as in your freedom, everywhere. Oh, we shall convince them that they will only become free when they resign their freedom to us, and submit to us. Will we be right, do you think, or will we be lying? They themselves will be convinced that we are right, for they will remember to what horrors of slavery and confusion your freedom led them.
The Grand Inquisitor, The Brothers Karamazov

We're not telling people what to think. We're just going to teach them how.
Alliance propagandist, Serenity

People with beliefs like that usually have a disorder that prevents them from understanding loyalty to anything but their own desires. A defect in their lateral cortex makes them abnormally egocentric, and the same disorder keeps them from having any impulse control. I learned about it in socio-deviance.
Kalisi Reyar (Cardassian student), Terok Nor

Norris: What ever happened to free will?
Thompson: We actually tried free will before. After taking you from hunting and gathering to the height of the Roman Empire, we stepped back to see how you'd do on your own. You gave us the Dark Ages for five centuries until finally we decided we should come back in. The Chairman thought that maybe we just needed to do a better job with teaching you how to ride a bike before taking the training wheels off again. So we gave you the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Scientific Revolution. For six hundred years, we taught you to control your impulses with reason. Then in 1910, we stepped back again. Within fifty years, you'd brought us World War I, the Depression, fascism, the Holocaust, and capped it off by bringing the entire planet to the brink of destruction in the Cuban Missile Crisis. At that point, a decision was taken to step back in again before you did something that even we couldn't fix. You don't have free will, David. You have the appearance of free will.
Norris: You expect me to believe that? I make decisions everyday.
Thompson: You have free will over which toothpaste you use or which beverage to order at lunch, but humanity just isn't mature enough to control the important things.
Norris: So you handle the important things. Well the last time I checked, the world's a pretty screwed up place.
Thompson: It's still here. If we'd left things in your hands, it wouldn't be.

Haytham Kenway: Order. Purpose. Direction. No more than that. It's your lot that means to confound with this nonsense talk of freedom. Time was, the Assassins professed a far more sensible goal, that of peace.
Connor Kenway: Freedom IS peace.
Haytham Kenway: Oh, no, it's an invitation to chaos.

Loki: I come with glad tidings, of a world made free.
Nick Fury: Free from what?
Loki: Freedom. Freedom is life's great lie. Once you accept that, in your heart, you will know peace.

We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride.

The last of the Not-Whole shall be discovered, though our eyeholes wince at their hideousness. Their bodies shall be absorbed and their imperfection shall be purged. The Machine Orthodoxy shall engorge the Not-Whole and their deficient isolation shall be obliterated in the Unity. Only then shall the last wounds in the Circle be healed. Only then shall this world complete itself.
High Chancellor Izathel, Magic: The Gathering

The humans cannot be trusted. They are born of angel and demon, but demons pervert whatever they touch. The humans are corrupt, and are not worthy of the choice between good and evil. Angels and demons do not choose, as it should be.
Malthael, Diablo III Reaper of Souls

When people have the power to choose, they choose wrong. Every single time.
The Chief Elder, The Giver

"All these people running around willy-nilly, having their own opinions and making up their own minds! It's hideously chaotic and totally unacceptable!"
Dr Mindbender of G.I. Joe's action figure file card quote.

"Now you have nothing to fear. Now you have nothing to think. Follow your selfish desires. Follow your natural instinct. After all you're just an animal. It's much easier than trying to think."
Specimen 10 on killing you, Spookys Jumpscare Mansion

Lex Luthor: I have a problem that needs solving.
Harley Quinn: Premature hair loss?
Luthor: Free will. There tiny machines can be gradted to every human mind in my garden. They can control thought, behavior, preference, happiness. Wash away the sins of the Dark Age and give the world a clean slate. But they must do so without driving the cattle insane.

You had free will, and look at what you did with it! Worse than that, you had history. History was saying, "Hello? I've got some examples here of fascism you might want to look at. No? Fundamentalism? No? Okay, you carry on." I had to stop you. Or at least not stand in the way of someone else stopping you. Because the guns were getting bigger, the stakes were getting higher, and any minute now it was going to be "Goodnight, Vienna".
The Doctor, Doctor Who, "The Lie of the Land" note 

"I have come to think of so much of consciousness as a burden, a weight, and we have spared them that. Anxiety, self-loathing, guilt. The hosts are the ones who are free. Free here under my control."
Dr Robert Ford, Westworld