Anthony Burgess

“By definition, a human being is endowed with free will.  He can use this to choose between good and evil.  If he can only perform good or only perform evil, then he is a clockwork orange–meaning he has the appearance of an organism lovely with colour and juice but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil or (since this is increasingly replacing both) the Almighty State.  It is as inhumane to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.  The important thing is moral choice.  Evil has to exist along with good, in order that moral choice may operate.  Life is sustained by the grinding opposition of moral entities.”

– A Clockwork Orange

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One Comment on “Anthony Burgess”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I still find it hard to believe in ‘free will’. I feel we are guided by something or someone. Free to me means that nothing is attached, especially experiences and emotions. But, when we make a decision, experiences and emotions take us to that final decision. Where does logic come in? Do those who have more logic become more logical due to better past experiences and stable current emotions? I think that is an obvious answer.

    And, as this author says, “Evil has to exist along with good”, does that mean we should thank those who do evil, because they allow us to experience the opposite? Without the most extreme acts of cruelty there would be no extreme acts of love? Then, is it more important to let go against fighting hatred; we should accept it, because it needs to exist. Instead of wasting our time trying to stop it, we should solely lead by example and focus on sharing kindness. Which in turn would create more kindness….

    What do you think ‘a believer in humanity’?


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