Do you think it's possible for a person to do something they don't want to do?

I don't think it is.


You go to school because you want to graduate, and in order to graduate, you have to go to school, so you WANT to go to school.

Update 2:

Same is true for working, concentration camps. You want to go to work because you want to make money. You kill people in concentration camps because you want to not get killed in a concentration camp, or because you're brainwashed.

People who get beat up is not the person doing something they don't want to, it's being victimized -- they're not doing it, it's being done TO them.

Update 3:

Common sense does not elude me. I know what it means to not like going to work, doing chores, going to school, etc., but I still want to do those things because it's for my benefit. So, in other words, do you think it's possible for a person to do something they don't want to do and it has no benefit for them whatsoever?

27 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. I don't want to have to answer this question, but I did.

    If you are trying to say that ultimately I decided to do it, then yes, you are right.

    What if someone had put a knife to my throat... then was I making the decision? Well, technically, yes. I don't want to answer, but I don't want my throat slit even more. Maybe you are saying this means then I "want" to.

    However, what about someone tripping down the stairs or slipping on ice? What about someone who is being tortured? They suffer even though they do not 'want' to.

    It is a good idea to think through this idea (and others like it), however keeping this perspective gives you an oversimplified version of the world... It IS true that much of our life is based on our free will and our decisions to do or not do things. However, there are many different levels of 'want'.

    I want a piece of candy so I eat it. That is different than I want to not get killed so I do what a hostage-taker says. That is different than my foot slipping off a curb and I get hurt.

    ** BEST ANSWER! **

    EDIT: Note that nearly all decisions that we make are, if you boil it down enough, in order to gain something we want or to avoid something we don't want. This isn't bad--it just means that we do things that (in our mind convoluted mind) makes sense. Fortunately or not, we are usually not directed by logic (rational) as much as by emotion (irrational).

    It is important not to lose sight of sympathy for other people, in spite of their imperfections, however, even though they technically "chose" how they are. I may take a homeless guy out to lunch, not because he "deserves" it (ultimately, he chose to be there, according to this idea), but because it might help the world and him, and maybe help point him in the right direction. The reality is we are largely responsible for our environments, however, it doesn't keep me from putting a band-aid on my kid's knee when he falls off the bike he chose to ride.

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know if its possible, But I don't think people do, I think there is always some kind of pay - off. Even if the choices suck.

    People who are being tortured certainly don't want to be but they are not doing that someone else is.

    Slipping is not a choice, it is an accident.

  • 1 decade ago


    power of persuasion is an amazing thing

    i see where you are going with this and you went a lot deeper than the initial question led me to believe. Very interesting. I do hope someone can convince/show/prove you it is possible.

    Source(s): I have not seen you in FOREVER! good to see ya! xoxox
  • 1 decade ago

    Yes of course. A lot of nazis were worked at concentration camps, do you think they had fun doing that?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Whether an individual wants to do a thing, or not do it, the individual will learn from the experience - which is a benefit, either way, right?

  • 1 decade ago

    you know, i had a completely different answer in mind until i read your additional info. it made me think of why i have to take all the medication i do. i hate having my life revolve around when i take this pill when i wake up, and these pills at noon, and these at 3:00 and those at 5:00. i don't want to take them, but i have to. sometimes i don't feel like getting up, but i have to. i don't like going to 4 different doctors, and having blood tests, mri's and x-rays, blah, blah, blah. but all these things are helping me live a longer life. and i can be a baby about it but, you're right. i am doing something i don't want to do.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    yes 'cause when we want something else more, we do the thing we dont want to do to get it. liek if creepi perv says have sex weth me or ill blow ur brains out, i dont wana die more than i dont wanu have sex weth a creepi old guy ♥ or even jus' being manipulated cause u dont want confrontation so ud rather be pushed around.

    ps: actually, jobs liek nazis in consentration camps attracted all the people who liek to hurt others,liek they had head problems an stuff sociopathes i think u call them.

  • 1 decade ago

    It's possible. People do things they don't want to do daily. Like go to a dead end job that they hate, but they do it because they have bills and have to put food in their kids mouth.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes... There were many experiments on this very thing. People were told to do something that would be detrimental to another and may cause their death and they did it because they were told to do it.

  • jms043
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    They certainly do things they don`t want to do, think of the wars we`ve been in. Do you really think I wanted to be shot at in Korea?

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