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Is it tautology that no one (except yourself) is making you do something? What I mean is (as far as I know) mind control does not exist. There for is the phrase "no one is making you [insert action or task here]" always a given, unless qualified by further information?

For example: "No one is making you wear a tie to work". Perhaps it's corporate policy to wear a tie to work. Nonetheless it is still the individuals choice whether to wear a tie or not.

The same applies for the statement "you have to". Technically you don't have to do anything, even if your life depends on it. For example you don't have to breath, if you choose to suffocate yourself. Going back to the tie example perhaps a more articulate form would be "you have to wear a tie to work if you want to keep this job". It's not as if you "have to wear a tie".

Is errors to my thinking or times where in English it is more correct to not qualify "having to do" something or "someone is making you do something"?

EDIT: Google Define has the following definition for "make"

compel (someone) to do something.

This would certainly suggest it's a fallacy to say "no one's making you" do something, as it's completely internal and up to their interpretation. For example

Wife: we're out of tomatoes
Husband: I guess I'll have to go to the store
Wife: no one's making you do anything
Husband: the fact we are out of
tomatoes is compelling me to go to the store

In this example the fact that there are no tomatoes is making the husband go to the store.

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  • Your parents never made you do anything when you were a child? Your government doesn't make you pay taxes? – curiousdannii Apr 27 '15 at 0:12
  • @curiousdannii no, in the sense you will get fined if you don't pay taxes but given the meaning of the word "make", no they don't. – Celeritas Apr 27 '15 at 0:28
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    Then you must not understand the meaning of make. – curiousdannii Apr 27 '15 at 0:37
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    This is off-topic because it is a personal peeve. – curiousdannii Apr 27 '15 at 0:38
  • @curiousdannii talking to you isn't proving to be very constructive so I think I'm not going to respond after this. I cited the definition of make above, if you have an alternative please share. – Celeritas Apr 27 '15 at 0:39
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In "the coach made me run an extra lap", the verb means "to compel". It doesn't imply, as you seem to think, that the person compelling had physiological control of the mind and body of the person. In the example, it is understood that the narrator considered himself to be in a position of submission to the authority of the coach.

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Is it tautology that no one (except yourself) is making you do something? What I mean is (as far as I know) mind control does not exist.

No, it's no tautology:

no one is making you do something = no is making you through explicit /steps/measures/ do something

The implicit social pressure, or the pressure of tradition, can still be there, and you may still react to them.

  • "The implicit social pressure, or the pressure of tradition, can still be there, and you may still react to them. " then is it a fallacy "no one is making you do anything" in the sense that it's up to ones personal interpretation whether there is social pressure? e.g. "no one is making you smoke" response: "but everyone else is". Everyone else smoking is creating social pressure which compels (makes) the individual smoke. – Celeritas Apr 27 '15 at 4:27
  • Let me know if the above comment didn't make sense. – Celeritas Apr 27 '15 at 4:28
  • There is some sense, but for the purpose of this discussion I'll identify "making to do" with explicit forceful measures and not with "social pressure" which I'll identify with inner/implicit factors. The point of the "no one's making" is that you have an independent will which works on the inside and you have to exercise it. I'll stop the discussion here, sorry, too busy. – Marius Hancu Apr 27 '15 at 4:54

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