The Instigator
JaisonCruz
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points
The Contender
Adam2
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A persons environment influence choices more than free will

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JaisonCruz
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,106 times Debate No: 54548
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

JaisonCruz

Pro

While free will definitely influences peoples choices, I must argue that a persons environment influences peoples decisions more. This is because people usually build their ideologies and beliefs (which affect a persons free will ) off of their environments. In example, a christian person who grew up going to church everyday may view lying as a horrible action. This is because his environment (Church, preacher,etc.) has condemned lying as a horrible idea. So this person has created a distinct behavior of repeating this pattern.
But a majority of choices are based off of reaction. In example, a man attempts to kidnap another mans girl. The other man will usually attack that person without thinking. Or a starving man who has been constantly taught that stealing is a horrible crime, might steal food or even rob another man; while he even kills the man in the process. And Why did he kill the man? Because he had flinched, and the robber was nervous because this was something he had never done before.
Adam2

Con

I believe it's more temptation that environment. You can be born in an environment where robbing for survival is deemed OK. It doesn't mean that it causes you to do it. It's not the people's fault that you chose to rob. You chose it. I believe however that in a culture where it's OK to rob it's a lot more tempting to do, because the societal values there imbed that in the culture. But I definitely think that one always has free will, no matter what the circumstance. What I see here is mostly one that has to do with temptation than with environment. I could have been born in the ghetto. I would not have stolen anything still.
Debate Round No. 1
JaisonCruz

Pro

Firstly, I'd like to thank my opponent. But I read your statement and you stated that " The environment does not force you to make a choice". I completely agree, that is why I have stated that the Environment INFLUENCES a person's choice more than free will. Now the Starving man example is extreme, so I will give an example that most people can connect with. Say a person was at a party with a friend. His friend was drinking heavily, and the friend asks "Would you like me to drive you"? Now the person would recognize that the friend is not in a proper condition to drive (a factor of the environment). Also, this friend and him will be in a car, which in the wrong hands can be turned into a double-edged sword (another factor of the environment). So in order to avoid a dangerous environment, the person may choose to walk home or drive the man home.
Another thing that you stated is that choices are made by Temptation. Temptation is created by trying to avoid doing a habit because it is wrong, and habits are directly formed by a person's environment. In example, a person may be struggling with lust. Now that person is on the internet and no one is home (keep in mind that this is the environment), and he has the choice on whether or not he will view Pornographic material (again, the environment has clearly influenced the choices available). Now, this temptation to view porn was not something this man was born with, because in order to have obtained this habit, he had to be introduced to it. Maybe he was sexually assaulted by a women in his youth, maybe his father had a collection of pornographic material, or maybe one of his childhood friends introduced porn to him. All these possibilities have one thing in common, they are all environmental factors that contributed to the habit which he has learned. And the Same is for Alcoholics, people who over eat, studious people, etc. Yet keep in mind that it is his environment that has given him these choices, and if he chooses to view porn it's mainly because their is no one there to see him (environment). And if he chooses not to view porn, than he has sided more with free will. But keep in mind that a majority of the time, people will keep true to their habits, which is directly affected by a persons environment.
Adam2

Con

Thank you too. But I would like to say this. Did you believe that "temptation" and "desire" are the same? If so, then that's incorrect. Temptation and desire are not the same. Ever heard the saying, "He that looketh at another woman lustfully is already committing adultery in his heart?" That's because temptation and desire are not the same. Many people came from broken homes and backgrounds, but they still managed to hold strong. In an environment where crime, gangs and porn is the norm, the temptation will be there. Temptation is persuasion basically. It sounds good. But that's where the line is drawn between being tempted and having desire. I know you're not religious, but think of it this way. Jesus did not sin, but he was tempted. He never had a heart to do sinful things. Most people born in the ghetto don't have a desire for sinful things, and I mean sinful not necessarily in the religious sense, but in vices. Most don't. But they are tempted often. Of course sinful things such as fornication, drinking, revenge when angered are appealing, but it doesn't translate to doing it.
Debate Round No. 2
JaisonCruz

Pro

You have made some really good points, but let me remind you that a majority of people born in horrible backgrounds (environments) tend to stay in that environment. But since you claim I am not a religious man, I ask you how does God enforce his Commandments? The answer is Hell, because people fear this environment, so it is meant to deter you from "Unholy Sins". Not only this, but a person who is about to commit a crime might not do it because we live in an environment governed by laws. And generally people know that if they break these laws they will be placed in an environment (Jail) that they don't want to be in. So the environment that provides law will influence a persons choice on whether or not to commit that crime.
Also, not every person is religious. Growing up in a religious background is another form of an environment, even becoming religious in later years is a person's environment. And although people claim to be religious, they don't follow the bible one hundred percent.Why? Because maybe they were taught about God sporadically and rarely. and that environmental factor will play in if they are deciding a choice based off of "Religious Morality".
But even die hard Christians have sinned. A very devoted catholic man has committed adultery before. And that was because "It Was In The Moment". He saw the naked woman and they were alone (environment) and almost without thought he slept with her. He didn't really do it on purpose, he just reacted off his environment. It's like when a mother sees her kid getting bullied, she will react in a certain way and probably fight the bully. We react (and react is another way of saying made a choice) off of our environment.
Lastly,(please keep in mind that any statement regarding religion is not intended to promote or harm the ideologies expressed by the religion being commented on) Jesus can not be included in this argument. Since we never fully followed Jesus Christ around, there is no way to validate your claim "Jesus never sinned". Therefor, your statement is an opinion. Again, Thank you for the debate and I really enjoyed reading your arguments.
Adam2

Con

Pardon me, I forgot you were a Deist. I apologize. To rebute what you said about God being a God of fear, you have to remember one thing, He doesn't rule by fear. He believes in a relationship based on trust. When you betray God, it's very hard to forgive that (it's not impossible). God doesn't want anyone in Hell, however He cannot accept sin. It doesn't mean He likes to send people ot Hell, as God has no joy over the death of the wicked. Jesus lived a completely holy life.

Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
Many people make decisions quickly, based on Heuristics, or how they have made or witnessed similar decisions being made in their childhood (environment).
Quite often, not much thought goes into the vast majority of decisions people make.
The decisions are so often made on a combination of Need, Comfort, Lowest Stress and Best Instant Reward.
People rarely think past those.
The marshmallow experiments on children demonstrated this.
Most people will go for the highest instant reward at the time, rather than waiting for a possibly bigger reward later.
Free Will is mostly and illusion, because people are reactive, and very rarely take enough time to make Free Will type decisions.
People are thus highly predictable.
This is why advertisers do so well in conning people, because the psychology behind decision making in humans is well known and thus easily targeted by good marketers.
Thus demonstrating that Free Will is rarely exercised and is mostly an illusion.
Posted by JaisonCruz 2 years ago
JaisonCruz
PS. "Survival of The Fittest". People must choose the best habits and actions (choices) to best survive and thrive in an environment. IE. a person must have a tougher background to survive a "Ghetto", a very studious, intelligent, and smart person will better fit a higher educational environment ETC.
Posted by JaisonCruz 2 years ago
JaisonCruz
To Mykhael, people do not always have the choice of their environment. A person can be born in poverty, be kidnapped and forced to be a slave, wrongfully arrested and put in prison, some people are born with cancer and forced to live in a hospital, a person can be born into a loving family, etc.
Posted by ArcTImes 2 years ago
ArcTImes
I don't have any choice other than stay in earth.
Posted by Mhykiel 2 years ago
Mhykiel
One has a choice what environment they stay in. If they are forcibly being held in an environment I bet the influence of the environment is not as strong compared to if someone chose to be in said environment.
Posted by Diamonte 2 years ago
Diamonte
I very much agree, but this has a some-what large affect on freedom of speech and freedom of movement.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 2 years ago
Sagey
JaisonCruzAdam2Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made a stronger argument and how environment affects how we view others and ourselves which affects our decisions. Free will may be an illusion, as most people make Heuristic decisions based on their childhood influences from their environment. Most decisions appear to be based on a person's childhood environment.