The Instigator
Mhykiel
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
FuzzyCatPotato
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

Biblically Free Will is the choice of what influences you.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
FuzzyCatPotato
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/12/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 889 times Debate No: 54559
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (1)

 

Mhykiel

Pro

What people define as free will. The ability to choose unconstrained by certain factors, is a false doctrine. Free Will is the ability to choose what influences our actions.

We are influenced from birth by enviroment, parents, drugs, food, and other factors. Our brains are exceptionally good at going on auto pilot. Free Will really should mean what influences we let effect that auto pilot or effect us.
FuzzyCatPotato

Con

I accept.

To clarify:

Merriam-Webster has two definitions of free will:
1: voluntary choice or decision
2: freedom ... to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

I take it that you are confining the debate to the existence of the second, then?

So we will not discuss the existence of "freedom" (the ability to do or not do something), but the existence of "free will" (the ability to choose to do or not do something, without outside control such as under incompatible determinism).

In addition, from your comments in the Comments section, you wish to argue over a free will that is not involved in every action, but only in "choos[ing] what influences us", correct?
Debate Round No. 1
Mhykiel

Pro

God gave man and angels the ability of free will. As in it is a will seperate from god's that one can follow. Allowinf for this choice does not undermine god's power or existence.

God chooses to allow a person to maintain their free will, in that God allows a human to follow the influences the human wants to follow. God allows every man to walk the path they choose. God make inroads or attempts to lead a person on a different path. but that is like posting a sign "Exit Here" This is how biblical free will should be interpreted.

FuzzyCatPotato

Con

2C1. You state: "God chooses to allow a person to maintain their free will, in that God allows a human to follow the influences the human wants to follow." You have an idea of free will that is not libertarian free will, or complete control of one's actions, but merely of control of what one is influenced by, correct?

How, exactly, could the existence of this free will be disproven? If you are still being influenced, then it would appear to an outsider that the person was determined by the past to do their current action. Please, provide a burden that could show that this free will does not exist. If there is no way to disprove this, then there is no way to prove it; if so, it would be an unnecessary expansion of our worldview to assume it as true, and we would reject it.


---

2C2. Let's temporarily assume, as you do, that the Christian God exists and the Christian Bible is correct. Now, let's talk about what the Bible (NIV) says about free will:

"And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed." (Exodus 3:21)
God changed the Egyptians' minds, which definitely changed what influenced them, which violates your idea of free will. (From this alone, God does not always let people make their own decisions.)

"The LORD works out everything to its proper end-- even the wicked for a day of disaster." (Proverbs 16:4)
Here the Bible points out that God's plan apparently will always be carried out, which would be a problem if anybody wanted to act against God's plan, even if they just wanted to be 'influenced' by those things that God's plan would not have them be influenced by.

"In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (Ephesians 1:5-6)
See comment on Proverbs 16:4, with the addition that not even our "choice" to "choose" to worship Jesus is a choice at all, but is predestined (or not) by God.

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:11-12)
See comment on Proverbs 16:4.


"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day." (John 6:44)
See comment on Ephesians 1:5-6.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." (Ephesians 2:8)
See comment on Ephesians 1:5-6.

"For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." (Romans 8:29-30)
See comment on Ephesians 1:5-6.


"he who forms the hearts of all, / who considers everything they do." (Psalms 33:15)
See comment on Exodus 3:21 and apply it to everyone; it's not just that God's will will be carried out, but that he will form each of our minds to fit his plans.


If you still follow the Bible, then the only way out of this would be to claim that everybody freely chooses to work towards God's plans. While this is possible, then it means that the choice is just an illusion -- it was never truly possible for them to change the plan, and thus they cannot change their decisions, which makes this unfree.

---

2C3. I'v
e waited for quite awhile for any scientific proof that free will actually, you know, exists. Not proof that determism is false at the quantum level -- that would just prove that the universe is, at some level, random. Proof that free will exists. Especially proof that meets the burden of falsifiability that I set in 2C1.
Debate Round No. 2
Mhykiel

Pro

2R2: If we read the senence just before Exodus 3:21, Ex 3:20 we read how God will make the egyptians favorably disposed,

"So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go."


The Egyptians will see signs or evidence of God's power and react accordingly. If you give some one a girft to gain favor with them, you are not directly controling their choice, you are merely influencing their Descicion Making process.


"The LORD works out everything to its proper end-- even the wicked for a day of disaster." (Proverbs 16:4)
"he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do." (Psalms 33:15)

God is seen as the creator of all things. Then because of his all-knowing nature, which comes from him being nontemporal, he knows who will remain wicked and who will not. There is a lifetime between the creation of a person's heart and the judgement to befall them. God's influence is within the scope of time, but his plan and knowledge are outside of it.

"In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." (Ephesians 1:5-6)


This predestination is saying God has already planned a way to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ.

"In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory." (Ephesians 1:11-12)

This predestination is clearly refering to those that are In Christ. How is it some one becomes In Christ. We read on.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..." (Ephesians 2:8)

"not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:9)


"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

Faith is defined as: complete trust or confidence in someone or something

The gift from God is the Grace. The Mercy of God to be forgiven. The Faith was the choice of the person.


This predestination has as a subject always those that have put their faith in God. That is the choice the person makes and then the result is a plan for a person's life according to God's will. My opponent has not shown where God has directly made a choice for a person. Merely that God creates people, that if they choose to put faith in God then there is a path set out for them. If they choose to be against God's will, God's plan will encompass this choice and still proceed.


"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?" (Ezekiel 33:11)

"My plan for your future has always been filled with hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

As we see here God clearly would enjoy every heart to choose to be influenced by God. But that is not the case that happens or will happen. So God crafts a plan to account for this.

2R3: Random at the quantum level is not chaos. A quantum state can be indeterminate until it reacts with another state. As for the falsifiability, Psychologist are gaining more insight into what dictates a person's actions. They are finding that this is not a simple Nurture vs Nature but also a portion of choice.[1] As recent work with Identical and Fraternal twins has shown "Children are influenced by nature and by nurture, but children also influence their own development. To some extent, children are free to make their own choices, and these choices can have consequences for development." [2] Certain behaviors can be learned by children from their enviroment, such as alcoholism. They may be prone to such a disease by genetics. But not every child born and raised by alcoholics ends up being one. The person in their development have chosen that alcohol will not be a source of influence upon thier lifes.

Round 2 Conclusion: My opponent has taken some verse from thier chapters and has yet to show where god has robotically controled a person to make a choice. A person makes a choice to listen to their heart, to thier parents, to their concelors and not to God. then it becomes even harder for a person to escape the influences they have chosen. My opponent has shown no evidence that a person is chosen to go to hell or heaven with out them having the freedom to seek God.

[1]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[2]http://www.education.com...
FuzzyCatPotato

Con

3C1. First off, my opponent completely dropped 2C1. The only response that he had was a sentence beginning "As for the falsifiability," that went on to talk about his purported scientific basis for his kind of free will. However, he does not actually provide a way that I can falsify the existence of this kind of free will, because it would not appear to change the universe whatsoever from a incompatibilist deterministic one if scientifically tested.

This is a clear reason to vote for the Neg/Con/Against, because the Aff/Pro/For has not provided me a burden to meet, or any way to win other than by using the Bible, which I believe that I have won.

---

3C2. Let's talk about your handling of 2C2.

I'll drop Exodus 3:21, because God merely influenced the Egyptians, rather than inserting ideas into their mind. However, this is not evidence FOR your position; it merely is not evidence for mine.

Mhykiel's response to Proverbs 16:4 and Psalms 33:15: "God is seen as the creator of all things. Then because of his all-knowing nature, which comes from him being nontemporal, he knows who will remain wicked and who will not. There is a lifetime between the creation of a person's heart and the judgement to befall them. God's influence is within the scope of time, but his plan and knowledge are outside of it."
This doesn't actually respond to my point. If we were created and had no way of choosing an alternative to God's plan, which the passage agrees with and you don't reject, then we didn't have free will -- we were just puppets with the illusion of free will, who could never change anything anyways.
Aside, the amount of time doesn't change the fact that there was no alternative. If a puppetmaster waited a thousand years before planning his puppet show, would that give them free will?

Mhykiel's response to Ephesians 1:5-6:"This predestination is saying God has already planned a way to be adopted as his children through Jesus Christ."
Reapply my response to Proverbs 16:4 and Psalms 33:15 to his response to Ephesians 1:5-6, because if we had no alternative, then we did not have free will, regardless of what the subject (here, faith) of the plan is.

Against Ephesians 1:11-12 and 2:8 he brings up Ephesians 2:9-10. However, these two continue the narrative that "choosing" to worship Jesus Christ is something that is part of God's plan, and that there is not necessarily a real alternative to them. Again, reapply Proverbs 16:4 and Psalms 33:15. Note here that "do"ing anything does not imply choice, but merely action.

Mhykiel's extended response to Ephesians 1:11-12 and 2:8: "Faith is defined as: complete trust or confidence in someone or something[.] The gift from God is the Grace. The Mercy of God to be forgiven. The Faith was the choice of the person. This predestination has as a subject always those that have put their faith in God. That is the choice the person makes and then the result is a plan for a person's life according to God's will. My opponent has not shown where God has directly made a choice for a person. Merely that God creates people, that if they choose to put faith in God then there is a path set out for them. If they choose to be against God's will, God's plan will encompass this choice and still proceed."
My opponent brings up faith, and how it is apparently a choice. However, his supporting evidence (below) that faith is a choice is lacking.

Mhykiel's evidence for the 'choice' of faith/'choice' of turning from sin: "Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?" (Ezekiel 33:11)
"My plan for your future has always been filled with hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
He brings up Ezekiel 33:11, which implies that people have a choice with the verb "turn", and then immediately contradicts himself with Jeremiah 29:11, which implies that God has a plan. While this is also an interesting argument for Biblical errancy, let's ignore that for the moment. Ezekiel merely states that the people of Israel should turn, not that they can turn. It's like telling someone trapped under a log that they should get out, rather than that they can get out. In fact, with all of the passages supporting God's plan, it's very questionable whether God's plan can be subverted at all.

In summary: I have proven that, assuming the truth of the Bible, God's plan exists and that there cannot be deviancy from it. Knowing that this is true, there can be no true free will, as all of our actions have no alternative, a necessity for free will. My opponent has failed to respond to this, bringing weak counterexamples and lacks of explanation, and has in fact helped to advance my case on one point. This is definitely a reason to vote for the Aff -- if the Bible is true, then free will is not.

---

3C3. Mhykiel: Random at the quantum level is not chaos. A quantum state can be indeterminate until it reacts with another state.
And I never argued that "random" is chaos. Random means indeterminate, nothing more.

Psychologist are gaining more insight into what dictates a person's actions. They are finding that this is not a simple Nurture vs Nature but also a portion of choice.As recent work with Identical and Fraternal twins has shown "Children are influenced by nature and by nurture, but children also influence their own development. To some extent, children are free to make their own choices, and these choices can have consequences for development."
My opponent does not recognize that "choice" does not equal free will, especially within this context. The ability of the child to affect their own brain development does not mean that they actually had an alternative to affecting their own brain development in the way that they did. Now, Mhykiel could argue that the free will exists, but that we merely can't see it, that it looks like how the child would affect their own development. This gets into falsifiability again -- if it looks exactly like what determinism would, then there is no way that I can prove Mhykiel wrong, or he prove himself right.

As such, my opponent presents no scientific evidence for free will, while there is all of everyday experience to promote determinism. I've got an experiment for you, avid reader -- get three coins. Flip the first coin, let it fall to the ground. Flip the second coind, let it fall to the ground. Hold the third coin. If you flip it, is there any possibiliy that it will not, also, fall? No. The same principle that holds true for coins holds true for neurons, synapses, ions, and all the processes that make up the illusion that we call "consciousness".

Unless there is something special about the particles within the human brain, your the neural output of your mind is as fixed as the fate of a falling coin.

This is a clear reason to vote for the Neg/Con/Against, because I have shown evidence for determinism, including that of the human mind, from experience of the world, while my opponent has not provided any evidence for his brand of free will.

---

Conclusion.

My opponent has not provided a burden of falsifiability, making this debate effectively unresolveable.

My opponent has not proven that the Bible supports his position, while I have.

My opponent has not proven that free will exists, while I have provided evidence for the determinism of the world and of the human mind.

I urge a Neg/Con/Against ballot.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FuzzyCatPotato 3 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
Thanks for the debate, Mhykiel.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Most of those influences that affect people's choices are unknown to them, as they become subconscious influences.
Sometimes using a psychologist or under hypnosis, you may be able to recall events in your past experiences and lessons that affected you greatly as a child.
Then you may be able to resolve some of those issues and thus make a different decision to what you may do without such knowledge. Though, other subconscious influences and learning may still be affecting even that alteration.
The majority of people are totally unaware of the influences affecting their decision making.
This is why deeply religious politicians (enter George Bush) may like Australia's current Prime Minister (a Catholic), vow to never make any decisions based on religious belief.
Because political decisions based on religion are usually stupid and irrational.
Yet, in parliament he was making decisions on abortion and these were evidently from his Catholic bias, even though he did not think they were.
He is in denial that religion was affecting his thinking, yet it obviously was.
This is why George Bush's decisions were so idiotic.
Posted by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Mhykiel
@FuzzyCatPotato The second definition

freedom ... to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention. Is partially false. The devine does not intervene to illicit a controlled choice, but the choices we make are effected by prior causes.

We do however have a choice on the weight, source, and extent these prior causes will have on our choices.
Posted by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Mhykiel
un-impaired*
Posted by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Mhykiel
@Sagey Are you agreeance or denying that "Free Will" is the choice of what influences a person's decision making process. I am saying "Free Will" is NOT the unconstrained or impaired ability to choose what ever a person wants.
Posted by Mhykiel 3 years ago
Mhykiel
But once you learn the influences effecting you, you then have power to choose differently.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Maybe that is why I'm studying Neuro-psychology, to learn about my own and others Illusion Of Free Will.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Humans don't really have "Free Will" as most of our Will is determined by our childhood influences and environments. My psychologist friend stated that if you give him 20 1 hour sessions with any person, he can develop a profile that will predict that person's future decisions for the rest of their lives.
Our Will is predetermined by our own experiences, so it is not really Free as such.
Posted by Christian_Debater 3 years ago
Christian_Debater
@lolzors93
You should read Romans 8:29-30. It sums up what you are quoting out of context.
Posted by lolzors93 3 years ago
lolzors93
Psalm 33:15 - "he who fashions the hearts of them all / and observes all their deeds."
Ephesians 1:11 - "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,"
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
MhykielFuzzyCatPotatoTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's arguments and rebuttals have greater strength. Pro's argument lacks any clarity, a bit murky. Con points to the more practical side of the Illusion of free will, it is all based on brain chemicals, such as oxytocin and dopamine from childhood nurture or lack of nurture, which drive many of our adult decisions. Well nurtured children seek comfort and closeness with others, during their adult years, they become Oxytocin Addicts. Oxytocin (the nurture drug) also encourages Trust, thus they are more trusting of those they are close to.