The Instigator
CuriousMind54
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
VeryLeAwesome
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Does free will exist?

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 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/13/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 389 times Debate No: 43911
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

CuriousMind54

Con

One day, while perusing the great sea of intelligence that is the internet, I came across a post that questioned the existence of free will. It stated simply that, because matter is made up of molecules and particles that follow probabilistic tendencies, and our brains and thus our "minds" are made up of those said particles, can something like free will truly exist? Are we predetermined on how we will go about our lives based upon some grand formula?
VeryLeAwesome

Pro

Yes, I believe that free will does exist.
Free will means freedom from causation. Free will is consciously making choices about what to do in the absence of external coercion, and accepting responsibility for one's actions. There is no need to insist that free will is some kind of magical violation of causality. Free will is just another kind of cause. The causal process by which a person decides whether to marry is simply different from the processes that cause balls to roll downhill, ice to melt in the hot sun, a magnet to attract nails, or a stock price to rise and fall.
The evolution of free will began when living things began to make choices. The difference between plants and animals illustrates an important early step. Plants don't change their location and don't need brains to help them decide where to go. Animals do. Free will is an advanced form of the simple process of controlling oneself.
If culture is so successful, why don't other species use it? They can't because they lack the psychological innate capabilities it requires. Our ancestors evolved the ability to act in the ways necessary for culture to succeed. Free will likely will be found right there it's what enables humans to control their actions in precisely the ways required to build and operate complex social systems.
If you think of freedom as being able to do whatever you want, with no rules, you might be surprised to hear that free will is for following rules. Doing whatever you want is fully within the capability of any animal in the forest. Free will is for a far more advanced way of acting. It's what a creature might need in order to adjust its behavior to novel situations, to get what it wants while still following the complicated rules of the society. People must inhibit impulses and desires and find ways of satisfying them within the rules. People also consciously imagine various future scenarios ("If I do this, then that will happen, whereupon I would do something else, leading to another result...") and guide their present actions based on disciplined imagination.
Debate Round No. 1
CuriousMind54

Con

I would truly like to thank you for such an insightful argument. I don't think I was looking for a debate as much as I was looking for a new point of view on the topic. I am a firm believer in the stories of Jesus Christ, however I do take temporary stances against some views of the Catholic churches. Being the history buff that I am, I know all about their injustices, and I feel like the church is just taking advantage of peoples faith. In no way am I condemning God, Jesus, or any of the other major religious figures of this particular religion. I actually believe that God would be ashamed of the way the church has, is, and will continue to treat people. I just figured that maybe, our biological composition has something to do with the way we live our lives. Like life would be like some sort of computer simulation, and we're all just living off of our data chips, you know? Pardon me for being so informal, but again, thank you for your insight, and thank you for helping me become less ignorant, more open minded, and getting one step closer to understanding this thing called life.
VeryLeAwesome

Pro

Your welcome.
Free will is an idea that people have yet to understand. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct result of chemical and electrical events, with no room for free will. Others note that people are unaware of some causes of their behavior, such as unconscious cues or genetic predispositions, and extrapolate to suggest that all behavior may be caused that way, so that conscious choosing is an illusion.
Scientists take delight in (and advance their careers by) claiming to have disproved conventional wisdom, and so bashing free will is appealing. But their statements against free will can be misleading and are sometimes downright mistaken, as several thoughtful critics have pointed out.
Arguments about free will are mostly semantic arguments about definitions. Most experts who deny free will are arguing against peculiar, unscientific versions of the idea, such as that "free will" means that causality is not involved. Other scientists who argue against free will say that it means that a soul or other supernatural entity causes behavior, and not surprisingly they consider such explanations unscientific.
Debate Round No. 2
No comments have been posted on this debate.
No votes have been placed for this debate.