The Instigator
Average1
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
yay842
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

Doesn't Belief in Evolution Mean Belief that Man Doesn't have Free Will?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
yay842
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/17/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,028 times Debate No: 49325
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (3)

 

Average1

Pro

If one believes in evolution, mustn't one also believe that man doesn't have free will?
yay842

Con

No. One can believe that we are simply an evolution of creatures that evolve over a long time span due to natural selection trying to mold a better species but there could still be an outside force that actually predetermines all of our actions. For example, I believe that evolution is legit but I also think that our actions are predetermined not by God, but by the motions and gears that compose time that is already set into place that what we do is already planned out.
Debate Round No. 1
Average1

Pro

Con,

Appreciate the Phillies photo, so we can agree there.

Your points on evolution of creatures over a long time span is consistent with your argument and accepted by many. This debate accepts that argument as a premise. The heart of the debate is cause.

You mention an "outside force". Could you explain what you mean by "outside"? Does this mean outside the realm of the physical laws of the universe? If so, you are essentially arguing for a spiritual being who affects human action. Most would call this spiritual being God. Even if you accept this argument, the human still doesn't have free will because he is only doing what the spiritual being and the physical laws of the universe require him to do.

You mention that our actions are not predetermined by God, but by "the motions and gears that compose time that is already set into place THAT WHAT WE DO IS ALREADY PLANNED OUT". Aren't you stating here that you DO believe that belief in evolution means belief that man doesn't have free will? If not, please explain the capitalized phrase.

If there is no force outside the physical laws of the universe, then man's actions must be predetermined: a function of his genetics, his experience, and his environment.

Please explain what this "outside force" could be?

Thanks,
Average1
yay842

Con

Appreciate the Phillies photo, so we can agree there.
Huh? What are you

Could you explain what you mean by "outside"?
There are forces we have yet to understand. It is outside our knowledge area. But we know that there lies dark energy and matter.

Does this mean outside the realm of the physical laws of the universe?
We could not possibly know for sure, but we can be quite certain that there is something we have yet to understand.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
The farthest "thing" that we don't know much about can tell us stuff about the dawn of time. Eventually with more technology, we will be able to advance in our knowledge and will further know the mysteries of time and space. For all we know, they exist.

the human still doesn't have free will because he is only doing what the spiritual being and the physical laws of the universe require him to do.
Well, supposing a God did exist, we wouldn't classify him as a human being.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
As God isn't man. We would say a "God" is the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
http://dictionary.reference.com...

Aren't you stating here that you DO believe that belief in evolution means belief that man doesn't have free will?
No. The stuff in capital letters is predetermination. Predetermination is to settle or decide in advance.
http://dictionary.reference.com...
I said that actions that we take were already planned out, just like I said, as it was already going to happen. Sometimes you don't know what's going to happen, but sometimes you do. Sometimes when you expect something to happen, often I twist or turn of something that you didn't expect to occur. The course of action that one does not simply figure is predetermined. It wasn't free will because you couldn't have possible known what could have happened.

If there is no force outside the physical laws of the universe, then man's actions must be predetermined: a function of his genetics, his experience, and his environment.
Yes, I believe I'm arguing that man does not have free will, that our actions are predetermined. Aren't you trying to prove that if one believes in evolution, then they believe that man doesn't have free will?

Anyway, that is basically my point. Those two are completely irrelevant and not correlated to each other in any way. A lot of people who don't believe in evolution are most likely those who believe in a God. They assume that people who believe in evolution are atheists and that evolutionists are atheists. Those two are not the same.
In biological terms, evolution is change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.
Atheism is the doctrine or belief that there is no God.
http://dictionary.reference.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
This is commonly misinterpreted. One could believe in evolution and one could also at the same time believe in predetermination. One could believe that there is a God who predetermines that he decides the actions and sees everything through and that man does not have free will. Evolution is simply how species have succumb to nature and transform in a slow process through natural selection of nature. But that doesn't disprove god. Evolution doesn't disprove God.

One can believe in evolution and believe also in God. One does not have to simply believe in evolution and also have to believe in free will. This can occur to be as evolution and free will are not related to each other in that way. Like how someone could talk and like carrots. It's two completely different things.
Debate Round No. 2
Average1

Pro

Con,

You say "outside" means "outside our knowledge area" and cite dark energy and matter as examples. This is a fair statement; there certainly are things not yet understood by man. However, being unknown does not put forces outside the physical laws of the universe. Whatever effects they have on humans are still natural "forces" and therefore beyond a human's power to disobey. The human has no responsibility for his decisions. His actions are determined by known and unknown ("outside") forces.

This debate is a philosophical one and one that requires no references. You have as much authority behind your opinion as others. The answer is based on basic human experience, not experiments or detailed knowledge.

Your comments concerning God are reasonable. I did not call him a human being but a spiritual being.

Don't understand your arguments concerning where you and I stand:
ME: YES! If one believes in evolution, then one logically believes than man does not have free will, that is, his actions are predetermined.

YOU (what I originally thought): NO! one can believe in evolution but still believe that humans have free will.

YOU (what I think based on your answer): YES! the belief in evolution logically means that human actions are not free, but pre-determined.

Ah, now I see what you're trying to say. You believe that predetermination is free will. This is not true. If a human cannot act on his own, he does not have free will. The belief in predetermination (of man's actions) is equivalent to the belief that man does NOT have free will.

You make a good point that the belief in evolution does not require one to be an atheist.

A rephrase of the main question:
Are man's actions completely controlled by the physical laws of the universe?

Detailed true/false questions for you:
Nature forced you to respond to my questions in the way you did?

Christians are Christians because nature (they physical laws of the universe) causes them to be Christians.

Evolutionists are evolutionists because nature causes them to be evolutionists.

Creationists are creationists because nature (the physical laws of the universe) causes them to be creationists.
yay842

Con

Ok, I'm still lost at what you're trying to say here. It sounds like exactly what I'm arguing here what you're trying to argue that if one believes in evolution, then they believe that Man DOES have free will. You confuse me.

First, I didn't say that predetermination is free will. I say that it is not. I've been saying that in the past round. Well, this doesn't matter. This question cannot be argued and supported using logistics and facts and evidence like you said. This is all subjective.
Second, well I have no idea what are you trying to argue here as I may or may not have been understanding what you've been trying to speak for.

So, I've no idea what you've been arguing but I've here's a summary of what I've been trying to explain:
If one believes in evolution, they don't necessarily believe in free will. You stated your R1 with a question and didn't really say which side of it you think holds true. So I'll just simply answer your questions and give you my own opinion on it.

Are man's actions completely controlled by the physical laws of the universe?
Well, I'd say no. Not entirely. We are still bound to the physical laws of the universe. Our actions that must occur like falling down due to gravity is one example, but our choice to jump up and down is an example of free will. I'm not saying I believe in predetermination, but man has free will and actions are predetermined. We can choose our actions but the outcome of our actions will be out of our hands even if we expect a result, there could always be the possibility of an unexpected occurrence to happen.

Nature forced you to respond to my questions in the way you did?
So, I've know idea what you've been trying to say about this but what I've been trying to say is no, this is false. Nature doesn't force us to be who we want to be. It can try like how one could be born into a situation and that wouldn't be within our control. I didn't say that free will doesn't exist but disregarding the fact that the question that this debate was supposed to be about wasn't clarified enough, I am saying that predestination and free will both exist. We have free will as in our actions can be determined by our own actions but there are some actions that we simply cannot control. There are physical laws in the universe that control our actions and determines the outcome. For example, if one was on a high building, it is one's free will to jump off of it but it is predetermined that you will fall down. There is really not much you can do about it in this hypothetical situation but that's pretty much there is to it.
But this is all subjective and we cannot simply know for sure and can't really use science, observation, experiment, and facts to support this as this was all philosophical. I thank Pro for this debate that allowed us to think about life and stuff.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Though, ask any good psychologist and you will find that they consider Free Will as somewhat of an illusion.
We have the illusion of Free Will, with or without any religions or gods.

Most of our decisions are products of our childhood experiences.
As a psychologist once told me that if he hypnotized me and gained a knowledge of all my childhood experiences, good and bad, he could likely and fairly accurately predict all decisions I would make for the rest of my life.
Such is Free Will, we think we are making free choices, but really we truly just making decisions that satisfy our inner child.
XD~
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Explain why Supernatural must exist for Humans to have Free Will?

If you cannot, I will have to call your comment absolute Nonsense!
Posted by andymcstab 3 years ago
andymcstab
evolution says nothing about supernaturality in the universe. it is necessary for the supernatural to exist, for human to have true free will. but evolution makes no argument against supernaturality.
Posted by yay842 3 years ago
yay842
ok
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Though you could be meaning that it is predetermined that the Planet Earth will be destroyed by the Sun in the next 3 to 5 billion years, which has nothing to do with people's lives being predetermined.
Though this means that Humans will need to find another solar system to move to, in order for survival.
That is if we survive the next couple of thousand years on this planet we have pretty much destroyed.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
@ Yay842: Putting it simply: Your opening statement makes the claim that you don't actually have free will because you think outcomes are predetermined.
Predetermination = No Free Will.
Simple enough????
Posted by yay842 3 years ago
yay842
what?
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
One of the famous Psychologists whose work I read, I cannot remember his name off the top of my head, had stated that if he was given several months to study any patient, he could predict almost every decision that person will make for the rest of the patient's life, unless they suffer brain damage.

So if he put somebody under hypnosis, found out everything they liked and disliked, comforted and frightened them as a child (the first 8 years are the most important) he could predict many of their choices as adults.
Because we all regress back to our childhood influences often when making choices.

So we actually don't have as much Free Will as we think we do.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Yes Dawn: We are guided by many things that are Subconscious, we think that we are making a free will decision, but we are actually satisfying something subconscious that has already predetermined our responses. Somebody might think that they are clean shaved because they want to be different to all those others they work with which have mustaches and beards, so they pride themselves in being different and having free will, but little does he remember that as a baby the sight and feel of his father's whiskers scared and annoyed him. So this may have been the subconscious reason for his preference to be clean shaven, as subconsciously the feeling of his own stubble brings back uncomfortable feelings he cannot remember the source of.
Since I've been studying psychology, I come across many similar case studies where people make choices thinking they are demonstrating Free Will, when they are really acting on subconscious triggers and choices that they don't remember where they came from until taken back to their childhood under hypnosis.
Posted by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
@ Yay842, you are the pre-determinist or believer in predetermined fate according to your statement:
"I also think that our actions are predetermined not by God, but by the motions and gears that compose time that is already set into place that what we do is already planned out."
Which means you don't have "Free Will", because Free Will destroys predetermination.
Such as Christians stupidly believe they have an Omniscient (knows all the future of everybody) and also claim that this Omniscient God gave them Free Will, which is rationally and logically impossible and makes this sentence an Oxymoron.
Human Free Will makes the future unpredictable because it is completely Random due to billions of Free Wills that not even the people with the Free Will know what they will do next and since random things happen, they may not even get to do what they willed in the first place.
So our future is Random and so is the world a totally random environment.
So no such thing as a God who can be Omniscient in random world could possibly exist.
Unless the world is not Random and everything is predetermined, like you stated you believe your life is, thus in that case "Free Will" does not exist if everything is predetermined.
So you are stating that you don't have Free Will.
Tho many people claim that their lives are ruled by Fate, to get out of making tough decisions as it is a form of Excuse for laziness.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Finalfan 3 years ago
Finalfan
Average1yay842Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: con completely dominated! Pro uses "God of the gaps" resolution!
Vote Placed by Sagey 3 years ago
Sagey
Average1yay842Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments made little sense, Pro really needed sources to clarify Pro's position. Con made more rational sense, though lost me sometimes in tangential comments that were sort of off topic, but overall made a better argument.
Vote Placed by Seeginomikata 3 years ago
Seeginomikata
Average1yay842Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: While I fundamentally disagree with Con's personal life philosophy, Con's arguments that actions of free will are independent of evolution deserve to win the debate, as they make too much sense not to accept. After all, if evolution and nature did determine all out actions, I can assure you that I wouldn't be wasting my time arguing on the internet at 3am :)