The Instigator
Petty102
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Sdio
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Free Will Does Not Exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/3/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 589 times Debate No: 83387
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (22)
Votes (0)

 

Petty102

Pro

First, a definition:

Free will (for the purpose of this discussion) shall be considered as "The ability to choose of one's own mechanism, or to choose without coercion from an internal or external environment". A little more simply, free will means someone chose something not through instinct.

My stance: Free will does not exist in humanity*.
Your stance: Free will does exist, and humanity has it*.

*i.e., no arguments such as: "Even if we don't have free will, that doesn't mean it can't exist."

You may begin.
Sdio

Con

I chose to accept this debate, therefore free will exists.
Debate Round No. 1
Petty102

Pro

Free will, as it has been defined as one's conscious ability to choose with no outside influence, cannot exist because all "choices" are tainted by outside influence. Every "decision" is made with motivation, and all motivation is influence. To better explain, here is a scenario I will use to demonstrate: A Mary Sue decided to eat waffles as opposed to pancakes one morning. Any possible "because" added at the end, would negate her autonomy as mere reaction. For example:

A) Mary Sue chose to eat the waffles because she wanted to.
---- One does not choose one's wants, therefore something outside of her control influenced her decision, meaning she had no will in the matter.
B) Mary Sue chose to eat the waffles because she did not want to.
---- The fact that she chose to eat them despite her dislike proves that she had some other motivation, some "even though I don't like them, I still did it because...", thus causing this rationale to be fallacious.
C) Mary Sue chose to eat the waffles because she "felt like it".
---- We cannot control our feelings, therefore it was out of her control.
D) Mary Sue doesn't know why she chose the waffles.
---- This is almost self-evident, as if one is not sure why they did something, then that means the "choice" was rooted in subconscious desires and influences and therefore not conscious, a main part of our definition for free will.

Etcetera. This can go on. Think of any decision, no matter how complicated, counter-intuitive, muggy, or convoluted, there is always a motivation. To show the process of a more complicated decision, I will explain how I was coerced into starting this argument:

A teacher assigned an essay explaining free will and how it pertains to our society. My nature (personality, instinct, reflex, etc.) caused me to think of all the reasons the essay was inane. One reason was that free will cannot exist. My subconscious memory clung to this concept, forcing an obsession on me so I continually dwelled on the topic. My obsession also wrought an incessant need to share it, something characteristic of obsessions. Thus plagued by a need to discuss, debate, free will, I Googled "debate website", and debate.org was produced. I clicked it because in my experience, concise websites ending in ".org" are generally superior to shady ".com"s. I saw a button that said, "begin debate", and I was motivated to begin this on my own.

Did I choose to do this? No. I was motivated. We cannot control how or when we are motivated, and therefore we cannot control our choices.
Sdio

Con

Sdio forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Petty102

Pro

Well, since it seems Con had dropped out of the running, this will be less of a debate than a rant, and if this site was made for rants it would be "Rant.org". That being said, I'll let this debate taper out for the final rounds, and let my voters only vote based on the first two arguments (Con for round one, and Pro for round two).

Anyone who wishes a PROPER debate, please comment your interest and I'll begin a new debate (I will use a different argument as well, if you wish).

Also, anyone interested in any related debates, such as, "Can a society function if there is no free will?," or "Does the Bible/Torah actually allude to free will?" or whatever, comment and I'd enjoy to argue with you!
Sdio

Con

I diasgree.
Debate Round No. 3
Petty102

Pro

Petty102 forfeited this round.
Sdio

Con

Sdio forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
22 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
I don't. If you read properly I clearly state that it's a claim made by certain people. My personal view is the nothing is uncaused, including the creator of the universe.
Posted by Petty102 1 year ago
Petty102
@Furyan5 Sorry to show up so late, but I wondered: why do you think the Big Bang has no cause?
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
I'm not quite sure of the specifics, but some sort of conscious virtual intelligence. Either created by man or created by a neural link between computers and human minds. In time, this AI will become an eternal, allknowing, all powerful entity, capable of escaping the effects of time.

Well that's the basics of it.
Posted by TheKryken 1 year ago
TheKryken
I'm sorry, I incorrectly assumed you were coming from a fully naturalistic perspective. That is my mistake.

Out of curiosity, what sort of creator do you believe in?
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
The big bang is the only event in all of time and in the entire universe which people claim is uncaused. This is the only reason I believe in a creator. Every moment after the big bang has a cause. Every event that occurs has a cause. Why should human behaviour be any different? Cause and effect is the status quo for the entire universe. It follows that every decision and every choice we make has a cause. This is determinism.
Posted by TheKryken 1 year ago
TheKryken
@Furyan5
"Think of something you regret doing. Put yourself back in that moment without the benefit of hindsight and you would do exactly the same thing. Your urges, desires and priorities determine your action at any given moment. At that moment, there is no alternative."

I think this conclusion summarizes the argument, so I'll just focus on this.

This is not something that cannot be proved, because you cannot actually recreate the moment and physically repeat it a thousand times to determine if another choice could have been made. Keep in mind, I'm not trying to prove that free will does exist. I'm trying to show that it cannot be proven that free will does not exist.

This is a side note of little relevance to the topic at hand, but I find it interesting that you say this.
"Change does not come of its own volition. Something causes it." I disagree. At least under a naturalistic worldview, the universe itself is a result of an uncaused change (The Big Bang).
Posted by Mike_10-4 1 year ago
Mike_10-4
Freedom is relative to the existence of one"s domain. We do not have the freedom to change a physical Law of Nature because those Laws are omnipotent. We are confined within the matrix of the Laws of Nature. When we follow them the outcome embraces "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" or positive feedback (life's Unalienable Rights). When we go against the Laws of Nature the outcome embraces death, tyranny, or the pursuit of failure.

In the following YouTube presentation:
https://www.youtube.com...
there is a simple experiment, restrict your respiratory system's freedom by attempting to hold your breath for a couple of minutes. There is a good chance you will receive negative feedback from your biology.

Take money for example, why do most desire its accumulation? In a civil society freedom is a function of money. The more money one has, increases their freedom to buy more things, travel to more places at any time, freedom from work, and in many cases, the freedom to control others.

The obvious question follows, "whose money controls a political candidate"? One candidate comes to mind, the one who has enough money not to be controlled and therefore, he has more freedom than the others.

Again, freedom is relative. We all have "free will" within our domain, only God has absolute freedom.
Posted by Furyan5 1 year ago
Furyan5
Yes. I am saying a criminal has no choice but to commit the crime. Just as we have no choice but to punish a criminal if we catch him. Cause and effect. The idea of being punished may not be enough to desuade that criminal, but it does desuade other people.
I have helped many victims of abuse and the similarity between their behaviour has left no doubt in my mind that environmental factors play a huge part in how we behave. Genetic factors play a role too. From our body shape too chemical imbalances in the brain affect our behaviour. But none of these factors is decided by choice. You are who you are and think what you think because of these factors. Only a change of your bodies chemical reactions or an external influence can change your behaviour or way of thinking. Change does not come of its own volition. Something causes it. Think of something you regret doing. Put yourself back in that moment without the benefit of hindsight and you would do exactly the same thing. Your urges, desires and priorities determine your action at any given moment. At that moment, there is no alternative.
Posted by Petty102 1 year ago
Petty102
@ThKryken Your argument sort of undermines itself. The reason I didn't go with the instinct argument in the debate was because it's just like free will -- there's no way to determine whether or not something's a choice or an instinct. For example, did I choose the waffles because I instinctually prefer waffles? Or did I just choose it? There's no way of telling. You can't SEE a choice, you can't SEE an instinct, therefore both arguments negate each other and the argument goes on and on.

Whether a criminal could've or couldn't've chosen not to commit a crime (so many negatives, jeez), that is a wholly separate argument. Regardless of whether free will, instinct, motivation, or predestination controls his/her choices, he/she thinks he/she had the choice, and the thought is all that counts.
Posted by TheKryken 1 year ago
TheKryken
@Furyan5
You cannot prove that it is not a choice. You can claim it's determined by environmental factors, but you can only see one choice happen.

What you are saying is that the criminal was actually 100% incapable of not committing the crime; the different factors involved caused him to do so, and he acted on what is essentially instinct. However, you have no way to prove that. You cannot go back in time and see if they actually could have chosen a different path. You cannot re-create the same exact circumstances and determine whether or not a different choice was possible.
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