The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Free Will cannot logically be possible.

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 386 times Debate No: 85736
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




The Grandfather Paradox is as states: If you were to go back in time and kill your own grandfather, you would cease to exist. If you cease to exist, you grandfather would be spared.

If the option of travelling back in time were given, you would not be able to logically take it. Going back in time would disrupt the future, which completely disables the idea of free will. This means that time is a completely straight path, and therefore cannot be altered.

Einstein's general relativity generalizes special relativity and Newton's law of universal gravitation, providing a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time, or space-time. This cannot be true, as something cannot effect nothing.

Here is my argument: Based on the evidence above, Free Will cannot occur because time is a linear set of events that are not able to be manipulated.


Kind regards for this debate.

I will be representing the Con side, meaning that free will can logically be possible.

Opening statement:

Foremost, 'Free Will' needs to be defined.
Merriam Webster Dictionary ( defines 'Free Will' as:
"the ability to choose how to act"; "the ability to make choices that are not controlled by fate or God".

As a short rebuttal, analysing Pro's argument, namely the 'grandfather paradox', does not affect the existence of free will in any way shape or form, as there is no proof of time travel, nor is it known how actions while potentially 'time travelling' will influence the present, past or future.

Pros argument can be compared to the following:
I drive a fast sports car. I drive it on a very curvy road. I can only drive at 60 kmh, as the car would otherwise go offroad. Therefore, reasoning from Pro's case, the car cannot drive faster than 60 kmh.

However, this is incorrect, as the car is capable of driving at much faster speeds, the car not being able to be driven faster than 60kmh in one situation does not mean that the car cannot drive faster than 60kmh.

This is comparable to Pro's case. Simply because Free Will is not realisable in all situations does not mean that free will does not exist.

I can move my arm up and down right now, out of free will. So can anyone else. There is no need to move my arm, nor is anyone forcing me to do it. I chose how to act, therefore was acting out of free will.


As Pro's case does not have any validity against the actual existence of free will, other than in one specific case, which is in no way proven or factual, free will thus does exist.

Kind regards, I am looking forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 1


Hello, sir! Thank you for accepting my debate.

I agree, the Grandfather Paradox was a weak first argument. I will use the definition you cited as the universal definition for this debate, agreed?

Let's look at physics. At the subatomic level, particles act completely randomly. This is why we can't study them at all; we don't know where they are. Move up to an atom, we have the same issue.

Here is a theory I came up with: Kind sir, what is your brain made of? That's correct, cells. Cells are made of atoms, which are made of subatomic particles. By this logic, you can state that everything in this universe is the result of a random occurrence. Yes, it seems that we have free will. I can choose between Arizona and Coke when I need to quench my thirst. But when you look at physics and the evidence there, we see the choice isn't ours.

A good example of this theory is with a humanoid robot. A hundred years from now, let's say for the sake of simplicity, scientists can completely replicate the human brain on a computer the size of a human brain. They implant this brain into a perfect humanoid robot, that is completely indistinguishable from a human. They have this brain "programmed" so that he starts life as a 17 year old named Sam. Sam is completely indistinguishable from a human. He blends right in no problem. He might even think he has free will, but here lies the problem: Sam is a robot. He was programmed to have a brain that operates identical to a human's. If this robot does not have free will, then neither do we.

I am happy that my first debate is with someone as well though as you, Con. Thank you for your first argument. I am excited to hear from you again.


Kind Regards for your previous round.

Arguments and Rebuttals:

Pro is moving this debate to a level where it does not belong. The still unsubstantiated case by Pro is the topic of this debate, which is that free will cannot be logically possible.

While Pro displays a very interesting case, the fundamental idea is not the right one.
Besides, while the aspect of the sub-atomic level may seem chaotic, I heavily doubt that it is. The 'chaotic' speculation has happened in many different cases, such the moon's rotation, in which case there seemed to be chaos, which later was discovered to be the gravitational force of the sun, a factor previously not known well. However, this debate is not about the sub-atomic level, nor chaos theory.

If the topic of debate were one such as 'We do not do anything for no reason' I would fully agree with Pro. There is a reason behind every action.

To enter into the topic deeper, the agreed upon definition of 'free will' needs to be a little widened, namely being "the ability to choose how to act". 'Act' is defined as "to reach, make, or issue a decision on some matter; to do something" (

In their previous round Pro mentioned the very fitting example of the choice between 'Arizona and Coke'. The key point here is 'choice'. Wherever there is a choice, there is an act. A choice is not the product of randomised chaos, it is ones decision for whatever reason, however, there is the weighing of two (or more) in this case items which one would both enjoy. In the end, one is chosen, thus the individual has chosen. It does not matter by what the individual was influenced, the simple fact that there is a choice, or better even, that it comes to a choice, as logically, if one prefers coke and will take that option in every situation, there is no choice, as the outcome is always the same. However, if there has been a choice, thus a and b were compared and weighted against and the individual chose, an act of personal valuation, or better even, an irrational act (let's go with the other one this time), free will has been executed. Of course this could be somewhat challenged by arguing that the choice was not actually ours, as we are influenced by our brain, however, the brain is a part of the human, and the act is thus made by us.

Just a quick comment on Pros example regarding the humanoid robot, these robots are not (yet?) possible, and as such a very bad example. AI programmers will, if they can, have huge issues creating exact replicas due to human irrationality. It is very hard, if not impossible, to write such programs. Human choice is very difficult to understand. So is Psychology.. The whole thing gets thrown out every couple of years and the book of psychology gets rewritten.


Pro is yet to provide an example that can be easily verified. While Pro's examples are most interesting, they are not verifiable.

When a choice exists, there is a free will. Even if everything is a random occurrence of physics, there is still a comparison of a and b in our brain and a decision is made. That decision is at least partly concious, and as such a free will is active.

Just as a small personal aspect, I have a huge problem due to my hyper rationality. Shopping for things as trivial as a packet of sweets will take me nearly an hour.. I will first consider the value to myself, then compare prices, compare prices between shops, then consider again, and then make a choice.. If that's not full free will, then I don't know... The only thing I'm influenced by is my own made up rationale. A personal choice.

Once again, kind regards. I am looking forward to the next round..
Debate Round No. 2


Screw it. Good game. That was a great rebuttal. Not much I can do here. Shouldn't've expected to win against someone with 16 wins under their belt on my first debate. GG, friend. GG.


I am quite disappointed at Pro conceding, Pro has made an amazing first attempt of Debate on DDO.

I wish Pro much luck for their Debating 'career' on DDO and as the only advice would suggest not giving up too early.

Kind regards for the Debate,
thanks to all readers and voters, have a good day..
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ssadi 8 months ago
=> Because of reasons below A goes to Con!
Posted by ssadi 8 months ago

Pro first argues that since it is impossible to choose to travel in time, if it was possible, then free will doesn't exist. Even if it was possible to travel in time, if something doesn't exist/happen in one situation
it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist/happen in other situations. Con's example of a car moving a curved road successfully refutes Pro's first argument.

Pro also claims that Einstein's general relativity, "a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of ... space-time ... cannot be true, as something (i.e., gravity) cannot effect nothing (i.e., space time)." He is right that something cannot affect nothing, but space-time is not "nothing".


Pro agrees that his first argument was a weak one and he provides another one, a humanoid robot, and claims that if this robot made choices, since it was programmed to do so, we wouldn't consider it as a choice by free will, but by its program. Since this robot is a replica of human brain, then humans' choices also shouldn't be considered as results of free will. This has some problems; 1- such a robot is not possible yet, 2 - choices are the result of conscious analyses where the programs available act according to mathematical analyses only, there are serious disputes on whether consciousness/intelligence can be explained solely using mathematics, 3 - it is well-known that the available artificially intelligent robots/machines are not even comparable with human mind/consciousness/intelligence.

Con's rebuttals that 1- such a robot is not yet possible and 2 - the fact that humans make very different choices for same issues is a difference between human conscious and robots are sufficient to refute Pro's argument. Pro relates making choices to quantum world, but there is no convincing evidence available to support it. In addition, Con gives examples where we make choices based on reasoning and rationale, hence free will.


Pro concedes!

=> Because of reasons above A g
Posted by Jonan4tor 8 months ago
If you cant tell thats a joke
Posted by Jonan4tor 8 months ago
Which side will you choose...
Posted by SquirrelFaces 8 months ago
This is an interesting debate in that I actually agree with Pro that free will does not exist, but I agree with Con in terms of the actual statement being debated in this debate. The statement that you guys are debating is 'Free Will cannot logically be possible', which is a slightly different statement than 'Free will exists' which is what I think the debate has turned in to.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ssadi 8 months ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Given in comments (4th and 5th comments).