The Instigator
FreedomFighter123
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Cooperman88
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Free Will is impossible to prove.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/9/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,105 times Debate No: 1616
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (8)

 

FreedomFighter123

Pro

It is impossible to prove that free will exists because we never make the same choice twice.

Just a simple example. You walk into your kitchen. You make a pb&j, you can choose between Grape and Strawberry jelly, you choose grape. Now we assume you could have chose strawberry, but you didn't, so it's impossible to prove you could have.
Cooperman88

Con

It is impossible to prove that free will exists because we never make the same choice twice.

Just a simple example. You walk into your kitchen. You make a pb&j, you can choose between Grape and Strawberry jelly, you choose grape. Now we assume you could have chose strawberry, but you didn't, so it's impossible to prove you could have.

It is not impossible to prove that free will exists. By examining your own statements, we see this to be true. You say "...you can choose between grape and strawberry jelly, you choose grape." By saying that I CHOSE grape, that implies a choice between two different options. By giving me a choice, that implies that I can choose between two options. I ended up choosing one of the two, grape, but that doesn't mean that before the choice I couldn't have chosen strawberry. You say that because I didn't choose something I couldn't have chosen that, but that isn't true.

Now let me give my own example. You are walking and come to a fork in the road. The road to the left is Washington, and the road to the right is Lincoln. Before I choose which road to take, I have the possibility of taking both. I can choose to go down washington, and I can choose to go down Lincoln. You try to say it is impossible to choose something AFTER THE FACT. It is impossible to choose something after you have chosen the other object. That is true, because you can't go back in time. But before the actual decision is made, there is the possibility of choosing one or the other. Otherwise there wouldn't be a choice. By saying that there is a choice in the very beginning, that means that there is free will to choose.
Debate Round No. 1
FreedomFighter123

Pro

You state that "But before the actual decision is made, there is the possibility of choosing one or the other." Yet how do we know there is that possibility without actually doing it. It could be an an illusion created by our view that we made a choice. Now I'm not saying free will doesn't exist, I'm saying it cant be proved empirically.
Cooperman88

Con

We know that there is the possibility of choosing the other, because there is still the other choice. If there are two choices, then there are two possibilities. Let's look at math. The possibility of a coin landing heads is fifty-fifty. If it lands heads, then we know that it was possible for it to land tails, because the option tails was available. No, it didn't land tails, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have. The same goes with choices. Let's look back to my example of the fork in the road. If you didn't have any information at all about either one of the roads, then your choice of one or the other is fifty-fifty. If you choose Washington, then the choice of Lincoln was still there. You just didn't choose it. Like I said earlier. You're looking at it from the wrong standpoint. You are looking at the situation AFTER the decision has been made. You must look to before the decision is made, because by doing so, the possibility is there to take one of two things.
Debate Round No. 2
FreedomFighter123

Pro

FreedomFighter123 forfeited this round.
Cooperman88

Con

Cooperman88 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by XsamacadoX 9 years ago
XsamacadoX
ammo sucker... ammo...

ill remember this in our debate!
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
"It can be argued that whichever door we ultimately choose, even if we *assume* we do so at random"

Free will has nothing to do with random. Quite the opposite, in fact. Free will requires choice, not randomness.

"is the result of the environment in which we were raised and to the ideas that we were exposed to."

While this certainly may have an effect on how you EXERCISE your free will it doesn't affect free will itself. The fact that you can completely dismiss the way you were raised and choose a different path is the essence of free will and proof that we all have it. In other words, you aren't bound by your upbringing, though you are likely at least partially influenced by it.
Posted by AntiPatriot 9 years ago
AntiPatriot
"The possibility of a coin landing heads is fifty-fifty. If it lands heads, then we know that it was possible for it to land tails, because the option tails was available. No, it didn't land tails, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have."

I find this very thought provoking. Yes, while in this one particular instance, this seems to back up your argument. But if you were to flip that coin 10,000 times, it would average almost exactly 50%. That is mathematically proven. Yes it is POSSIBLE for the coins to land on heads each of the 10,000 times, but will that actually EVER happen? You tell me. It seems like the side a coin will land on is already determined--and reinforced mathematically.
Posted by Kleptin 9 years ago
Kleptin
I disagree. It's not possible to prove that free will exists in the sense that we have complete and total freedom to choose between walking into one of two doors.

It can be argued that whichever door we ultimately choose, even if we *assume* we do so at random, is the result of the environment in which we were raised and to the ideas that we were exposed to.

In this case, we have an ILLUSION of free will, but not proof of it.

It's the same as saying "How do we know we're not living out the plot of 'The Matrix'?"

We don't. We can't prove it.
Posted by mmadderom 9 years ago
mmadderom
This makes no sense. OF COURSE free will exists. Forget the silly examples of choice you both give, the fact you HAVE a choice validates free will.
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by The_Devils_Advocate 9 years ago
The_Devils_Advocate
FreedomFighter123Cooperman88Tied
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Vote Placed by turtlecool2 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Cooperman88 9 years ago
Cooperman88
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Vote Placed by Lenfent 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by aredcard4u 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by phoenixsavior 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Avalonjohn44 9 years ago
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Vote Placed by Bunkka84 9 years ago
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