The Instigator
DaylightGnosticism
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
socialpinko
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Free Will is kept in light of the Free Will Problem of Causal Determinism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
socialpinko
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/25/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 858 times Debate No: 26569
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

DaylightGnosticism

Pro

The burden of proof is hereby upon me to convince, via propelling arguments, a case supporting free will in light of the Free Will Problem(henceforth called the FWP). In the second round(proceeding), I will present my arguments and the opposing will present his against. A rebuttal is permitted during the second round, however, the opposing must present a compelling case AGAINST FWP, but rebuttal is not required if he/she does not wish.

The third round is open for myself to rebut my opponent's arguments and/or mischaracterizations of my statement. The opposing shall do likewise. Further, final round is for closing remarks and last rebuttals.

From the onset, the free will problem is stated as this(1), deductively.

Some person (qua agent), at some time, could have acted otherwise than she did.
Actions are events.
Every event has a cause.
If an event is caused, then it is causally determined.
If an event is an act that is causally determined, then the agent of the act could not have acted otherwise than in the way that she did.

Con's burden, collectively, is to prove causal determination is binding and prohibits free will. My task is to refute determinism respectively.

Definitions:

Free will-The power of making free choices that are unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.(2)

1). http://plato.stanford.edu...
2.) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
socialpinko

Con

I take it the first round is for acceptance. I accept and wish Pro the best of luck in this debate. I hope to learn a lot from this.
Debate Round No. 1
DaylightGnosticism

Pro

The first premise can be summed as follows: If a person (x) does something at some time, she could have acted otherwise than she did. Premise one is disputed.. People can, indeed, act on impulse or plan and act. The former and the latter both result in actions, which is, according to the second premise an event. Like everything, every event has a cause and therefore, the event was causally determined by something. The question is, however, whether causal determination results in an event which, in its occurrence, could not be changed by free will. Thus is the causal determination an event in and of itself which would cause the agent to only act in one way and prohibit another? This essay attempts to provide a solution which may or may not be parallel to another.

It could be said that a different cause or causes resulted in the same set of event(s). For example, person A gets out of her car and goes to the door, reaches into her pocket to find she has left the keys in the ignition. An action would cause the cause of the event. Such that her husband calls her on his cell phone when she is getting out and this causes her to forget. Or, having had the urge to urine, forgets the keys in the ignition. The preceding cause could result in a changed cause. However, we are only addressing the issues of could happenings. Causal determination results in an action sure, but is it such that the cause could not be changed as well? If A gets out of her car, her husband could call and she could hang up on him and by impulse remember the keys in the car and thereby change a could-be cause of an event. It erases the action of forgetfulness and results in memory of the keys in the ignition. A could-be cause can, therefore, shown to be able to change.

Theoretically, that is a solution, but when the cause has already happened, can the event be changed? Let us change the scenario. Person A gets almost gets out of her car when the husband calls. She answers and chats in the same area for fifteen minutes. Once the call has ended, one of two things can happen. A) She remembers the keys and B) she forgets the keys. Causal determination results in two-could be actions. The call could her to forget or cause her to remember. The person can do one or the other, but it is up to a person in a scenario whether or not they choose that action. Free will is kept in such a case.

Once the cause has occurred the same event doesn't necessarily result. Free will can be kept in light of essential determinism, however, it can be said that free will could be kept in this case. For example, say Person B has to choose between getting a bowl for Christmas or a clock. The cause of an action essentially is the choice of choosing, free will is kept such that choice is the very definition of free will. She could choose any item for any reason. If she chooses the bowl, consequences result of course just like with the former. Argument one is affirmed, resolution is affirmed.
socialpinko

Con

Pro's arguments can be summarized as follows: Causal determinism shows that every action has a cause, but not necessarily a necessary cause i.e., there are several effects that a given cause could bring about, not just a single path of events. Therefore, Pro reasons, we can still have free will.


Objections.


(i) Presupposing alternative possibilities.-- Pro's argument doesn't offer actual substantive analysis. He simply argues that any given event doesn't necessitate a single outcome. But why should we just accept this without argument? Pro's examples furthermore don't offer any reasoning or evidence. It's certainly not self evident that cause X would lend itself to events Y *or* Z and in any case we don't have any evidence provided by Pro to suggest this would be a regularity in human behavior. Remember, Pro's arguing for a generality of free will, not just the possibility of some instances.


(ii) Faulty examples.-- The examples by which Pro attempts to outline his contention are also faulty. For instance, Pro claims that in event X where a women's husband calling her causes her to forget her keys in the ignition, but that it's also possible that the women could have simply hung up and then remembered where her keys were. Therefore, Pro reasons, the husband calling only leads to a set of possible effects, none of which are necessitated. The problem with this argument is that Pro's ignoring effecting factors.


Husband calling = C
Woman answering/conversating = A
Not answering/hanging up = N
Forgetting keys = E


Causal determinism would argue that C + A would determine event E (forgetting her keys in the ignition). What Pro is doing is simply changing the equation. Obviously if you change the factors then the outcome will be different. For instance, under Pro's second example, we would substitute A for N. Of course we can't expect C + N to *also* necessitate cause E. But that doesn't refute my position, it actually affirms it. Instead of causing E, C + N would simply lend itself to event R (remembering where her keys were). Pro has essentially acknowledged a direct causal link between outside factors and the actions of the woman in his example.
Debate Round No. 2
DaylightGnosticism

Pro

DaylightGnosticism forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend refutation.
Debate Round No. 3
DaylightGnosticism

Pro

DaylightGnosticism forfeited this round.
socialpinko

Con

Extend refutation. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Noradrenergic 4 years ago
Noradrenergic
Con should wrap this one up easily unless arguments get stronger than first round...
Posted by DaylightGnosticism 4 years ago
DaylightGnosticism
It doesnt matter to me whether I win or lose, mind you. I am only challenging this debate based upon formulated arguments that might defend compatibilism. Its a trial and error debate, I realize some of my arguments have flaws. However, this debate shall help me learn from them and possibly change my position.
Posted by magikkell 4 years ago
magikkell
Daylight:
If you want to have any chance of winning, read the following article, understand it, and defend it. It is pretty much the only philosophically acceptable way to defend what you seem to sketch as an argument:

http://www.informationphilosopher.com...
Posted by magikkell 4 years ago
magikkell
Darn you, socialpinko, debating someone else on this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by tulle 4 years ago
tulle
DaylightGnosticismsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con points out that Pro's example only affirms the link between events and outcomes.
Vote Placed by emospongebob527 4 years ago
emospongebob527
DaylightGnosticismsocialpinkoTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF