The Instigator
JR-CreativeGenius
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points
The Contender
Esiar
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Free Will

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JR-CreativeGenius
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/14/2015 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 709 times Debate No: 68371
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (10)
Votes (1)

 

JR-CreativeGenius

Con

Hello. I will be debating that there is no free will. My opponent, Pro, will debate the side of free will. The dictionary definion of free will is, "The power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion." I am prepared for the debate. The side of Pro may begin the debate. Good luck.
Esiar

Pro

Thanks for making this, It's an interesting topic. I'm going to make 2 main points.

1. We can always act on our own discretion.
You can evaluate things and choose your option without anyone preventing you (most of the time).

2. We're more than Cell-machines.
If you study someone's brain and body in general, you can learn a lot of things about them, but you can't know them. You'd have to communicate with them: This leads me to think that, while our discretion and opinions can be influenced by the structure of our body, and outside sources, free-will still is there.

You could say that it only feels like we have free-will, but you'd have to give proof for that.
Debate Round No. 1
JR-CreativeGenius

Con

Thank you for joining the debate. It is very much appreciated. ~ This is exactly the opening argument I predicted you would begin with. It is a good point and likely the reason that many believe people have free will. You will need to think deeper than this. Of course, human nature has always been to reach conclusions through what we can observe. People believe that they have free will because of the fact that they have the ability to choose. It is as simple as that. They make the observation that they are able to decide whatever they please. A person may think, 'well, I can choose to either drink orange juice or apple juice, so therefore I must have free will.' With just that observation it is over for most people. The matter is far more complicated than that. While people may be able to decide for themselves, this does not mean they have free will.

First let me establish that I do not believe that all people are seperate. Obviously, there are over 7 billion people on Earth, but that is physically. What I mean is, people are all the same 'spirit,' not that I believe in spirits. Basically, what I am saying is that every single person on Earth is not an individual 'spirit', or 'free will.' Everyone is the same but they all become different based on random factors that they have no control over. These random factors include, genes (who they are), and everything around them. A person's life is determined by random factors that they do not have control over. It may be very confusing to grasp the theory I am proposing, so I will give an example. If I were to commit a crime in my lifetime such as murder, what would most people say if I asked," would you have commited that crime if you were me." Well of course most people would likely say, "of course not, I would never have killed that person." This is not true. Think about it. If you were me you would have killed that person too. Actually, you would have done everything I did down to the very last detail. Oh, you do not believe me? You think that somehow you would have choosen a different path than I did, if you were born as me. Somehow you would have a different free will therefore allowing you to decide otherwise? If you were to be born as me, you would be given the same genes. [You can not choose what genes you get] Ok so now you are born and you have my parents who raise 'you' excactly the way they raised me. 'You' have my brain. [That was decided by the genes] Everything 'you' do would be EXCATLY the same as what I did because I variable needs to change in order for you to do somthing differently. Wait, you still think you will not end up killing the person. How? What variable would be different? I predict these could be some of your possible guesses. "What if the weather was different and one day and 'I' get struck by lightining causing me to be unable to kill the person. Or maybe, what if 'I' fall in love with someone after bumping into them and this prevents me from killing the person. This could not happen. If these things never happened in my life they would not be different just because 'you' were born as 'me'. The point is, everything would be the same and you would end up killing the person. The reason is because there is no different variable. We all are the same with different rndom factors that we did not chose. Even in math it can not be different. If a+b=c the answer will always be "c" unless a variable changes. If you had recieved the RANDOM factors I had recieved, you would do everything I did.

What I believe is that people are only what their body is. Take this as another example. There are many different sets of different random factors. Each set of random factors is a predestined life. An already set railroad; each crisscrossing, twisting, turning, and crossing each other. Each set of random factors has its own railroad. People are the random factors. If any person had the random factors of another person they would have taken the railroad that belongs to those random factors. One’s life turns with every decision they make but it has all been planned out, depending on the random factors they were given. Someone may have made the worst decsions but how can they be to blame if anyone who had recieved their random factors would have followed their railroad and would have done everything they did.

If I had the set of random factors that Hitler had, I would have done everything Hitler had. I have his genes. [So far I can not control genes] I am born as him. Now where do I deviate from what he did. The answer is, I don’t. How can I? I have the same brain as him, this was determined by my genes. The people that were around Hitler would treat ‘me’ the EXACT same way they treated Hitler. So now that I am given the same random factors as Hitler I do everything the same as Hitler. You may believe I have a different ‘spirit’ that is ‘me,’ so therefore I would somehow chose my own choices and not do what Hitler did. If that were true, how did I choose my ‘spirit' or ‘free will’ that makes me different than Hitler. Wouldn’t that still be a random factor?

It really does seem as though people really do have free will, but it can not be true. People are all pre programmed from the start. Now, I await to hear my opponent's counter arguments. -JR

Esiar

Pro

I did talk about this when I said, "This leads me to think that, while our discretion and opinions can be influenced by the structure of our body, and outside sources, free-will still is there.".

While things are based off of our genes and other things, we still can choose between Grape Juice and Orange Juice.

Free-will is "the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion", which we can do. Our discretion may be difference, because of all the variables (By the way, I've thought of the same thing you did once.), but we're still acting on our discretion.

While I would have killed the guy if I had the exact same life as him, I would still have to use discretion to decide if I wanted to kill him or not.
Debate Round No. 2
JR-CreativeGenius

Con

We seem to believe similar concepts, but you are using the definition for your case. Your argument is that the definion states free will is the ability to make a choice, which obviously people can do. The debate should not be on whether or not people can make their own choices. That would mean I am arguing a nonsensical side that believed people can make no descions whatsoever, and basically people can not even think. This is absurd and not what the lack of free will is at all. What I am trying to debate is whether or not people have their OWN 'free will.' The definition does say that people have the ability to act at their OWN discretion, so people must have their own discretion for there to be free will. You do say that our discretion may be different because there are so many variables, however, no matter how many variables there are, none of the other varibles can change since the only independant varible in the equation is the genes. All other variables are dependant of the genes. It would be impossible for people to have different free will because we would have to choose a different free will, which would require free will, and so begins an endless paradox. In conclusion, so far the basis of your argument is based off the fact that people technically make their own descions, which matches the definition of free will. It does not matter that people can choose because every decision they have ever made was already planned for them when they randomly were given the random factors that determine their life to the last detail.
Esiar

Pro

Prove I was destined to post this.
Debate Round No. 3
JR-CreativeGenius

Con

You were destined to post that because everything that has ever happened, and will ever happened, has already been planned. As you make choices, you do not change what your plan is, instead that is what your plan becomes, but it is also what it has been. If you had decided to not post an argument because you did not wish to follow my demands, then that would have been your destiny. Your destiny changes with whatever you do. You may decide to post, then not post, then post again, but no matter how many choices you make, that has been your plan. Your entire can be traced back, and it could not have been changed since that is what happened, but that means it can be traced forward too since you can not change what is traced back. What I am saying is that people follow the path that was given to them by their random factors, and although they believe they can change their path, anything they do was really just planned for them before. You may think, "Well, what if my plan is to jump into a crocodile's mouth but I choose not to. Haven't I just changed my path?" This is not the case because, the fact that you chose not to jump into the crocodile's mouth was already your path, as would your path be if you had decided to kill the crocodile. However, you can not change what your path already was because it is what has already happened, but it an also be traced ahead as what will happen. You were destined to post that because you have already done it and that cannot be changed. If suddenly the world went back in time with a snap of my fingers and nobody knew. The same thing would happen. Time is on a track that does no tchange when you rewind. Your free will would not make a different choice the second time around. As you can rewind the track you can fast forward and the future will not change as it has already been set. It may seem that people choose their own path but they are just following the path that has already been set. The most important reason people can not have free will is because you do not choose it. It is all your genes and random factors. Vote Con! Vote for JR-CreativeGenius!
Esiar

Pro

Genes and other factors play a part in it, but those lead you to have your own distinct discretion, and you can act on that.

I agree that everything that will happen is already known, be we weren't forced to do anything, and we can decide for ourselves.

"the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion."
I'm doing this right now.

You are pretty much adding to that, and saying something is true while giving no good evidence.
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by JR-CreativeGenius 1 year ago
JR-CreativeGenius
Esiar can you just write one last thing so the debate can be officially over. Thank you!
Posted by JR-CreativeGenius 1 year ago
JR-CreativeGenius
I would like to add as one last argument. Could you blame a baby for acting in an unruly manner. You can not because a baby acts based on their genes and how they have been taught and treated.Now at what point does this change when you get older. Does it change for a toddler, a child, a teenager? Do they somehow develop a new free will that they did not have as a baby. The only thing that changes when the baby grows older is their mental development, but they still think and act the way they do based on their genes and how they were raised. Is it just a coincidence that people act the way they were taught? Of course there are many exceptions but those depend on smaller reasons, even the smallest influence in the opposite direction could lead to certain thoughts that change a person. So why is an adult more to blame than an infant. They do not somehow receive a free will at a certain age and if they did they could not have chosen it. Everything a person does is based on their genes and surroundings. Everything down to the very last detail. Their thoughts, their actions, absolutely everything.
Posted by JR-CreativeGenius 1 year ago
JR-CreativeGenius
Can you at least post the word forfeit so I can state my conclusion and this debate can be over. Please, try to make some argument if you can. I would not like my win to be due to my opponent fearing their inevitable defeat. Let me win with honor. Also, I do not want to wait 3 days for the voting to begin.
Posted by JR-CreativeGenius 1 year ago
JR-CreativeGenius
You were destined to forfeit this round. There can be no free will.
Posted by Esiar 1 year ago
Esiar
Out of my free-will I have chosen to forfeit this round.
Posted by NoMagic 1 year ago
NoMagic
Edril, good video, the soul point is why I grant magic. You don't get free will even if you have a soul/magic.
Posted by NoMagic 1 year ago
NoMagic
Edril, haven't watched the video yet but will. I would also agree, once you dive deep enough into the concept of free will it falls based on logic. I've given a number of people this challenge, explain free will in any way you wish, you are even granted magic to do so. One condition, your explanation must conform to what we observe about human behavior. I have yet to get a strong case made. I grant magic because I don't think even magic can grant us free will.
Posted by Edril 1 year ago
Edril
If you scroll to 19:00 in this video, this thought experiment is what made me realize free will is not only an illusion, it's a nonsensical phrase.
Sam Harris on "Free Will": http://youtu.be...
Posted by NoMagic 1 year ago
NoMagic
There is a "narrator" in the left side of the brain. This tells the story of what you are doing. It is mostly after the fact explanations. A wonderful example, people with extreme seizures have had the fiber cut between left and right hemispheres in the brain. This keeps the seizure from spreading. This is an extreme procedure and only done for extreme cases. One example, researches feed information to one side of the brain, the right. Show the right a picture of a shovel. Remember the left doesn't know about the picture. They show the left a chicken. Right doesn't know about chicken picture. They then ask patient to pick pictures of what they seen. Patient picks the chicken picture and the shovel picture. Patient doesn't know why the picked shovel, right brain has that information. Researcher, "Why did you pick shovel?" Patient, "Well the shovel is to clean out the chicken coop." The correct answer is the patient doesn't know. The narrator module in the left side of the brain makes up the story to explain why the shovel was picked. Are you really consciously making choices or consciously explaining choices that have already been made? You have choices. That isn't the question. The question is, "Why do I make those choices?" If you trace this question you will eventually run into, "I don't know." That is where you lose free will. You are your genes. Your genes interpret your world. You don't control that. You than make decisions. Free will is an illusion, you cannot have it. There is no way to have free will. I have yet to get anyone to explain how a person can have free will. We only think we do because we feel like we do.
Posted by Rubikx 1 year ago
Rubikx
I wish I could have taken this... a bit to late i guess. Good luck to both of you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by NoMagic 1 year ago
NoMagic
JR-CreativeGeniusEsiarTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro never presents any real arguments for his side. So a lose to Pro is a given. On the Con side, free will is an illusion, there is no doubt about that. But, I don't really think Con argued very well for his position. The question isn't if we have choices, the question is why do we pick the choices we pick. I don't feel as though Con's arguments should be awarded 3 full points. Good arguments get 3 points in my book. I'll award 1 conduct point to Con for presenting arguments. Pro gets no points, never really argued. No argument points since there were no good arguments.