The Instigator
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
the_banjo_sender
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Free Will

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/23/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 9 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 382 times Debate No: 85439
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)

 

Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist

Con

Hello, you may call me JR.

The matter at hand is one of great interest... Free Will.
I of course, will be arguing against free will, and therefore I will assume the position of CON.

My opponent, PRO, will argue for the existence of Free Will.

Now, it is of utter importance that there be no confusion on what exactly free will is.
We shall use this definition, one which I have created, as the official definition for this debate. No other definition of Free Will may be used, as they are often not concise and lack clarity.

Free Will: "The doctrine that human beings possess a freedom of self-discretion, individual to their being--and under their full control--as to be free of external and internal determination. Thus human beings are indeed fully responsible for their actions."

This definition is to be fully understood and used in this debate. Free will is not to be confused as the ability to make choices in general. If that were the case, then clearly there would be no debate, for obvious reasons. Free will is to be regarded not as the ability to make choices, but instead as, well" the definition formerly stated.

The rules of this debate are simple. We will be provided 72 generous hours to formulate an argument, and a generous 10,000 characters, to ensure that our arguments reach maximum potential. There will be five rounds.

I ask that PRO commence the debate with the opening argument.

This will be a respectful and insightful debate.
May the best debater win.

-JR
the_banjo_sender

Pro

Of course free will exists. As defined by my opponent, free will is when someone is solely responsible for their actions. I propose that this is not only often, but ALWAYS the case. See, the thing with choices is that if a choice is really a choice, then there are multiple paths that can be taken. Yes, humans are often influenced greatly by outside interaction and information, but in the end, each individual is responsible for their own actions.

Now, here's the fun part. While I believe that free will is always the case, in the context of this debate, the only thing I need to prove is that in one single little circumstance, free will is at play. Since my opponent has graciously let me go first, I'm gonna do the mean, awful thing and shove burden of proof upon him. This means that, in order to win by the standards he himself has set, he must prove that free will is NEVER at play. Perhaps he was going to do this anyway. Who knows?

Regardless, on to my case: Instances where free will is obviously at play.

1.) Attitude. Life can give you the sourest lemons, but no matter the circumstance, you alone determine your attitude. Doesn't even have to be a good attitude. Even people with very similar lives react different ways to different situations. In fact, if what you propose is really the case, where does individuality come from? Outside sources effecting people in the same way, but resulting in different choices? Seems unlikely.

2.) Morality. Practically no one operates without any form of moral code. For example, pretty much every person on the planet agrees that utilitarianism is BAD. (Look it up, kids!) But why? Different people experience different happenings that should greatly impact their morality, yes? And yet pretty much EVERY RELIGION believes in simple truths, such as protecting the innocent and doing good. Now, obviously there are exceptions, but this isn't the point. If I must, I'll list vastly different religions that believe in similar morals, despite very different backgrounds.

3.) Actions. This is, in my opinion, one of the problems with the world today. No body takes responsibility for their own actions. Governments are always blaming each other for problems, not realizing that perhaps it was their actions that resulted in their consequence. Yes, decisions are greatly influenced, but when push comes to shove, it is the individual that presses that button, that pulls that trigger, that turns that corner. Influenced, yes, but mindless and completely pre-determined? No way.

Finally, I come to where we stand if Con is in the right. We then live in a society where no one is truly responsible for their actions. Blame will be circulated constantly, and everyone will be at fault for both everything and nothing.

If people refuse to realize that their own actions are their own fault, justice systems become useless. People will blame affluenza, ignorance, insanity, or just plain innocents. Society cannot run.

Anyhoo, thanks for dealing with me chattiness. I tend to get a bit carried away.
Con, your turn.
Debate Round No. 1
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist

Con

That was quite the introduction, and I do applaud you. However, your arguments fail on critical matters. Before I begin, I will restate the definition of free will. "The doctrine that human beings possess a freedom of self-discretion, individual to their being--and under their full control--as to be free of external and internal determination. Thus human beings are indeed fully responsible for their actions." It is important to remember that free will certainly does not equate to making decisions. Free will has absolutely nothing to do with the way we behave. In your argument, you addressed examples regarding human attitude, morality, and actions. This was your so called evidence of free will. No. The concept of free will is far more profound than that. Free will isn"t the the observable fruit on the tree, but it's is the roots under the ground. The roots that we can"t see or observe. No, but it"s even more than that. Free will originates at the seed. Well, that is, if if free will existed.

It is crucial to understand what free will is. When I argue that free will is an illusion, I argue this" The ability to make choices only appears to be free will, however, everything from our thoughts to our actions has been determined by factors which we do not choose. Free will assumes that humans have a "soul" if you may. And this soul is not only who we truly are, but it is also is also responsible for all our choices. Free will is the concept that everyone possesses their own self-discretion, and this self discretion acts as an "independent variable." This brings me to my first point.

Free will is riddled with illogical paradoxes that prove its falsehood. The first problem with free will is the paradox of the independent variable. For this argument I will be focusing on constant variables and independent variables.
The most important step is to define the terms in the context of which I will be using them.

Independent Variables: The independent variable is the free will that is individual to each person. In order for free will to exist, all people must have their own independent variable. The reason is because if people do not have their own independent variable than it is merely a constant variable, which brings me to constant variables.

Constant Variables = All variables that are not under the control of the Independent Variable. These variables include every last detail of everything that transcends the Independent Variable. They encompass everything from atoms, viruses, bacteria, other human beings, nature, Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way, and the Universe. Of course, all of these things are not under the control of the independent variable. These variables would remain constant even if a new independent variable were to be input into the equation.

Now, free will can not exist if different independent variables"the souls of different people"do not result in a different answer, when plugged into an identical equation of constant variables. For example, say I were born as Barack Obama. All constant variables are the same. This means that anything not under the control of my independent variable will remain constant. I have absolutely no control over my molecular form, and therefore I would be molecularly identical to Barack Obama. Now, I am "given," the identical constant variables that Barack Obama was "given." Of course, I have absolutely no choice in what constant variables I am "given." Notice that I do add quotations around the word given. To proceed, with identical constant variables, I will be born into the same family as Obama. The same environment. All constant variables are exactly identical, as I have absolutely no control over them. Now, according to free will, I should have a different independent variable than Barack Obama, and therefore I will not live the exact same life that he did. However, how could this so called "free will," this independent variable, be any different than Barack Obama's?

At what point did I ever get a chance to choose a different independent variable? When did I choose to possess a different free will? If this different independent variable, was "given" to me, then it is a constant variable, as I had no control over it. If it is given to me then how did I choose it? At what point do I diverge from Obama's life. We are the same person now. Yet, "I" have done nothing. I have simply "received" Barack Obama"s constant variables, not to my own discretion, and I simply acted upon these constant variables. I had absolutely no control in the matter, and now I am Barack Obama. Everything he does in his life will be what I do. My life will be exactly identical, and even if it is not it can only be explained by a differing constant variable, as there is no way to acquire a differing independent variable.

Free will becomes a major paradox when you take a closer look. How can you have a differing independent variable, if you must choose to have a differing independent variable in the first place? You must have a differing independent variable to choose a different independent variable. The point is, we are only a result of the massive accumulation of all our constant variables. We possess no special free will that separates us as individuals. There is absolutely no way to have an individual independent variable, and no way to have free will. Therefore it is more logical to believe that free will is an illusion.

Here is a mathematical example to prove my point even further.
Now, here is a set of constant variables. These constant variables account for every last miniscule detail that impacts your life. Of course, these constant variables are all out of your control.

((55,098+91*188,972,345-70/10*(65,890,783*3,221,834-99,142,)+88/8+11,666,663*(59,422-488,008,065)-5*(4*(849+773/666))/5*732+(9^2(1*(65*3^2/77^2)/4^2))+22*19*13+7-903,827*(91*843/9-52)+391,839,941*2*(76-3^2/9+13^2)+55,098+91*188,972,345-70/10*(765,001,783*23,221,834-99,142,744,321)) *X

Here I have accumulated every single constant variable in your life. This includes anything and everything that you have no control over. However, do you see the bolded X at the bottom. That is the independent variable which you have control over. According to free will, if you and I were given the same constant variables, we would still live different lives because of that one constant variable which we can manipulate to our own discretion. Now, I have a question? Why would your X be any different than my X?

For instance, how could your X = 36,972 but my X = 28,999

Like I said, if that X value was given to you, then you did not choose it. Thus, it would merely be another constant variable to add to that massive equation. There is no possible way to have a different independent variable.
Possessing a different independent variable to plug into the equation would require a different independent variable to choose what the former independent variable was.

Something like this.

X = (66*91-777,456)+Y

VS

X = (66*91-777,456)+Y

The value of Y will now have to be different in each equation, in order for the output to have differing values for X.

Therefore, our independent variables would be the same. Say... 13, for example.

Okay, now if you plug 13 into that massive equation the output will always be the same number.
Every single time. The result will always be the same. This massive equation of more constant variables than we can count. We can add as many constant variables as we want and the result will always be the same.
To have free will is to have a unique free will that will change the set variables in which you are placed. This math equation explains it well. Free will asserts that all people possess a unique and independent variable that is individual to them, and therefore it will result in a different dependent variable when placed in the set formula of constant variables. Constant variable which they did not choose.
Now which is more logical to believe? An assumption made at birth through the mere observation of the five senses. An assumption riddled with major paradoxes?

Or a logical, well thought out, and thoroughly investigated proposal? I rest my case that it is far more logical that free will is an illusion.
However, I have many more arguments in my arsenal.

Now, to refute your arguments.

"Now, here's the fun part. While I believe that free will is always the case, in the context of this debate, the only thing I need to prove is that in one single little circumstance, free will is at play. Since my opponent has graciously let me go first, I'm gonna do the mean, awful thing and shove burden of proof upon him. This means that, in order to win by the standards he himself has set, he must prove that free will is NEVER at play. Perhaps he was going to do this anyway. Who knows?"

-Indeed, I was planning to prove that free will is never at play because free will is actually a black and white subject. Free will can either exist or not exist. If it exists in even the slightest way then it exists. However, it is an illusion so its existence is out of the equation. I gracefully accept the burdon of proof.

"Attitude."
"Even people with very similar lives react different ways to different situations. In fact, if what you propose is really the case, where does individuality come from? Outside sources effecting people in the same way, but resulting in different choices? Seems unlikely."

-My argument is far more specific then just, "same situations." I prefer to use, "identical molecular form."

"Morality."
-Nothing to do with free will.

"Actions."
"Influenced, yes, but mindless and completely pre-determined? No way.

-Yes way. Well, not the mindless part but the dermined part is quite correct.

Overall, these arguments don't have anything to do with free will.

Sources:
http://www.scientificamerican.com...
http://phys.org...

Vote Con.
-JR
the_banjo_sender

Pro

the_banjo_sender forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist

Con

My argument is extended as my opponent has forfeited.
the_banjo_sender

Pro

the_banjo_sender forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist

Con

I extend my arguments once more.
the_banjo_sender

Pro

the_banjo_sender forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist

Con

I extend.
the_banjo_sender

Pro

the_banjo_sender forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Trollord 7 months ago
Trollord
To Free_Will:

1, you are missing a parenthese on your profile.

2, inventor? I want to talk in a PM.
Posted by Furyan5 10 months ago
Furyan5
To a canibal, killing and eating people is a good thing. Almost all the tribes in the Congo Basin are canibals and it forms part of their religious rituals. This proves that morals are definitely formed by our experiences and what we are taught.
As for attitude, this is a feature of personality and although science can't yet explain how, stats have shown that people born in the same month share common personality traits. Role models also play a crucial part in attitude and how we each handle the situations we face. These are just a few reasons why human behaviour is not utilitarian. Everything from your height and hair type to the location of your birth plays a part but none of it is a choice. These things determine the choices you will make.
Posted by Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist 10 months ago
Free_Will_Does_Not_Exist
I have many more points than what I have posted thus far. Please, be patient. Ten thousand characters is nowhere near enough space to convey all the logic and reasoning behind the notion that free will is an illuision.
Posted by Furyan5 10 months ago
Furyan5
lol sorry squonk but on this forum its majority rule and the majority of people are idiots. Pro will win.
Posted by squonk 10 months ago
squonk
Free will is an illusion. Pro is bound to lose this debate.
Posted by canis 10 months ago
canis
..."Free of external and internal determination.."...Then the sum of free will can only be what never happened. happens and will happen.
Posted by RammsteinAndMorty 10 months ago
RammsteinAndMorty
Screw you . I thought of that freely
No votes have been placed for this debate.