The Instigator
itsnobody
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
UchihaMadara
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

Free-will is a more irrational belief than young Earth Creationism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
UchihaMadara
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,648 times Debate No: 65520
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (47)
Votes (3)

 

itsnobody

Pro

The atheist-controlled or anti-religious media has come out to attack Creationism, but not free-will believers even though based on modern science free-will is much more of an irrational belief than denying evolution or the arguments young Earth Creationists use.

The reason why most people don't know this is because the media and society hasn't come out to attack free-will believers like how they've attacked Creationists.

Atheists haven't made documentaries or web sites and stuff about it because they don't really care about evidence, science, or proof.

First Round - Introductions/Clarifications
Rest of the rounds - Arguments/Rebuttals
UchihaMadara

Con

I accept.

YEC- the religious belief that the Universe, Earth and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of God between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago, as described in the Biblical story of Genesis.

Free Will- the ability to exercise conscious control over one's own actions

In order to negate the resolution, I only have to show that belief in free will is more rational than belief in YEC.
Debate Round No. 1
itsnobody

Pro

Well you're using a straw man argument, I'm not arguing exactly that young Earth Creationism is true, just that it's more rational than believing in free-will.

I want the atheist-controlled media to attack free-will believers like how they've attacked Creationism. The reason why atheists and the media haven't attacked free-will believers is because there aren't any atheists that actually care about evidence, proof, or science. This is obvious.

What a great threat the atheist community has been to science in de-valuing evidence.

My basic argument is: Since the scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent is more objective and concrete than the evidence refuting young Earth Creationist arguments, the belief in free-will is more irrational.

The scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent:
- Repeatable observations and experiments we have here and now (RT Experiments, TMS experiments, Libet's experiment, the observation that drugs and chemicals change consciousness)
- Everything, in every field of science (chemistry, physics, psychology, neuroscience, biology, etc...) tells us that free-will just doesn't exist

So in order to believe in free-will you have to say that somehow EVERYTHING in science is wrong and all of the repeatable experiments are also wrong.

The evidence refuting most young Earth Creationist arguments:
- Isn't based on repeatable experiments and observations that we have here and now, but inferences and untested assumptions

Take for instance, the dating of the Earth, it is based upon inferences and untested assumptions, assuming that the decay rate remains constant for billions of years (no way to test), then calculating numbers. The only way the dating of the Earth could be as concrete and objective as the evidence telling us that there's no free-will is if we had a time machine or something like that and directly observed the age of the Earth.

The evidence telling us that there is no free-will doesn't rely on calculations and untested assumptions, it's based on things we directly observe and absolutely know to be true here and now.

We absolutely know that in every single condition empirically tested free-will is shown to not exist (every experiment).
We absolutely know that drugs and chemical reactions change consciousness (like if someone drinks lots of alcohol it changes their consciousness)
We absolutely know that neurons function through electrochemical reactions
We absolutely know that free-will doesn't fit into anything in science

You don't have to really speculate anything, it's based on things we KNOW.

So based on modern science, we can more certain that free-will is non-existent than we can be that young Earth Creationists are wrong.

The reason why people act the way they do is not because "they chose to" but because of uncontrollable electrochemical reactions in their body and brain, there's no choosing going on, just the feeling of being responsible, the feeling that you could've done something else.

People merely feel as if they can choose when in reality they always uncontrollably act, it is an illusion just like how humans can clearly see the Sun moving around the Earth.

Recently in 2011 Libet's experiment has been replicated on the scale of a single neuron, further solidifying the evidence that there is no free-will.

Another important thing to note is that evolution relies on and assumes that determinism is true, which many free-will believers have attacked...attacking determinism is also attacking evolution (since it relies on determinism).

You can't measure time without assuming that determinism is true.
Using the non-deterministic reasoning we would conclude that billions of years and a nanosecond would be indistinguishable from each other (siding more with young Earth Creationists, concluding that time cannot be accurately measured).

If you can't measure time accurately then evolution would just fall apart.

When you look at the evidence, the gaps young Earth Creationists point out are much bigger, more objective, and more valid concerns than the gaps that free-will believers point out.

If non-determinism somehow applies to large-scale objects as many free-will believers assume this would mean that radiometric dating is wrong.

Radiometric dating assumes that determinism is true for things as extremely small as a collection of atoms. It's already established that the decay rate of a single atom is indeed unpredictable, yet free-will believing atheists have an issue with people questioning whether or not the decay rate for a few atoms could change or become variable, yet they have no issue with people questioning whether or not neurons are deterministic?

Most neurons are like more than 300,000 times larger than atoms (the axon of a motor neuron is like 3ft long), and free-will believers believe that non-deterministic effects can apply to it but not a small collection of atoms?

In order for radiometric dating to work you have to assume that determinism is true for billions of years and that nothing could have significantly changed the decay rate.

Just an example of how free-will believers are more irrational.

In Conclusion:
- The scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent is more objective than the evidence refuting young Earth Creationist arguments, so free-will is a more irrational belief
- If the scientific evidence supporting evolution is enough to convince you (which relies on and assumes that determinism is true for billions of years), then the scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent should be MORE THAN enough to convince you
- If the the scientific evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent isn't enough to convince you, then the scientific evidence supporting evolution shouldn't be even close to close to enough to convince you

When you look at evolution, it's very weak in comparison to the evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent, it's very weak in comparison to General Relativity and other things in science. It's just because of the media that people think otherwise.

Physics doesn't tell us that it MUST be true that evolution occurred just as modern day biologists believe, but physics tells us that free-will MUST be non-existent.

If free-will somehow does exist it would have to be an extremely tiny degree, so extremely tiny it would indistinguishable from free-will not existing at all. It would also mean that all of modern science is wrong in some way, which would most likely have implications for evolution.

With free-will, we can see the true dishonest nature of the atheist, that they don't really care about evidence, they were just lying.

"We assume that we have free will and that we make decisions, but we don't. Neurons do. We decide that this sum total driving us is a decision we have made for ourselves. But it is not." - Rodolfo Llinas, the giant in neuroscience

It's not even really debatable, it's just normal science, so why hasn't the media come out to attack free-will believers like how they attack Creationists? It's simple, the media is biased and doesn't really care about evidence, science, or proof.

The belief in free-will isn't only delusional, but harmful. It causes people to blame each other, hold grudges, and not forgive and forget.

If you believe in free-will and think that "this person chose to do this, they could've done otherwise, but they chose to" then you would be more inclined to blame people, hold grudges, etc...

On the other hand if you didn't believe in free-will and thought "the reason why this person is acting this is way is because of uncontrollable electrochemical reactions in their body and brain, not because they chose to" then it would be really easy to forgive and forget, not hold grudges, and see the true innocence in all beings.

I hope that one day society as a whole can give up on the free-will delusion.
UchihaMadara

Con

Thanks, Pro.
I'll be using this round to both put forth my opening argument and rebut Pro's case.


1. YEC has been conclusively refuted

There are many highly compelling lines of evidence that make it almost impossible for the Earth to have been created "between 5700 and 10000 years ago". My opponent already seems to concede this, however, so it isn't really worth spending too much time on this. Basically, several lines of evidence, such as radiometric dating [1], amino acid dating [2], noticing the massive amounts of time it would have taken for erosion to create natural features such as the Grand Canyon [3], observing ice layering in glaciers [4], and calculating how incredibly long it would have taken for Continental Drift to have brought the continents to where they currently are [5].

Pro seems to be arguing that all of these refutations of YEC are all based in the supposedly fallacious assumption that the measured factors (e.g. radioactive decay, speed of continental drift, and ice formation patterns) have remained constant over billions of years. However, it really isn't unreasonable at all to assume so-- theoretically, it makes very little sense that they would fluctuate significantly, and we have found no signs of such fluctuations having occurred historically; thus, it is really Pro's burden to demonstrate why we should doubt that such factors are constant. And besides all the scientific evidence against it, let's not forget that the base assumption of YEC-- that God exists -- is wholly unsubstantiated. Belief in YEC is completely and utterly irrational; the only way for Pro to successfully affirm the resolution is prove that free will is even *more* irrational than YEC, which practically requires showing that it is logically impossible.


2. Free will most likely exists

I will attempt to affirm the existence of free will within my response to Pro's case against it.
But first, let's demonstrate that science abjectly fails to compellingly explain consciousness in naturalistic terms:

"What is physical matter, the brain, composed of? Grey tissue. Neuron firing. Stimulation of C-fibers. Shifting in voltage. Chemicals releasing. But what is "mind"? The self. Sensations. What something feels like. Beliefs. Desires. Thoughts.... Since we are justified in making the inference that a rabbit and a pouch of chew are not the same thing, we are also justified in making the inference that neural patterns and what I feel... are different things. We can understand everything there is to know about neuron firing patterns, but this won't tell us what something actually smells like to that person. So if the C-fiber stimulation and the pain I feel when I step on a lego were the exact same thing then they wouldn't be such completely dissimilar things. But you could scan my brain however many times you like, identify neurons, but you will never 'feel' my pain. In other words, mind is inherently first-person, while matter is inherently third-person. They"re completely dissimilar. My opponent isn't comparing apples to oranges. He"s saying apples just are oranges." [6].

It seems highly implausible that consciousness is merely a deterministic function of the brain; it is really Pro's burden of proof to show us that consciousness can actually be explained in materialistic terms. Besides all the bare assertions that science "absolutely" refutes free will, Pro makes two attempts at doing this-- he states that the brain is governed by deterministic processes and that drugs can be used to alter how the brain functions. However, neither of those statements really contradict the existence of free will; if consciousness is a separate entity from the brain, then how the brain functions is irrelevant. Consciousness and the brain may be intertwined, but that by no means implies that they are one and the same. And since consciousness has not been shown to be governed by deterministic processes, free will can still exist.

Besides that, the brain is not necessarily governed by deterministic processes. Quantum effects blatantly violate determinism, being highly probabilistic in nature, and yet they are largely responsible for the workings of the brain; since neurons operate by transmitting electrical signals among each other, and since electrons are completely subject to quantum indeterminism, the logical conclusion is that the brain's workings as a whole are also subject to indeterminism. Since determinism doesn't hold true (within the brain, at least), there is still plenty of room for free will to exist (because it can no longer be said that every decision we make is an inevitable result of deterministic processes within the brain). Thus, the main premise of Pro's case against free will is refuted.

A couple other miscellaneous issues... 1) simply citing Liber's experiment cannot serve as an argument on its own; Pro must explain what exactly was proven by Liber's experiment if we are to accept it as evidence against free will... 2) Pro insists that evolution hinges on determinism holding true, but never actually explains why... 3) Pro also insists that the existence of time is dependent on determinism holding true, but this is only the case with A-Theory of time; B-Theory of time allows for indeterminism, which actually makes it preferable to A-Theory, since that allows it to be compatible with advances in the field of quantum mechanics.


CONCLUSION: Belief in Young Earth Creationism has been shown to be entirely irrational, and Pro has not succeeded in showing that belief in free will is even close to that level of irrationality; rather, I have demonstrated that there is actually plenty of rational basis for belief in free will. It is prima facie obvious that consciousness functions separately from the physical brain, thus also allowing for free will (which is an essential element of consciousness) to exist independently of the brain. Moreover, the brain is not necessarily governed by determinism, due to the indeterministic laws of quantum physics, which leaves us more than enough room to reasonably believe in free will.

The resolution is negated.
Back to Pro!


[1] Chris Stassen (1996-2005)."The Age of the Earth" (TalkOrigins)
[2] Michael D. Petraglia, Ravi Korisettar (1998). Early Human Behaviour in Global Context. Page 63
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...;
[4] Matt Brinkman (1995). "Ice Core Dating" (TalkOrigins)
[5] http://education.nationalgeographic.com...
[6] http://www.debate.org...
[7] http://arxiv.org...
Debate Round No. 2
itsnobody

Pro

I find Con's arguments to be laughable, and basically delusional.

Here we have someone arguing that YEC is irrational because naturalism and determinism is true, but free-will is rational because naturalism and determinism are false, LOL!

Anyone else see the issue with that reasoning?


There are many highly compelling lines of evidence that make it almost impossible for the Earth to have been created "between 5700 and 10000 years ago". My opponent already seems to concede this, however, so it isn't really worth spending too much time on this. Basically, several lines of evidence, such as radiometric dating [1], amino acid dating [2], noticing the massive amounts of time it would have taken for erosion to create natural features such as the Grand Canyon [3], observing ice layering in glaciers [4], and calculating how incredibly long it would have taken for Continental Drift to have brought the continents to where they currently are [5].

Pro seems to be arguing that all of these refutations of YEC are all based in the supposedly fallacious assumption that the measured factors (e.g. radioactive decay, speed of continental drift, and ice formation patterns) have remained constant over billions of years. However, it really isn't unreasonable at all to assume so-- theoretically, it makes very little sense that they would fluctuate significantly, and we have found no signs of such fluctuations having occurred historically; thus, it is really Pro's burden to demonstrate why we should doubt that such factors are constant. And besides all the scientific evidence against it, let's not forget that the base assumption of YEC-- that God exists -- is wholly unsubstantiated. Belief in YEC is completely and utterly irrational; the only way for Pro to successfully affirm the resolution is prove that free will is even *more* irrational than YEC, which practically requires showing that it is logically impossible.


Well I guess everyone needs a laugh.

Here Con believes that it is reasonable to believe in dating techniques that rely on untested assumptions, but it is not reasonable to believe that free-will is non-existent (which relies on tested assumptions)?

If you believe that determinism applies to something as extremely small as a collection of atoms for billions of years, then why would you think that determinism wouldn't apply to the brain for just the lifespan of a human (around 120 years max)?

Recently radiometric dating has come under attack from physicists at Stanford and Purdue University, who argue that the decay rates vary with the Sun's rotation - http://phys.org...

Recently, soft tissue has been discovered in dinosaur fossils dated to at least 68 million years old or earlier, this is real and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. It was previously thought that if the fossils really were from 68 millions years ago soft tissue would not survive, this brings into question the accuracy of radiometric dating (Schweitzer,Mary H. et al. "Soft-Tissue Vessels and Cellular Preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex. Science. Vol. 307. 3/25/2005.)

In short, since the dating techniques used to refute YEC rely on many untested and untestable assumptions, it is much weaker than the evidence refuting free-will (which relies on things that we directly observe here and now).


"What is physical matter, the brain, composed of? Grey tissue. Neuron firing. Stimulation of C-fibers. Shifting in voltage. Chemicals releasing. But what is "mind"? The self. Sensations. What something feels like. Beliefs. Desires. Thoughts.... Since we are justified in making the inference that a rabbit and a pouch of chew are not the same thing, we are also justified in making the inference that neural patterns and what I feel... are different things. We can understand everything there is to know about neuron firing patterns, but this won't tell us what something actually smells like to that person. So if the C-fiber stimulation and the pain I feel when I step on a lego were the exact same thing then they wouldn't be such completely dissimilar things. But you could scan my brain however many times you like, identify neurons, but you will never 'feel' my pain. In other words, mind is inherently first-person, while matter is inherently third-person. They"re completely dissimilar. My opponent isn't comparing apples to oranges. He"s saying apples just are oranges."

Well this is nonsense.

Not knowing what the "mind" is (in a vague sense) isn't evidence that free-will exists
Not knowing what the "mind" is (in a vague sense) doesn't negate the evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent
Not knowing what the "mind" is (in a vague sense) doesn't show anything.

So you're not saying anything. Your quotation doesn't even indicate that it could be possible that free-will COULD exist, let alone show that free-will does exist.

We KNOW with 100% certainty that chemical reactions alter consciousness, we know this from direct observation (drugs like alcohol, cocaine, caffeine, etc...change consciousness), it's not speculation, we KNOW it to be true.

We can be much more certain that chemical reactions alter consciousness than we can be that YEC is wrong!


And since consciousness has not been shown to be governed by deterministic processes, free will can still exist.


If consciousness is something special and different then this would mean that something is wrong with all of modern science, but evolution relies on assuming that determinism is true for billions of years, so if you believe that something is wrong with all modern science why would you think that YEC is irrational?


It seems highly implausible that consciousness is merely a deterministic function of the brain; it is really Pro's burden of proof to show us that consciousness can actually be explained in materialistic terms.

Wrong, it is my job to show it is more rational to believe that free-will is non-existent than YEC.

I don't have to show that free-will really doesn't exist, just that it would be more irrational to believe that it does than to believe YEC.

I've already shown the evidence, I hate repeating myself:
- Libet's experiment, shows that decisions are first made in the unconscious, and that humans merely only feel as if they chose, in 2008 Libet's experiment was replicated with up to 10 seconds
- Reaction Time (RT) experiments, shows the free-will perception to come after an action, not before. The order is stimulus-response-perception not stimulus-perception-response (which would be expected if free-will existed). The free-will perception comes at the very end in the RT experiments.
- Transcranial Magnetic Stimuli (TMS) Experiments, In these experiments magnetic stimulation was shown to bias the choice of finger movements, even when the subjects consciously felt that they chose the decision to move their finger. The TMS affected the physical brain much in the same way that a TMS would effect electrical devices.
- Drugs and chemical reactions altering consciousness
- Everything in every field of science

Another issue, is that non-determinism doesn't actually support free-will, no model in science supports free-will.

- Determinism would be like saying "someone who has an uncontrollable predictable brain disorder, but feels as if they're in control has free-will"
- Non-determinism would be like saying "someone who has an uncontrollable unpredictable brain disorder, but feels as if they're in control has free-will"

Non-determinism by itself doesn't tell us that human beings can actually control anything, so it doesn't support free-will either!


2) Pro insists that evolution hinges on determinism holding true, but never actually explains why.

I did explain why, I guess you just don't understand science.

The dating techniques rely on and assume that determinism is true, you can't measure time accurately without assuming that determinism is true.

That's the reason, what's so hard to understand about it?


Moreover, the brain is not necessarily governed by determinism, due to the indeterministic laws of quantum physics, which leaves us more than enough room to reasonably believe in free will.


Uh oh....I thought you were using determinism to refute YEC? Now you're saying determinism is false, therefore free-will exists!!!

If you find it rational to believe that naturalism and determinism are false, then why would you think that YEC is irrational?

Conclusion:
- Con is plain delusional, and uses deterministic dating techniques to refute YEC, but then claims that determinism is false so it's reasonable to believe in free-will, lol
- Con hasn't provide any evidence that free-will COULD even exist, yet claims it's likely
- Con finds it "reasonable" to rely on many untested assumptions that refute YEC, but not reasonable to believe that free-will is non-existent based on the concrete direct evidence!
- Con ignores the fact that neurons are MUCH larger than atoms
- Everything in EVERY field of science tells us that free-will is non-existent
- Evolution relies on and assumes that determinism is true
- The scientific evidence telling us that there's no free-will is based on repeatable experiments and observations we have here and now, whereas dating techniques rely on many untested untestable assumptions
- If free-will does exist, this would mean that all of modern science is fatally wrong in some way, which would most certainly have some effect on evolution
- Since the scientific evidence telling us that free-will is more objective and concrete than the evidence supporting evolution, it's more irrational to believe in free-will than it is to believe evolution is false

I guess I got a flawless victory with this debate!
UchihaMadara

Con

Down-vote Pro on conduct for his condescension.

Pro opens by attempting to summarize my argument as follows: "Here we have someone arguing that YEC is irrational because naturalism and determinism is true, but free-will is rational because naturalism and determinism are false, LOL!"

LOL! Pro summarized it wrong! I made two arguments in favor of the existence of free will, neither of which involved the claim that determinism is entirely false. My first argument was that consciousness exists separately from physical matter (substance dualism) and is thus not governed by determinism; however, physical matter is still subject to determinism, which is all that is needed for my refutations of YEC to hold true. My second argument was from indeterminism, which maintains that determinism only breaks down at the quantum level; because quantum effects are negligible on larger scales, my refutations of YEC remain sound [1].


C1) Young Earth Creationism

Pro cites a source claiming that radioactive day rates can change with solar activity, but that same source admits that those fluctuations would be extremely small (0.1%), thus failing to have a significant effect on the age calculations derived from it; the researcher from the source is far more concerned with how these fluctuations could be used to predict solar flares than she is with the negligible implications they may have on the Earth's age.

Pro then cites a source claiming that since soft tissu been found in dinosaur fossils, those fossils cannot be as old as radiometric dating would have us believe; however, this phenomon has already been explained: "Iron is an element present in abundance in the body, particularly in the blood, where it is part of the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Iron is also highly reactive with other molecules, so the body keeps it locked up tight, bound to molecules that prevent it from wreaking havoc on the tissues. After death, though, iron is let free from its cage. It forms minuscule iron nanoparticles and also generates free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules thought to be involved in aging. 'The free radicals cause proteins and cell membranes to tie in knots,' Schweitzer said. 'They basically act like formaldehyde.' Formaldehyde, of course, preserves tissue. It works by linking up, or cross-linking, the amino acids that make up proteins, which makes those proteins more resistant to decay." [2].

Even if you doubt the accuracy of radiometric dating, Pro has yet to contest all the other lines of evidence refuting the possibility of a young Earth, such as ice layering, erosion, amino acid dating, and continental drift. Furthermore, Pro has yet to provide any evidence for the existence of God or the authority of the Bible. Young Earth Creationism remains conclusively refuted.


C2) Free Will

a. Substance Dualism

Pro basically just rejects my argument from substance dualism because he doesn't like it. I showed that it is prima facie obvious that consciousness cannot be explained exclusively in materialistic terms, and Pro has completely failed to provide *any* compelling evidence to the contrary. When I observe that two things look blatantly dissimilar, it is not my job to show that they are different things; it is my opponent's job to show that they are the same.

Chemicals which "alter consciousness" don't affect a person's *consciousness*, per se, but rather, they affect brain function, messing up certain parts of our brain which are necessary for coordinated motion and accurate sensory perception. There is a difference between the cognitive faculties of the brain, which allow us to function akin to highly advanced computers, and consciousness, which truly differentiates us from the rest of the mechanistic universe-- the inexplicable personifying faculty which makes us emotional human beings.

Con claims that by arguing for the existence of consciousness as a separate "substance" from the rest of the physical universe, I will have somehow conceded some sort of flaw with science as a whole. However, that is patently false, as all it would mean is that there are certain elements of the universe which science cannot explain due to its materialist assumptions. It would simply limit how far neurology can go in explaining how the human mind. The science supporting my refutations of YEC is still perfectly sound.

b. Indeterminism

Pro claims that since humans cannot control quantum particles in the brain, free will still does not exist. This premise is actually highly questionable; one of the most prominent oddities with quantum mechanics is that wave function collapse only seems to occur upon conscious observation or interaction. The implication of this is that human cognitive faculties *can* still interact with and exercise control over the electrical signals in their brain, thus allowing for what we would call free will.

c. Scientific Experiments

Due to Pro's lack of sourcing, I had to research these experiments for myself. The only one I was able to find a substantial amount of information on was Libet's experiment, so I'm going to just focus on that one. [http://www.informationphilosopher.com...]

The results of this experiment simply do not contradict the existence of free will. It obviously does not conflict with the substance dualism model because it only deals with when the physical brain becomes aware that a decision has been made. The faculty of consciousness can still play a role in making the initial decision, which by no means has been proven to be exclusively the result of physical brain function; Libet's experiment only studies how a decision manifests itself into an action-- it says nothing about the source of those decisions, which is what free will is concerned with.

As for its supposed clash with the indeterministic model of free will: "Libet made a modest attempt to uphold the idea of free will, by introducing the concept of a 'veto right'" of the will: ...Libet argued that there nevertheless must exist a certain point in time were conscious will can, indeed, deliberately choose not to follow the motoric input provided by the readiness potential," [3]. In other words, possibilities are generated by the brain's mechanistic function, and a person's "conscious will" chooses from them via process of elimination. This is actually quite compatible with the principles of quantum mechanics underlying indeterminism, being entirely based in "choosing" between possible pathways.


C3) Kritik

Because Pro is a jerk, I'm going to run a kritik:

There is no objective 'spectrum of irrationality' that allows us to make claims like "X is more irrational than Y". It is nonsensical to try doing so because irrationality is not quantifiable or measurable. Just as we cannot objectively say X song is better than Y song, we cannot objectively say X idea is more irrational than Y idea. Just as there is no "standard unit of musical goodness" by which we can objectively rate how good a song is in relation to other songs, there is no "standard unity of irrationality by which we can objectively rate how rational or irrational an idea is in relation to other ideas. Examine the following logical fallacies:

P1: Some men are doctors.
P2: Some doctors are tall.
C1: Therefore, some men are tall.

P1: Some men are doctors.
P2: Some doctors are women.
C2: Therefore, some men are women.

The first conclusion gives the impression of being more irrational than the second only because it conforms to what we already know to be true, while the other does not. However, both succumb to the same fallacy (non-sequitur) and are thus equally irrational. There is no reason to consider any one irrational idea to be "more irrational" than another because, ultimately, they all succumb to the same flaw of *not* being derived from sound logic. In other words, rationality is binary, so it is impossible to make the claim made in the resolution; one concept cannot be more irrational than the other. Since Pro is the one making the affirmative claim, and I, as Con, only have to debunk it, this observation alone wins me the debate.


============
CONCLUSION
============

Young Earth Creationism has been shown to be conclusively refuted, meaning that Pro must do the same for Free Will. Far from accomplishing that, he has not successfully refuted either of the justifications for free will that I presented (dualism and indeterminism), leaving the resolution resoundingly negated. Furthermore, Pro's burden of proof in this debate is impossible to fulfill because it requires him to make objective comparisons of irrationality, which is inherently immeasurable and binary.

I rest my case.


[1] http://philosophy.tamu.edu...
[2] http://www.livescience.com...
[3] http://www.academia.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
itsnobody

Pro

Con is still using determinism to refute YEC, yet claims that somehow determinism doesn't apply to the brain or anything else he personally thinks it won't apply to!

How is that possible? The two things are in contradiction.

Evolution relies on determinism, but free-will believers attack determinism, so they are also attacking evolution.

C1)
Here we have Con arguing that it is reasonable to assume that determinism is true in all types of untested conditions to conclude that YEC is false, yet Con does not believe it is reasonable to assume that determinism is true in tested conditions for the brain? How irrational.

If the decay rates change just a little bit now who knows how much they could've changed in the past? The answer is no one knows, because there's no way to empirically test.

As for the soft tissue found in dinosaur fossils, it is still controversial if the iron is a sufficient explanation. The article says "Dinosaurs' iron-rich blood, combined with a good environment for fossilization, may explain the amazing existence of soft tissue from the Cretaceous" - http://www.livescience.com...

The reason why it says "may explain" is because you would still have to make all types of untested assumptions to conclude that iron is a good enough explanation.

The hypothesis that the "dinosaur fossil is younger than what the radiometric calculation shows" would be just as valid of a hypothesis that "iron-rich blood somehow preserved soft tissue for 68 million years".

In reality there's no way to experimentally verify the actual age of the fossil, the only way would be if you had a time machine or something like that.

C2)

a. Con's argument here is nonsensical...if dualism is true then this would mean all of modern science is wrong in some way....right now in modern science there is no dualism.

How can Con be willing to believe that consciousness cannot be explained in materialistic terms (arguing against determinism and science in general) but then conclude that YEC is false because determinism is true in all types of untested conditions?

Con then claims that this would only mean that certain aspects of science is wrong, but this isn't true, it would mean every aspect of science is wrong in some way since everything in science tells us that there is no free-will.

Con says it would mean that "there are certain elements of the universe which science cannot explain due to its materialist assumptions"....which could mean anything for evolution, since evolution relies on determinism which Con has attacked.

Con claims that chemical reactions affecting a person's brain doesn't mean much, but in reality chemical reactions affecting and changing consciousness is direct evidence that consciousness must be material or is at least affected by material things.

We know with 100% certainty that drugs and chemical reactions change our consciousness.

This is something that we know here and now to be true through direct observation, not like a speculative belief, yet Con denies it matters and is willing to assume that determinism is true in all types of untested conditions to refute YEC and willing to accept iron-rich blood as a sufficient explanation (relying on many untested assumptions).

So why does Con find YEC to be irrational since he is willing to believe that all of modern science is fatally wrong in someway?

b.

Con uses a straw man, what I actually claimed was that non-determinism by itself doesn't support free-will, it would be just like saying "someone who always has an uncontrollable spontaneous brain disorder has free-will, their decisions are non-deterministic".

What free-will has to do with is control. Nothing in modern science tells us that humans can control any of their decisions.

Con uses the wave-function collapse as evidence, which is highly popular in pseudo-scientific circles, but there are many issues with this claim:
- The alleged "collapse" occurs with non-conscious measuring devices as well, not just conscious observers, this means it has nothing to do with consciousness
- The double-slit experiment doesn't tell us that humans can control how they affect the collapse
- Many interpretations of the double-slit experiment don't involve any collapse, like the many-worlds interpretation
- If somehow it's true that consciousness "causes" the collapse, this would mean that all of modern science is wrong in some way, which would most certainly affect evolution

c.

Well here are the sources (for the three experiments, Libet's, TMS, RT):
- Soon, Chun Siong; Brass, Marcel; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haynes, John-Dylan (2008). "Unconscious determinants of free decisions in the human brain". Nature Neuroscience 11 (5): 543"5
- K"hn, Simone; Brass, Marcel (2009). "Retrospective construction of the judgement of free choice". Consciousness and Cognition 18 (1): 12"21.
- Vincent Walsh (2005). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation: A Neurochronometrics of Mind. Mit Press.

Con believes that Libet's experiment doesn't contradict free-will, which is plain delusional. Con claims that the "faculty of consciousness can still play a role in making the initial decision" which of course is a "belief without evidence", or actually a "belief in contradiction to evidence".

What Libet's experiment shows us is that the decision is first made in the unconscious prior to humans feeling as if they chose, this directly negates free-will and matches the hypothesis that "humans feel inside that they can chose when in reality we always uncontrollably act".

The timing error has been eliminated as a possibility since Libet's experiment has been replicated with up to 10 seconds (making a timing error impossible).

Con then cites the fact that Libet himself believed in the "free won't" idea, however almost every neuroscientist has rejected Libet's "free won't" idea since "free won't" can only exist if somehow all of modern science is wrong. Neuroscientists argue that the decision to veto is also triggered unconsciously (K"hn, Simone; Brass, Marcel (2009). "Retrospective construction of the judgement of free choice").

Con then talks about non-determinism, but the evidence refuting YEC relies on determinism being true in all types of untested conditions.

How can Con believe that non-deterministic effects WOULD (not even could) apply to something as large as neurons, but then conclude that YEC is false because determinism is true for something as extremely small as a collection of atoms?

C3)

I called Con delusional because his statements contradict each other (concluding that YEC is false because determinism is true, but free-will exists because determinism is false).

The methodology I'm using to objectively measure "irrationality" is the amount of concrete direct scientific evidence contradicting a claim.

The scientific evidence refuting free-will is based upon direct concrete scientific evidence we have here and how, that we know to be true:
- RT, Libet, TMS experiments
- Observation that drugs and chemical reactions alter consciousness
- No model in physics allows for free-will
- Every field in modern science matches into the hypothesis that "humans feel inside that they can chose when in reality they always uncontrollably act" (biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, neuroscience, etc...)

The scientific evidence refuting YEC:
- Relies on calculations and inferences that assume that determinism is true in all types of untested conditions

The scientific evidence refuting YEC isn't nearly as concrete as the evidence refuting free-will since the evidence refuting free-will is based upon direct observations we have here and now whereas the evidence refuting YEC relies on many many untested assumptions.

We know with 100% certainty that free-will is non-existent in most conditions, this is because conclusions drawn from repeatable experiments can never be overturned, just improved in accuracy. What this means is if somehow free-will does exist it would have to be an extremely small tiny degree, indistinguishable from free-will not existing at all.

Conclusion:
- Con finds it rational to assume that determinism is true all types of untested conditions to refute YEC, yet claims that free-will exists because determinism is false
- Con finds it rational to believe in dualism, which is equivalent to believing that all of modern science is wrong in some way, but irrational to deny the evidence refuting YEC which relies on many untested assumptions
- Con finds it rational to deny the evidence refuting free-will, but irrational to deny the evidence refuting YEC
- Con finds it rational to accept that soft tissue could survive for 68 million years in a dinosaur fossil (relying on many untested assumptions) but not rational to believe that free-will is non-existent based on tested assumptions we have here and now
- Con finds it rational to believe that all of modern science is wrong in some way, but not rational to deny the evidence refuting YEC
- Free-will is a "belief in contradiction to evidence" not a "belief without evidence"

In conclusion we can see that believing in free-will is more irrational than believing in the evidence refuting YEC because the scientific evidence refuting free-will is more objective and concrete than the evidence refuting YEC.

Furthermore the evidence refuting YEC relies on assuming that determinism is true in many untested conditions but free-will believers attack determinism in tested conditions thereby also attacking the evidence refuting YEC!

Furthermore the evidence telling us that there is no free-will is based on direct observations and tested assumptions, the evidence refuting YEC relies on many untested assumptions.

If we use direct scientific evidence as the methodology for measuring irrationality we can be 100% certain that believing in free-will is MORE irrational than denying the evidence refuting YEC
UchihaMadara

Con

Thanks to itsnobody for the debate.
It's been fun.
I'll just use this round address Pro's relevant points from each contention.

C1)

-- Pro ignores my explanation of how neither of the free will models I have presented deny that determinism holds true on large scales.

-- Pro has not given us sufficient reason to believe that rates of radioactive decay have changed significantly over the years; seeing that the theory explaining them indicates that they should stay constant, Pro has the BOP to do so, and he has failed.

-- The use of subjunctive language in presenting theories is commonplace within the scientific community, so pointing that out does not refute the theory. Even if YEC and the iron explanation are "equally valid", we should prefer the iron explanation because it is more consistent with other lines of evidence against a young Earth.

Speaking of which, Pro has yet to address all the other evidence against YEC, or the unwarranted assumptions of God's existence and Biblical authority. Pro has flatly lost this contention; YEC has been conclusively refuted, and thus Pro must do the same for free will.

C2)

A. -- Pro ignores my explanation of how Substance Dualism does not contradict the soundness of science or determinism.

A. -- Substance Dualism does allow for consciousness to be "affected by material things". Mind and matter *do* interact, under a dualistic view.

B. -- Pro is correct in stating that conscious observation is not the only thing which can cause wave function collapse. However, this is irrelevant; the general rule is that *any form of interaction* with the system causes collapse. Since conscious observation seems to be a viable form of "interaction", it is only reasonable to believe that humans can exert some degree of control over the electric signals in their brains (i.e. have free will).

B. -- Pro states that some interpretations of quantum mechanics do not involve wave function collapse at all, but he doesn't give us any reason to prefer those interpretations. Occam's Razor resoundingly rejects the Many-Worlds interpretation because it assumes the existence of an infinite number of universes outside of our own for no other reason other than that the MWI requires it.

B. -- Pro does not explain how consciousness-caused collapse results in all of modern science being wrong...

C. -- Libet's experiment only shows that the physical brain does not become aware of a decision being made until afterwards; it does nothing to explain how those decisions are initially made. Libet's experiment does not refute the substance dualism model of free will.

C. -- Pro simply says "scientists agree that 'free won't' doesn't exist", and cites a random book to support that. This is not sufficient evidence for his claim. At the *very* least, he must provide some sort of quotation from the book to demonstrate that it actually does say what he is claiming that it says.

I have put forth two justifications of free will's existence-- Substance Dualism and Indeterminism. Pro has failed to refute either one, thus leaving us with plenty of rational basis to believe in free will. The resolution is resoundingly negated.

C3)

Pro's response here is very simple-- that he is "objectively measuring irrationality" via a preponderance of scientific evidence. However, this metric is inherently flawed, as it implies that nothing can be rational unless it is derived from the scientific method. Seeing that the scientific method is verificationist in nature, and that verificationism is famously flawed due to the paradox associated with it (i.e. the central premise of verificationism itself cannot be affirmed via verificationism), we cannot accept Pro's metric; the scientific method is not an objective measure of rationality. My kritik stands, and the resolution is further negated.

Vote Con!
Debate Round No. 4
47 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Romanii 1 year ago
Romanii
Yikes. I didn't understand QM at all back then...
Posted by WillDC22 2 years ago
WillDC22
If the media is atheist controlled, then how do you account for Fox News? And atheists btw are a small minority of Americans (although the number is rising), so I think you have to back that claim up with evidence.
Posted by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
@itsnobody

Please familiarise yourself with the various interpretations of quantum mechanics (the list is long):
http://en.m.wikipedia.org...

Notice that:
1. They all make exactly the same experimental predictions
2. Some are in deterministic, some are indeterministic

Now that you swallow that, to assert that science is predicated on determinism is unfounded. GG.
Posted by itsnobody 2 years ago
itsnobody
Everything I said was all hard facts...I don't understand how anyone can vote for Con unless they are REALLY biased like dtaylor971.....evolution and radiometric dating rely on assuming that determinism is true which free-will believers attack...lol

I guess I shouldn't explain it to anti-science/atheist fans they don't understand.

Anyway I consider atheists as fully subhuman for what they're doing to society.

Debate.org is just a junk anti-science fanatic site so I won't be on it anymore.

What atheists want science to be like is a popularity contest about authority and incredulity, rather than about empirical observations and valid reasoning.
Posted by itsnobody 2 years ago
itsnobody
Seriously, regardless of how people vote, I hope one day society gives up on the free-will delusion.

Con's arguments don't even come close to showing that "free-will likely exists"...All Con did was repeatedly say that he thinks free-will somehow could exist, even though there's everything in modern science directly contradicts free-will.

The evidence negating free-will is based on repeatable experiments and observations we have here and now.

The reason why the public is unaware of this is because of the media refusing to come out to attack and ridicule free-will believers.

Please everyone give up on the free-will delusion.

If people gave up on the free-will delusion they could easily forgive and forget, give up on blaming people and holding grudges, and society would be better.
Posted by itsnobody 2 years ago
itsnobody
I'm very satisfied with my performance in this debate.

I encourage everyone to actually read the arguments instead of being biased and one-sided like dtaylor971.

Obviously I won the debate since Con didn't come even close to showing that "free-will likely exists".

Biased people like dtaylor971 claim that "You can never prove anything, but you can see something as likely" but somehow is willing to ignore all the scientific evidence refuting free-will and claims that Con showed that free-will is likely, clearly showing his bias, lol.

Con's arguments were so stupid, assuming that free-will exists until proven false (and ignoring all the evidence telling us that free-will is non-existent), but then saying that it's irrational to assume that Creationism is true until proven false (claiming that it's rational to accept the evidence refuting YEC that relies on many untested assumptions, but not rational to accept to the evidence refuting free-will that relies on tested assumptions we have here and now, LOL).

I guess everyone needs a laugh.

If free-will does exist then all of modern science MUST be flawed and wrong in someway, so it's obviously more irrational than denying the evidence refuting YEC.

Physics tells us that free-will is a scientific impossibility.

This place debate.org is just a joke.

People have to realize what atheists are trying to do to society, they want science to just become a laughable popularity contest about authority and incredulity rather than empirical observations and valid reasoning.

Why hasn't the atheist-controlled media come out to attack free-will believers like how they've attacked Creationists? It's because the media is biased and they don't care about evidence, science, or proof.

Atheists are all in on it together, it's just be better if they went home and stopped ruining science.
Posted by itsnobody 2 years ago
itsnobody
@dtaylor971 well good luck on it, stupid tattle tail, you can't explain your vote on how Con showed that "free-will likely exists" so you breakdown in desperation when questioned on it?

You said in your comment that "You can never prove anything, but you can see something as likely" but somehow you're willing to ignore all the scientific evidence refuting free-will and claims that Con showed that it's likely.

How can you not see based on the scientific evidence that free-will is extremely unlikely to exist?

You're just a biased pathetic person.
Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
Airmax1227 has instructed me to stop engaging with you. He's the leader of the site, so I will follow his word.
Posted by itsnobody 2 years ago
itsnobody
@dtaylor971 man you're really stupid and idiotic I don't know why I'm talking to you, you obviously don't understand science.

Radiometric dating assumes that determinism is true in all types of untested conditions, but free-will believers attack determinism and the experiments and observations we have here and now in tested conditions, LOL.

Using your own reasoning we would conclude that it would be extremely unlikely that free-will exists, what a stupid idiot.

"untested assumption" is great wording, if you understand science, which you don't.

Just go home and focus on votes or whatever, lol.
Posted by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
Suit yourself, buddy. You know deep down everything you are saying is false. I posted this comment earlier,

"Pros fourth round argument was quite weak... Especially the part regarding radio metric dating. You can never prove anything, but you can see something as likely. The "untested assumptions" is absolutely horrible wording. Evidence supports the dating "assumption" a heck of a lot more than the "untested assumption" that YEC is correct. Con should have a field day refuting these attempts at arguments!"
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by gomergcc 2 years ago
gomergcc
itsnobodyUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro makes fun of con. Cons argument was well round and didn't stoop to cons immaturity. Pro uses fossilized soft tissue with out understanding that it is fossilized.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
itsnobodyUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro consistently fails to show how radiometric dating is inaccurate, nor does he cite good evidence against Y.E.C. Thus, con wins.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 2 years ago
dtaylor971
itsnobodyUchihaMadaraTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: A rare, seven point ballot for con. To start off, pro had horrible conduct during this debate, and probably would've still lost this point had Uchi forfeited all of the rounds. Spelling and grammar was tied, but Uchi provided a much neater and easier to read argument, so he wins S&G. The arguments section went to con without a doubt. Pro, who had the BoP, failed to refute solid evidence against YEC, while attacking radiometric dating quite unsuccessfully (no evidence whatsoever that radiometric dating did not stay the same over the years.) Pro's rebuttals on free-will were not even worthy of being in a debate. Con showed, with very little doubt, that free will most likely exists. This negates the BoP (YEC is most likely untrue, free will most likely exists.) Sources go to con for providing links that I can read, and not just random books without and quotation or scripture. Pro didn't stand a chance from the beginning... but great job to con!