The Instigator
Bushido
Pro (for)
Losing
12 Points
The Contender
beem0r
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Free will is an illusion that does not exist

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,089 times Debate No: 5759
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (7)

 

Bushido

Pro

Ok so here is my biggest argument for this. Free will can never truly exists as we our eternally bound by different forms of desires. I shall prove this through 3 points.
1. Free will doesn't exist :
For instance, i might walk into a store and see something that i want, lets say a videogame. Now i have two choices at hand i could either take the video game to the register and buy the game, or i could steal it. Though my opponent might try to say that this is indeed free will, my opponent fails to grasp the deeper complexities of this action. I know what would be the moral choice to make, and that would be to buy the videogame. However i am not making a choice utilizing my free, but i am conforming to a moral standard. Wether i chose to stole the game or not. free will is just an illusion to show that you are a slave to these two opposing forces, the good force and the evil force.
2.All people have these forces of good and evil in them.
All they need do is conform to one. However the choice is still not there, even when we are choosing which side to follow, good or evil, there is no will to choose this. As we become a slave to our own desires and wants. Thomas Hobbes wrote in his book the Leviathan that all men are corrupt in nature and give into their desires and can never be tamed.
3. Wrapping it up. But even if you don't buy those arguments listen to this. Since we all have personalities, (for example i am a friendly person) then by being nice i am simply following my desires built from my personality. However when i choose against this mindset, then i am not really making a choice but i am falling back on that which is inside me all along. I am conforming either way, and either way i am a slave to myself, wether my good or bad self.The apostle Paul wrote to the Romans about the problems of human will when he wrote, "i do the things that i dont want to do, and i dont do the things i want to do." Either way you look at it we never truly make the choice out of free will, but from a sense that there are these forces within us that guide us. Wether we choose them to or not.
I thank you for listening to my argument and i am anxious to here my opponents response.
beem0r

Con

Free will exists.

Response mode will come first, then I will make any other points.
My opponent was kind enough to label his points with numbers, so I will respond to each numbered point.

RE: 1. "Free will doesn't exist"
My opponent uses a dilemma in a video game store to try and get his point across. We want to buy a game, so he claims we have two choices - we can either buy it or steal it.
First, I would point out that this seems to be a case of my opponent conceding that free will exists. Even if these were the only two choices, my opponent specifically acknowledges that a person is capable of actually making a choice. That is free will at work.
Further, there are so many other possibilities. Rather than buying it immediately or stealing it, we could decide it costs too much and not buy it, we could decide to wait until the price drops before buying it, we could decide to haggle over the price. We have a great many options.

However, I think I see the point my opponent was trying to make by this two-possibility scenario. He is claiming that we are not making choices, but rather that social pressures are making those choices for us. For instance,the reason we would not steal the game is because society expects us not to, and not necessarily because of our own will.
However, my opponent is wrong here. I am not saying social pressures have no effect. Rather, they are just that, pressures. If I pressure you to do something, you still have a choice. For instance, a person at that video game, even though society's laws pressure that person to not steal, still has the choice to steal. That isn't to say that there won't be consequences, but the choice is still there, and that's what matters. Free will is people's ability to make what choices they want to. It is not the ability for people to do whatever they want without consequence.

RE: 2. "All people have forces of good and evil in them"
My opponent suggests that every decision we make is either us conforming to the good in us or to the bad in us. I will point out that even if this were true, it is still our decision. While the environment might restrict one's options [for instance, I can't flap my arms and fly], a person is still able to choose between all possibilities.
And also related to this point is the fact that most decisions are not a matter of good vs. evil. What I'm going to eat for dinner tonight is something I decide based on what food I prefer, not on some notions of good and evil. And even if my decision was based off good and evil, the fact remains that I am making a decision and therefore exercising free will.

RE: 3. "Wrapping it up"
My opponent says here that we each have our own personality, and we make decisions based on our own personality. That is exactly what free will is. For instance, my opponent claims he is a friendly person. Therefore, if he saw a guy laying on the street, he would probably choose to help the guy up, or something along those lines. While our personalities do inform our decisions, what else would free will mean? Free will means that _I_ can make my own decisions. I am a being with a certain personality, so of course that personality is going to inform my decisions. The very act of my personality determining what I choose to do _is_ free will. If I want to eat steak tonight instead of eating cereal, that decision would be based on my personality [personality here being a much broader term than it usually is]. That personality IS me, so I am still making that choice. My personality isn't some third party, making all my choices for me, it is the very essence of what we are, at least in a mental sense.
My opponent says we are slaves to ourselves, but this makes no sense. This is the exact same thing as saying we are our own masters. Either way, one point is clear - we make our decisions, nothing else does it for us. While some outside things might _influence_ a decision, the actual decision always comes directly from the mind of the person making it.

My opponent has only agreed with me. The language he used in his first point indicates that he does indeed believe people can make choices. This is already a concession on his part.
In point three, he said we were slaves to ourselves, also showing that it indeed a person who makes his/her own decisions.

Even so, I have given adequate rebuttals, and I have laid out a case for why free will exists. One last point.

A. "Cogito ergo sum."
This what a Philosopher named Descartes said. It is latin - translated, it means "I think, therefore I am." This was what Descartes saw as the one principle that a person could not possibly doubt. The very act of thinking about whether or not you exist means you do exist [because you are thinking]. He did not use this argument to prove that we had physical bodies - to him, this was not able to be proven 100%. The 'I' in Cogito Ergo Sum simply represents a thinking thing - and that is exactly what we are.
The sum of my mental processes - that is what I am. I think we would agree that if I had no mental activity and could never think again, I would be dead regardless of whether my body was still alive. Further, it is true that I would be alive if only my mental processes remained, and the majority of my body was gone. A man can lose an arm, and he is still the same person. A man can lose his mind, and he is not.

I would like to ask my opponent a question. If not our mind, what are WE, the things which apparently lack free will? Decisions are made by the mind - what else would you consider a person to 'be'? Even if we consider a person to be the sum of all his/her physical body, that includes the entire decision-making part of a physical person - the brain - so people are still the makers of their own decisions.
Debate Round No. 1
Bushido

Pro

Bushido forfeited this round.
beem0r

Con

Free will is a dish best served cold.

Oh yeah, and my opponent failed to respond in time, leaving my points unattacked and his points undefended.
Debate Round No. 2
Bushido

Pro

Bushido forfeited this round.
beem0r

Con

My opponent forfeits again. A sad tale, and one that has repeated itself many a time.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by strikersx 6 years ago
strikersx
Pro had some possibly good ideas and points, though they didn't work for this debate, but could possibly work for another one. I feel like Pro chose a side that was too absolute and unless he brought some great points, losing was inevitable.

Con did a good job clarifying the faults with Pro's arguments and emphasizing his main points.

Perhaps we could have gotten a good response if Pro did response. Because he didn't, I feel that Con obviously won.
Posted by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Conduct: Con
- Pro did not return for R2 or R3.

Spelling/grammar: Con
- Pro had many spelling and grammatical errors. Con had few, if any.

Convincing Argument: Con
- Pro's argument rested on the claim that there are only two choices in life, good and evil. Con showed this to be false by pointing out there are many other options, most of which are morally neutral. Pro did not return to rebut.

Sources: Con
- Pro provided no sources, Con used one source that was relevent to his argument.
Posted by Patrick_Henry 8 years ago
Patrick_Henry
So, to summarize you think we're programmed?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by strikersx 6 years ago
strikersx
Bushidobeem0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Vote Placed by Tatarize 8 years ago
Tatarize
Bushidobeem0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by InquireTruth 8 years ago
InquireTruth
Bushidobeem0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:04 
Vote Placed by Bushido 8 years ago
Bushido
Bushidobeem0rTied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:50 
Vote Placed by Jamesothy 8 years ago
Jamesothy
Bushidobeem0rTied
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 Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by Labrat228 8 years ago
Labrat228
Bushidobeem0rTied
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 Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Vote Placed by JBlake 8 years ago
JBlake
Bushidobeem0rTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07