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The Contender
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Freewill Does NOT Exist and is an illusion brought about by our limited minds

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/7/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 946 times Debate No: 40099
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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Freewill does not exist and is only an illusion that many believe because we as a species are limited in what we can know.

This argument is straight forward and I will given my opponent the opportunity to express to me why he/she knows freewill is not an illusion.
Debate Round No. 1


Free will, as in the definition given, is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. This idea is flawed because all agents themselves are constrained by at least the known forces of physics. In physics, for every action there is a reaction. We call this cause and effect. Since everything in existence today is an effect of a previous cause, than it follows that everything in exists today is constrained.

All things are the result of a cause, and that initial cause was also the result of a cause. Following this out thoroughly, everything is an ongoing effect.

When it come to freewill many people like to argue that humans (minds) are agents that can make choices without constrained factors. This is not a straw man argument for what my opponent believes. I bring this up just to state that even human must still abbey the laws and forces of physics and that choice itself is constrained. That is, every action, movement and thought is still constrained by the laws of physics on a quantum or general level. The particles in ones body still have restraints on what they can do, limiting over all what humans (minds) can do. This limitation is absolute because, as stated before, these particles are the result of an ongoing effected.

The fact that human minds are limited and cannot accurately calculate the complex reactions that the laws of physics "create"; especially, on a large skill and for long duration, the mind believes that there is freewill without it existing, For without these limitations one would know what would happen next and would conclude freewill does not exist. A conundrum does occur in this hypothetical. If we could undo these limitations and the mind was able to know what would happen next, could we then chance the outcome? This question only give credence to why we have limitation and that limitations are real. Once we except these limitations of our mind we realize that freewill is an illusion and doesn't exist.


Let"s start off by asking what is free will

Free will
the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion. -

Ok let"s see what is discretion

the quality of behaving or speaking in such a way as to avoid causing offense or revealing private information. -

Now discretion (also tied into free will) sounds as if it is a filter for one"s behavior and
communications with others.

If we accept the thought that free will doesn"t exist, then we shouldn't hold anyone accountable for their actions or their words.

You also say "limited minds" as if it can be measured and if it could what would it be based on? IQ, awareness? You and your mind is only limited to what you choose to accept and/or believe. So many people world wide(religious and non religious) believe in reincarnation and with that ideal along, deja vu can be explained, why some kids die at a young age can be explained, point is that people put limits to their own minds sometimes with a fear of something and in most cases based on the other people around them, so even society can limit the mind. The mind will never be completely understood because scientist and others that study it, is only proving things that are physical, but thoughts, emotions, consciousness are not physical even dreams and that"s just some things in the mind.

Now world systems manipulate free will by putting people into financial slavery to the point where no one can own anything with high value like land, but those are illusions because someone that knows the law of the land can get out of paying land taxes thanks to the finding fathers.

Cause and effect from human society limitations.
I agree that the human mind cannot accurately calculate the reactions from the laws of physics, but why is that? How do we predict something who"s pattern is unknown?
Most limitations are illusions brought upon by society theories of human limitations.

For example - In the 1950"s no one believe that any human could run a mile under four minutes, that was society own limitations but a man named Roger Bannister did not subscribe to that believe. Roger trained and forced his will to make his body submit to what he believed he could do. In 1953 he finish the mile with a time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds. Because of that act, now no one sees a four minute mile as a limitation
but as a milestone.

Their been many more people who have broken the limitations placed on them by others and give people the courage to know they can also do it.

Cause and effect is not only you dropping glass and it breaks, there"s cause that you do that may take along time for the effects to fulling play out. I find it to be a good thing that these unpredictable acts cannot be measured because if it could then you would have those that try to manipulate it to get out of the karma like effects.

There are so many other things that are illusions, but not free will.
Debate Round No. 2


Your definition of free will creates a harsh dualism between fate or things that are 'supposed' to happen vs. things happening out of one discretion or there psychological natural.

Both discretion and fate are linked based off decisions someone "makes".

These decisions are not "made" but are already determined factors based off someones nature and there nurture .
Every human that ever existed abides by two basic factors. Their Nature, that which make up their biology; and their nurture, which is the environment they grow up in. Both these factors rely on other agents for their outcome. If both your parents have a big noses, you will likely have a big, nose ( unless its a recessive gene and/or it skips a generation etc. None the less there is no free will in choosing your biology). If you grow up in a city with high pollution, the effects on your body are pre-determinable as well. So, drawling a parallel between one's discretion (nature) and fate (things that happen based of ones discretion) is flawed. More research is being done in the field of game theory to understand why humans make the decisions we do. Are current lack of understanding, I would categorize under our minds being limited.

And yes, once we realize free will is an illusion, I would support a Leviathan of a government since no one would truly be responsible for their actions, but that is another debate for another time.

In reference to limited minds, I agree with you that " The mind will never be completely understood" you than add "[S]cientist and others that study it only proving things that are physical, but thoughts, emotions, consciousness are not physical even dreams and that"s just some things in the mind." This is where you are flawed; thoughts, emotions, consciousness and dream are all physical. They are nothing more than chemical and neurological reactions brought about by past events which again obey the laws of physics (chemical reactions) and have predetermining factors that account for them (past events).

You then go on a tangent about one world government which I do not have the faintest clue what you are getting out, but I would like to point out the only system that we and everything in existence MUST abide by are that of the laws of physics and the natural world. I would also like to point out that you more or less mention if you know the "law" you can get round it. I agree, that is why many people in the physics and science field do not believe in free will. Einstein even saying "God does not play dice" and Newton believing in a clockwork universe.

I am a little confessed on where you stand on human minds limitations. You say that no one believe that a mile could be done in under 4 mins. but also say in the same paragraph that Roger Bannister trained and oblivious BELIEVED that he could. you also say "I agree that the human mind cannot accurately calculate the reactions from the laws of physics? How do we predict something who"s pattern is unknown?" and than blame society for setting these limits that can be broken. Maybe it is you, that is part of the societal problem by setting these limits on things we can not know (physic/ unknown patterns) and than jumping to harsh conclusions such as free will must exist because physics can not know certain things. None the less we can agree that there are limits to the human mind, your are more absolute by saying there are things that we cannot so that is where our free will comes into play. My limits are more vague saying that though we may not know something currently or at all ,that if we could they would be about through the laws of physics (other sciences).

I understand that cause and effect is more complicated than I may have presented it but everything abides by cause and effect. In your example the glass could not have been broken if it was made into one in the first place. The human that dropped it could not have been born if it was not for his/her parents meeting. Looking backward at these single event, you would also believe that there is no free will when it comes to this particular glass being broken by that particular person. As said the glass first had to be made into one, the parents of the dropper had to meet, and there parents had to meet , and there parents and so on. The are so many factors at play that it has to pre-determined. if earth would have never formed, if humans never evolved . In fact we would have to trace it all the back to the big bang 13.7 billion years ago.

Free will is an illusion brought about by our limited minds!


Yes that definition does create a harsh dualism between fate and choice. Looking at that statement in a different way, you can see that choices govern fate not fate govern choice, but if you choose to believe that fate dictates your choices then any and every opportunity that presents itself to you that requires you to make a choice is an illusion and you are pretty much on autopilot until death.

Your choice making maps out your destination, a combination of choices equals up to your so called fate. Your ability to change your mind is key to understanding parts of free will. For example many people where born into an religion but some (with information) changed their beliefs on religion. You can argue that this was fate or the choice they was suppose to make, but then that means that you know and can predict the choices of others. This example also can show you how the nature and natural theory is not concrete It is also wise to note that if you believe your life is already predetermined then you are acknowledging that a god or a creator exist.

You said " thoughts, emotions, consciousness and dream are all physical. They are nothing more than chemical and neurological reactions". True but why stop there when you can add the fact that everything happens in the brain. Allow me to go in even deeper on that by adding, even everything you see, touch, taste, hear and smell are all happening in the brain which means that everything is a illusion brought about by the brain. While we're at it that add another sense which is for people that see ghost, spirits or colors in music, tasting sound, seeing thoughts, etc.. Base on your five senses being chemical and neurological reactions, then you add the fact that the brain can not completely be understood, that means that no one can say that these people have a chemical problem in the brain and just because it is not like the "normal" people senses doesn't mean anything, reason being is that the norm or what's consider as normal can change.

By the way I never said "one world government", I said "now world systems".

You ever heard of the quote "There's nothing new under the sun".

I bring that up because most things if not everything has already been proven and thought of before the sciences as we know today. I love what scientist uncover and rediscover but my information input for such subjects doesn't stop there. I don't blame society for anything, I was and I'm trying to show how society shape and effects belief.

I like the way you added on to the glass dropping scenario but I disagree with the thought that this scenario (in the way you put it) discredits free will. Because the glass maker is only presenting an opportunity from the glass to be broken. See if there are possibilities for different out comes then that's when free will is born. Because if the person broke the glass then you could say that it's fate or if the person didn't break the glass you could say the same thing. I can see how you would say the end result is fate but the opportunity is free will there for saying that you make your own fate with free will.

The only problem with my opponent's statement " Free will doesn't exist " is that the statement is too broad. Free will can exist in a place you're not at, there for making you believe such a thing does not exist. Another thing is "exist" is a strong word, unless people have traveled every inch of the universe then we really don't have the knowledge to say what isn't, what has not or what could be. Even though that sounds like a limitation, it's having the "how to" knowledge to break those limitations. It is not wise to think that you are limited to what is or isn't a limitations base on the experiences of others. If you don't know something, that's a lack of knowledge, nothing truly cannot be defined with a lack of knowledge and having a lack of knowledge does not mean you can't go get it. But will you accept what you find? The mind is underrated, the potential of it cannot be measured which means it has no limits. Look at the universe everything outside of the earth seems to be limitless. This suggests that only man put limits on things, the road you drive on has no limits but man puts a speed limit on it and you choose to follow it or not. Which is funny because cars have limits that most people don't reach because of speed limits and that could be said about a lot of things including the mind.

Point is you are only limited by what you know or what you've been taught and only one person decides if free will exist for him/her or not.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheQuestion 2 years ago
Our choices if choices we have do have a cause, the cause of our choices is our will. The question is what the nature of this will is. Is our will free in the sense that we are free to will or is our will constrained to natural, physical processes or the will of another? Are we programmed by Nature or God or do we write our own programming?
This question also hinges with concepts on the "reality of reality" and I find that this is often left out of the discussion on "the will" yet it is absolutely essential. The question here is, ...
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