The Instigator
SarcasticMethod
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
skipsaweirdo
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Is there free will?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
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It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 523 times Debate No: 85049
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (15)
Votes (0)

 

SarcasticMethod

Con

It's getting increasingly painful to debate you on the forum, so I'm starting a debate with you. We'll be starting from the beginning, instead of continuing our discussion.

Is there free will?
I will be taking CON. The burden of proof lies on PRO.

First round is for definition of terms. You can dispute definitions throughout as part of the debate. Second round is for opening statements, and remaining rounds (and, if you like, sequel debates) are for rebuttal.

Free will - The making of a choice from within, not relying on outside forces
Unfree will - The making of a choice from without, relying on outside forces
Will - The making of a choice
skipsaweirdo

Pro

Free will - The making of a choice from within, not relying on outside forces
Unfree will - The making of a choice from without, relying on outside forces
Will - The making of a choice

The nature of these definitions is ambiguous.
Pro cannot prove what another person has within, he can only claim what he has within.
The phrase the making of a choice from without is a fallacy of ambiguity. as every decision a person makes comes from within their own mind. Based on this ridiculous definition I could claim that the reason I threw a rock at another person was because the rock exerted an outside influence or force on me to pick it up and throw it at a person. I could merely claim that if the rock wasn't there I wouldnt have wanted to throw it at a person. Based on his reasoning the mere existence of the rock is the cause of me picking it up and throwing it at a person. (Unfree will) Relying on outside forces can only be proven by what pro experiences himself. If he can read minds, then he can prove that another person is affected by some outside force. He cannot.
His definition of "the making of a choice" is also not provable. Once again pro cannot prove what another person has in their mind or whether or not anything influences them, he can only account for what influences himself. If I chose not to do something, he cannot through my actions know what is in my mind and what I chose "not to do", as it is also a choice to not do something or to do it. He could ask me and I could lie. According to him this is proof I made the choice of not doing what I lied about. Therefore his definition of what is will is what it is to him, not what he can prove it is to everyone.
We can debate what things are to pro, but his definitions are addressed to the point of what is to everyone.
He cannot account for what is in other peoples mind. He cannot prove what actions, decisions, or choices are derived from in regards to anyone but himself. Therefore his arguments will be nothing but argumentum ad nauseam.
And to jump the gun, pro doesn't distinguish between genetic disposition and genetic certainty.
Debate Round No. 1
SarcasticMethod

Con

"Pro cannot prove, &c..."
The burden lies on you to demonstrate the possibility of a will arising entirely internally. If you feel that I can't hold up my case because the minds of others are unknowable, then you're basically invalidating the idea that anyone can even make any general claim about human cognition.

Fred claims that the desire to eat is innate. He tries to back it up by saying that "everyone I know has wanted food at regular intervals in the day, even babies, and our closest animal relatives, so I'm probably right." Ned says, "Oh yeah, but you don't actually know what those people or animals are thinking, so you can't be right!" Fred's making a very fair point, but he doesn't have any neurological studies on hand, nor is he telepathic, so I suppose he hasn't provided enough proof.
skipsaweirdo

Pro

False analogy fallacy. The need for eating food is demonstrable scientifically because if you don't, it's called starvation. Your stomach becomes distended, you will die if you do not have sustenance.etc.. It isn't a thought that needs to be proven. So not sure why you think a biological imperative has anything to do with proving thoughts.....
And to address the actual topic of the debate you say...

"The burden lies on you to demonstrate the possibility of a will arising entirely internally".....I freely chose not to demonstrate such a thing , therefore my will was completely an internally based refusal. Hence, freely used will from within. Now your turn to make me do something by providing the external force to make me do it....Since you claim external force causes you to do things, surely you have an extra one to make me do something.
You said the definitions were up for challenge. It isn't my fault you have an inability to concisely structure what topic you will be addressing in the debate. I addressed the options you gave me. if you are saying the ambiguous nature of YOUR definitions are not supportable by YOU, then why did you define them as such?
I claimed that your reasoning would include a rock as being an "external force" that influences a decision. If it does, simply say that I have proven your side of the debate for you.
As I maintain, you can only prove that you think you do not have free will. But that doesn't translate into there being no free will.
I can in turn demonstrate I have free will based on your definitions because the mere utterance of me saying nothing external affected my decision would suffice within your definition.
I assume I lose points for being too stupid to know I am pro.....maybe I purposely addressed con as pro of my own free will and nothing external to me, including the fact he is actually listed as con, made me do it. I'll let the voters decide.
Debate Round No. 2
SarcasticMethod

Con

"The need for eating food is demonstrable scientifically because if you don't, it's called starvation."
I did not say, the biological need. I said, the psychological desire. The two are linked - one arises from the necessity of the other - but not identical. I'm making the claim that, among other things, the psychological desire for food is one of the reasons we make the decision we do.

"I freely chose not to demonstrate such a thing , therefore my will was completely an internally based refusal...Now your turn to make me do something by providing the external force to make me do it"
Alright. I'll show it as a chain of evolutionary traits:
1. It is evolutionarily beneficial to be knowledgeable (more knowledgeable animals survive better and create more evolutionary fit offspring), so organisms will more likely mate with other organisms that they think are more knowledgeable.
2. Organisms will more likely mate with other organisms that they think are more knowledgeable, so organisms have a natural urge to demonstrate their knowledge.
3. Organisms have a natural urge to demonstrate their knowledge, so you want to show that you are right in this debate.
4. You want to show that you are right in this debate, so you make arguments to support your claim.
Besides that, the burden still lies on you. "Freely choose" not to uphold it as much as you like, but voters will penalize you.

"if you are saying the ambiguous nature of YOUR definitions are not supportable by YOU, then why did you define them as such?"
I never said that. What I said is, it's unreasonable to throw aside all claims about human cognition because "we can't prove what other people think", because we can observe certain human behaviors, which we can extrapolate to make very reasonable cases about human cognition, like the inference that other humans have the urge to eat.

"I claimed that your reasoning would include a rock as being an "external force" that influences a decision. If it does, simply say that I have proven your side of the debate for you."
You're not entirely wrong. The presence of a rock can affect decisions. If I'm thinking of something to throw at something else, and I happen upon a rock that I can hold in my hand, that will become an option in my mind, and that rock's presence may be the deciding factor in what I end up throwing. Thank you for proving that.

"I can in turn demonstrate I have free will based on your definitions because the mere utterance of me saying nothing external affected my decision would suffice within your definition."
No, because the burden lies on you to prove the existence of an external influence.
skipsaweirdo

Pro

Pro says..."The need for eating food is demonstrable scientifically because if you don't, it's called starvation."
Con says....I did not say, the biological need. I said, the psychological desire.
Pro says....How does someone desire something that is inherent to survival if they do not first survive long enough to desire it?

Con says in reference to my rock analogy...You're not entirely wrong. The presence of a rock can affect decisions. If I'm thinking of something to throw at something else, and I happen upon a rock that I can hold in my hand, that will become an option in my mind, and that rock's presence may be the deciding factor in what I end up throwing. Thank you for proving that.
Pro says...You cannot be thinking of something to throw at someone without first having knowledge of what throwing is. The simple phrases..."I am thinking...I happen upon...I can hold in my hand"..all of which is directly by your own words in regards to "I", not the rock.
Con says.."That rocks presence is the "deciding factor", "....
Pro says...what you fail to realise is that a bucket, dried dog poop, a baseball, a bicycle tire were all also present. Based on your logic the rock had more powers of persuasion than all the other items., only you can and you alone make the decision. The rock does not make you decide. Unless you have proof that the rock makes everyone decide this is a moot point and goes to your state of mind, not the state of all humans minds.

Pro says..."I can in turn demonstrate I have free will based on your definitions because the mere utterance of me saying nothing external affected my decision would suffice within your definition."
Con says...No, because the burden lies on you to prove the existence of an external influence.
Pro says.. (Contradcits where you first laid burden)
You're the one claiming external influences, not me.

I assume there won't be any more rounds, though I could be wrong. I would like to now directly show why con is not being consistent, in my opinion, in what he claims his position is....

He says....
I will be taking CON. The burden of proof lies on PRO...

"The burden of proof lies on pro" ...Why is this? According to your position this isn't consistent reasoning in my opinion. If you believe your position logical, you should have said.....

"The burden of proof lies on pro only if pro (me) has experienced the necessary external force that is responsible for influencing pro in a way that pro obtained the will to want to prove the existence of free will". You didn't, you said I am solely responsible and mentioned nothing in regards to me having to possess the will to prove via an external influence. Btw, excepting the debate isn't proof I have the will to prove the existence of free will. Just so you know you CANNOT prove why I accepted the debate, you can only take my word for it.

Cons opening round should have been dismissed by me from the start because he created a false dilemma. Con makes a very basic flaw in logic by saying that every human act can either be free will or unfree will. This is bifurcation or the either/or fallacy. The nature of human acts could very well be decided based on possessing both free will and unfree will. This was a typical fallacy of excluded middle by con.
I enjoyed this debate con as it brought up a cherished childhood memory. My friend Simone once bit me on the arm. When I went to our parents and complained in pain she said.."the dog made me do it". Of course I have since become an adult and have emotionally matured thus adopting the disposition of what us adults call personal responsibility. I no longer live with the idea that I have a justification for the decisions I make. I'm not saying that there aren't any decisions "after" the fact that may have an external cause, I'm merely saying I do not subscribe to the idea that blaming inanimate objects or including them as a factor for my behavior is reasonable. Apparently con still does.
Debate Round No. 3
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Can you chose to be attracted to men or women is vague. If you are claiming sexuality is genetic, you are wrong,..anything else?
Posted by Furyan5 10 months ago
Furyan5
Did I say anything about genetics? This is not the first time you misread my statement. Please ask if you are unsure of my meaning and don't just assume. Science has found no conclusive link between genetics and sexual preferences. And yes, a person who is gay has the choice to act on their desires, just as a straight person has the choice to act on their desires, but its not the act that determines your sexual preferences. So for the third time, can you choose to be attracted to men? Yes or no? Does seeing a naked man arouse you sexually? Yes or no? Is it a choice? Yes or no?
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Furyan, before I answer that educate yourself on the difference between heritability and determinate in regards to genetics. You're arguing from ignorance bro. Genetics isn't certainty, never has been claimed that and so far it won't even be entertained. So you claiming its not a choice is too ambiguous and isn't based on any science. Pre disposition isn't determinate.
Posted by Furyan5 10 months ago
Furyan5
Lol so if you don't wanna share something, just draw a smiley face on it. I get your point. Do you get mine? Can you choose to be sexually attracted to men instead of women?
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Yep , you're right. I just went with the entire train of thought. But my point still stands, I know vegans who ate meat at one time but aren't currently disgusted by it. They merely decided they think its not good for them. There are people that aren't that extreme. My roomie is actually one,she's a vegan and her view is simply, "I don't want to eat anything that has a face" So needless to say she doesn't eat a pumpkin after it has become a jack-o-lantern, bwhahaha
Posted by Furyan5 10 months ago
Furyan5
Hate meat? Where did I say vegetarians hate meat. The thought of eating meat disgusts them. I said you should find something you hate and choose to love it. Eg, reading. Lol
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Wow auto correct, vegetarians having a little balogna or baloney, lol
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Hate meat, or hate me whichever seems appropriate, lol
Posted by skipsaweirdo 10 months ago
skipsaweirdo
Fury, you aren't being serious are you?
Does a vegetarian chose to hate meat? Well herbivores, as in actual animals who simple can't eat it maybe , but making a sweeping generalization about people isn't very convincing. I know vegans who used to eat meat. They've never hated it and they still don't. They simply believe avoiding meat is better for them. More power to them for their own decision. And they also can simply hate me too, But not all do, that's just ridiculous.
Furyan, I also hate the taste of beer. But I'm not inclined to dismiss it from my menu if I'm in the middle of nowhere starving to death. If there's nothing to eat, no sustenance but I had a few beers I'm sure I would take and drink a little simply because it has some calories in it. You can't know how your body would react in that situation, same goes for vegetarians starving to death but having a little Bolivia. They would eat, I guarantee. How about the soccer team that crashed in the Andes? They are their dead friends. Thaw that mean they were born cannibals? Of course not. And they never ate "people burgers" again.
You finished with "already determined" this is borderline pre destination and implies for most people free will coinciding with God ideology, that's a different topic than how sarc presented his argument. He didn't say anything about religious ideology of free will.
No reason for a follow up sarc. We've put it out there. Thanks though.
Posted by SarcasticMethod 10 months ago
SarcasticMethod
I'd like to have a sequal debate if you would, skip
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