The Instigator
000ike
Con (against)
Tied
6 Points
The Contender
Reason_Alliance
Pro (for)
Tied
6 Points

Man probably has freewill

Do you like this debate?NoYes+2
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/25/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,102 times Debate No: 24438
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (70)
Votes (3)

 

000ike

Con

Determinism: Given entirely identical preceding conditions, nothing else could happen. (1)

Free will: The inverse of determinism. Given entirely identical preceding conditions, something else could happen. Also, the ability to make choices free of constraints. (2)

The first round is for acceptance. No semantics.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org...
2. http://en.wikipedia.org...
Reason_Alliance

Pro

I believe Con's definition of determinism is compatible with mine,



"Every event that happens, there are conditions such that, given them, nothing else could have happened."



I bold these words above since this will be paramount for our debate & any further discourse.



Con's definition of Free Will also seems compatible with mine, but let's deliniate,



There are three types of freedom, first is permissive or social/political freedom. The second concerns personal integrity namly the ability of fully deveoped, ideally functioning persons to act as unified selves in a responsile & mature way. Moral & rational responsibility is the third type of freedom and states that humans are the originator of ones own actions & is in control over ones own actions.




So that I don't waste space with citations, this whole debate I'll draw from the book, "Philosophical Foundations for a Christian World-view" edited by William Lane Craig & J.P. Moreland, Free Will & Determinism Chapter. For those interested in the topic, I strongly recommend this book, it does a nice broad stroke of most things relevant to the ongoing discussion & gives a fair hearing of many different views so that when you take a college level class, you'll be adequately prepared.


Thank you for the debate Con- let's reason together.
Debate Round No. 1
000ike

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting.

I will meet the BOP from two principle angles: philosophically (where Freewill violates logic) and scientifically (where freewill violates physics).


The Dilemma of Determinism

P1: Either determinism is true or it is false

P2: If determinism is true, then all actions are inevitable, thus freewill does not exist

P3: If determinism is false, then all actions are random, thus freewill does not exist

C: It is impossible for freewill to exist

Premise 1 invokes the law of excluded middle, which should make it logically valid. I don’t think it needs much explanation.

Premise 2 can be justified by Peter Van Inwagen’s “Consequence Argument.” It asserts that if we have no choice as to whether the laws regarding the universe are true, and all those laws dictate determined actions, then we have no choice as to the occurrence of those actions. (1) Having no choice as to the occurrence of one’s own actions is the negation of freewill.

Premise 3 can also be justified using Inwagen’s “Mind Argument.” He states that “an act that occurs by chance, if an event that occurs by chance can be called an act, cannot be under the control of its alleged agent and hence cannot have been performed freely.”(2) We can form this premise knowing that either actions are random, or they are caused. Where an action has no cause, it must be random. If my opponent objects, he should name an example where this is not the case.

Given these three premises, it follows that freewill cannot exist.



Neurology

Rapid growth in technology has led to startling neurological discoveries, all of which completely support the theory of Determinism. I will present them in the order of progressive significance.

Libet’s Delay

Benjamin Libet’s experiments in the late 20th Century measured the time lapse between decisions, consciousness, and actions. Using electrical stimulation and a clock face oscilloscope to determine the time of awareness, they found that there was a 500 millisecond delay between a neural event and the subject’s conscious awareness of it. This led to the conclusion that “the perceived time at which we make a decision must be subjectively referred back by 500 milliseconds. Unlikely as it seems, and contrary to our own impression, we must have made our decisions slightly before we actually became aware of them”(3)

Study no. 1

Twelve right-handed subjects (aged 22-29) were tested using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the University of Leipzig. They were placed in front of a screen, showing a descending cascade of letters. They were then to press either a button to the right or to the left at random, then report what letter was on the screen at the moment of their decision.

This was the conclusion:

In summary, we could replicate the finding of Soon et al. [30] that motor intentions were encoded in frontopolar cortex up to seven seconds before participants were aware of their decisions. Using ultra-high field fMRI on a 7 Tesla scanner, we could show that these patterns became more stable with increasing temporal proximity to the conscious decision. These findings support the conclusion that frontopolar cortex is part of a network of brain regions that shape conscious decisions long before they reach conscious awareness.”(4)

Study no. 2

An experiment conducted by neuroscientist, John-Dylan Haynes in 2008 modernized Libet’s experiment using fMRI. They were able to predict which button a patient would press (left or right) with 60% accuracy. (5)

Study no. 3

As part of a surgical procedure conducted by surgeon and neurologist, Itzhak Fried, electrodes were implanted deep in the brains of the patients to precisely monitor their neuronal activity before pressing a button. It was found that their decisions could be predicted with 80% accuracy 700 milliseconds prior to the patient being aware that he had made a decision.(5)

Impressive Results

Professor Patrick Haggard from the London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience goes even farther than the aforementioned studies. He proves that the human mind can be coerced by outside forces in the universe. He demonstrates “transcranial magnetic stimulation” using magnetic coils held over his head while simultaneously measuring electrical activity in his muscles. When his assistant presses a switch to activate the coil, his fingers twitch.

Christina controls Prof Haggard's fingers like a marionette. The mechanical nature of it is unsettling. A graph on a screen shows his muscle activity plotted by time; 20 milliseconds after she clicks the button, it depicts an elegant leap and drop, like a heartbeat on an ECG. That 20 milliseconds is how long it takes for the signal to travel down his nerves.”(6)

The conclusion here is a definitive negation of the spiritual will. As Haggard explains,

We don't have free will, in the spiritual sense. What you're seeing is the last output stage of a machine. There are lots of things that happen before this stage – plans, goals, learning – and those are the reasons we do more interesting things than just waggle fingers. But there's no ghost in the machine. (6)



Conclusion

Empirically speaking, the evidence against freewill is mounting. Along a scientific framework, it will be difficult and eventually impossible to reconcile this concept with what we know about the mechanics of the mind. I’m looking forward to my opponent denying science. Along a philosophical framework, Freewill is blatantly absurd. The concept doesn’t seem to fit anywhere using logic. Therefore, the conclusion follows, freewill likely does not exist.


Sources

1. http://www2.drury.edu...
2. http://www.informationphilosopher.com...
3. http://www.consciousentities.com...
4. http://www.plosone.org...
5. http://www.nature.com...
6. http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

Reason_Alliance

Pro

Introduction

In my opening round I'll give 2 objections to determinism & offer 1 argument for libertarianism [LFW]. Con seems to claim that we’re determined by physical states, desires, beliefs, etc; called a causal chain of events [ccE]. Yet LFW claims that ccE can strongly influence our choices without necessitating them. Thus ccE can have a sort of impact on one’s action—however, an impact that stops short of being sufficient for the action to occur. My central claim explicates this,





1) In order to show that mental states aren't just, as they're perceived, influenced by, but actually determined by ccE carries with it an unmet BoP.




Objections to Determinism

Problem of Fatalism

Fatalism implies actualism; i.e. everything that happens does so necessarily, making contingent truths literally impossible. If one thinks this is as ridiculous as it sounds, then one should understand that determinism implies this same conclusion.




Self-Defeating Determinism

LFW is immediate; we're best acquainted with ourselves as free deliberators & any argument used to contradict LFW not only contain premises which are less obvious than our perceived ability to have alternate possibilities [AP] available to us, but also calls into question our perception about how we more or less freely come to our decisions; namely rationality itself. Thus even if determinism were true we wouldn't have a good reason to believe it. Taken in conjunction with 1, this supports LFW as more plausible.





A loose sketch of my contention,

P1) All things equal, human perception involves freedom
P2) The nature of the jump from influence of ccE to determined by ccE involves a self-defeating defeater
P3) Determinism is unreasonable (from P2)
P4) Therefore, general human freedom remains reasonable to accept (from P1)





For P1, we're more aquainted with LFW as social laws presuppose responsibility which presupposes LFW: such laws are generally global in that human perception on the matter involves LFW, not determinism. In contrast, the arena in which determinism arises is generally not perceptual. LFW only yields that actions are influenced by ccE: for there exists the possibility of AP: "Determinism is necessarily retrospective; e wasn’t 'necessarily' determined until after e happened. Before it happened it’s contingent. Determinism therefore confuses deduction and necessity with contingent truth." (J.R. Goldbas, email).




For P2, any argument on behalf of determinism is such that it not only involves less obvious premises, but also hijacks rationality to essentially undercut rational deliberation, leaving only arational deliberation- which seriously calls into doubt everything including beliefs of determinism. LFW offers a more preferrable alternative.




Argument for Libertarianism

LFW Precise Characterization


In order for person P to be free 5 conditions must be met,




a) Ability: P’s power to choose differently from the way P actually does

b) Control: P must be in control over his actions

c) Rationality: P must have a personal reason for acting

d) Causation: relationship between cause & effect

e) Person as Agent: P must maintain the self or personal identity




On LFW, P is a substance (which mean’s Con’s property-thing-based empirical ‘evidence’ has no claim on P’s freedom either way) and so there are no external causes acting upon P to bring about event e here. There is no logical contradiction with this characterization, and it doesn’t fall prey to Con’s dilemma since P is a 1st mover (b) with a categorical 2-way ability to choose (a). P’s reasons for acting are teleological (c) & P exemplifies agent causation / non-causal agency (d). Libet’s & the other experiments make statements about brain states, but not mental states. If he supposes these are one in the same he must give an argument prior to presenting his empirical case otherwise his case is circular.




In summation then,




P could be a substance that had the power to bring about e
P exerts its power as a 1st mover to bring about e
P had the ability to refrain from exerting its power to bring about e
P had some reason that was the final cause for the sake of which he did e


Kane's Free Will

The existence of AP is a necessary condition for acting freely & yet determinism is not compatible with AP. However AP aren't chosen randomly since what Kane calls ultimate responsibility [UR] stifles our actions from happening without our control. Essentially AP is the agent's power to do otherwise & determinism precludes such power. UR insures that agents are the ultimate originators / sustainers of their own purposes & that choices aren't random (which falsifies Con's dilemma, for a 1st mover just IS the cause of an action).




AP insures a person's contingent life paths (falsifying fatalism). Wherever the path goes, it must be based in the person's willing actions, which entails responsibility (justifying LFW). Furthermore, an agent's ultimate origination of an action is a self-forming choice [SFC]; or a moment of indecision involving conflicting wills (not random wills). SFC's are undetermined & voluntary & entail AP even when the self is already formed. It would also seem that a new choice would be determined upon a formed self. For AP is still true, & no good argument forces us to view them as necessarily false, since there's nothing absolutely hindering a new SFC.




Hence we can surmise that an agent's originative control is a set of possible choices, which originated from nothing else over which the agent himself does not also have control. UR thus assures that the sufficient conditions for one's actions do not lie before one's own birth, meaning the ccE is irrelevant prior to a SFC, which isn't determinism but LFW.




Conclusion

My next round will be dedicated to illuminating the false dilemma of Con's rational support & the hasty conclusions of Con's alleged empirical support for determinism. Then my case will un-box more as I rebut his objections.

Debate Round No. 2
000ike

Con

Introduction

My opponent appears to derive justification of his position from plain human perception. His arguments rest on the unjustified presupposition that our immediate perception is a correct depiction of actuality,….this is a blatant case of Mind Projection Fallacy. In addition to this, he also presupposes Dualism without justifying it first.


Rebuttals

The problem of fatalism

Unless I am mistaken, Pro is using the consequence of a truth as evidence against its validity. It is obvious that Determinism results in almost all necessary truths. However, unless my opponent can demonstrate how this violates logic, all his argument reduces to is “Determinism does not sound right”. This reasoning is tenuous at best.


Self-Defeating Determinism

My opponent conflates probability with believability. The likelihood of a theory being true has no bearing on the likelihood of it being believed. Through making such an argument my opponent appeals to human bias rather than the factual merit of the theory.

Furthermore, he claims that Determinism undercuts rationality, giving us no basis to support it. However, a careful look at what necessity entails would suggest the opposite! Determinism tells us that our thoughts and actions are subsequent necessary reactions to prior events. This is isn’t non-rationality, this IS the essence of rationality. In the process of reasoning, logic is the causal law. If our thoughts are spontaneously generated from nothing or uncaused then they would be non-rational. Outside of thought, logic still governs everything in the form of mathematics.

So, if one is rationally deliberating, his sequence of thought is determined by logic,….else he is not rationally deliberating. Other thoughts that occur to us are still not free. The sheer act of speaking or thinking of what to say is a reference to memory. We do not choose what words reach our consciousness first, the process of memory retrieval is a determined one. “Successful and accurate remembering depends on the interdependent relationship between encoding and retrieval processes in the human memory system”(1)
Sometimes brain damage leads to forgetfulness,…whereas if the mind was independent and uncoerced in the manner my opponent supposes, this would be impossible.

The evidence of a necessary causal link between the conscious thinking process and the physical events within the brain is tremendous. We cannot think without a brain to cause us to think, and that brain itself is ruled by a causal chain of events bound by physical laws.



The Argument for Libertarianism

My opponent’s whole argument presupposes Dualism. That is why he considers the mind a separate substance…and hence not subject to be determined. However, no compelling empirical evidence suggests that the mind is a substance and a thing independent from the body.

What I propose is a monistic explanation of the mind and the body - meaning that all seemingly mental phenomena can be fully explained and accounted for by physical neuronal events (i.e the conscious conception of pain is simply from the firing of c-fibers in the brain (2)). The concepts of reasoning, choosing, and qualia all fall under this category.

If Dualism is false, then as is my opponent’s whole argument for Libertarian Free Will. I have demonstrated that the mind is really a physical sensation. Now my opponent must justify that it isn’t.

Also, if evolution is true, then the conscious human being evolved from unconscious things. Given that the laws of the Universe are constant, and we have demonstrably evolved only in the form of matter. Our consciousness could only have arisen through physical matter. Unless of course some spiritual entity endowed us with it somewhere along the way,… in which case my opponent holds quite an enormous BoP to prove that such exists.


Kane’s Freewill

This is a disappointing argument. Behind the argumentum verbosium is a massive assertion. My opponent suggests that we seem to have alternate possibilies,…and we seem to make self-formed choices,..therefore that is the reality of the event. Libet’s experiments along with the other studies demonstrate these perceptions as an illusion. My opponent has yet to demonstrate that it isn’t an illusion.


Conclusion

Pro's argument does not pass muster as a concrete employment of facts. He relies on immediate human perception to justify things that require us to escape it. Like the Earth is not flat simply because it appears flat, Man does not have freewill and possibilities and choices simply because he thinks he does. If this issue is seen from such a narrow perspective, Pro's argument would seem naturally correct, but the nature of the debate requires a more objective view. With that, I await Pro's response.


Sources

1. http://suite101.com...

2. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Reason_Alliance

Pro

Introduction
How can Con reasonably dismiss perception within the absence of a defeater? If I have the immediate experience of the external world & no defeater other than speculation, then I'm rational to trust my noetics. We almost universally perceive freewill (testimony = external proof), the only defeater Con's offered is not only self-defeating, but based on a false dilemma & irrelevant studies.




Con presupposes materialism without argument & never proves a physical mind. But even if materialism is true, QM leaves room for indeterminacy anyway. If materialism is false, a substance can be free. This takes care of all of Con's empirical arguments.




Contra-Rational Determinism
The false dilemma is found in P3, for the real issue isn't if we're free to do what we want, but whether if we're free to want at all (ability condition). Now if a mind is a substance then the action fundamentally differs from it. Thus actions are cause by a responsible 1st mover who by the very nature of the case must be free in order to cause any action.





Contra-Empirical Determinism
Study.1

Mele criticizes that there’s no reason to interpret such brain states as option consideration. Thus what Libet calls a decision could be a series of urges. Hence we’re at a stalemate with Libet, for there’s no more reason to prefer his interpretation over Mele’s.





Study.2
Here, physical methods tested physical activity. But LFW involves the mind as a substance that is irreducible to physical states. Matter doesn't have teleos. Humans experience teleos, therefore our minds aren’t reducible to matter. The apprehension of non-material universals like numbers, contingent truths, or their creation can't be material. Thus fMRI methods can only make statements about the piano, not the pianist. Consciousness remains the phenomena to be explained in the first place since we experience it, we don't find it a posteriori.




Con presupposes that correlation is causation. That's false, & all that's left is the faith of a naturalist, "It's possible that what are now correlations could at some point become causal ..." (Glannon). But possibilities come cheap for Con's case. Also nobody even knows when/where consciousness is! How can anything at all be said of it a posteriori when we still just experience it a priori, as free?




Fried hastily concludes that “decisions could be predicted … prior to the patient being aware that he had made a decision." But a scientist who presupposes naturalism can’t speak on awareness. That’s a philosophy of mind, not science. All we’re presented with is physical activity acting on physical activity in succession. Big whoop!




Neuroscientist-Philosopher Roskies says “this isn't enough to claim that you can see the brain making its mind up before conscious awareness … all it suggests is that there are some physical factors that ‘influence’ decision-making." Neuroscience can't speak to the issue of determinism. In the article Haynes himself admits LFW over his own results, “[determinism is] virtually impossible to keep hold of."





Impressive Results
These results are compatible with LFW & merely show that the brain responds to physical events in succession & only stimulates involuntary response, it doesn’t say anything about in situ awareness. We’re just witnessing the faith of a naturalist when Con asserts science denies freewill. If a scientist were to stimulate my perception of red in the lab, would my eyes not see red on a normal day?





Objections to Determinism

Problem of Fatalism
Fatalism doesn't violates logic, logic just shows it's just as unreasonable as determinism.
Logically,



P1) If Determinism is true, then fatalism is true
P2) Fatalism is false
P3) Therefore, Determinism is false




Modus Tollens!




P = Q

~Q
~P




Self-Defeating Determinism

Rational to accept = Pr: >.5, not certainty, rookie mistake. Anyhow the factual merit of LFW is that we experience it &, well basically everyone's testimony of it. It's a phenomena to be explained until we find a defeater for it; its not assumed false until we find a defeater.



No Mind Projection Fallacy here: http://bayes.wustl.edu...



I don't imagine freewill I experience it & testimony of nearly the entire plant including Con says that its as immediate to us as all other perceptions, including the reliability of logic, the external world, morals, etc. Con then confuses physical law with logical law & just because we gradually apprehend a realm of necessity, doesn't mean we're determined. I also wonder what's free enough to retrieve brain data, perhaps it plans, thinks, experiences & imagines... Materialism is found wanting in the extreme.



An interactionist mind also cannot retrieve damaged information (stalemate again). We would expect the mind to improvise, which is exactly what we observe the effects of for blind people, etc; their lobes for hearing improve. (Science Daily)




http://www.gemmlearning.com...



Lastly, Con admits in his debate with PCP, “The central tenant … hammered by every determinist … is the notion that we cannot trust our senses.” & “Rational Deliberation relies solely upon common human perception – the very faculty in question.” Once Con doubts his cognitive faculty he ought to doubt the doubt itself: hence he affirms determinism is a self-defeating defeater.




Arguments for LFW

Precise Characterization

Not an argument for interactionism, just intrinsic coherence of LFW. But rational options imply irrational ones & as PCP says “reasons don't act on you, you act on reasons.”




Kane's Freewill

I argued future contingency & that it remains contingent in the past, & that free SFC's contribute to our nature, so when we act out of habit, we trace the UR for those actions back to those SFCs. With the perception of free will untarnished & the self-defeated determinism, it remains that LFW is more probable.
Debate Round No. 3
000ike

Con

Introduction

My opponent has run away with the point on distrusting immediate perception. There’s a very good reason why I put that adjective there. Determinism does not render the perception inert,…then it really would be self-defeating. Rather, my point is that we’re seeing the issue of freewill from a naturally incomplete perspective. Determinism does not argue that what we experience is false,…it argues that it is misleading. Pro’s entire case is a ridiculous caricature of the arguments put forth.

Pro has also yet to prove that the mind is separate from the body. I’m unsure how anyone can corroborate something so outlandish, but it still needs to be proven. Appealing to what we think is true is a weak argument.


Dilemma of Determinism

Yes, the question is whether we are free to want. And the argument states that a want with no necessary cause is arbitrary. A want with a necessary cause is determined. If wants originate from nothing, they MUST be random. If they originate from something, they MUST be determined.

My opponent’s argument that such logic is inapplicable to the mind rests on the premise, again, that Dualism is true – QED. However, this is not even a physical argument, this is a logical observation. For my opponent to call it inapplicable suggests that the mind does not abide by logic in the way we think it does. Who has the self-defeating argument now?



Neuroscience

Study 1

Conceded – only because Libet’s technology was old. We have more accurate means of addressing this problem.


Study 2

Matter doesn't have teleos. Humans experience teleos, therefore our minds aren’t reducible to matter.”

The conclusion does not follow. Purpose is derived from consciousness. Matter can produce consciousness. Therefore, matter can produce purposes. His argument is abusive in that it makes one think of an inanimate object, like a rock, having purposes,….when really it is an assembly of matter of unfathomable complexity, such as the human brain, that we say produces purposes.

Also nobody even knows when/where consciousness is! How can anything at all be said of it a posteriori when we still just experience it a priori, as free?

That is because consciousness is not a physical thing. Consciousness is an experience. We observe consciousness a posteriori through the machine that produces this sensation.

But a scientist who presupposes naturalism can’t speak on awareness.”

They can speak on awareness because of the strong correlates between neural activity and the sensation of thought. The critical fact that Pro is ignoring is that the neurologists could predict decisions with well over 50% accuracy! A will that is free is spontaneous and unpredictable. A will that is free can decide on anything it wants and it would be incalculable by an outside observer. These scientist predicted decisions….accurately….hundreds of milliseconds before they occurred. Speaking of the more probable case, it’s safe to say that the mind isn’t a totally separate substance. My opponent has not and cannot reconcile this spontaneous otherworldly concept of the mind with these findings.

and so long as we’re quoting Philosophers’ opinions of their own departments:

“ Most contemporary philosophers given a choice between going with science and going with intuitions, go with science. Although I once dissented from the majority, I have capitulated and now see the interesting issue as being where the arguments from the intuitions against physicalism—the arguments that seem so compelling—go wrong.” – acclaimed Dualist Frank Jackson








Objections to Determinism

Fatalism

This really isn’t an argument. The whole debate revolves around me proving the reasonability of Determinism. It doesn’t make sense to start squeezing arguments under this heading.


Self-Defeating Determinism

“An interactionist mind also cannot retrieve damaged information (stalemate again). We would expect the mind to improvise, which is exactly what we observe the effects of for blind people, etc; their lobes for hearing improve. (Science Daily)

Pro is refuting himself. What does it mean to retrieve information? Knowledge, according to the dualist, is stored not in the brain but the mind. If the processes in the brain cannot determine what we think, but rather what we think determines what occurs in the brain, then we cannot know things because the brain transmitted it to our consciousness. We must know things because knowledge already exists in the mind. The idea that we lose memory, a.k.a knowledge, from physical events is not compatible with the Dualist’s theory.

Also, consider again the argument from Evolution:

Conscious humans evolved from unconscious organic chemicals. In this process, matter is the only driving force of the evolution, therefore consciousness can only be accounted for through matter. If he rejects that and says that consciousness is a spiritual concept,…then he suggests that consciousness was inserted into the evolving human at some point in time. This carries a tremendous burden of proof to demonstrate who or what is responsible for the insertion, and when this occurred. Moreover, on a faster scale, babies go from a mass of inanimate cells to a living organism. When does their consciousness kick in, if not through matter? What inserts their consciousness in there? The evidence suggesting that consciousness is generated by matter is pervasive. It should only follow that dualism is improbable, so as is LFW.


Kane’s Freewill

This is a reconciliation with responsibility under what my opponent concedes is a perception of freewill. This has no bearing on whether freewill is true.



Conclusion

I understand that this is an extremely contrarian position to hold, as it questions our most intimate understanding of human existence. However, judging freewill only through immediate perception is like judging the depth of a lake by looking at its surface. One must look through multiple angles and conduct thorough investigation before he can make an objective conclusion.

Reason_Alliance

Pro

Introduction

Wouldn’t an immediate experience be at the top of the lake since its “immediate?” It’s not like free will or consciousness is uncharted territory; we experience these things. What we don't experience is determinism or consciousness matter, so Con must face bottom of his lake for these things.




He also says that our experience is misleading regarding freedom yet he can’t logically give a reason why! For all other immediate experiences, such as logic, are misleading too on his view. He's still offering a reason against reasoning.




Now I affirm a mind-body connection, contrary to how Con mischaracterizes. I also announced the inadequacy of matter to account for consciousness while giving an argument for interactionism.



Dilemma of Determinism


I've shown Con’s dilemma false by proposing that a 1st mover is a contingent creation. Which is exactly what freedom, which entails AP is thought to be.




Con: if a want originates from something, they MUST be determined.

Pro: How so? If a want originates from a mind only --with no other outside cause, i.e, the mind IS the cause of the want-- then how is that mind determined to originate that want? A cause originated from only the mind is wholly free of constraints! Dualism need not be proven, it only needs to be possible to defeat the dilemma. Even if materialism is true QM leaves open the door, but no reason is given to accept materialism anyway.



Con wrongfully accuses me of calling logic inapplicable. I merely said Con confuses physical with logical law. (Conduct point?)




Study.2

Can matter produce consciousness as Con asserts? Materialists have no explanation of consciousness since this,




“It must be confessed, moreover, that perception, and that which depends on it are inexplicable by mechanical cause [brain states], that is by figures and motions. And supposing there were a machine so constructed as to think, feel and have perception, we could conceive of it as enlarged and yet preserving the same proportions [as the material brain], so that we might enter it as a mill. And this granted, we should only find on visiting it, pieces which push one against another, but never anything by which to explain perception. This must be sought for, therefore, in the simple substance and not in the composite or in the machine. (Leibniz)




So material complexity has little to do with consciousness. Con actually concedes my point!




“…consciousness is not a physical thing.. [its] an experience ... We observe consciousness a posteriori through the machine that produces this sensation”





This is perfectly compatible with emergentist-interactionism, which supports freedom. Con would rather believe that his identity over time, agency & self is nothing more than chemicals interacting in a complex way. While naturalist Ned Block writes,




“in the case of consciousness we have nothing – zilch – worthy of being called a research program… nor are there any substantive proposals about how to go about starting one. . . Researchers are stumped.”




So rather than explaining consciousness, Con ends up denying it by telling us that consciousness is ‘nothing but’ a physical state or property. By contrast interactionism has better explanatory scope since we know that physical states aren't self-presenting, but mental states are, as evidenced by private access & incorrigibility. Thus, physical states aren’t identical to mental states.




Con again falsely asserts correlation = causation, “strong correlates between neural activity & the sensation of thought” are expected on interactionism & LFW too.




Con thinks free will is random yet Kane’s UR shows this false & so does my 1st mover agent idea. Con then ends with a quote from which Jackson goes on to answer with his famous ‘knowledge argument’ for dualism, thus biting Con’s own case:




http://consc.net...




Objections to Determinism

Fatalism

Extended: (I even formulated a syllogism!)




Self-Defeating Determinism

Con thinks that information is stored in the mind & not the brain. Yet dualists think the mind is separate but connected to the body & can cause effects in the body. A 1st mover, can sift info like a librarian sifts books. Obviously the librarian isn’t aware of all the book info in the library at once, just like the mind isn’t aware of all the info in the brain at once! Rather the mind sifts the storehouse of memory, if interactionism is true.




Con affirms that material things determine material content in terms of thought… but such a view seems altogether incoherent for its astronomically more probable that the mind thinks as an agent & the brain is a storage tool in a physical world. Memory loss is thus compatible with interactionism. For if the mind can’t retrieve damaged info, then that info can’t be retrieved- think of a burnt book from which our librarian can’t retrieve info … Con would gave us believe there’s no librarian!



Argument from Evolution

Con totally lost this point, I would’ve loved to present Plantinga’s famous EAAN


http://www.calvin.edu...

If evolution is geared toward survival value & not truth value, our cognitive faculties would work arationally. Meaning we should severely doubt any belief including conscious humans evolving from unconscious organic chemicals with properly functioing congnitive faculties. Con’s point undercuts itself here.




Kane’s Freewill

Con doesn’t understand Kane. UR, so defined, assures that choices aren’t made randomly. Then Con arbitrarily downplays the role of perception to an embarrassing degree to make his self-defeating point. Kane's argument stands.




Conclusion

Con admits determinism “questions our most intimate understanding of human existence.” But in doubting our most basic understanding is inherent the doubt of other, less basic beliefs, including determinism! This affirms my main argument for freewill. Hence our perception of freewill stands within the absence of any aparent defeater.

Debate Round No. 4
70 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
& it was a free will debate.
Posted by Reason_Alliance 4 years ago
Reason_Alliance
Nobody knows man.
Posted by 000ike 4 years ago
000ike
second determinism debate ended with a tie. :|
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
Summary
All in all, I would have loved more clear analogies within the debate (my preference in teaching from analogies, I get that from the Bible and love em).
I would also have liked more clarity within the debate on both sides.
I saw Con arguing an empirical line of evidence for determinism that simply was not enough weight to support and all could be reinterpreted to mean the opposite conclusion. In other words, no arguments had the weight to negate the resolution presented by Con. Con also did not really understand or address that he had the BoP due to the consensus of perception.
Sources, I felt both were adequate for their tactics.
Arguments to Pro as they were on point and salient and Con did not defeat Pro's line of arguments.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
Pro round 4
Pro's lake analogy was not clear or spelled out enough.
Pro is correct that Con never gave a reason why we should believe the obvious is misleading us.
I feel Pro needed to address Con's statement "Determinism does not argue that what we experience is false,…it argues that it is misleading. Pro's entire case is a ridiculous caricature of the arguments put forth."
Perhaps the lake analogy was meant to?
Pro states "A cause originated from only the mind is wholly free of constraints! Dualism need not be proven, it only needs to be possible to defeat the dilemma."
Very powerful and I am again in agreement here.

Study 2:
Pro quotes leibniz in discussing the actuality of consciousness. Powerful line of reasoning yet unaddressed by Con.

Fatalism:
Con needed to properly redefine determinism to ignore fatalism.

Argument from Evolution:
Pro rightly points out that evolution is undercut by a distinct and separate expectation.
Pro also points out that Con does nothing to detract from Kane's Freewill.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
Con round 4:
Con finally addresses the self-defeating nature of determinism! I am saddened it took so many rounds to get to the most obvious problem.
" Determinism does not argue that what we experience is false,…it argues that it is misleading. Pro's entire case is a ridiculous caricature of the arguments put forth."
I await Pro's natural response to this.

Study 1:
Conceded
Study 2:
"Purpose is derived from consciousness. Matter can produce consciousness. Therefore, matter can produce purposes."
I await Pro's response here to this more clear statement from Con.
Study 3:
Conceded as well?

Con does not address fatalism. I feel that he does need to address the consequences of determinism but if he can assert determinism properly and differently he can dodge this necessity.
Con still did not address determinism effectively.
Kane's Freewill: Again Con misunderstands that perception of consensus indeed does dictate the actuality of something.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
R3 Pro
This statement from Pro summarizes the entire debate thus far perfectly.
"How can Con reasonably dismiss perception within the absence of a defeater? If I have the immediate experience of the external world & no defeater other than speculation, then I'm rational to trust my noetics. We almost universally perceive freewill (testimony = external proof), the only defeater Con's offered is not only self-defeating, but based on a false dilemma & irrelevant studies."
Con has not given any defeater. The studies were not conclusive or relevant to Con's contentions. As pro states: " If materialism is false, a substance can be free. This takes care of all of Con's empirical arguments. "
Pro cites again Con's syllogism is a false dilemma.
Study 1: Pro cites an alternate interpretation to negate con's claims.
Study 2: Pro asserts "Matter doesn't have teleos. Humans experience teleos" I am currently in agreement again. Pro then asserts alternate interpretation.
Study 3: Pro again asserts alternate interpretation.

Pro shows his contention on fatalism is logically obvious.
Pro again shows that determinism is defeating. Also points out again, certainty is not the same as rational to accept. Con has yet to meaningfully detract.
"It's a phenomena to be explained until we find a defeater for it; its not assumed false until we find a defeater. "

Again Pro brilliantly state "Once Con doubts his cognitive faculty he ought to doubt the doubt itself: hence he affirms determinism is a self-defeating defeater."
Pro states:
"But rational options imply irrational ones & as PCP says "reasons don't act on you, you act on reasons."
And
"With the perception of free will untarnished & the self-defeated determinism, it remains that LFW is more probable."

I hope Con will give a more meaningful final round.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
R3 con (cont)

Con misses the entire concept. Given the abstract nature, logic dictates our perceptions are not illusions. This was again not on point. Con MUST demonstrate all of our perceptions are illusory. A single study does not come close. In needs to be massive to go against logic and consensus perception. I also deny the interpretation of Libet's studies. They could easily also show that we are interacting with Time as the fourth dimension proposed by physicists. Nothing is conclusive about said study, though I do not expect Pro to go into it as the studies are irrelevant.
Con's conclusion is spurious:
"Like the Earth is not flat simply because it appears flat" This concept ignores that there is evidence we perceive that gives us reason to believe the earth is not flat. Even the ancients knew this.
A better example, is that we do not perceive the earth is ‘spinning' but this is a physicality issue not a cognitive one that goes against logic. Even if you used this, you would still have to deal with the fact that evidence is abundant that we are spinning, i.e. celestial movement.
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
R3 Con
Con points to the idea that trusting our rational is a Mind Projection Fallacy. He does nothing to show this to be the case, he also does not address the obvious issue. How does his own position ‘get away' from this same fallacy.
Con attempts to address the problem of fatalism by stating more must be given: However, does nothing to actually refute the obviousness of the consequence of fatalism.
Con attempts to detract the self defeating determinism:
"My opponent conflates probability with believability" and "Through making such an argument my opponent appeals to human bias rather than the factual merit of the theory."
This entire retort missed Pro's point. When dealing with abstracts or non physical concepts, any view against the obvious is spurious, much less when the entire world affirms the obvious. This is not belief like "blue is best!" but consensus of perception.
Con also tries to assert that some people are broken. A broken cognitive agent does nothing to undermine Pro's point.
Con then asserts Pro is presupposing dualism. I did not see this anywhere. We are well within our right to assume we are rational beings prior to using logic. Yes, we cannot prove we are rational beings until after we presuppose it. We however validate this with consensus of rationality that follows. This is still quite off topic of resolution though.
Con address' Kane's Free Will:
"My opponent suggests that we seem to have alternate possibilies,…and we seem to make self-formed choices,..therefore that is the reality of the event. Libet's experiments along with the other studies demonstrate these perceptions as an illusion. My opponent has yet to demonstrate that it isn't an illusion."
Posted by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
R2 – Pro

Pro side steps all of Con's line of reasoning and forms of evidence. He rightly assert that Causal events occur but Con MUST show that these causal events necessitate actions rather than merely influence them.

"In order to show that mental states aren't just, as they're perceived, influenced by, but actually determined by ccE carries with it an unmet BoP."

Pro asserts the obvious problem of fatalism.
Pro asserts that determinism is defeated by the obvious nature of our rational that we all believe we have freewill and we recognize the consequences of our actions. As stated before I was hoping this would be brought out by Pro.

Pro asserts his own premises for deduction.
I like P4 as clearly the discussion from Pro is not even that freewill be certain but more reasonable. Very well done.

Pro drives home the irrelevance of Con's scientific evidence with his
LFW Precise Characterization

Con must show all of these concepts to be false.

Pro rightly points out with Kane's Free will:

"UR insures that agents are the ultimate originators / sustainers of their own purposes & that choices aren't random (which falsifies Con's dilemma, for a 1st mover just IS the cause of an action)"
Pro rightly shows Con's syllogism to be a false dilemma.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Gileandos 4 years ago
Gileandos
000ikeReason_AllianceTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 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:03 
Reasons for voting decision: All in all, I would have loved more clear analogies within the debate (my preference in teaching from analogies, I get that from the Bible and love em). I would also have liked more clarity within the debate on both sides. I saw Con arguing an empirical line of evidence for determinism that simply was not enough weight to support and all could be reinterpreted to mean the opposite conclusion. In other words, no arguments had the weight to negate the resolution presented by Con. RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Stephen_Hawkins 4 years ago
Stephen_Hawkins
000ikeReason_AllianceTied
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:40 
Reasons for voting decision: In the most irritating way, both debaters just talked past each other. The arguments each side proposed were criticised for standing on bare assertions for basically all the rounds, and generally it was just poorly done. In the end, I found it more plausible to assume CON's arguments than it was to assume PRO's arguments, which is why he gets more convincing arguement. Also, conduct for what has already been said in the comments by others.
Vote Placed by KRFournier 4 years ago
KRFournier
000ikeReason_AllianceTied
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 Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments...