One can rationally support the claim that they are the only individual in existance with free will.
In this debate I will assert logically that out of all people who roam the earth, I am the sole individual who has free will; does this mean that I believe I am truely the only one? Well not exactly, but in essence, yes. I will show that because each individual lives in his or her own world, that they are logically restrained to accept certain ideas, especially when they experience a certain theoretical situation which logically demonstrates that others are not free but that you yourself and I myself (seperately) are. Here is a logical proof explaining in further detail and clarity to what exactly I am refering. Please note that BOP is shared, and that currently the debate is impossible to accept, doing so without permission is an auto forfeit. There are only 48 hours to respond to each argument. Message me or comment if interested.
1.) All actions are predetermined and thus predicatable.
2.) Thus, given enough information, I could theoretically be put in a viewing room which allowed me to watch and anticipate another person’s every-move. This would prove to the me in the story, that other people's actions are predetermined
3.) Logically however, I could never view and anticipate My own actions as this would be a paradox, this would prove to me that my actions are not predeterminable.
4.) Thus, in your world, only you have free will and as it relates to me, only I have free will
Thanks for an intriguing debate Pro. Good luck.
To start I'd like to formally define some important concepts.
Rational: based on or in accordance with reason or logic 
Predetermined: established or decided in advance; prearranged; predestined 
Determinism: the philosophical position that for every event, including human action, there exist conditions that could cause no other event. 
Free Will: The ability for an agent to act according to his own motivation. 
Omniscient: knowing everything : having unlimited understanding or knowledge 
PRO's resolution is as follows: "One can rationally support the claim that they are the only individual in existence with free will." He presents the following case (I've reorganized for clarity):
Premise 1 (P1): We have a determinist existence. All actions can be predetermined, given the power of omniscience, because within each action there exists conditions that could cause no other action.
P2: If PRO was an omniscient being, PRO could predict all actions of other beings.
P3: Since PRO can predict every action of every other being, every other being must not have free will.
P4: PRO cannot predict PRO's own actions.
P5: PRO therefore has free will.
P6: Because each individual lives in his or her own world, they are logically restrained to accept certain ideas
Conclusion: In anyone else"s world, they have free will and as it relates to PRO, only PRO has free will. Therefore, one can only rationally support the claim that they are the only individual in existence with free will.
ROUND 1 ARGUMENT
PRO's resolution hinges on the proposition that we are logically restrained from accepting realities that we cannot observe. According to P6, since we cannot observe the free will of other agents we cannot rationally support the claim that they are free to choose their actions. This is the appeal to ignorance fallacy, specifically in regard to proving non-existence out of ignorance. At best, the free will of others is undetermined but we cannot preclude that it exists. However, this logical truth opens PRO's resolution for further scrutiny.
We could accept P1 and P2 as logically sound. However, P3 is problematic because it revolves around a poor definition of free will. PRO"s version of free will is not compatible with determinism. If our actions are already determined by initial conditions, we have but one available action; that which was culminated by all of the conditions that existed throughout not only the experiences during our existence, but the experiences of the entire universe. All conditions converging at that one infinitesimal moment, allowing only one logical action for us. According to PRO, if there is only one action left for us to choose, we don't contain free will. For free will to exist, PRO maintains that we must have multiple choices. However, this is not logically true. Free will only requires that we are the agent that acts and that no other agent acts on our behalf. In other words, it is not important that we have but one choice but that we make the choice ourselves. The freedom to act affirms our free will, not the freedom to choose. Therefore, determinism does not prevent free will at all. P3 can therefore not logically be adopted; it is rational to support the claim that every individual in existence has free will. Moral responsibility will help us to prove this concept. Consider the following example:
It is God"s will that Cain slay Abel. On that fateful day, with Cain's jealously raging, God decides that if Cain does not choose to kill his brother that he will instead force the thought into Cain's head, forcing the action Himself. However, in his jealous wrath Cain bludgeons Abel and kills him, preventing God from forcing the action.
Cain only had one action to commit, since all other actions would have been prevented by God. However, was he still not morally responsible for his sin? Although no other action was possible, the action to kill was his own and therefore, his responsibility.
Furthermore, PRO's P4 also has logic issues. In the example provided, all-knowing PRO could predict every action of every other being. How then is it logical that PRO could not predict his own actions? PRO claims that this is paradoxical. However, it is only paradoxical if PRO assumes he has his definition of free will (multiple choice free will) to begin with. This line of reasoning commits the circular reasoning fallacy, which is also called the paradoxical thinking fallacy. We cannot logically adopt P3 or subsequently, P4, for this reason.
Thanks for reading through my arguments. I am looking forward to further arguments that are presented by my opponent.
Hello again everybody and thank you ZenoCitium for such a logical and straight forward response. Let’s begin:
Here is a flow chart of my opponent’s last round argument:
1.) Definitions of rational, predetermined, determinism, free will, omniscient,
2.) Redefines/restates my logical argument
3.) What we can’t see isn’t real?
4.) JVN definition is not compatible with determinism
5.) Zeno’s definition is correct according to the bible
6.) JVN can too predict his own actions
A.) I would like to point out a major misunderstanding in my argument last round. This misunderstanding is Zeno’s claim/misinterpretation which he thinks that I had previously mandated that the ‘me in the story’ who was observing a predetermined universe was in an omniscient state. This was not the intention. When I stated in my first round proof “given enough information, I could theoretically be put in a viewing room which allowed me to watch and anticipate another person’s every-move.” I did not intend for the ‘me in the story’ to be in an omniscient state, that would actually defeat the argument I was trying to make. The point was to show how it is possible to prove to a ‘first person perspective me (human me)’ that the world and universe around me is predetermined. Then to demonstrate that I myself am not determinable in my own world
B.) Thus I would like to ask the readers to discard Zeno’s interpretation of the logical proof and instead heed this one:
1.) Everything in the universe is calculable and thus ‘predetermined’
2.) As a human individual I could theoretically be put in a position demonstrating the calculable nature of other people and things
3.) As a human individual I could never be put into a position demonstrating my own calculability, this would bare a paradox
4.) Thus from my perspective I am the only individual with free will
C.) I also disagree and do not accept Zeno’s definition of free will. My definition is the common definition and it goes as follows: Free will- The action of choosing from a set of options (option x, y, z….ect) and not being restricted to any one option. My definition does indeed fit determinism being that it simply states that on a omniscient view, given every single person’s perspective people simultaneously do and do not have free will, that given a third person detached view point, that nobody has free will and that in the first person only the individual has free will. This view point posits that people do objectively have free will, more importantly it
does so in the only important perspective, the omniscient, the objective one.
D.) In order to support Zeno’s claim on free will he uses the bible however I would like to state that we should refrain from using Christian doctrine to prove this point being that it is not fully established to what extent god is real in the first place, even being that he is, There are multifarious interpretations which would only confuse the matter. Thus perhaps we should use other logical examples…
E.) Finally I would like to clarify how exactly it is paradoxical to see your own actions. This is simply because if you were to predict your own action, you would have to see yourself predicting your action, predicting your action, predicting your action, predicting your action add infintium. Thus you would never reach your actual next move. Consciousness is live and thus you would be actively changing your next move by trying to predict it.
Appeal to ignorance and more
If I can’t experience it, it isn’t real. That is what ZenoCitum posits my claim is. This is very close, however the slightest misunderstanding has corrupted and invalidated the entire interpretation of what I actually meant. Here is Zeno’s verbatim claim: “since we cannot observe the free will of other agents we cannot rationally support the claim that they are free to choose their actions.” This is my argument, so he posits. In reality however, the meaning may seem complex, but it is key to this debate, so I will explain as best I can. If you examine the True definition of free will, it is most accurately described as an experience and an action, rather than just an action. This makes sense does it not? If a simple action constitutes free will, then a computer has free will. This being said it must be posited that the experience of deciding between options is truly free will. One can only experience themselves having free will, and by contrast can confirm the reality that others do not have free will, as can be obviously seen in the observer’s reality. Keep this is in mind, because it is key. A main idea here is perspective, there are 3 perspectives that I will focus on. 1st person, 3rd person detached, and 3rd person omniscient. These 3 perspectives are the segments which constitute conscious reality. The claim to an appeal to ignorance come in when I state that I can confirm another’s free will is nonexistent in my world simply because I experience them not having free will, and thus as Zeno said, saying that because I cant see it, it dosent exist. The reality however is that another person’s actions are determined in their own 1st person perspective, not in my 1st person perspective. The other person cannot do his experiencing in my person reality. He can only do it in his 1st person and of course in the omniscient perspective person (because only that perspective takes into account his consciousness)…..Here is a consistent problem I run into when I explain this argument. People trying to disprove the argument by making truth claims in the objective realm, the third person omniscient instead of where they should be, the 1st person. When Zeno said that I claimed free will doesn’t exist because I don’t experience it, he is making a truth claim in the 3rd person omniscient instead of the 1st person perspective. He is saying that I have posited free will as completely nonexistent in AT ALL, EVER in the omniscient perspective. When in fact it is simply saying that another person’s consciousness doesn’t exist within my own consciousness. Pffffff, this is a lot to take on at a given time, but I have a good analogy which demonstrates my point about perspective.
The law of non-contradiction states that ‘A thing/action cannot be and simultaneously ‘not be’, in the same instance. For instance, if someone asked my if a table had black paint on it, there is only one correct answer, the table does not both have and not have black paint on it, for this would be impossible. However this law isn’t concrete, it all depends on perspective. The following statement may at first seem illogical: “It is both day and night”. So, of course it seems intuitive that it is either day or it is night, however this is from the 1st person perspective, from your on-earth view of the world…however, what if you were on the International Space Station? Couldn’t you then confirm that it is indeed both day AND night? This clearly shows how from the 3rd person omniscient (and detached) it is both day and night and no logical contradiction was made. My argument is the exact same as this. From the 1st person perspective only I have free will, from the third person detached no one has free will, and from the third person omniscient everyone has free will And no one has free will, because omniscient takes into account every single perspective available. I have tried my best to articulate my point, and even though It turned into one block of text I think everyone should at least slightly understand my point a little better.
Thank you for reading.
1) Everything in the universe is calculable and thus, predetermined. This understanding of the universe is aligned with the philosophical position of determinism. I have accepted this, but the important components to take from this premise are that:
A) According to the definition of determinism, there are conditions that "could cause no other event." There is only one possible outcome; the word "event" is not plural here. Having multiple possible outcomes would be a contradiction to the root word, "determine".
DETERMINE: establish EXACTLY, a DEFINITE result 
B) This is a universal truth, as PRO states, "everything in the universe." Therefore, determinism applies to both the observed AND the observer.
2) PRO states: "Thus, given enough information, I could theoretically be put in a viewing room which allowed me to watch and anticipate another person"s every-move. This would prove to the me in the story, that other people's actions are predetermined."
Pro claims that since the observer can anticipate every person"s move, they do not appear to have free will. However, this is incorrect, as I stated in ROUND 1. My definition of free will, is aligned with compatibilism because it is compatible with determism . To quote my ROUND 1 argument:
Free will only requires that we are the agent that acts and that no other agent acts on our behalf. In other words, it is not important that we have but one choice but that we make the choice ourselves. The freedom to act affirms our free will, not the freedom to choose. Therefore, determinism does not prevent free will at all.
This definition of free will prevents us from accepting PRO"s premise that the observer can negate the possibility that those with anticipated actions have free will. They indeed still have free will. PRO claims that this definition of free will would allow a computer to have free will as, "a simple action constitutes free will". This is an incorrect interpretation of compatiblistic free well. The acting does not demonstrate free well; it is the fact we act according to our own will. "We are the agent that acts and NO OTHER agent acts on our behalf." PRO claims that I drew relevance from a biblical example but this argument is a poor straw-man. My example used biblical characters, yes, but it was not dependent on Christian doctrine. I will demonstrate this in another example:
Dimitri wants the Democratic presidential candidate to win the upcoming presidential election. Johann is an undecided voter. The night before polling begins, Dimitri installs a device in Johann"s brain. This device is unknown to Johann and gives Dimitri the power to force thoughts into Johann"s mind. Dimitri plots the morning of the election. If Johann thinks about voting Republican, he will force the thought of voting Democratic into his mind. When Johann receives his ballot, however, he votes Democratic and Dimitri did not need to use his device."
Johann could only vote Democratic, since any other vote would have been prevented by Dimitri"s device. However, was he still not responsible for his vote? His will was to vote Democratic and that was still accomplished, even if there were no other options and even if an omniscient observer could predict that he was going to vote Democratic. He was still able to act according to his will.
After Johann left, a computer was rolled next to the ballot box. It had the latest version of Microsoft Vote installed on its hard drive. It voted Democrat as well.
The fact that the computer voted does not demonstrate that it has free will. It did not act according to its will as it could only vote according to the software algorithms dictating its logical processing and decision making. It does not act freely, it is constrained by its programming. A computer cannot be original or have original thoughts. It can only duplicate what it"s instructions demand.
PRO claims that free will requires, choosing from a set of options". Since an observer sees that the observed only have one option, they do not appear to have free will. They are restricted by 1A: there is only one option for those in a deterministic universe. That is the option that is yielded from the innumerous initial conditions, that is predictable according to the observer. This style of free will is aligned with Incompatibilism . As you might have predicted, it is called incompatibilism because it is incompatible with determinism. Within incompatiblism, one must deny free will, deny that the universe is determistic or deny both free will and that the universe is determisitic. In this case, PRO has denied free will as he states that those that are observed do not contain free will since they do not have the ability to choose from a set of options. However, let"s consider the other restriction from PRO"s first premise:
1B: Being that both the observer and observed are in a deterministic universe, they both are held to restriction 1A. The omniscient observer must know that: like the observed, being that he resides in the same universe, he also is permitted from free will.
Herein lies the contraction of free will in PRO"s resolution. If we hold premise 1 true, we have a deterministic universe, then we can also accept premise 2. Premise 2 being that the observed do not have free will according to PRO"s incompatiblistic form of free will. However, since the observed and observer both reside in the same deterministic universe, we must strike down premise 3 and, as such, the resolution falls. Likewise, if PRO were to adopt the compatible form of free will, then in accepting the deterministic universe premise we would have to strike down premise 2 as the observed would now have free will. Either way, the resolution falls.
3) PRO claims that he could not be put in a position to calculate his next action. To quote him, "you would never reach your actual next move", "you would be actively changing your next move by trying to predict it."
As I stated previously, PRO uses circular reason to demonstrate his own free will. PRO claims that it is a paradox to be put in a position to calculate your next action because you would be actively changing your next move. One can only actively change their next move if they have free will. PRO clearly assumes he has the free will capable of changing his next action, thereby creating this so-called paradox. How lucky for PRO that the paradox allows PRO to make the assumption needed to prove the resolution instead of demonstrating a severe contraction in its logic. To demonstrate, the logic of the third premise is as follows:
PRO can predict PRO"s next move >> PRO uses free will to change to a different next move for all infinity, creating a paradox >> Therefore PRO cannot predict PRO"s next move >> Therefore PRO has free will
The circular logic dictates that PRO requires free will to show PRO has free will. If we accept PRO"s definition of free will, where free will does not exist if PRO"s next action can be determined, then the premise changes to the following:
PRO can predict PRO"s next move >> PRO cannot change to a different next move >> Therefore PRO does not have free will.
con fails to see the difference in seperation of perspectives.
PRO claims that I have ignored the difference created by perspective. This is not true in the slightest. I have considered it in my original arguments and it has failed the test of our logic. I will re-form some of my previous arguments to address the problem of perspective specifically.
THE CLAIM FOR PERSPECTIVE
Pro claims, in his conclusion, that:
In your world, only you have free will and as it relates to me, only I have free will .
This conclusion was reached through the following premises:
1) Everything in the universe is calculable and thus "predetermined"
2) As a human individual I could theoretically be put in a position demonstrating the calculable nature of other people and things
3) As a human individual I could never be put into a position demonstrating my own calculability, this would bare a paradox
4) Thus from my perspective I am the only individual with free will
THE PROBLEM OF PERSPECTIVE
Pro addresses perspective in the conclusion. In our analysis of the resolution we found that there were logical issues with the third premise that causes the conclusion to fall. This is why we can ignore PRO"s claim that perspective changes a person"s impression of free will.
Why or how could our perception of free will change with perspective? If we accept the first premise, we can also accept the second premise considering PRO"s incompatibistic (with determinism) definition of free will. However, we are left again at the problem in premise 3. PRO claims that there is a paradox and uses this so called paradox as an excuse to ignore the first premise. Even in PRO"s world, the first person perspective, the universe is still predetermined and thus precludes any free will. PRO"s paradox is actually circular reasoning that flows as follows:
PRO can predict PRO"s next move >> PRO uses free will to change to a different next move for all infinity, creating a paradox >> Therefore PRO cannot predict PRO"s next move >> Therefore PRO has free will
In reality, PRO doesn"t have free will and the correct third premise would be the following:
PRO can predict PRO"s next move >> PRO cannot change to a different next move >> Therefore PRO does not have free will.
Thanks PRO for a great debate.
1st person perspective- Your personal perspective, taking into account only what you perceive.(just like in a story)
3rd person detached- observes all things that happen as if looking at them, takes into account every attribute in a situation except the experiences themselves (just like a movie narrator)
3rd person omniscient- This perspective takes into account everything, every perspective and every detail of a situation, even its own.
In his argument on determism Zeno claims that I am making an absolute truth statement about the universe and then immediately breaking that truth statement by saying that I am the only individual who is excluded from this because of premise 3 which states that I am exempted from this because of a supposedly B.S. logical fallacy. However what he doesn’t realize is that my whole argument is not dependent and hinging on premise 3 to affirm my exemption from free will. What affirms my exemption from free will is Perspective not premise 3 of the logical proof. The problem with Zeno’s argument is that he misunderstands what perspective I am making the statement ‘free will only applies to me’ from. As you have read, Zeno stated that I have made a truth claim stating that ‘the entire universe is determined’, I am part of the universe and thus I must be determined as well. And while this is true it is also not true. From the perspective the statement is made, it is true and from the perspective the statement is not made, it is not true. It IS true that from the 3rd person detached perspective (the perspective we Usually make truth claims in.) people do not have free will. But this is only because from this perspective you can not experience the action of making a decision. And the experience is key because experience is what makes something free will according to my (The correct) interpretation of free will, supplies us. I will more thoroughly defend this definition later.
Free will is a belief, and an experience, combined with a choice. Zeno has stated that as a rule all actions are determined, and because they are determined and we have only 1 possible choice; that we have no free will. But free will has little to do with the number of possible outcomes and everything to do with how those outcomes come about. Just because an outcome is set, that dosen’t mean that there will be no rational thought, decision making and an ultimate choice to come to the final decision. It simply means that the rational thought, decision making and ultimate choice were bound to happen. The two ideas are not mutually exclusive. It is not as if you could just let yourself go limp and fall on the ground but because reality is set, you would flip onto auto mode and start living your life like according to this ultimate unnegotiable and set path. It just means that the decisions you are actively making right now, in this very instance were destined to happen. SOMEBODY HAS TO MAKE THEM HAPPEN! Just because I chose an option which is ultimately set to happen doesn’t mean the other options were absolutely Not Possible, it just means that looking from outside ‘the box’ to inside the box, that ‘choice X’ will only ever be the most rational position to Choose for a person in that specific position…because I will only have the information given in my box to use in my decision. And from inside that box, as the person making the decision, I can still chose from options A, B and C however in the ‘ultimte perspective’ it was bound to happen.
This is the problem with Zeno’s argument. He states that the individual doesn’t really have the ability to chose his action because his action is destined to happen from the 3rd person perspective. So let me make this clear. Your actions are determined in the 3rd person perspective, because in that perspective we can weigh all factors that will lead to the decision. You actions Are Not determined in your own perspective though, because you are Still doing the actual action of weighing the factors in your head, forming a want towards a certain outcome and then choosing to do that outcome, even if ultimately the decision is decided in the 3rd person. Remember not to bring statements that are only true in a certain person, into another….Separation of perceptions…Also please remember that this definition doesn’t necessarily have to be correct, but just reasonable. Could a rational person legitimately believe this is true, if so according to the resolution, I should be voted for.
The reason I can say that in my reality, everyone else is void of free will, is because my perspective doesn’t take into account their perspective and only in their perspective and any perspective taking into account their perspective, is their free will existent. Their existence within my reality is restricted to a being which simply using its ‘in the box’ resources to come to their decision and choice. Basically the disposition of myself in my body borrows from the perspective of the omniscient on everyone except me. They are all still in the box. But you and I individually are experiencing and choosing our actions.
I feel fairly confident about the paradox claim, but I’ll restate my point. As a first person based individual I operate using the information that I have. The world is deterministic for actions because we are restricted to a definite amount of information. I am operating how I am now because I am factoring in all of that information into my decisions. Telling me my next move is giving me more information than the set amount which I currently have. Thus I can use and must use that information, which changes my next move. Also, If I were to look into my next action, I would see me looking into my next action, looking into my next action add infintium and would never actually figure out my next move. This example simply demonstrates my first point.
Zeno claims that because his definition is in tune with compatiblism, that it is compatible. This is a nice example of someone trying to deceive based on word play. Compatiblism is the BELIEF that free will is compatible with free will which is then justified on certain proofs and logical concepts however, compatibilism is not a set of requirements which dictate what is and what is not compatible or incompatible with determinism. His ideas about free will align with compatibilism and so do mine, we just have different justifications as to why.
I will point out also that Zeno and I’s definition of free will are not competing in the sense that If I am wrong then he wins the debate or vice versa. This is because the debate is over whether the ideas are rational and could be reasonably accepted by someone else.
I would like to call attention to the resolution and the requirements to win this debate. Mostly, I would like to point out that the resolution does not demand that my proposition is necessarily correct but just that the ideas presented are reasonable to believe at all. For instance, many people believe that atheism is true however surely even those who do not agree with them, know that their reasons as to why they believe that are reasonable and justifiable. So if my reasoning for my propositions is reasonable At All to believe then I should win this debate.
As I conclude I would like to thank ZenoCitium for debating me on this topic, its been great. I have few qualms with my case and have no doubt that the only problem a voter could have with my cause is that they lack understaning of it, r
ARGUMENT FOR PERSPECTIVE
I disagree with PRO. Each premise is required to support the resolution. If any premise falls, the resolution also falls. Without the third premise, we cannot establish that we can rationally say that the observer has free will while everyone else does not.
We cannot accept that it is "true and also not true" to say the observer is part of the universe. It is not possible for a logical statement to be both true and false, simultaneously. His premise is that free will is only apparent in the first person perspective. However, this is part of the conclusion. This is a continuation of the circular reasoning that PRO has presented throughout the debate.
PRO changes his definition of free will in the final round, stating: " Just because an outcome is set, that [doesn"t] mean that there will be no rational thought, decision making and an ultimate choice to come to the final decision. It simply means that the rational thought, decision making and ultimate choice were bound to happen." Interestingly enough, he adopts my definition of free will.
MY ARGUMENT FOR COMPATABILISTIC FREE WILL (From Round 1):
"Free will only requires that we are the agent that acts and that no other agent acts on our behalf. In other words, it is not important that we have but one choice but that we make the choice ourselves. The freedom to act affirms our free will, not the freedom to choose. Therefore, determinism does not prevent free will at all."
MY ARGUMENT FOR PRO"S CONTRADICTION OF FREE WILL (From Round 2):
The resolution is a sailing ship that has three holes in the hull and PRO only has two plugs. "Herein lies the contraction of free will in PRO"s resolution. If we hold premise 1 true, we have a deterministic universe, then we can also accept premise 2. Premise 2 being that the observed do not have free will according to PRO"s incompatiblistic form of free will. However, since the observed and observer both reside in the same deterministic universe, we must strike down premise 3 and, as such, the resolution falls. Likewise, if PRO were to adopt the compatible form of free will, then in accepting the deterministic universe premise we would have to strike down premise 2 as the observed would now have free will. Either way, the resolution falls." Similarly, if PRO wants to plug both holes attributed to free will he has to contradict his first premise. He attempts to do this in the final round by stating, "actions are not determined in your own perspective", or " I am part of the universe and thus I must be determined as well. And while this is true it is also not true."
There is no deception, on my part, concerning the definition of free will. I have provided a source for both free will according to compatibilism and incompatibilism ( and ). On the contrary, PRO has not provided any sources for his version of free will, that I can determine anyway. PRO has tried to offer both definitions simultaneously, even though they contradict each other, in order to force his resolution to be logical.
Although PRO only needs to present a rational resolution, we cannot accept his arguments as rational. They have been plagued by inconsistencies and circular logic. His premises are contradictory and do not support a rational resolution. We are obliged by logic to reject PRO"s resolution.
I"d like to thank the judges in advance for a fair vote. I"d like to also thank PRO for completing the debate. I look forward to future debates and I wish you good luck.