The Instigator
Hume
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
phantom
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Question of Free-Will is not a question of secularist importance.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
phantom
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/20/2012 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 746 times Debate No: 25708
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

Hume

Pro

No doubt question of free will has been one of the most controversial issues among philosophers. I argue it is not something worth debating, especially if one is not concerned with theology.

The structure of debate will be intro>argument>arg/counterarg>conclusion

Note that the subject matter is the merit of the entire study of free-will per se. I find no need to define and therefore restrict the conception of "free-will", seeing as that the libertarians/hard-determinists have different conception of free-will than the compatibilists.
phantom

Con

Thanks to my opponent for making this debate.


I agree with pro on his statements in regards to defining free-will but just so we're all on the same page, I would like to define "secularist".

Secularist: not connected with religious or spiritual matters

http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Before I hand it to pro, I would also just like to state I am myself a hard determinist and also happen to believe the question of free-will is an extremely important question with many significant implications.

Back to pro. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
Hume

Pro

Hume forfeited this round.
phantom

Con

I could have thought up more but I don't want to waist my time when it looks like my opponent won't be finishing this debate.


C.1 Moral responsibility

Free-will is necessary for moral responsibility. If I am not free than my actions are based off of external factors. Therefore if I commit a seemingly immoral act, I am not responsible or accountable for it. It is rather obvious that choice is a prerequisite of moral responsibility. If I did not choose to sin, it wasn't really an immoral action.

This contention alone has enormous implications. It would entail dozens or hundreds of ethical theories to all crash to the ground.

As morality has to do with how we live our lives, this contention shows free-will is a very important question.


C.2 Aim of the judicial system

If we have no free will than we must reconsider the aims of our judicial system. If our actions are determined then criminals are not accountable for their actions except in the way you find fault with an improper tool. It follows that our judicial system should be aimed towards rehabilitation, segregation and perhaps deterrence instead of punishment.


C.3 The death penalty

If accountability is diminished, all harsh crimes become unjustified. Therefore the death penalty would be a blatantly wrong law and should never be used.


C.4 Forgiveness/judging

If free-will is false than people do things simply because of their physical setup and external factors. We can then come to the realization that we should be more forgiving to people and be less inclined to judge. We could only judge people to the extent that we judge a poor car. Much different than if free-will exists.


C.5 Pride

People are often proud of their nationality even though they were just born with it but imagine if that was the only type of pride we could have? That we could only be proud of things because we were born with the ability or nature shaped us that way? It greatly diminishes pride because you come to the realization that you didn't really accomplish anything. It was just inevitable.


C.6 Mind body dualism

If free-will exists it would give much credibility to the mind-body dualism concept. After-all dualism is one of the main arguments for free will. If free-will were true, then we do not operate according to causality which would immediately be puzzling. The mind is what causes the body to act so we would then have to propagate the fact that the mind may not be material since it would not function according to basic cause and affect mechanism.

C.7 Materialism

As stated, matter operates according to cause, affect and maybe randomness. If this is true and we establish free-will then that means there is an exception to the laws of physics. The exception could conclude that not everything is material thus refuting materialism.

C.8 God

Mind body dualism is only plausible really if God exists since dualism would refute naturalism. God is the next probable theory. If another theory is possible than this contention will simply include it. But free-will could suggest God.
Debate Round No. 2
Hume

Pro

Hume forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Hume

Pro

Hume forfeited this round.
phantom

Con

Excuse me while I defecate.

Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FREEDO 4 years ago
FREEDO
HumephantomTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit. Also. Who are you to say what is important to the secular person? To be secular is to be without dogma. Your measure of importance has no hold.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 4 years ago
socialpinko
HumephantomTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Good arguments from Con. It would have been better though if Pro had put up a challenge. Arguments and conduct to con for forfeits and no rebuttal or arguments from Pro.