The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

There is no free will.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,284 times Debate No: 64999
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (75)
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People claim that there is no such thing as free will. Everything is because of fate and so.

The BoP is shared clearly.

72 hours to argue.
10,000 characters.
No forfeit.
No Trolling.
No Insults.
No semantics.
The voting style is open to anyone.
This will be a four rounds of debate.

First round is for PRO's ARGUMENT.
Second round is for REBUTTALS or NEW ARGUMENT.
Fourth round is for my CONCLUSION.

My opponent shall type "no round as agreed" in the fourth round since he/she has the burden and is going first. If he/she posts some arguments/ rebuttals in his last round he will result in SEVEN-POINT LOSS.NO NEW ARGUMENTS in the conclusions area.

By accepting this debate my opponent agrees to stick to the rules that I have mentioned above. If he/she violates the rules as shown above, she/he will lose this debate.

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


I would like to thank Con for posting this debate.
I'm looking forward to a well argued debate from both sides.
Free Will, I have no objections to Con's definition of free will, however I would like to add to it or narrow it down a bit.
Free will.
Free (def 1-4 no applicable)
5. exempt from external authority, interference, restriction, ext., as a person or one's will, thought, choice, actions, ext., independent, unrestricted.
1. Used to express desire, choice, willingness or consent.
Free Will=unrestricted choice
Why did I choose left instead of right?
Why did I choose to talk to the blond instead of the brunette?
Why do I choose to watch football and not golf?
Why do I choose to sit in the back of the classroom instead of the front?
What directs my choices?
Do they hang in thin air?
Are they just randomness?
Are my choices governed by something I didn't choose?

I will begin by acknowledging that we all feel as though we have free will. It seems as though the best evidence for free will is that we feel like we have it. I would like to take a moment to try and undermine our confidence in what we feel is true. We intuitively feel as though we have free will. But, we intuitively feel as though a rock is a solid object. Rocks are made of atoms. Atoms are 99.9999999999996% empty space. (1) Therefore, rocks are 99.9999999999996% empty space. What we think is intuitively true regarding rocks is very wrong. When we observe our world, we think it looks the way we see it. We intuitively think the world we see, looks the way we see it. This is also wrong. Humans see only 10% of all light wave lengths. When we look out our windows, we are missing 90% of the light spectrum. (2) The world we see, doesn't look anything like the world that really is. We should use these examples to call into question how reliable our intuitions are. We intuitively feel as though we have free will. I think we are wrong, just like we are wrong about the rocks and the authentic picture of the world.
Clues that shed light on the notion of free will. Lets look at some human behavior characteristics and see what they say regarding free will.
1. A diverse set of opinions. No two humans would agree on every single preference, perspective or opinion.
2. Drugs. When a human is under the influence of drugs their behavior will often change.
3. Disease. When a human brain suffers from disease the behavior of the person can change.
4. Injury. When the human brains suffers from an injury the behavior of the person can change.
5. Aging. As the human brain ages the behavior of the person can change.
6. Intelligence. How intelligent an individual is can influence their conclusions, conclusions influence choices.
7. Preferences. Human beings have clear preferences. One person may prefer blondes to brunettes, tall people to short, raining days to sunny days, books to movies
8. Personality traits. Introvert, outgoing, shy, analytical, whimsical, serious, comedic, ext.
9. Phobias. Some humans have strong phobias, heights, small places, crowds, public speaking, ext.
There are probably more categories. However, these should be enough to take a few very big chunks out of the notion of free will. So lets look at them a bit closer.
Free will=choice unrestricted. Drugs, disease, injury and aging all clearly effect how a person behaves or what choices they will make. These four categories physically effect brain structure; drugs through chemicals, disease through decay, injury through damage, aging is also decay. This tells us that physical aspects of brain make up influences decisions. A person may suffer from Alzheimer's disease and make very different choices that when they didn't have the disease. The disease has changed the person and it has effected their choices. Free will=unrestricted choice, free choice has been violated by the disease, therefore no free will.
Free will=unrestricted choice. Preferences, personality traits, and phobias, these traits aren't chosen traits. A person doesn't prefer to prefer blondes. A person just prefers blondes. Preferences aren't chosen. A person doesn't choose to be an introvert. Personality traits aren't chosen. Think of a strong personality trait you have. Did you choose it? Phobias aren't chosen traits. A person may spend years in therapy trying to get over a fear of speaking in public. We have clear examples of personality traits that aren't chosen by us, yet these traits do effect our choices. If we haven't chosen the preferences, and the preferences guide our choices, then we don't have free will=unrestricted choice.
We have clear physical examples of how choice is effect by the material brain through drugs, disease, injury and aging. If choice is effected by the material brain, then choice isn't unrestricted. We have examples of personality traits that also effect the choices we make, intelligence, phobias, and preferences. If these aren't chosen by us, yet they effect the decisions we make, then our choice isn't unrestricted.
Lets look at a few examples to see this work.
E1. Bob prefers blondes. Bob didn't choose this preference. Bob is sitting in a coffee shop. Two girls sit at a table near Bob, one blond and one brunette. Bob's biological desire to procreate motivates Bob to approach the girls. (biological desire to procreate isn't chosen) Bob has a preference for blond girls. (preferences aren't chosen) Bob talks to the blond girl first. From Bob's perspective, Bob feels as though his actions have been chosen by Bob. He feels this way because the motivation comes from Bob. But what drives the motivation isn't chosen by Bob. If what drives the motivation isn't chosen by Bob, then the choices that Bob makes, due to the motivation, aren't Bob's choices. How does Bob have free will?
E2. Bob at breakfast. Toast with a choice of milk/orange juice/coffee. Bob "decides" to select coffee. But why does Bob choose the coffee? Bob stayed up late last night watching a football game. Bob wants caffeine, Bob chooses coffee. Why did Bob stay up late to watch the football game? Bob's favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys. They were on. Why is Bob's favorite team the Dallas Cowboys? When Bob was a kid, Bob lived in Colorado. One year, the Denver Broncos made it to the Super Bowl. Everyone was cheering about how great the Broncos were. Bob has a personality trait were he doesn't like following the group. Bob chose to root for the team the Broncos were playing against in the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys won. A few years later, Bob adopted the Cowboys as his favorite team, thinking back to their Super Bowl win against the Broncos. Back to our question, on this morning, why did Bob choose coffee? Because he has a personality trait that motivates him to go against the group. This lead Bob to chose coffee today. Where is Bob's free will?
One objection to either example would be to say, "Bob could have chosen the brunette or the milk. Bob doesn't have to follow his preferences." What would motivate Bob to resist a preference? Maybe another preference. Bob thinks about free will. Bob knows he prefers blondes. Bob doesn't want to flow his preferences, feeling it undermines his desire for free will. Bob then chooses to speak to the brunette first. But what has Bob really done? He prefers blondes. He also prefers to believe he has free will. Bob follows the stronger preference, free will. However, Bob didn't chose to prefer the notion of free will over the preference for blondes. Bob chooses to speak to the brunette because he has followed a stronger preference. This doesn't save free will for Bob.
Free will is logically inconsistent with two predominant world views.
Naturalism/materialism world view. In a materialistic universe the foundation of all things is matter. Matter follows specific natural laws. All things are made of matter. Humans are made of matter. Humans follow the laws that govern matter. The logical conclusion is that humans must follow the laws that govern matter, therefore no room for free will, unrestricted choice.
A soul based world view. In order for a soul to grant us free will, it must have the freedom to make selections or choices independent from outside influences. This doesn't map to what we know about human behavior. First we have clear examples of physical effects to the brain (disease, injury, aging, drugs) effecting decisions. Conclusion, the soul isn't free from the material brain. The soul doesn't have free choice. We also have examples of preferences, phobias, intelligence and personality traits effecting our decisions. Does the soul come with these preferences preloaded? If this is the case, then the soul didn't choose the preferences. If the preferences reside in another location, then the soul is bond by the preferences. Either way, the soul isn't free to choose. It is either preloaded with preferences or the preferences are located somewhere else. In both cases the soul loses free will.
We have two dominant world view models that are logically incompatible concerning free will.
Free will=unrestricted choice, we clearly don't have unrestricted choice. Therefore we don't have free will.
The floor is yours Con. I look forward to your response.

Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting this debate. It has been quite a long time since I am doing a new debate topic again. It would be unfair if I refute Pro's argument.


Free will is not a common topic of discussion. Free will is not only a possibility but an actuality. Here, I will build my case up.

I=Randomness in the world:
P 1: If there is no randomness, then there isn’t free will.
P 2: Randomness is possible.
C: Therefore, free will is possible.
Premise 1 is just a very general statement which can either be true or false. Determinist states that free will does not exist because everything is determined. Randomness is completely incompatible with determinism.
Premise 2 is the one needs defence which I will do now. There is so much randomness in this world.
1. The radioactive particle decays at unpredictable time. implies random.

***P(t) = e^{-t/(\gamma \tau)} \, *** (1)

Radioactivity decay is a process where a radioactive atom decreases its energy and mass to become more stable by emitting lots of radiation to the surrounding. The decay will continue until it reaches a point where it becomes a stable atom. Radioactivity decay can happen spontaneously or induce by the collision with a free neutron. We can predict its mean lifetime through τ using the formula as shown above but we can’t know completely which is going to decay at first. So, in short, we can know that the average decay time like Z boson which has an average of decay time of 10^-25 seconds. So, we can see that we cannot predict which atom is going to decay first. This has clearly and inevitably shown that there is randomness in this world.

2. Heisenberg’s Quantum Mechanical Uncertainty Principle. means it is not determined. In other words, it is out of control.

Uncertainty Principle is developed by Werner Heisenberg and its conceptual idea is that momentum before the observation of a particle is intrinsically uncertain. The time, energy and position remain unknown and can only be calculated only by probability.

\Delta x\cdot\Delta p_x \geqslant \frac{\hbar}{2}

X is position of an atom whereas p is momentum.

***Heisenberg gave, as an illustration, the measurement of the position and momentum of an electron using a photon of light. In measuring the electron's position, the higher the frequency of the photon the more accurate is the measurement of the position of the impact, but the greater is the disturbance of the electron, which absorbs a random amount of energy, rendering the measurement obtained of its momentum increasingly uncertain (momentum is velocity multiplied by mass), for one is necessarily measuring its post-impact disturbed momentum, from the collision products, not its original momentum. With a photon of lower frequency the disturbance – hence uncertainty – in the momentum is less, but so is the accuracy of the measurement of the position of the impact. *** (2)
To illustrate this for further understanding:

3. Quantum Fluctuations is the sudden change in the number of energy in space.

*** That means that conservation of energy can appear to be violated, but only for small values of t (time). This allows the creation of particle-antiparticle pairs of virtual particles. The effects of these particles are measurable, for example, in the effective charge of the electron, different from its "naked" charge.***(3)

All that means that the not known events can affect the outcome.

As the above defences stand, the conclusion follows.

II=Ability to do.

1. Ought to choose. implies something we can. Like ought to eat, drink and sleep.

Do note that when I talk about free will, it does not encompass maximal autonomy. My opponent might claim that why can’t we choose GENES, PAST, PLACE OF BIRTH and so on. They are being grouped under the maximal anatomy. Fee will does not include that at all. For example, if we are given A or B gift to have. We can choose to either to have A or B. if we can't make any choices, then determinism is true. But now we can see that we can make choices through our mind and we have right to choose whichever we like. This has proven free will. Making the right or wrong choice is another case.

***The "Ought implies Can" (OIC) thesis establishes a link between obligations and abilities. It is associated with Kant, but the Kantian attribution is debated. Its main interpretation goes along the latin motto "ad impossibilia nemo tenetur" and allows you to discharge an obligation when you lack the possibility to do what is commanded. Others interpret it as saying that, given the fact that you have the relevant "Can", there is no way not to do what you Ought to.***(4)

2. To think or not to think.

***Rand argued that the primary focus of man's free will is in the choice: 'to think or not to think'. "Thinking is not an automatic function. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness. The act of focusing one's consciousness is volitional. Man can focus his mind to a full, active, purposefully directed awareness of reality—or he can unfocused it and let himself drift in a semiconscious daze, merely reacting to any chance stimulus of the immediate moment, at the mercy of his undirected sensory-perceptual mechanism and of any random, associational connections it might happen to make."[50] According to Rand, therefore, possessing free will, human beings must choose their values: one does not automatically hold one's own life as his ultimate value. Whether in fact a person's actions promote and fulfil his own life or not is a question of fact, as it is with all other organisms, but whether a person will act to promote his well-being is up to him, not hard-wired into his physiology. "Man has the power to act as his own destroyer—and that is the way he has acted through most of his history *** (5)

To summarize this, we can manipulate the level of focusing like to think about important subject matter. We can choose not think about anything using our mind. The ability to change the level of focusing is important to us. Likewise, we are free to focus on some jokes or just lose focus on it if we find our stomach is aching. As an example, we can think about the same jokes over and over again. Or, we can choose to forget about it. The conscious mind is important for human’s use. .’.

III= Responsibility.

***Responsibility is defined as the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone. *** (6)

It (Responsibility) can also be narrowed down to the burden that someone is given in order to do something. All of us are responsible for our actions. Then, it must be cause by something that is free will. We are free to take actions that we think is rational and wish for. For example, I have organised some special functions like party, meeting, conference, marching and so on. The moment when you ask who is responsible for that particular event, it would definitely be me. I am responsible for the outcome of the event that I planned. The outcome can either be a roaring success or a terrible failure. You all might wonder what if our outcome is totally determined by chance. Then why shall me or must we fell responsible for them. There is at least an alternative way that we can take. Therefore we are responsible for its outcome. Moral responsibility comes from responsibility but responsibility does not really come from moral responsibility. Hence, responsibility is caused by free will. Responsibility is more or less connected to free will through the example that I have shown above. The ways we take will affect our result. If we take A way, then the result will be Z. If we take B way, the result will be different. We, again, are free to take any path. Good or bad is another matter. The ways that we take comes from the mind.

Over to Pro.









Thank you Con for your opening arguments


Con's Randomness argument

I=Randomness in the world

P1: If there is no randomness, then there is no free will

P2: Randomness is possible

C: Therefore free will is possible

Free will=unrestricted choice


1. Proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim

Conclusion is wrong. Just because randomness is possible, this doesn't mean free will is possible. Why? They aren't the same thing. Free will=unrestricted choice. Randomness, occurring without definite aim. If I have free will, I make an intentioned choice to do something. If I'm governed by randomness, my action is without definite aim. The conclusion doesn't follow because Con incorrectly equivocates randomness to free will. They aren't the same things.

Quantum Mechanics is a failed argument.

Free will is a subject that interests me quite a bit. So I have some general familiarity in what academics think concerning free will. For the most part, Neuroscientist have found that the brain seems to be functioning in a determined way. Here is a quote from Neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga from his book, "Who's In Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain," "Modern neuroscience is happy to accept that human behavior is the product of a probabilistically determined system." (1) Naturally free will strikes at the very heart of who we are. Many, perhaps most, people don't like the idea of determined behavior. Fellow academics have put forward the idea that quantum mechanics can save free will for us. The idea has been put forward, and it has been found invalid by the academic community. Con puts forward the Quantum Mechanic argument for free will when he argues for randomness on the quantum scale, the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, and virtual particles popping in and out of existence. Since these three points all fit under the umbrella of quantum mechanics, I'll state why quantum mechanics doesn't offer us free will and those three arguments ultimately fail for those reasons.

Quantum Mechanics is a physical description of sub atomic systems, less than an atom. Anyone who pays any attention to physics is aware the General Relativity describes the behavior of systems from atom size up and Quantum Mechanics describes systems less then an atom on down. To this point, the two systems, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics haven't been brought together. Human beings are clearly more than an atom. Quantum Mechanics in part describes electrons, quarks, gluon's, and other subatomic particles. Quantum Mechanics fails to give us free will because it is a system that describes systems that are nothing like human systems. This is why Quantum Mechanics has been dismissed by the academic community as a savior for free will.

There is one other aspect of Quantum Mechanics that stands in the way of it providing a path to free will, probability. Quantum Mechanics cannot tell us where we will find the electron when we look for it. QM tells us where we are likely to find it, based on Heisenberg's probability equation. The foundation of QM is probability, where things are likely to be. Probability doesn't equal free choice. A dice has a particular set of probabilities, 16.667% chance it will land on any given side. That isn't free choice. For that reason also, QM cannot offer us free will.

For these two reason the QM argument has been dismissed as a possible path to free will.

Randomness is a determined system.We might think that dice are random and therefore not determined. This isn't the case. Determined means that the choice is set. A action I might take later is determined by the state I'm in now, environmental inputs I receive between now and when I commit the action. Lets see how randomness is actually determinism. You have a dice in your hand. As you throw the dice, you say, "If the dice is determined, you should be able to tell me what it will land on." As you throw, "What is it going to land on?" I say, "it has a 16.667% chance of landing on 1, 16.667% chance of 2, 16.667% chance of 3, of 4, of 5, of 6." I'm completely correct. The dice is random, but what will happen is determined. Probabilistic randomness is a determined system.

A comment by Con I would like to address. "If we can't make any choice, then determinism is true." I just want to clean this up a bit. Determinism isn't that we cannot make choices. Determinism is that our choices are controlled by something we don't control. An example, I'm male. I'm attracted to women. I didn't choose either. I seek female companionship. (If you know what I'm saying) My biology has determined which sex I will be attracted to. My biology motivates me to approach women. This is what we mean by determinism when we are discussing free will. My actions regarding women has been determined. Choices exist, but what choice I make has been decided.


Funny quote from Rand (whoever that might be). "Thinking is not an automatic function." Wrong. If thinking isn't automatic, then how do I choose to think? Wouldn't I need to conclude, "I want to think, therefore I will start?" Is that not thinking? Thinking is automatic, otherwise I could never decide to start thinking. We see that I cannot choose to think prior to me thinking. Therefore thought cannot be chosen. Thought must be a determined action. I cannot choose to do it, that requires thought, we end up in an infinite regress. Poor conclusion by you Mr. Rand.


I've noticed that may who object to determinism, often object because they perceive that removes responsibility from the individual. Individual, "Sorry, no free will. I had no choice but to rob the store." Therefore they aren't responsible. Therefore they aren't punishable. These fears are largely unfounded. First, society is well within its right to protect itself from harm. We can punish those who commit crimes for this reason, free will or no free will. Second, our environment influences our choices. (another nail in the coffin of free will) Corrective punishment can alter the behavior of a criminal. Society is justified in punishing for that reason. The absence of free will (and it is absent) doesn't keep us from protecting ourselves from harm or corrective behavior.

Further arguments against free will.

If we wish to know whether we have free will or not, we must think about what motivates us to make certain choices. What motivates us is the key question?

The story of Phineas Gage. (2) Phineas Gage was a railroad worker who lived between 1823-1860. He was described as generally a kind, thoughtful person prior to a brain injury he suffered while working. A blast drove a large iron rod through his frontal lobe. He survived the accident. But, post accident Phineas' personality was much different that what it was before. He could no longer hold a job. He became short tempered. He became more violent. He began using profanity much more than he had before. His friends said he was like a different person. What does this point to? It points to material aspects of our brain influencing who we are. Free will cannot exist if this is the case. Phineas' physical brain had changed. Phineas' personality then changed. This isn't free will.

Priming (3)

Priming takes place when someone says something to you that influences your response. One of my favorites was done on the show Brain Games. A staged accident had just taken place. Eight people witnessed the accident, although they didn't know it was stage. A fake police officer divides the group into two groups. He asks group A, "How fast was the car going when it slammed into the red car?" He asks group B, "How fast was the car going when it bumped into the red car." The only word that was changed was slammed and bumped. The group primed with the word "slammed" said the car was going 35-45 mph. The group primed with the word "bumped" said the car was going between 15-25 mph. What does this tell us? Just the simple slipping in of one particular word influenced how the witnesses responded and how they remembered the accident. Free will=unrestricted choice. This violates free will. An outside word, not of their choosing, has influenced their response. If free will existed, they should be free from this influence. They clearly aren't free.

Decisions before the decisions are known

In this article describing an experiment in which the subjects could freely decide which button to push, the one in the left hand or the one in the right hand. When the subjects decide to push the button, they would tell the experimenters when they made the choice. What did they find? The subjects brains were connected to brain imagining scanners. The experimenters found that the choice was made in the subconscious brain up to 7 seconds before the subjects were reporting they had made a choice. The experimenter could predict which button would be pushed before the subjects told the experimenter which button they were going to push by watching the brain scanner. (4) The subjects were unaware that their choices had been determined by their subconscious This is evidence of a determined system. This is clear evidence against free will.

Con, back to you. Your subconscious knows what you are about to write, soon you will to.

Debate Round No. 2


Rebuttals to Pro"s contention:
That is why there is scientific experiment for us to ferreting out the nature of reality is.
1. It seems as though the best evidence for free will is that we feel like we have it.
No , I have proven examples of free will in my case.
2. Atoms are 99.9999999999996% empty space.
Wrong, they are 99.999999999999% empty. My opponent tries to say that AN ATOM is 99.9999999999996% empty. The example that my opponent gives is fallacious. He assumes that everything he knows is true like the rock case. A is lack of knowledge by that time thus he stands with his points. After reading articles or doing research, he found out that he does not have that knowledge about it.
I would like to note that Free will=/=unrestricted choice is wrong. Free will can be defined as chance choices.

Refutations :
You can choose not to take drugs. This has proven that the choice influences the outcome of something. Intelligence is not advisable to be measured as they can change over time.
1. Drugs
You are free to choose to have drug or not. After I take drug. I suicide. If I don"t take drug, I am still alive. Making the right or wrong choices is another subject matter. As long as I can think, I can choose to take it or not.
2. A person may suffer from Alzheimer's disease and make very different choices that when they didn't have the disease.
What causes him/her to have Alzheimer"s disease? In the previous years, he/she might not do regular exercise, have a healthy diet, lack of mental stimulation, low quality sleep, did not manage stress properly, and causes Alzheimer"s. The person chooses to do it although some if not everyone has advised him/her at the beginning of time. If she follows the advices, she might not get Alzheimer"s disease. Yet, she chooses to IGNORE them. Disease is defined as a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury. If I got disease, I make choice A. After I got disease, I make choice A. Does that mean that disease has violated my choice not necessarily? Note, it is still you who make the choice. Chance and choices are given.
3. There isn"t any reason for us to believe that they must take that decision. In universe A, I pick blonde. In universe B, I pick brunette. Does this mean that the person in universe A is more rational? Or, he who is in universe A is irrational? My motivation or whatsoever asks me to choose it. It is still me who makes the choices. Your motivation is random and not determined right. This has again proven randomness.
4. Personality traits, Phobias and some which have been mentioned and some are grouped under maximal autonomy. A personality traits and phobias still can change. I am anti-social. After I meet B, I love and start to socialise. I still can be antisocial in I wish to.
5. (Objections to E1) A human still can restrict his/her "biological desire". I want the girl. But, if I get her, I will be poor. Hmmm, I still can continue the act or choose to stop it. To be or not to be? That is a question -William Shakespeare. Yet, they still can choose. And, we still can restrict our motivation.(responsibility) But many support A, I don"t like to follow the norms. So, I support B. The motivation (unconscious) is random right. This shows that it is random and supports my points. Bob"s choice to let unconscious to make the decision is the evidence for free will.Unconscious comes from the random combination of many things. This has proven chances which have been combined and created. Actually, Pro intends to show that our choices are determined by prior causes. So, it is false.
Refutation to E2: It is not compulsory for Bob to drink coffees. Note that the choices are given. Bob is aware and he thinks it is necessary to drink coffees because ... Bob knows that coffee can keep him awake and away from tiredness. Thus, he thinks and makes the right choice. Is it irrational if I drink milk instead of coffee? Where does a stronger reference come from? The unconscious combinations of thing in the mind. This shows that free will is possible because future is not determined, if we look closely, that is a random event and occur out of Bob's expectation. One more thing that I would dare to ask if Bob is really focused on what he is thinking? I believe my opponent cannot answer that because he is not Bob. Will it be irrational if Bob choose the other girl? I would like to say that no free will means no rationality.

Back to the idea of Soul and Materialism/naturalism view. Nature is complicated and multifaceted. It includes many different sorts of things and one of these is human beings. Such beings exhibit one unique yet natural attribute that other things apparently do not exhibit and that is free will. We also notice that human beings do all kinds of odd things that cannot be accounted for in terms of mechanical causation, the type associated with physics. Human is not purely physical being because of its immaterial mind. If human is purely physical, free will cannot present. But now we know that human is not purely physical. Therefore, free will presence in human. As claimed by opponent all things that are made up of matter is governed by the law of nature. But now human is a being where it is not purely physical. So, free will exhibits in human. Why mind is not matter? We cannot tell how large our mind is nor can you? Mind is mental.
Defences of randomness:
I would like to claim that Pro misunderstands my point of randomness. Random is something that is not determined. If everything is determined, then randomness is not possible. But I have shown that randomness is possible through the radioactive particle decay and Heisenberg"s Quantum Mechanical Uncertainty Principle. Why randomness does prove free will? If everything is determined, then there won"t be any random event. Randomness implies ambiguous future. Which means future is not determined and we are uncertain about it. Likewise, my case still stands no matter what happens. My opponent tries to say that we got x percent, y percent and so on to make probability becomes his case. If determinism is true, then there must be an objective answer. Still they are subjective.. Which means we are uncertain about the answer? If determinism is true then the future shall be determined. In this case, we still not YET know what the answer will be because it consists of probabilistic answer. That being said, future is not determined. The dice falls in the ground and produce a probabilistic answer.
Defences of Rand:
"Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness". Therefore we must stay in focused state in order to think of something which we intend. If we let our mind wonders, random thoughts are generated. As for thought, I have explained in the unconscious part. The thinking that I mentioned in the previous round is conscious thinking. (Decision before the decision)
Defences of Quantum Physics:
Quantum physics did not fail but it was a success. Randomness has become a necessary for free will. What my opponent says is true about quantum physics. But, one thing he did not notice is that quantum events are happening in our brain. Free will is the method my which the brain processes the combination of random and non-random events. Free will is the algorithm in the brain.

The research team took the theory of determination and decided to study the reactions of 278 people. They were given a futuristic story about a woman who wears a special skull cap that images her brain and predicts with 100 percent accuracy her future predictions, even how she'll vote. When people stop believing they have their own free will, they are more likely to cheat and less inclined to punish others who commit wrongs... A surprising 92 percent of participants said she would. However, when researchers gave her a new story about a skull cap that could manipulate her choices, most participants said Jill didn"t have a free will to vote.

Most people"s intuitive conception of free will appears to be the freedom to act on one"s own desires, even if those desires are determined by our experiences, our genetics, and the laws of physics. It"s only when one is forced to act on someone else"s desires that free will disappears.

Defence of responsibility:
When we talk about responsibility, it comprises of two things which are control and think. You can either choose to work or rob. Look, the choice is yours. (The story by Pro). As for priming, does the answer given by the witnessed are more rational or irrational. This has again proven choices.
P 1: If hard determinism is true, rationality does not present.
P 2: Rationality does present.
C: Hard determinism is false.
I (computer) tell A that a table is liquid and I tell B that the table is solid. Both of them mindlessly accept whatever I tell them. Does B behaves more rational than A? No. Yet, if we have correct beliefs, hard determinism still undermines rationality. We simply have no reason to accept the mindless, blind and physical cause.

Many philosophers have puzzled how an agent could do otherwise in exactly the same circumstances.
Since humans are intelligent organisms, and given the myriad of possible circumstances.


Man, already at the conclusion of the debate. Seems like we are only just now starting to get into the meat of the debate. I will begin my conclusion with thanking Con for the debate. Thank you Con. In this final round I will begin my conclusion by addressing randomness again, since it seems to still be incorrectly part of this debate. Then I will move to address some of Con's rebuttal from the last round and finish with my closing remarks.
Randomness isn't free will. No matter how you wish to slice it. Words have meanings. We don't get to define words in any way we wish. If we did this, communication would be impossible. "You said you drove your car to work yesterday. But you have no car. So how did you drive your car?" "I define bike to mean car. So as you can see, I did drive my car to work yesterday." Con wishes to define randomness this same way. Free will and randomness for Con are the same thing. The problem is they are not.
Con's R1 free will definition
Free Will: the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate (if I need water and take a drink of water, have I acted without constraint of necessity?) the ability to act at one's own discretion. This last portion violates Con's appeal to randomness. If any of our behavior is random, then that randomness violates what Con calls free will, "the ability to act at one's own discretion." Con has walked himself into a contradiction.
Pro's free will definition.
Free Will=unrestricted choice. This isn't my personal definition. This definition has been sourced and cited. It is based on the definition of the two words, free and will. See round 1.
Randomness. Proceeding, made, or occurring without definite aim. This definition is sourced and cited. See round 1.
Con's contradiction. Lets contrast how Con defines free will with a cited source for randomness. Con's Free Will definition, "the ability to act at one's own discretion" to "occurring without definite aim." Clearly randomness isn't free will. Randomness violates free will, regardless of how Con wishes to define words to fit his argument.
Lets imagine if our behavior included or was governed by randomness. We would have no consistent personality. Today I may like football. Tomorrow I may hate it. Today I may love my spouse. Tomorrow I might dislike her. I may just eat of dry piece of bread without reason. We couldn't hold jobs. I randomly go skiing instead of working. I just find myself standing in the back yard. Have you ever just gone to the store having never decided to go to store. Do you fill up a glass with ketchup and start drinking? Clearly human behavior isn't random and randomness isn't free will. This argument is simply incorrect. No other way to put it.
Next I would like to address a few of Con's rebuttals. One quote first, "He (meaning Pro) assumes that everything he knows is true like the rock case." I try to make no assumptions, personal rule. I also place probability over truth. Truth is beyond human knowledge. The best we can do is what is probably true. Now back to the debate. Con takes issue with how I phrased my atom point. My statement, "they are 99.99% empty space." Con, "Wrong the are 99.99% empty." Ok, whatever. Regardless of how we wish to define the emptiness of the atom, that isn't the point. (I think QFT is the correct interpretation of reality by the way, that will tell you how I really feel about the atom) The point I was making was that our intuitions can be very wrong. I was using the atom to illustrate this point. This point remains unrefuted.
Con calls into question my "drug" point. But again, his refutation isn't directed at the point I was making. "You are free to choose to have drug or not." First, when I say drugs I'm referring to all drugs, from aspirin, to anti-depressants, to heroin, to alcohol, to Advil. My point is that there is a material link between behavior and the chemical effect the drugs have on our biology. My point is that drugs can alter our behavior. This establishes a physical link between our biology and our behavior. This physical link between biology and behavior is the point. My behavior is effect by my material biology. Drugs effecting our behavior is evidence of this. I'm not free from my biology.
There are many more of these in Con's rebuttal. Con's disease rebuttal follows the same line. My point is the physical effect of the disease effects choices, once again pointing to material effects of the brain effecting behavior. The point remains unrefuted and rather obvious to anyone who has watched their grandparents age.
I won't hit everyone of these objections. I have other things to get to before signing off.
Free Will, I think one can answer the question of free will by objectively analyzing your own decisions. Set aside what you feel is correct. Con has often stated that you have choices, therefore you have free will. This isn't a deep enough understanding of the subject. We have choices available to us. That is clear and uncontested. But that doesn't mean we have free will. You must ask yourself, "yes I made this choice, but why did I make this choice?" Then if you can answer that, "well why do I prefer that, which lead to the choice?" And again, "well why to I think that?" And again, "why did that sway me?" And again, "why is that my preference?" You will get to a point where the answer is, "I don't know why I have that preference." You just lost free will. "I don't know why I prefer women to men." I didn't choose this preference. It guides my choices. Free will is the illusion that the preference is of my choosing. Free will is the illusion that I've freely decided to approach women.
I've tried to present an accumulated case against the illusion of free will. I will go over a few before finishing.
Disease of the brain alters behavior. Points to material behavior dependence of the brain.
Drugs alter behavior. Points to material behavior dependence of the brain.
Injuries to brain can alter behavior. Points to material dependence of the brain.
Intelligence isn't chosen. Intelligence influences behavior. Free will violation.
Phobias aren't chosen. You cannot decide to remove your phobia. Phobia's can guide choice. Free will violation.
Consistent personality traits. Randomness doesn't fit this model.
We have examples of Phineas Gage who's personality changed due to brain injury.
1960s, Texas clock tower shooter, lesion found on brain. He himself noticed changes to his behavior prior to shooting.

Can you choose to be afraid of a flower? Legitimate fear? If free will is true, the answer should be yes.
Can you choose to not fear snakes? (or any other fear you have) If free will is true, the answer should be yes.
Yet we cannot choose these things.
We have experiments where the a choice signal in the brain happens prior to the subject being aware a choice has been made. Clearly not free will.
Priming, we can influences responses by the way the question is worded. This shouldn't occur with free will.
Marketing, why do companies spend billions marketing to people? They can influence what you choose to buy. Free will violation.
Have you ever been startled? Did you choose to jump? Or did you react without thinking?
Have you ever had this thought? "I don't know why I don't like them, but I don't like them." You have acknowledge a preference without choice. Free will violation.
A riddle, "I have a genetic condition. People like me are prone to violent fantasy and jealous rage: we are 10 times more likely to commit murder and over 40 times more likely to commit sexual assault. Most prisoners suffer from my condition, and almost everyone on death row has it. Relative to other people we have an abundance of testosterone (testosterone not chosen), which is associated with dominance and aggression, and a deficit in oxytocin (not chosen), which is associated with compassion. My sons share my condition and so does my father." (1)
What is the condition? Being male is the condition. Not chosen. Influences many choices.
Zero, there is no evidence that points to free will existing, none. Yet we have loads of evidence that point to a determined system. A system that is materially dependent on the state that it is in. Look back at all those examples. They all point to one common thing. No free will.
I would like to thank Con for this debate. It has been enjoyable. To those interested in whether free will is an illusion or a reality, I would suggest examining why you make the choices you make. Try and trace the origin. It isn't that choices are available, it is why did I make that particular choice? That is where the trail begin. Read some psychology studies and wave good bye to what you never had. Happy voting.
P.S. My apologies for any grammar errors. Have to run, no time for proof reading. Sure there is a few in there.

Debate Round No. 3


Closing remarks:
A) Dismissed of my arguments:
Pro misunderstands the randomness that I build up in my case here. I say randomness is necessary for free will. That said, in order to prove free will randomness is necessary. Random event implies ambiguous future. The example shows by Pro is somewhat the guy is ignorant or wrongly informed because he tries to say that a bike is a car. That is semantics. I did not nor did I try to prove that randomness is same as free will. I am saying that it is necessary which means if our future is set then there won"t be any random (unknown) event. I drive to work by car everyday". One day I ride a bike to work"well that is somewhat unusual and unpredictable". Pro is try to straw man my arguments by saying that they are the same I don"t to mean them the same. Pro is trying to straw-man my argument which does not work.

B)Definitions of free will:
Human have unrestricted choice (free will) which does not include maximal autonomy (Round 2). As so, maximal autonomy is not included. I am trying to clear up the definition of free will by specifying it in this round again.

C) What my opponent says about preference, personality traits and some which I have mentioned is being group under maximal autonomy. The free will that a human has does not include those things. I have stated in my previous round. Thus, Pro is attacking straw-man which has no significant effect on the case of free will. My opponent is trying to make his case work by asking why can't we choose our personality traits and what we afraid of. As claimed by Pro if we can choose what we afraid of then we human only have free will. This is a futile effort because they are because of genes in our human body. I want to clarify this because I feel like Pro is attacking what I have mentioned in the restricted area. Which means, his argument attacks free will does not work as what we see. Now I have to come across the points of Pro again. Yes, they can alter our behavior but why we take them. We have free will right. Again, I have stated in my responsibility case which says if something we can CONTROL and THINK. Then, we have free will over it. As shown by me in the previous round. If free will is not possible, then our actions are not rational. Pro still cannot prove the actions of us,humans, to be irrational and yet e secretly considers them as rational. Pro also drops the most important argument by me that is ought implies can by Immanuel Kant and Ayn Rand's argument to think or not to think. I have proven again that we human are the most complex organism in the world and yet we are not dependent. have claimed in my third round that we human have immaterial mind which does not follow the law of nature. Also, in my third round that we think again what will happen in the future. And yet, we can generate possible circumstances which is ambiguous.

What Pro's drops:
1) Our most influencing philosopher which introduces some ground breaking's work that is Immanuel Kant.
2) Ayn's Rand.

i would like to ask the readers to read some books by Alvin Plantinga to understand how do we have free will stands. I would like to note that we do have free will and just that we are not aware of it. Thank you.


Due to agreed upon format, I make no arguments in this round.
Debate Round No. 4
75 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NoMagic 2 years ago
Wylted, I don't think your definition objection is justified. I (Pro) accepted Con's definition but added a little more clarity to it. Con did try to amend the definition to claim that it included randomness. But that isn't compatible with free will, including Con's own definition in round 1. My definition, unrestricted choice never included things like, "I can choose not to need water." My definition never included that degree of autonomy. Both definitions imply free choice to the individual. Which is basically what free will is implied to mean.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
@PhiloChristos, Another reason it's important to set definitions early. My assumption is that Con would have to argue some type of dualism and I was shocked that he didn't .

I projected my own definition of free will onto the debate as every single judge who takes the time to vote unfortunately will have to do.
Posted by philochristos 2 years ago
I was going to vote on this, but I'm going to call it a mistrial because Pro and Con were working from different definitions of "free will" and neither even seemed to notice.

According to Con's definition of free will, a free act is an act that is free from necessity, which is consistent with the act being influenced by external factors provided those external factors are not sufficient to determine the act. According to Pro's definition of free will, a free act is an act that is free of influence or interference. He calls it "unrestricted freedom." So all Pro had to do to disprove free will according to his definition is show that choices are influenced by prior conditions. At one point he said, "our environment influences our choices. (another nail in the coffin of free will)."

So these two were talking past each other the whole debate.
Posted by Tweka 2 years ago
THanks for your RFD Blade-of-Truth
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Conduct - Tie. Both had proper conduct throughout.
S&G - Tie. Both had adequate spelling and grammar throughout. I do want to caution Tweka to always use the "check your spelling" option, as I noted at-least one uncapitalized "i" in your final round. Arguments - Pro. Con built the following case for free will:

P 1: If there is no randomness, then there isn"t free will.
P 2: Randomness is possible.
C: Therefore, free will is possible.

There were many more arguments presented, but in terms of weight, this is the one that carried the debate and what it ultimately boiled down to. In essence, Con argued that if randomness is possible, then free will is possible. Pro then shared some definitions which reflected the difference between the two terms and showed that the possibility of randomness does nothing to prove the possibility of free will, since free will and randomness are two different things. At this point, Con needed to show how randomness proves free will, and did so: "Why randomness does prove free will? If everything is determined, then there won't be any random event." Pro responds to this by showing how Con's selective definitions are leading to a false conclusion. According to Con - Free Will: 'the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one's own discretion'. Pro pointed out how the final portion contradicts randomness, thus there is no way free will can depend on randomness as a proof. In Con's final rebuttal, she states: "in order to prove free will randomness is necessary." Unfortunately for her, Pro proved that faults in that claim in the previous round, as seen above. With Pro defeating Con's main challenge, as well as rebutting each additional challenge, I found the scale favoring Pro.

I would highly recommend you guys revisit this debate again sometime and focus less on that argument. Set a firm definition. I know there were a few more, but this one really overpowered the rest. Great debate tho
Posted by Tweka 2 years ago
It is okay.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Your welcome, sorry the vote didn't go your way :(
Posted by Tweka 2 years ago
Thanks for your RFD Wylted.
Posted by Tweka 2 years ago
I was thinking let this be a tie if NoMagic agrees.
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
I can't believe this is still tied. One of you guys shoot me a PM if it gets down to less than 24 hours remaining.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments :)
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed links to behaviors that could be cross applied to anything. I think thi pretty much proves free will doesn't exist. Con explained that randomness was possible, which doesn't prove free will. At best it would show decisions are made as a result of the randomness.