The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Free Will

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/7/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 498 times Debate No: 115146
Debate Rounds (4)
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This is a specific debate about free will. I will take the position that humans have free will (in the libertarian sense of 'could have chosen otherwise') and furthermore that the argument that free choices would amount to random or unexplained choices is not a compelling argument.

Say Bob is presented with the choice between chocolate ice cream and vanilla ice cream. Bob chooses vanilla. Now surely there is a reason why Bob chose vanilla. I maintain that the reason why Bob chose vanilla as opposed to chocolate is because that is how Bob chose to use his will in those circumstances.

Now the determinist may argue that my answer is incomplete or amounts to randomness. However, I disagree. It's not random or unexplained. Bob deliberately chose to align will with choosing vanilla and that explains why he made the choice that he did.

So overall, I am maintaining that the determinist needs to explain why libertarian free choices amount to random/unexplained choices.


Good theme tune to this speech --------------->

What I am going to explain to you is going to horrify you. When I first realized it, I cried (real tears) and begged any God out there to help me and free me from the hell that the truth is... Then I realized the Gods themselves lack free will and that the ultimate power is the fate we are all enslaved by. At first it was horrific, terrifying... Then it became 'just alright' a thing 'I could handle' and then... It evolved into the most beautiful truth I have ever uncovered in all my years of breaking apart reality and the corrupt lies that government tells us (I'm a flat Earther among other things).

Let's start at the basic thing that made me cry:

We are all slaves, we have no say in our actions and if someone molests their child and a gang beats them up out of 'vigilante justice' then both the pedophile and the gang were enslaved and neither really to blame for the evil or good acts they did.

This is, at first, horrifying... If no one had control over their evil actions then every single person we've ever punished was wronfully treated... You know you get raped and worse in prison right?

So what? That's the next step... How can you cope with this ultimate inescapable enslavement to fate, the one true power? You must submit, you must accept... There is no other choice. Even if you 'deny' it to your dying breath you were enslaved to always have done so given your DNA and life experience (both physically and psychologically).

It's a cruel reality, merciless even to the God(s) within it. They control everything except themselves... The irony of it is so cruel they must go insane realising that those worshipping them are deluded!

God didn't choose to be the cruel figure of the Bible, nor to drown the world in a flood with Noah's Ark as salvation God was a helpless, corrupt power-figure enslaved to act as he/she/it/they acted due to how fate programmed him/her/it/them to act.

Understand that given the brain chemistry, body chemistry and life events leading up to that moment... Bob would always have chosen vanilla... This is the brutal truth that you free-willers want to escape and you can't no matter how hard your pathetic slave-mouth moves or puppet-fingers type... You are a slave in the construct and by god are you helpless to evade it...

I am sorry to tell you but the 'proof' of there being no free will is that will itself is dependent on things that leave it anything but free. There is no will with no body and no brain as well as no memories in that physical brain. You can romanticize it being a metaphysical soul but even that metaphysical soul is a slave to its own programming via fate and the Matrix coding.

I ask you this:

If there is a will beyond the given body's biochemistry, brain's construct and chemistry as well as life experience and memories up to that point then what is it? How can will escape its past? How can you gain the freedom to make the decision beyond the inevitable one you'd always have made in that scenario?

You are a rat in a maze that you can't escape and the scientist isn't God but fate itself and fate is a merciless entity, believe me...
Debate Round No. 1


Con argues that people lack free will. Con's main argument seems to be this:

"If there is a will beyond the given body's biochemistry, brain's construct and chemistry as well as life experience and memories up to that point then what is it? How can will escape its past? How can you gain the freedom to make the decision beyond the inevitable one you'd always have made in that scenario?"

In response: I argue that the will is the aspect of the person that chooses how to respond to a situation. So certainly one's biology, past experiences etc. affect the type of thoughts and desires one has. Yet, I see no reason to think that a person can't still choose between multiple options in how they respond to those thoughts and desires.

For example, say Bob had the thought to go to ice cream parlor because for whatever reason he just happened to think of ice cream and his taste buds are inclined to like ice cream, especially vanilla. He can still assess the idea of going to the ice cream parlor to get vanilla ice cream and choose whether he wants to do that or think about doing something else. Now say he chooses to think about doing something else. The idea of that other consideration will probably pop into his mind without total control, but he has some control over this process is my point. Bob is constantly interacting with the thoughts and desires that pop into his mind.

So overall, while there is a level of determinism in the thoughts and desires that come about for Bob. Bob still has free will in how he chooses to respond to those thoughts and desires.


You are messing with the wrong debater here... I have fate backing me ------>

The case against free will begins with understanding insanity and how people with higher sentience than an animal but lower sentience than the average human operate. Whether it's Down's syndrome etc. you will see that the more people are able to access mentally, the 'freer' the will appears to society.

It is such that Fate sets you up to make decisions again and again and yes the 'option of chocolate' exists in your perception but in reality to Bob, the option was never a real option at all even if he felt that it was.

Pro concedes (so I won't provide proof unless demanded to) that the chemistry of the body and biochemistry of the brain's neurones and physiological interactions of neurones etc. are the entirety (yes entirety) of what leads people like Bob to end up picking vanilla and even to want ice cream in the first place (their memory of ice cream is being triggered in some shape or form by a combination of hunger, perhaps heat or perhaps an urge to feel child-like again). Pro concedes these influence the decision but says they see no reason to think that a person can't still choose between multiple options in how they respond to those thoughts and desires. Well here is where the flaw is:

1) The 'response' is part of the result of the desires and thoughts.
2) There is no 'responding to one's own response unless Pro means in hindsight. Bob easily could regret choosing vanilla later on and this would in no way at all prove free will but instead encourage us to think Bob was trapped in a limited mindset and body chemistry that made him go for Vanilla on impulse combined with lack of an urge to prevent that impulse.

So in other words, Pro is saying that because there are other options I (Con) am denying that the individual responds to the 'choice' and 'chooses' as a response to their thoughts and desires. Where Pro is going wrong is that the very response itself is chained to said thoughts and desires.

The remainder of Pro's Round 2 has been annihlated by this fantastic, eloquently written rebuttal. I thank you for thanking me for reading this masterpiece.

Debate Round No. 2


Con says that body and biochemistry are the entirety of what leads to Bob picking vanilla. I don't agree with that point as that would be materialistic materialism which I reject.

Con then says that the consideration of other options is itself also determined. I agree that this is the position of determinism, but I don't see why I must agree that determinism is true.

I still think it is entirely plausible to maintain that while a person's mind is influenced by desires and considerations outside of their initial control, a person is presented with competing desires and considerations that they then freely choose among.

I see no reason to give up that conception. The strongest argument against this view of free will (I think) is the argument that free will amounts to randomness, but I don't think that argument follows.

So, I think free will can still be maintained and in fact I think it best explains our experience of how we make choices.


Alright. Since this isn't the last round I am still entitled to bring new evidence here and will indeed be doing so as it's entirely how I will secure my win. I will like to explain why I didn't bring the proof before (most debaters would) as I feel it's very justified why I withheld it.

What Pro's position is: Free Will (independent of enslavement to preset conditions and their inevitable snowballing into what occurs) is provable and true.

What Pro's position is not: Con can't prove an alternative to Free Will because the default is Free Will.

What Con's position is: Pro cannot successfully prove 'Will' (which is an illusion at worst and at best is a genuine experience that is still enslaved to act as it would act given everything that there is before the 'will' is acted upon).

What Con's position is not: Free Will is the default and can be proven impossible.

There is an extremely important concept here: Free Will is not the default option.

In Round 2, Pro completely condeded that there are physical elements that entirely influence the decision that Bob makes.

I will just link here a few things to cement that they exist and are real.

Here I'll simply be quoting very reputable sources. This way I am bringing no new points of my own but merely proving what I mentioned before to be correct. For the ease of following I will just be posting sources as I go along rather than a 'reference' type of source-list; the source is below the quote it applies to, not above.

First, let's provide reputable sources that say how heavily emotions impact decision making (this is just the beginning, I am aware that how I need to prove more).

"Your emotions will drive the decisions you make today, and your success may depend upon your ability to understand and interpret them. When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous systems responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a "gut feeling") and certain thoughts in your mind. A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarize an experience and inform your actions."

"For a 2003 study, Lerner had a group of U.S. citizens read either a news story about anthrax mail-threats, which was meant to make them feel afraid, or one about celebrations of the 9/11 attacks by some people in Middle Eastern nations, which was meant to elicit anger. Those who were made to feel angry saw the world as less risky, and they also supported harsher measures against suspected terrorists. We saw this angry certainty play out in Congress: Only one member, Barbara Lee, a Democratic representative from California, voted against the authorization to use military force against terrorists in the wake of the attack.

“We said, ‘We’re acting, we’re striking back,’” Lerner said. “Everyone agreed.”...
[Same source later quote now]
"Surprisingly, though, happiness isn’t much better at inspiring good decisions. Several studies have shown that people who were in a positive mood put more faith in the length of a message, rather than its quality, or in the attractiveness or likability of the source. Given that it’s typically the amicable job interview that results in an offer, this might explain some of the economic advantages that flow to tall men or attractive people.

Under certain circumstances, sadness can be good, since it fosters systematic thought. The slightly melancholy, to whom no option appeals very much, will dutifully think, “on the one hand, x, but on the other hand y,” Lerner said. And that’s good! But too much sadness can set off rumination— “you keep thinking x, x, x, x,” she said—which is not going to get you any closer to signing on the dotted line (or not!) with satisfaction and relief.

What’s more, sadness might make you more impatient. A 2013 study by Lerner and others found that people who felt sad accepted up to 34 percent less money in order to get paid now, rather than three months from now. But at least it might make you more generous toward others: She’s also found that sad people allocate more to welfare recipients than angry people would, since the angry would likely blame poor people for their own misfortune."

"When it comes decision making, a little emotion is good, even if the emotions seem inherently unpleasant or unproductive. Feeling a little fear, sadness or irritation can help to spark motivation or broaden the search for alternatives.

On the flip side, a little too much emotion is generally bad, even if the emotions seem pleasant and productive. When an entire team of people is feeling curious, excited or confident, they are more likely to spend too much time admiring the view in their matching rose colored glasses, or happily make a decision to drive right off a cliff.

So, when you are working with your team to make a decision, it is critical to be aware of how the emotional state of people around the table affects the team’s approach to the decision. This is especially true when emotions are running high, or when everyone in the group is feeling the same way."

"Now, let's look at how much of the 'thinking after emotions' is actually 'free' of any physicality (which Pro has yet to prove is even possible, let alone plausible).

"It can be a bit frightening to realize that we are the only ones living the experience that we are living, that what we are calling our experience doesn't exist in any real sense, except for an instant inside our minds. So, too, it can be unsettling to consider that there really is no shared experience going on whatsoever. Furthermore, we do not choose the thoughts and feelings that appear before us -- they simply appear to our awareness and then disappear, like fireflies in the night. From what thoughts are made and from where do they come, we simply cannot know.

But the question then begs, if each one of us is hearing different thoughts (living an entirely different circus, if you will), none of which we actually script ourselves, then to whom or what are all these separate and individual performances appearing? Who or what is the larger audience -- the collective awareness within which all these individual events occur? This is a question to ponder rather than answer.

And so the next time that a thought appears before you, within your awareness, remember that it is not real in the sense that it has some solid form or exists somewhere outside of you. The contents of what you are thinking about are in no way affected by the fact that this thought is appearing within you, nor is he/she/it aware that such an event is happening in your internal world. The thought appears in front of and within only you. Without the juice of your attention, it simply disappears without a trace."

I would paste more but my characters are running out.

The only point Pro has brought against this is a baseless assertion that there is a third layer of decision making:

Emotions/impulses ---> Experiencing thoughts that are happening in the brain ----> "FREE WILL" ----> Action

What Con suggests in place of this is the following:

Emotions/impulses ---> Experiencing thoughts that are happening in the brain ----> Applying emotionally-run moral/priority compass to navigate which thoughts to pay most attention to ---> Action

Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by asta 3 years ago
The bible supports free will in 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Atheists believe in free will since there is no G-d in their worldview.

Either way, free will exists.
Posted by RMTheSupreme 3 years ago
Pro got annihlated by quitting AGAINST HIS WILL wahahahahaha
Posted by Kfog 3 years ago
How can one have 'free will' if they cannot choose and dictate their own conscious desires? You cannot want to want something or decide to decide something. You are no more free to choose the next word that comes to your mind than the next word that comes to mine.

A puppet is free as long as he loves his strings.
Posted by KristoMF 3 years ago
I'm curious about how this will unfold. I don"t think humans have free will (in the libertarian sense of 'could have chosen otherwise'), but I don"t think it depends on if the universe is deterministic or not. I just don"t see how you can account for it in any scenario.
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