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

Free will is nothing more than an illusion

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/13/2018 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 300 times Debate No: 115522
Debate Rounds (3)
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Free will is merely an illusion.

I understand that this is disturbing to many and will cause a visceral, adversarial reaction in some. It is disturbing for people to be told that they are not, have never been, and will never be in control of the wants that arise in consciousness and therefore the consequent actions. I blame no one for succumbing to the illusion of free will - the feeling that in any given circumstance, one could have chosen otherwise. Most people want to believe that their good deeds have merit and their morally praiseworthy actions are in fact morally praiseworthy. However, even a cursory examination reveals that this simply cannot be a condition that any logical person supposes.

One cannot control what it is that they want - they cannot dictate their own impulses and tendencies. We have no idea what we intend to do until that intention itself comes into existence. In no way is it possible to be the author of one's own conscious desires. Perhaps you can decide what you will do next, but you certainly cannot decide what you will decide to do.

      • "Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect as well as the star." - Albert Einstein

      • "The first dogma which I came to disbelieve was that of free will. It seemed to me that all notions of matter were determined by the laws of dynamics and could not therefore be influenced by human wills." - Bertrand Russell

      • “How can we be “free” as conscious agents if everything that we consciously intend is caused by events in our brain that we do not intend and of which we are entirely unaware?” - Sam Harris

      • "Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills." - Arthur Schopenhauer

There are, of course, many deep implications of this - for the justice system, religion, morality, etc. However, that is not what I wish to debate here. I simply wish to contend that free will is a mere illusion in our current reality.
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Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by canis 3 years ago
Its a debate about nothing... Unless you say free will is = A and not B.. Free will is to take a sh...(A).
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