To clarify, I'd like to point out that here determinism is referring to only the hard determinism as Pro has been advocating against free will leaving no room for soft determinism. As a theist and compatibilist myself, I will attempt to articulate how hard determinism is not reasonable from any sense through my first round arguments and rebuttal.
My arguments will not connect myself with my own compatibilist views since that would be kind of an imposition. However, from the tons that I will argue with it might sound a little bit subjective but through a broader spectrum you can see how they are justified.
My arguments in this round will point out some of the fundamental flaws in hard determinism as follows,
External Determinism. External determinism holds external stimuli such as environment, childhood etc responsible for the choices and decisions that we make. Sigmund Freud might be the most renowned figure in this regard as he approves of unconscious mind storing experiences and desires that later render through actions. In 1961, in a study by psychologist Bandura, children were found to be more aggressive due to upbringing by violent parents and the case was termed as an evidence for external determinism. But look how that pans out with a logical approach. The case seems more like an acquired behavior than a determined behavior since you can't possibly predict what turns out next. Limitation of behavior sciences here rules out the absolute possibility of a predetermined roadmap of those children. So, say if any one of them was to turn out to be less aggressive or calm even in the later life of them, the entire effect of the stimuli would fail to claim a hand. Besides, there has been a certain tendency in neo-freudians that allow us to think that Freud might have been a compatibilist himself. Because his psycho analysis therapy although was based on the theory of determined experiences, his remedial approach was more dependent on patients themselves making a change to their routines. Without free will and belief, that seems out of question. Erich Fromm in his 1941 book Fear of Freedom reflects the ideology very beautifully.
Internal Determinism. Internal determinism relies upon the notion that biological processes and metabolism have a determined cycle and it controls the entirety of a system. In a word, it sounds pretty much of a bleak argument in favor of determinism. In fact, the conception renders the humans as nothing but biological machines. But that naturally is not the case as it contradicts the evolutionary, psychological and hierarchy aspects of living organisms. Christian List, an atheist philosopher, has a very strong argument as he points out a sort of duality in human beings- as a mass of chemical particles and biological processes and also as something called an intentional agency. According to him, disbelief in free will results from a reductionistic worldview. Reductionists limit the scientific possibilities and work through the lens of reducing the whole of universe to only physical processes. Such an unscientific method of propounding perspectives is clearly not acceptable in the mainstream scientific community and so the only way that the humans make sense of beings is when we consider them intentional agency; not just a matter of biological origins . Since behavior science hasn't been able to counter that so far, internal determinism stays just a basic mistaken theorem.
Humanistic Approach Against Determinism. This argument is a rather spin-off of my previous arguments. Humanist psychology has been a very active sector constantly dismantling the idea of determinism. It's supported not only by human psychology but also by practical biology and neurology. According to the best of of human psychologists like Maslow and Rogers, freedom is intrinsic and absolutely essential to define a human. If we are familiar with the Maslow's Hierarchy of human psychology on which almost all the classical and traditional psychologists agree upon, we can see that self-actualization is the highest up in the ladder. This self-actualization is nothing but an acquired skill to call in inspiration to claim uniqueness from any other species and is possible to achieve through individual efforts. So, even within social sciences, free will is fundamental and integral to being a human in the first place.
For character limitation, I'm ending my arguments for now and will continue to articulate new arguments in later rounds. I'll request the judges to look at my arguments in one and homogenous form, not via a break for every round.
I’m a theist and I wholeheartedly believe in free
will. However, for the purpose of our debate, I shall momentarily consider it to be true
I'm not sure if the debate policy has anything written regarding this because I can easily use this statement against Pro as a weak display of conduct and can further issue a possibility of lack of unbiased sources from him. Using it in description is okay but within a round of debate seems pretty naive.
Burden of Proof. Pro provided no solidity in his claim; he dedicated only one of the paragraphs to why free will is problematic, Not a single reference to how determinism may be the truest in its form. Unless he carries the burden of proving that through scientific and philosophical window, the debate edges towards Con's favor.
There is no sole arbiter of
morality, I have feelings to discourage me from committing evil things because
events have dictated me to have feelings.
The only sound statement from Pro but still it is easily denied by my external determinism argument since Pro mentions events dictating actions. However, my next arguments will focus more on that but for now it may be deemed self-contradicting for Pro as he doesn't seem to find a solution for predetermined feelings of those who commit crimes.
VOTE FOR CON!