Instigator / Pro
1
1473
rating
4
debates
0.0%
won
Topic

Free will is the ultimate good

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
0
3
Sources points
0
2
Spelling and grammar points
1
1
Conduct points
0
1

With 1 vote and 6 points ahead, the winner is ...

Benjamin
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Philosophy
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
One month
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
10,000
Contender / Con
7
1740
rating
56
debates
73.21%
won
Description
~ 83 / 5,000

Free will definition: The ability to do something independent of outside influence.

Round 1
Pro
Forfeited
Con
The ultimate good for Aristotle is eudaimonia, which is usually translated as “happiness” or “flourishing”. [1]

Free will =/= happiness
Free will =/= flourishing


Free will does not lead to happiness or flourishing. Free will necesarily creates evil by allowing immoral decisions to be made. The ultimate good is paradise, heaven, a place without suffering or evil --- a place without evil decisions. Free will contradicts the requirements for such a utopia, namely fully enforced morality.


Furthermore, free will is a nonsensical concept; an illusion, not something real. Human choices are determined by the impulses we receive and the personality nature and nurture has produced. For a human to act independent of their surroundings and experience is to act in accordance with pure randomness. This is not how people work. Homo sapiens, like all mamals, have a set of different systems reacting to stimuli and changes to the enviroment. An example is the hormonal system responsible for growth and puberty, as well as adrenaline rushes and many more. The human nervous system is the quickest and most complex biological system in existence, but it follows strict physical laws. Neurological signals are transfered through nerves according to the strict law of electromagnetism that controls chemistry and most of biology. The universe does not allow our brains to act independently, it is forced to obey the same determinism everything else does. More problematic for PRO's case is the fact that decisions, even those we are aware of, are likely made unconciously. Processes outside of human "will" controll our behaviour and actions. This goes to show that free will doesn't exist in the real world in any way shape or form. Free will is an illusion because our conscious selves is neither free nor responsible for our decisions. Ultimate good is a world where you can't freely chose to be evil.


CONCLUSION: Free will does not exist and is not the ultimate good. It is therefore not true that free will is the ultimate good.
Round 2
Pro
This is not a free will debate, its assuming free will exists. You used an argue from eudemonia, i was going to use the same argument! I didn't publish an argument in the first round, as I believe me opening this debate was a bit hasty of me, as I don't have a strong argument just yet, nor am I sure of it myself. It's the same with the anti-natalism debate I have going on. In fact, I'm not even an anti-natalist.

Rebuttal I: Free will and eudemonia
My argument, just like yours, entails an argument from eudemonia. Unlike you, however, I believe freedom, or at least the sense that we have control over our actions, is crucial for human happiness and therefore our flourishing. Even if we recognise we may not have free will consciously, this never registers emotionally. Regardless, if we recognise we do not have control, we believe we do in day to day living, just as we may recognise the universe may not exist ( solipsism) but treat it as if it does. Aristotle's Eudemonia was generated by someone following their truest nature, i believe a big part of this, at least for a human, is free will. If we truly didn't believe the universe existed, we would go mad. Just as if we acted as if we had no free will, we would go mad. This is an innate a priori within the human experience that can be denied through discursive knowledge. It can be denied by the rational logical mind, yet it cannot be denied by the qualia, the intuitive mind. You cannot separate eudemonia and free will from the human phenomenological experience.

Rebuttal II: The value of choice
  What exactly is goodness? I've become convinced that goodness doesn't even exist. What is goodness? It is simply whatever someone's nature makes them want to pursue. In the case of a human, this is the avoidance of suffering and the maximisation of mental and physical comfort. If you disagree with this position, then you must prove morals objective beyond peoples feelings. The question then really becomes, is there value in allowing a being to go against their own flourishing if they so desire? i would say yes. You can teach a creature logically, and rationally what something is, you can tell a child that touching a boiling water will hurt them, that they shouldn't do it. The child will understand this, yet the child would still not truly know what touching scolding water is like, this is why many children will go against their parents advice and still choose to put their hand in the hot water when told not too. This is called intuitive knowing, when i taste my coffee, i need not to discern anything logically to know the taste of coffee. I know it immediately and intuitively, just as i know myself intuitively to exist. This is the ultimate form of knowledge, as it is self evident, it is immediate. It cannot be denied. In reality, We can never know anything external without directly being aware of ourselves as the experiencer of that thing. Anything that we know always includes a knowledge of ones self at the same time.

Self knowledge is direct and immediate, It is always an aspect of any other kind of knowledge. We don't know ourselves as a bunch of universal concepts, But directly and immediately. Therefore since all experiences of outside things are in reality experiences of the self, Whatever is directly present to the self we experience directly simply by being present with it.   You will never question if your coffee really tastes like coffee. This is an a priori, maths in an a priori for instance.  This is an important concept to understand. Being able to have free will and to deny yourself happiness of your own will is therefore a great source of knowledge, growth, and experience. The ultimate form of knowledge, in fact, this is locked away from a  person without free will. They will never know suffering; they will never know what it is truly like to not follow a certain path. This is a rejection of a thing in itself, an intuitive knowledge of what it means to have a choice. There is value in being able to have choice, not only is the desire to have choice in our eudemonia, there is value in being able to experience what it is like to go against our best interests. I would argue this desire to go against what it is always good for us is in line with our eventually flourishing though.
Con
PRO provided nothing but word salad. The ramblings likely make sense to him, but his conclusions sadly don't align with reality. To cut the chase I am going to present the facts.


1. Humans are a species of primate called Homo sapiens. No immaterial soul has ever been demonstrated to exist. Even if some supernatural immortal consciousness existed it would be unable to affect humans on Earth. Any qualia imaginable would have to be a product of biological processes, not detached from them.

2. The nervous system is responsible for controlling human behaviour and reacting to changes in the enviroment. The brain is divided into specialised parts and regions processing information from different senses, simulating possible outcomes of actions and attempting to predict and plan for the future. Consciousness arises from the brain's awareness of its surroundings and own internal processes. Consciousness is again divided into specific experiences that can be and have been split and still functioned perfectly. For example, people have felt that their own hands had a will of their own, despite them both being controlled by the same brain. Most of what happens inside the brain is filtered out before it reaches consciousness. Sensory experiences are controlled hallucinations; that is, hallucinations constantly trying to make sense of the sensory information flowing in. More advanced conscious experiences, like the illusion of self, are likewise products of smaller ones, and they only serve to inform the brain on more abstract concepts. Researchers suggests that the halucination of volition is usefull for learning and analysing your own actions and behaviour --- it cannot actually affect choices before they are made.

3. The brain is ruled by strict determinism - called the laws of physics. Consciousness will in few years be no more mysterious than life is today, seing as scientific prgoress in the past brought the totally mysterious phenomena of life, it is reasonable to assume the same will happen in the future. Qualia will be replaced by science.

Conclusion: Science has burried free will. The brain makes decisions unconsciously, and then analyses those decisions. Qualia is a hallucination created in the process.



With the facts on the table it seems clear that something which doesn't exist cannot be the ultimate good. PRO's word salad fails to establish why the ability to act free from external influence is more than random outbursts without purpose -- which quantum mechanics could explain anyway. Science has proven that all human choices and actions are responces to external stiumli, no matter the timeframe. Personality and mood are determined by external influence over different timeframes, and the genes of a person were definately not free from external influence. I uphold my case that a world with true free will would be one where evil prospers due to not requiring specific external influence to arise. The ultimate good is merely a hypothetical idea, and nothing we can describe today could be called the ultimate good.


CONCLUSION: Free will is not the ultimate good; it neither exists nor creates happiness in theory.



Source: Being you (2021) - a new science of consciousness - by neuroscientist Anil Seth.
Also, all sources from my R1
Round 3
Pro
Word salad? i suppose i expect too much knowledge off people on this site. That's not word salad brother, its a reiteration of a nominalist philosophy by a man named shurwardi. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbD8vfzsEHA&t= Although it perfectly applies to this idea of free will. You're still waffling about free will. this is not a free will debate. I wont debate this any further, since you've demonstrated you don't want to participate with a hypothetical. Its like someone asking how would a multi coloured flamingo fair in nature? and then to other guy goes, "ughhhh actually sir, multi coloured flamingos don't exist in nature, science!" Just because you didn't understand what i said, does not mean it isn't a real philosophical idea. Just like many people who opened this debate would not of known what eudemonia was before clicking on it, yet that doesn't make it word salad.
Con
I called your argument word sallad because it has no clear argument format nor does it relly on sound assumptions. The words were used in different context's with different definitions all the time while the real world as discovered by science was ignored. One simply does not start a debate about free will being the ultimate good when you deny that it is about free will and admit you don't know what goodness means.

As for your argument; I uphold that a hypothetical free will would ruin causality and enable unimaginable evil. When PRO asserts that free will is needed for knowledge and experience he is wrong, because we already have knowledge and experience in the real world; here were free will doesn't exist.


In conclusion, free will is not the ultimate good.