Instigator / Con
0
1500
rating
2
debates
50.0%
won
Topic
#5088

Free Will vs. Determinism

Status
Finished

The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
0
0
Better sources
0
0
Better legibility
0
0
Better conduct
0
0

After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
4
Time for argument
Two weeks
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Contender / Pro
0
1492
rating
333
debates
40.69%
won
Description

We either have a reason for our choices or we make our choices randomly, and in either case, we are determined to make our choices not of our own free will.

I take the position that either way, by reason or by random chance, we do not have free will.
Therefore, determinism stands.

Round 1
Con
#1
Free will vs Determinism
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First of all, I will define free will and determinism so that we know what we are talking about:
Free will is the notional capacity or ability to choose between different possible courses of action unimpeded.
Determinism is the doctrine that all events, including human action, are ultimately determined by causes external to the will.
_______________________________________
Here is the argument:
  1. We either have at least one reason for a belief or action or we do not have a reason for that belief or action.
  2. If we have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief or action is determined by that reason.
  3. If we do not have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief or action is chosen randomly.
  4. Either way, we do not choose our beliefs or actions freely. They are either determined by some reason or they are chosen by chance.
Pro
#2
" 1. We either have at least one reason for a belief or action or we do not have a reason for that belief or action."

There may not always be a belief behind an action. It could be an action based on knowing that is chosen at liberty by will to learn.

"2. If we have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief or action is determined by that reason."

Yes, determined by that reason that indeed came about from deciding to do something prior.

"3.If we do not have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief or action is chosen randomly."

Is it not possible to be randomly chosen by the individual having the belief making the action?

Wouldn't a reason still exist for something random?

When something is arbitrary, the explanation behind it is there which you may not define as the reason so it may depend on the use of the term. Nevertheless, the cause of something randomly or selective can be tied to my personal objective or will.

"4. Either way, we do not choose our beliefs or actions freely. They are either determined by some reason or they are chosen by chance."

I decided to listen to someone giving a sermon versus going to a football game. I was not forced to go to do either so I had to be at liberty to make the choice to do the action. It was my objective to go to listen to the sermon so it was my freewill. Now because of the freewill, I believe what I believe now based on what I heard at the sermon. 

Now you can argue what was said not determined by me was clearly decided by another. But did I not have a hand in selecting what I was to hear?

I could of heard just gameplays, buzzers, crowds, shouts and calls of players.

What is the bottomline?

Both certainly can co exist , determinism and freewill.
Round 2
Con
#3
Hi, Mall.
Thanks for providing me with so much fun. This is my very first debate and I find myself intimidated.
If I make any newb mistake, please forgive me.

I think that I might have messed up the order of your points, but I have separated them .. I hope that the order doesn't screw up your argument.  I'm rushing a bit because I'm very busy.

Ill learn how to do better as I go along.
Here goes:
_____________________________


" 1. We either have at least one reason for a belief or actionor we do not have a reason for that belief or action."

There may notalways be a belief behind an action. It could be an action based onknowing that is chosen at liberty by will to learn.

If the reasonis a will to learn, then it is a REASON, and the belief or the actionis DETERMINED by that reason. The will to learn is a mighty finereason, indeed.

So, if you disagree with premise 1, it isbased on a misunderstanding of what a reason is.
___________________________________________

"2.If we have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief or actionis determined by that reason."

Yes, determinedby that reason that indeed came about from deciding to do somethingprior.

So we agree onpremise 2.
______________________________________________

"3.Ifwe do not have a reason for a belief or action, then our belief oraction is chosen randomly."


Wouldn't areason still exist for something random?

Yes.

Ifthere is a reason for the choice to go by something random, like theweather or the roll of the dice, then your decision making wasdetermined by that reason.

If your choice was determinedby a reason, it was not chosen freely.
Your choice wasDETERMINED by a reason.
_________________________________

When something is arbitrary, the explanation behind it is therewhich you may not define as the reason so it may depend on the use ofthe term.

You ask me to define the term “Reason”.
That’s fair.

In the context of choosing,when I use the term "reason", I’m referring to theunderlying logic, justification, or rationale that guides andinfluences the choice.
_________________________________

Nevertheless,the cause of something randomly or selective can be tied to mypersonal objective or will.

If you use a personalobjective in order to make your choice, then you have a reason forthat choice.
If you have a reason for that choice, the choice isdetermined by that reason.
______________________________________

Is it notpossible to be randomly chosen by the individual having the beliefmaking the action?

Yes, of course it is.
Onecan have a reason or not have a reason.

A choice that isdetermined by a reason is not a free choice.
A choice that isdetermined by chance is not a free choice.

If there is areason for a choice or decision, that choice or decision isdetermined by the reason.
The fact that the reason is that thedecision should be left to chance doesn’t mean that the decisionwas chosen freely. If one has a reason for a choice, say, to choosesomething by chance alone, then that is a REASON.

If onehas a reason for a choice, that choice is determined by the reason.
______________________________________

"4.Either way, we do not choose our beliefs or actions freely. They areeither determined by some reason or they are chosen by chance."

I decided tolisten to someone giving a sermon versus going to a football game. Iwas not forced to go to do either so I had to be at liberty to makethe choice to do the action. It was my objective to go to listen tothe sermon so it was my freewill. Now because of the freewill, Ibelieve what I believe now based on what I heard at thesermon. “

Your decision to go to the sermon wasdetermined by your objective to go to listen to the sermon.
Youhad a mighty fine reason.

Since you had a reason for thatchoice, your choice to go to the sermon was determined by that“objective”.
_________________________________

Now you canargue what was said not determined by me was clearly decided byanother. But did I not have a hand in selecting what I was to hear?

Oh, sure, if someone else decided for you, then youdidn’t chose it yourself.
Free will means you chose somethingby yourself, freely.

You either chose the sermon for areason or you had no reason at all, and then could have left it tosomething or someone else. But not by an act of your own will. Inorder to have an act of will you have to WILL something and not justleave it up to a whim .. if you leave it up to chance or a whim or afeeling or something or someone else, then you are not making an actof will, you are making an act of whimsy or acting out on somefeeling or obeying some authority figure….

______________________________________

Both certainlycan co exist , determinism and freewill.

I willawait your case for that claim if you find it needed in yourcounter-arguments.
_______________________________________




Pro
#4


"If the reasonis a will to learn, then it is a REASON, and the belief or the actionis DETERMINED by that reason. The will to learn is a mighty finereason, indeed."

In what you just said you integrated"will" with it. So a will is still part of the equation. Who's will is it?

My will. So my will determined or caused everything else. Do you follow? You can say the reason determined but from what? The will. My will. My will lead to the determination you can say by reason of it for me to learn .

You can ask, who or what gave me the will? If you can prove that was determined too, go ahead.

"So, if you disagree with premise 1, it isbased on a misunderstanding of what a reason is."

When I say reason I mean it just like the word explanation. It is a report of why .

"So we agree onpremise 2."

It's an agreement connected to an additional part which invites coexistence of something else which I don't know if you caught or also agree with. Maybe you do agree with the part "that indeed came about from deciding to do something prior." Keyword in there is "deciding ". Who is deciding? If this is just an all around predetermined world, "deciding " of ourselves doesn't exist.

"Yes.

Ifthere is a reason for the choice to go by something random, like theweather or the roll of the dice, then your decision making wasdetermined by that reason.

If your choice was determinedby a reason, it was not chosen freely.
Your choice wasDETERMINED by a reason."

I think this is where we're going to head into a circle. As I'm saying a person can have a will which gave them the reason. You stop at what causes everything is just by reason that we did not create or determined by what was already in place or came with the universe of cause and effect and we're just one of the gears moving in its mechanism. I however go back further than that asking in the middle of these "preset" reasons in the universe what brought us to a specific reason to follow motion in this universal mechanism?

It goes back to my illustration about going to the sermon or ballgame. You can argue that what determined or caused me to go to the ballgame is the reason of watching a ball being passed or kicked. Then I argue how did I get to that reason.
I wanted to see that ball. It was my objective. It is my will to see that. Now not being held a gunpoint to see it, I was at liberty with my will. I chose and moved accordingly to it which was to see it.

Same thing with a will and testament. A person's objective and order of steps to carry out something legally.

"If you use a personalobjective in order to make your choice, then you have a reason forthat choice.
If you have a reason for that choice, the choice isdetermined by that reason."

Question is can I be free to use my objective or do I have to be forced to?

"Yes, of course it is.
Onecan have a reason or not have a reason."

So you're saying yes a person can choose freely to determine or preset determination and not necessarily be a person that already has predetermination set up on them.

"The fact that the reason is that thedecision should be left to chance doesn’t mean that the decisionwas chosen freely. If one has a reason for a choice, say, to choosesomething by chance alone, then that is a REASON."

I understand your position. I just say I can have a will that will bring me to a "chance" or " arbitrary" type situation like having a will to play the lottery or shoot craps. There's a reason or explanation that'll explain why I'm playing but my liberty to choose and do it is freewill.

You can argue slaves don't have freewill or puppets don't have freewill. No debate from me there.

"Your decision to go to the sermon wasdetermined by your objective to go to listen to the sermon.
Youhad a mighty fine reason."

You say "determined by your objective". Translate to determined by your objective (will). 

That's correct and then the question is was I compelled or forced to go listen to someone speak a sermon.

"Since you had a reason for thatchoice, your choice to go to the sermon was determined by that“objective”" (will). 

Right on.

"Oh, sure, if someone else decided for you, then youdidn’t chose it yourself.
Free will means you chose somethingby yourself, freely."

Which I did so I had a hand in selecting what I heard.

"You either chose the sermon for areason or you had no reason at all, and then could have left it tosomething or someone else. "

Again for me there's a reason for everything. There's always a reason. Now depending on how you use the term you may say no. For instance someone uses the term as in justification. There's not always that. I'm saying there's always a cause to effect.

Leaving for someone else to decide can still be in accordance with my initial will. It's called delegation like in any authority scenario. You have your top leader and second in command or general manager and assistant manager. General overseer and assistant pastor or deacon, etc.


"But not by an act of your own will. Inorder to have an act of will you have to WILL something and not justleave it up to a whim .. if you leave it up to chance or a whim or afeeling or something or someone else, then you are not making an actof will, you are making an act of whimsy or acting out on somefeeling or obeying some authority figure…."

This is in conflict and I was going to correct you but you just shot your own self down.

"Inorder to have an act of will you have to WILL something and not justleave it up to a whim"

You're saying here I or someone has to "act" . But what is leaving it up to a whim?

To leave it up to a whim or person or second in command in authority is by what you just said "you are making an act".

Either I'm making the act of myself or I'm already determined see. You've been saying basically I'm already determined by reason. I'm saying it can be both. You can act upon whatever to get a reason for determination to occur. The act I do can determine. What is determined can have me to act to determine the next stage. It can just be a back and forth from my turn to the "inherit reason " already in place not determined by me back to my turn at liberty to the turn or role of the preset reasoning. 


You may notice by now it's all on how we look at it from each perspective on a small scale or grand scale taking one facet and saying that's the foundation. Taking a layer of them learning how all are interconnected.

"I willawait your case for that claim if you find it needed in yourcounter-arguments."

Just about all my counterpoints with the help of you realizing it or not have solidified the coexistence of free will or liberty to execute objectives in tandem with determinism. You're just hyper focused on the determinism portion.

Round 3
Con
#5
Forfeited
Pro
#6
I'm disappointed. Two weeks......you must of fell off the face of the earth.
Debate is good as done anyway so case is rested.
Round 4
Con
#7
Forfeited
Pro
#8
Case closed. Good riddance.