Debate Info

Yes No
Debate Score:14
Total Votes:17
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (4)
 No (6)

Debate Creator

Swryght(161) pic

Do we have free will when it comes to addiction?

Drug addiction has long been thought of as a choice one makes freely. However, recent neuroscience has shown the relationship been addiction and physiology. The dominant trend in neuroscience is now to say that addiction is a "brain disease."It may be interesting for you to read this article before posting:

Do you think that addiction is a brain disease? if so, do you think there is free will involved, or is it merely a deterministic process, which does not admit free choice?


Side Score: 6


Side Score: 8
3 points


Premise 1: Addiction had physiological and psychological components, as well as numerous other components. I agree with DiClemente's definition of addiction, summarized here in three components:

(a) "the development of a solidly established, problematic pattern of an appetitive [...] behavior"

(b) and "physiological and psychological components [...] that create dependence"

(c) and "the interaction of these components [...] that make the behavior resistant to change."

Premise 2: A Person may not choose the physiological aspects of addiction, but (limited) choice is still involved in the other components of addiction.

Obviously we do not choose our physiology or our genetics, but it seems to me that we can still have choice in other aspects of addiction. I think this has been clearly established by neuroscience and psychology. We have (admittedly limited) freedom to choose to initiate drug use, we have the freedom to choose to recover from addiction, and we have the freedom to choose to change aspects of our lives. This is a fundamental tenet of humanistic psychology and psychotherapy--that change is possible.

Premise 3: If a person has limited choice in any matter, then he or she can be said to have free will in regards to that matter To me, this seems clear. The very definition of free will includes the concept that we can make choices.

Conclusion: Therefore, people have free will with regards to addiction.

Please keep in mind that I am not arguing that we are totally free, but that we have a significant measure of limited freedom, which is enough to establish the existence of free will with regards to addiction

Side: yes
1 point

ASCERTAINING A PREMISE probably the most difficult thing here, I agree with the tenet that change is possible but it usually is prompted by a big influence in our lives. But as humans we are subject to our own predisposition to think in a certain way and how susceptible we are to these different aspects of psychology so I would say that as everything is subject to at least one condition, it is very unlikely the addict has much power to change and therefore free - will.

Side: No
2 points

Regarding addiction that has progressed far enough...

It's sort of like asking if someone has free will while drowning due to fatigue out in the middle of the ocean. Bottom line...without outside help (intervention) their personal choices won't effect the outcome. I suppose they can freely choose when to stop trying. So yeah there is an element of personal choice right up till the end.

I've heard it put "When you dance with a gorilla, it's the gorilla who decides when to stop."

Side: No

When it comes to addition, we do NOT have any choice. Two plus two will always be four. I pity the fool who thinks that two plus two is five for large values of two ;)

Side: No
Swryght(161) Disputed
1 point

I had to re-read this before I caught on. Thanks for your contribution :)

Side: yes
HumannamuH(209) Disputed
1 point

True, but I think the question should be is that element or small hiatus in addiction enough to overcome something obviously incredibly difficult.

Side: Yes

As long as I'm not the person having to figure out that something that is incredibly difficult and as long as I am not affected by that thing, then as far as I'm concerned that element or small hiatus in addiction is good enough for me. ;)

Side: Yes
1 point

we do not. coz i always see ppl addicted to drugs doing things out of their control, like stealing money from family hurting whom they love etc they simply cant control what they do. instead they are controlled by drugs

Side: No

To be honest, I'm not convinced free will actually exists.

But if it does happen to be real, one of the dominant characteristics of addiction is how how it erodes our freedom of choice in regards to that substance. The worse the addiction, the less often the addict can "choose" to say no.

Side: No

The addiction will control the individual, thus, the addicted one is held captive.

Side: No