CreateDebate


Debate Info

120
100
Yes. No.
Debate Score:220
Arguments:107
Total Votes:257
More Stats

Argument Ratio

side graph
 
 Yes. (56)
 
 No. (51)

Debate Creator

Assface(406) pic



Does free will exist?

Yes.

Side Score: 120
VS.

No.

Side Score: 100
6 points

My will is my own because I say so.

My destiny is of my own decision because I say so.

My choices will always be my own because I say so.

I will not allow anything to influence me except for the things I care about because I freaking say so.

And that's that.

Culture does not have a hold on me. I have a hold on me.

Side: Yes.
Axmeister(4317) Disputed
1 point

But do you control what you say?

Side: No.
chatturgha(1630) Disputed
4 points

I do.

Because I say so.

Googily fartsicles.

Side: Yes.
1 point

this is the way i feel too, im responsible for my actions, we all have freewill, just use it wisely

Side: Yes.
3 points

Yes it does exist. We have free will to choose what religon we want to have and no one will accuse us. We have the freedom of shopping in a store with our own money. We have the freedom to buy a house wherever we like instead of a person forcing us to live in a certain place. We have free will to work at a specific job and earn our own money and spend it without someone telling us to buy something or forcing us to spend on something we do not want.

Side: Yes.
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
4 points

Who the fuck upvoted this 6 times? I worry for this website sometimes.

We have free will to choose what religon we want to have and no one will accuse us.

Religion is like the most "accused" aspect of oneself in the history of the world... plus you've given no proof you're free to choose your religion. The opposite from your other debates, you seem thoroughly and completely indoctrinate with no free will in the matter at all.

As for the rest of it. Just think really, really hard about what you said and I'm sure you'll apologize to everyone for subjecting us to your childish gibberish.

Side: No.
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
2 points

Yes it does exist. We have free will to choose what religon we want to have and no one will accuse us.

Most people do not choose their religion. Do 4 or 5 year olds choose to go to Sunday school? I’m not talking about the handful of kids who realize early on that they will be admired by their parents and church instructors of how devout they seem or how well they recite scripture. I’m talking about the average kid, who complains about having to get dressed up, and endure more school on a Sunday (or Saturnday) when they would rather be out playing with the neighborhood friends.

Fact is is that we are born into religion, and later on we can make the choice of whether or not we continue in it. Do you think that the majority of the United States is Christian because of choice? Or is it because that just happens to be the predominant religion?

We have the freedom of shopping in a store with our own money.

Suppose you wanted to buy liquor under the age of 21? Or cigarettes before the age of 18? Where’s your freedom in that?

And did anyone ask you if those dollars you use should be considered legal tender? Do you have the choice to print your own fiat currency and use that instead?

We have the freedom to buy a house wherever we like instead of a person forcing us to live in a certain place.

What if someone already owns the property that you have your eyes on? Are you free to take it from them if they do not wish to sell it to you?

We have free will to work at a specific job and earn our own money and spend it without someone telling us to buy something or forcing us to spend on something we do not want.

So employers have no outcome in whether or not you get hired? And if you have a job, do you get to choose how many taxes you are required to pay? Or whether or not you have to pay them at all?

I think you might have a stronger argument if you focused on a philosophical point of view. The points you gave are too easily refutable.

Side: No.
Niko(127) Disputed
5 points

Do 4 or 5 year olds choose to go to Sunday school?

Yes, they do, because they do not want to disobey their parents.

Suppose you wanted to buy liquor under the age of 21? Or cigarettes before the age of 18? Where's your freedom in that?

First off, the vendor has the free will to either let you buy them illegally, or not sell them and abide to the law; it is their free will to make that decision. Just like you wanting to buy liquor. You have the free will to either go against the idea of buying the liquor or cigarettes, or you could decide to go and attempt to buy the liquor or cigarettes, and trust the vendor. The outcome, however, does not affect your free will. You just make a choice to abide to society's laws, or go against them to get what you want.

For example, say you do decide to go buy the liquor. Your free will allows you to choose to go and try to buy it, despite society's laws. But, if the vendor does not allow you to buy liquor, your attempt has failed. It doesn't affect the decision you already made; the vendor's free will to sell it or not determines the outcome of your choice.

Same with the legal tender point. It is their free will to ask you or not about its legality. It is your free will to use legal tender or not. The consequences are completely different than free will. They are the outcomes of your actions. Just because your decision fails in the end does not mean that you don't have free will.

Are you free to take it from them if they do not wish to sell it to you?

You are free to make the choice to start building on that land. Law enforcement has the free will to take action and stop you from breaking the law any further.

So employers have no outcome in whether or not you get hired?

Yes they do, it is their free will to hire you or not. It is your free will to attempt or not attempt to get that job.

And if you have a job, do you get to choose how many taxes you are required to pay?

You don't choose who you are required to pay for taxes, but you can choose which one you want to pay. You are required to pay a certain amount to not have consequences at all. You do have the free will, however, to choose which ones you want to pay.

Side: Yes.
Liber(1728) Disputed
3 points

Most people do not choose their religion.

Such a declarative statement without evidence is worthless.

Do 4 or 5 year olds choose to go to Sunday school?

To say that they either do or do not choose would be a generalization. Considering the vast number of four or five year old children in the world who go to Sunday school, I would be most surprised - and surely many others would be, too - if there was not a single one who enjoyed the experience. Perhaps, even, a majority enjoy the experience.

I’m talking about the average kid, who complains about having to get dressed up, and endure more school on a Sunday (or Saturnday) when they would rather be out playing with the neighborhood friends.

Surely there are many such children in existence, but is that child the average, or the stereotypical?

Fact is is that we are born into religion

Fact is, this isn't true. Fact is, many people a raised religious; some continue the practice, whereas others do not. Still, there are others who are raised without religion and ultimately convert for any number of reasons.

Side: Yes.
hhioh(454) Disputed
2 points

I think it is pretty ignorant to claim that being born into a family that is religious automatically makes you a Christian or Muslim etc. as religion is a lot bigger than birth and common association. For example, Christianity is about a relationship with the Christ and in Islam you have to follow the pillars of Islam and associate with witnesses - something you can not really force children to do. I don't disagree that being born into a religious family can create a tendency to lean that way, but it can also cause rebellious intentions as well.

Side: Yes.
3 points

yes everyone can control what they do and blaming others is no reason not to have free will some might have a disorder that allows them to be controlled much like children when their young but everyone can think for themselves.

Side: Yes.
3 points

Yes and No; will is something insufficiently defined. Perhaps it is undefinable? Nevertheless, the paradox is this:

•The chemical reactions in our brains control our will

•Our will controls the chemical reactions in our brains

So we chase our tails, the chicken and the egg all anewed. What's this to say? That we can retroactively work this down to a finite point? That one exists because their parents were will-bound to create, and so were they, and so on, until evolution regressed before the mind, and we find prokaryotes and amoebas reproducing for still uncertain reasons, back further until the dawn of life, where will re-enters in 'manifest vs. destiny"?!

Side: Both
3 points

I made a decision to write on this debate; I did it with freedom and it was of my own will.

Side: Yes.

There is no way for us to know 100% if free will exists or not. There is no way for us to know 100% if we exist or not. Maybe tomorrow the butterfly that is dreaming about us will wake up and our universe will end...

However, if we set aside the extreme-philosophic, the rational conclusion is that we do have free will. Imagine a society with the consensus that there was no free will. If that decision was made(not made, since there would be no will, but decided for us), there would be no consequence for any actions.

It's better for us to live in a society with responsibility, so we can work together for the common good.

Side: We Can't Know
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
2 points

There is no way for us to know 100% if free will exists or not. There is no way for us to know 100% if we exist or not. Maybe tomorrow the butterfly that is dreaming about us will wake up and our universe will end...

That’s cute.

However, if we set aside the extreme-philosophic,

Please do. And thank you.

the rational conclusion is that we do have free will.(The rational one? Really?) Imagine a society with the consensus that there was no free will. If that decision was made (not made, since there would be no will, but decided for us), there would be no consequence for any actions.

Besides the fact that this would be blatantly false, this is called circular reasoning.

Now, why is it false? Well first, because the truth to whether or not there is free will is not incumbent upon a society’s consensus, nor does that consensus dictate a loss of responsibility. If anything, there would be more responsibility when people realize how much of an impact their decisions have on others. And second, because consequences to actions that were caused by an external force still exist.

Suppose a woman puts a gun to your head and says ‘give me your money’ (external force), sure you could choose either or, but there is still the outcome of either dying or losing money; both can be considered a consequence, and the conclusion you arrive at is dependent on what you value more, not “free will.” That same woman who put the gun to your head was low on money (external force), she could have decide to either rob you and risk going to prison or not feed her kids, both outcomes can be considered consequences, and again, the decision she arrived at depended on what she valued more (or less) at the time.

And let me touch on this bit for a moment: "since there would be no will, but decided for us"

I’m curious as to why people hold this false dichotomy between ‘free will’ and ‘fate’ (or decisions made FOR us). I don’t believe in fate, and I don’t believe in free will. Nothing is ”decided” for us. It’s just that all of our choices that we arrive at were determined by external causal factors that we have no free will of. When I say “external force" or "causal factors,” I don’t mean God or even other people necessarily. Causal factors could be any range of things from the society we grew up in, to our upbringing, down to our very genetic makeup and the processes of our brains, all are causal factors and the supposed free will choice we arrive at is the conclusion of those various causal factors which then continues on and serves as another causal factor for future choices or events.

Side: No.
zachdamacatt(13) Disputed
2 points

you kinda messed up on the "since there would be no will, but decided for us."

I think the person who wrote this post originally was trying to say that the government or society, not fate, makes the decisions for us.

Side: Yes.
TruthAnalyst(48) Disputed
1 point

There is no need to demean philosophical discussion Coldfire. We owe much of what we are to philosophy.

Yes, free-will is the natural thought. If we don't have it, then many of us are decided in some way to think that we do. Rationally it is a better concept to exist than otherwise, as it allows more for society to exist in its current form than otherwise. If there were no free will, then the thought of us punishing people for breaking the rules of society becomes an unbearable burden. Why should we punish anyone for doing something if they don't have control?

You say people would be more responsible if they realized how much their decisions affect others, but how could a person be more responsible unless they had the free will to choose to be so?

Consequences to actions caused by an external force do exist, but not in the sense of individual responsibility.

Your example of having a gun to the head actually argues in favor of free will. If it weren't for free will, you wouldn't be able to choose to save your life by complying. Besides, not everyone chooses to comply simply because someone shows force. Many people choose to train and arm themselves to be able to defend themselves.

sure you could choose either or, but there is still the outcome of either dying or losing money; both can be considered a consequence, and the conclusion you arrive at is dependent on what you value more, not “free will.”

You said yourself, we can choose. We choose based off of what we value(our lives), but the reasons for making a choice don't change the fact that we are still making a choice. Free will doesn't mean you make some random choice in every situation.

I never said it is free will vs. fate. It is free will vs. no free will. You can call it fate, or reaction, or reflex, or anything else, but the truth is it has to be will, or no will.

You are the one creating a false dichotomy between free-will and informed decisions. People make decisions based off of experience, and we call that trait wisdom. You can exercise free will wisely.

Side: Yes.
emmanir(3) Disputed
1 point

I don't like to blame the others in thinking the way they do regarding the issue at hand. It is probably due to their lack of knowledge of the Christian scripture. As can be clearly known in the scripture, God created man and gave him the "Free Will" from the start. Because of that "free will", Adam, who is the first man, sinned when he followed his will instead of obeying God's command not to eat the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. The reason why there is so much evil in mankind today is because many men today follow their will instead of God's will. Since I strictly practice and obey the doctrines of Christ to the letter, I support the "YES" view.

Side: Yes.
Assface(406) Disputed
2 points

There is no way for us to know 100% if free will exists or not. There is no way for us to know 100% if we exist or not. Maybe tomorrow the butterfly that is dreaming about us will wake up and our universe will end...

This is some fifteen-year-old-who-just-watched-the-Matrix bullshit, and while technically true, it's the epitome of pseudo-philosophical apologia. If you were to bring that sentiment into a college-level metaphysics class, they'd laugh at you until you burst into flames.

Imagine a society with the consensus that there was no free will. If that decision was made(not made, since there would be no will, but decided for us), there would be no consequence for any actions.

This is a sociological argument, not an ontological one. No one is arguing that the belief in free will (or, even absent the belief in it, acting as though it does exist) isn't supplemental to productive, healthy society. That'd be 'tarded.

The irrelevance of your argument is exemplified here:

It's better for us

Side: No.
TruthAnalyst(48) Disputed
3 points

I would recommend trying to argue without demeaning people or their arguments. Respectful, rational arguments are more productive.

My point was, the answer is unknowable. One position we can take in relation to it then, is similar to Pascal's Wager. If we cannot empirically determine if free will exists, then it would be best to wager that it does.

There is no way to ontologically determine the existence of free will.

Side: Yes.

Ha! Does free will exist? I'll tell that to myself when I get to heaven. :D

Side: Yes.
1 point

Yes free will does exist. You can live like you want to live, be who you want to be, say what you want to say (in most cases), like what you want to like, hate what you want to hate, it's all up to you. No one should force you to make a decision you don't want to make. It's all up to you and how you view things.

Side: Yes.
0 points

We will always have free will and there is nothing that can change that, even in Egypt they weren't getting free will but they worked together and overthrew the government. They got their free will but to gain free will you will always have to use free will in the first place so no matter what you will always have free will.

Side: Yes.
0 points

It's quite obvious that we do. If things were destined to happen, then surely some higher being has already defined what will happen in time. Therefore, why would this higher power want to make things like WW1 and WW2 happen? Free will suggests that anything can happen and we decide how it happens, but the fact that we can decide such things as what we have for dinner etc, suggests that we have free will, purely by thinking about what to do. There is nothing really to suggest that we don't have free will, as even with some religions such as Christianity, it suggests that we have free will, and that God has given us the options of what to do. If He did want to control us all, then surely everyone would be Christian, and the same would apply for most other religions.

Side: Yes.
-1 points

If we didn't have free will, we would not be able to kill ourselves.

If we did not have free will, we would be in-able to eat when we wanted. Anyone, (even if not given permission), could walk over to the fridge and grab what they want to eat.

The only thing that we do not have free will over whether or not we die, because it is naturally a part of life.

Side: Both
8 points

No as in I'm a slave to my experience, wiring, knowledge base, genetics etc. True everything I think, do, say, etc can be traced to a million million different factors all resulting in one inevitable action however odd, random or free that action may seem.

adeuhfqiojtgoirenoiaerjfgae - I just for no reason banged randomly on the keyboard, but that I did it and even the random letters are a result of experience, the size and shape of my hand, the keyboard I bought, brain waves etc, not random or free at all.

But also yes.

All of those things which determine what I do are mine and not another's. So in that sense my will is my own, thus free.

Side: Both
4 points

What is free will? What is choice?

What causes the choice you arrived at? Is it free will?

Here's the kicker: Did you choose for that cause to be a factor in your decision? Did you even choose for free will?

Find one cause, just one, that you had no choice in. And you will have your proof that there is no such thing as free will.

Allow me to start you off: Did you choose to be born? Think about it. Not in the obvious fact that you did not choose to be born, instead think about the fact that you wouldn't even be able to have this debate, if you didn’t exist. And that that existence is based on no free will of your own. You had no choice in the matter, yet your ability to make decisions now derives from that very event of you being born.

All choices have a cause behind them. Even if you choose something with the intention to go against this fact, THAT in itself was caused by your attempt to refute it. We have no choice. We have no free will.

To support free will, is to support the idea that we can make random choices independent of causal effects.

"Nothing occurs at random, but everything for a reason and by necessity." - Democritus

Supporting Evidence: Determinism (www.informationphilosopher.com)
Side: No.
Troy8(2431) Disputed
2 points

Did you choose to be born?

No, but others exercised their free will in order to give birth to me.

Side: Yes.
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
4 points

The choices your biological parents made are irrelevant to the fact that YOU had no choice in the matter, and that every choice made thus far derives from that very causal factor, from that starting point which was by no free will of your own.

Side: No.
Assface(406) Disputed
3 points

Did they choose to be born? Did those who begat them, and so on?

Side: No.
4 points

A lot of people here seem intent upon arguing that conscious deliberation implies free will, which it doesn't.

An entity within a deterministic system can create the illusion of free will with sufficient complexity. It is practically free will, but not technically.

Think of it this way: you have free will. But what you do with that free will is already determined by deterministic forces. Hence, it's not really free will.

Side: No.

I agree. I mean I agree that the point you are touching is essential to this debate.

When one decides or chooses, is it really I who is choosing? The act of choosing could be a simple illusion. We believe that is our choice. But could it be really I who is choosing if I is manipulated. Freedom is when one is total control of himself. Are our choices pushed by diverse influences, like education or even our unconscious desires ?

Was it Kant who intruduced the idea that freedom was an illusion, an idea?

Side: No.
1 point

Was it Kant who intruduced the idea that freedom was an illusion, an idea?

No. Immanuel Kant argued to the contrary in fact. In both Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason, Kant argued, quite strongly and successfully, that morality implies rationality and then rationality would imply free will. Ergo, there is free will.

Side: Yes.
3 points

To say otherwise is to say human will somehow lies outside of the realm of cause and effect, which it most certainly doesn't. We're equally subject to our influences as balls on a pool table.

Side: No.
yamancool63(17) Disputed
2 points

" We're equally subject to our influences as balls on a pool table."

That's like saying a human has their whole life planned out for them, which is a completely ridiculous idea.

However, that's not to say that our influences, rather our upbringing can cause us to have certain preferences or tend to lean a certain way. Ultimately, one can choose to break free from that.

Side: Close but no
Coldfire(1014) Disputed
4 points

That's like saying a human has their whole life planned out for them, which is a completely ridiculous idea.

Indeed, that would be ridiculous, if that’s what Assface meant, but that is hardly the case.

Have you ever played a game of billiards? Before you break, do you plan on or even expect where the balls will roll? More importantly, did the balls roll on their own accord? Did physics play a role at all in the outcome of where the balls ended? Are these external forces by any choice or free will of the balls’ outcome?

However, that's not to say that our influences, rather our upbringing can cause us to have certain preferences or tend to lean a certain way. Ultimately, one can choose to break free from that.

Our influences and upbringing are just the tip of the iceberg for causal effects and external forces.

Can you give me one example of how “one can choose to break free from that,” as well as other causal effects and arrive at a totally independent and random free will choice?

Side: Yes.
2 points

We have a conscious based on society and we give into it often, so no. I don't believe we have free will.

Side: No.
Niko(127) Disputed
2 points

Just because we give into it often does not mean that we do not have a choice in the matter. There is a pretty major difference between free will and self control.

Side: Yes.
Saurbaby(5579) Disputed
2 points

We give in because the consequences society has shown us. That is not free will.

Side: No.
Troy8(2431) Disputed
2 points

We have a conscious based on society and we give into it often

And this society acts based on free will, so we are influenced by the exercise of the free will others own.

Side: Yes.
1 point

Why can't I say "I want to kill the President?" Why Can't I kill myself if I want to? Why can't I abuse myself in the bathroom of a public restroom? If i had free will to do what i wanted without anyone holding me accountable then I may have free will but in reality it's other people judgement of what is right and wrong that control society and control each person...

BOOM

Side: No.
zombee(1024) Disputed
3 points

You can do of all those things, you'll just be punished for them. Free will does not mean action without consequence.

Side: Yes.
casper3912(1581) Disputed
2 points

It does mean that expected consequences don't affect the action though.

Side: No.
1 point

Imagine an infinite number of identical rooms, each with the exact same person inside the room. If given the identical choice, example 'choose between the letters A and B' the person would always choose the same letter. If the conditions were EXACTLY IDENTICAL nothing could influence or alter their decision.

Life is a vast extension on this; everything you do is a choice and your choices are always determined by factors around you and previous events. For example, instead of a choice between 'A' and 'B', imagine the choice of 'what to have for dinner?'. Given an identical choice- people will always choose the same thing.

Side: No.

No one asks to be born, therefore, free will does not exist.

Side: No.

No, a will costs a lot of money. Anything that involves a lawyer costs a lot of money. Wait..., are we talking about the same thing? ;)

Side: No.