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Debate Info

38
40
Yes No
Debate Score:78
Arguments:110
Total Votes:84
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (31)
 
 No (31)

Debate Creator

Dermot(5736) pic



Is free will an illusion ?

I find it a very interesting debate topic and philosopher Galen Stawson has strongly held views on free will ..........
 






1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.
2. To be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are — at least in certain crucial mental respects.
3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.
4. So you cannot be ultimately responsible for what you do.



Yes

Side Score: 38
VS.

No

Side Score: 40
4 points

If you believe in any form of God, then you run into the problem that since God is omniscient, he already knows exactly what going to do at every single point of your life. This means that your life in some form is mapped out already for you, and so you don't have free will, you're not taking turns in direction, you're just going down a path that has already been laid out.

Side: Yes
1 point

If you believe you are nothing but an apparition caused by chemical fizzes and you are not real, then of course you have to believe you really have no free will.

Atheism and evolution stand on nonsense.

Side: Yes
Atrag(5556) Disputed
2 points

Chemicals arent real now? Wow... this fake Christians ignorance is boundless.

Side: No
outlaw60(15367) Disputed
1 point

Chemicals aren't a free will ? That is an illusion ? When did this happen ?

Side: Yes
Dermot(5736) Disputed
2 points

Says a guy who takes instruction from a whirlwind in a cloud 👻👻👻👻👻

Side: No
ironskillet(220) Disputed
1 point

"If you believe you are nothing but an apparition caused by chemical fizzes and you are not real, then of course you have to believe you really have no free will."

I'm sure there's someone out there that believes that people are nothing more than chemical (and electrical!) signals, yet they also believe in free will. You never know.

"Atheism and evolution stand on nonsense."

Source?

Anyways, I'm a person who thinks that we are more than chemicals, but I also don't believe in free will.

Side: Yes
NowASaint(1378) Disputed
0 points

You want a source for atheism and evolution standing on nonsense? How about common sense. Can you find any common sense? There is no evolution without abiogenisis, life always descends from living things, to believe it spontaneously rose by chance is a scientific impossibility. Also to believe intelligence/consciousness rose from mindless matter is not only a scientific impossibility, it's absurd the same as life rising from non-living matter...absurd. It's nonsense sold to people who want to believe they are exonerated in death and will not be held accountable for their time.

If common sense is not enough to tell you atheism and evolution are silly absurd lies, then you will forever wrestle with absurdities like trying to convince yourself that you have no free will.

One absurdity leads to another.

Side: No
1 point

Yes of course we have free will, however, there are consequences as does freedom of speech etc etc.

It takes a very strong will to stand, often alone, and fight for ones beliefs, in the face of opposition, against the tide of oppression, injustice, regulation, etc etc etc etc

Side: Yes
1 point

"1. You do what you do, in any given situation, because of the way you are.

2. To be ultimately responsible for what you do, you have to be ultimately responsible for the way you are — at least in certain crucial mental respects.

3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.

4. So you cannot be ultimately responsible for what you do."

The way you are (what ever that means) is a combination of your conscious mind along with your sub-conscious mind. No one is in conscious control of their sub-conscious mind. Therefore no one is really in control of their thinking

All the rules of human interaction are based on the illusion that humans are normally in control of their thinking. The implications of individuals not being regarded as in control of themselves, leads directly to chaos. It's better that we allow this illusion to remain. 😨

Side: Yes
1 point

3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.

YES you have just explained the inner city run by Progressives ! Good job explaining that Dermot !

Side: Yes
Dermot(5736) Disputed
1 point

Don't thank me thank Galen Stawson he wrote the paper 😱😱😱😱

Side: No

It certainly is.

Though jury is still out on whether everything is entirely a result of historical inevitability or not.

I'm on the side that it is.

There is a possibility of free will existing, though.

Side: Yes
1 point

Ask a torture victim if he/she has free will. #AolishTortureNow ....................................................

Side: Yes
Atrag(5556) Disputed
1 point

You have the comprehension of a 5 year old .

Side: No
Sitar(3680) Disputed
1 point

You have the morals of the Antichrist.............................................................................................

Side: Yes
0 points

Free will gradually turns illusion. It's like the cat is not at home so the mice say, let's have a party.

That is how atheists want it. With the word God, sin and hell off of their conscience. So that they can party mindlessly in the beauty of the illusion.

If God is still acting the same as He used to in the old testament, killing people for the slightest offence, it even happened in the new testament with Ananias;

The illusion of free will won't be that intense that, people will proudly shout out they are gays, fornicators and even say fuck God.

The illusion of the free will God has given man has grown so intense.

Gone were the days when king nebuchadnezzar didn't even have free will in his private thoughts. He lived in the forest as punishment just for an ' attempted' thought of pride.

God was not only colonising how he should act but also how to think.

And he was punished for thinking wrongly.

And in those times, i bet no one whoever knew God would attempt misbehaving even though he hadn't seen him.

But after jesus's coming it has all changed.

Now people are free to even speak blasphemies(like dermot usually does) and yet will be forgiven if asked for in repentance.

The illusion has intensified that, people even,can directly insult God, sin proudly and publicly, justify it and boast to be children of God(He is very tolerant).

Free will.

Right now, free will is not absolute whith moral laws still around serving as a boundry and limit.

People break them everyday and justify themselves.

But what atheists want to achieve is really massive.

They want absolute free will where there is no burden of God,hell or sin torturing their minds in their attempts or acts of wrong doing.

They totally want to discard it like junk.

And i fear for them.

But the illusion will be over soon when God says Game over.

That is when the cat is back and you see the mice running in all directions for safety.....

And to end, people are even capable of freezing their brains.....due to the illusion of free will...

Kids in a candy and toy shop trying every candy or game for free but governed by a few rules so the illusion does not be wild them. But dermot and his people don't want it like that. They don't any rules. They even want to forget the shop has an owner. Well there are cameras in the shop watching you, keep on fooling. Every rule broken will be accounted for.

Side: Yes
3 points

I would say that free will does exist. It is my belief that if you claim that free will does not exist, how did you come to make the claim that free will doesn't exist? If it's just chemicals reacting based off previous chemical reactions, then you truly do not have free will. That would just make you a moist robot

Side: No
Amarel(5565) Banned
2 points

The conscious expression of the chemical cause for thoughts and actions is experienced as reasons. If I ask you why you did something, you can likely give me a reason (the cause). Before you take a specific conscious action, you will usually understand the reason for doing it. This is simply another expression of causality, without which your experience would be random and unpredictable, and choices impossible.

Causality is cited to explain that free will is an illusion, implying that free will would necessitate an absence of causation. This is an inaccurate perspective of the phenomenon of choice.

Side: No
luckin(176) Clarified
1 point

I'm just looking for clarification of what you are saying. It kind of sounds like you are in the middle but leaning more towards free choice. Am I right in representing what you said?

Side: Yes
Dermot(5736) Clarified
1 point

You say .... It is my belief that if you claim that free will does not exist, how did you come to make the claim that free will doesn't exist?

But what thought went before you had that thought and the one before that etc ,etc etc ?

If you were told that you hadn't free will how would that effect you and why ?

Did you read the four steps in the outline and think through them

Side: Yes
luckin(176) Clarified
1 point

I did. However, I disagree with the logic of steps 3 and 4. While I do agree with step 3 to a certain extent, I don't think that step 4 follows from step 3. Here's what I mean. We may not be responsible for our genetics, be we are responsible for how we react to stimuli. It seems like the whole argument assumes that everything about us is strictly nature and ignores nurture

Side: Yes
LGDumbo(2) Disputed
1 point

There is always going to be something that makes you do something. someone may come to the conclusion that free will doesn't exist, only because the question makes you choose a side. There is always something that will influence your actions, even if you don't know it, so free will is an illusion.

Side: Yes
Jace(5220) Disputed
0 points

That would just make you a moist robot

Yes. And?

Side: Yes
luckin(176) Clarified
1 point

What is your objection? I would appreciate it if you brought forth an objection

Side: Yes
2 points

The irony with the claim free will is an illusion is that even the people who fall for that illusion and walk around saying or believing they have free will in essence do have it - for the sole reason that they believed in it. And meanwhile the people who made up their minds that it's all an illusion have doomed themselves to never having anything remotely free will.

Side: No
ironskillet(220) Disputed
2 points

You still haven't provided any argument over whether free will is an illusion or not.

Side: Yes
Dermot(5736) Disputed
1 point

Because I never said either way I posted a question regards the four steps which typically very few address

Side: No
Jace(5220) Disputed
2 points

Whether one believes that they have free will doesn't determine whether they actually have it, anymore than believing in the existence of anything else determines its actual ontology. Are you a philosophical idealist? That's the only way your remarks make any sense (and I don't think idealism is logically defensible).

Side: Yes
Grenache(6054) Clarified
2 points

I was trying to be ironic, which sometimes is fun on a debate website. But you don't find it fun.

OK. So if you want to put idealism aside then that means we can use reality to also test the its an illusion side of this debate. For example:

1) Despite the most sincere efforts of parents and society to raise people who will think and act a certain way there are countless examples of people who go bad or simply rebel or just turn out utterly unexpectedly. The child of a preacher who ends up being a porn star, the rich kid who becomes a monk, etc. How can none of these cases be free will when so many people and forces tried so hard to make them otherwise?

2) If it's an illusion then Presidents, criminals, cheating spouses, etc, all should just get a free pass for whatever they have done which we don't like. But in reality we never do that. We hold everyone accountable in every way we possibly can conceive.

3) The biological and environmental reason people give for there not being fee will would also apply to pretty much every other living creature, meaning if we don't have free will then neither do they. The pitbull we put down for biting didn't have it, the bear we shot for its forays into human neighborhoods, even the bacteria we fight when they infect us. In reality we do take action against all these things, because taking action makes a difference in our continued living.

Side: Yes
Dermot(5736) Clarified
1 point

Apologies I left a comment on your post which was for another since deleted

Side: Yes
outlaw60(15367) Disputed
1 point

So Progressive do you not have free will ? Is your free will just an illusion to you ?

Side: Yes
outlaw60(15367) Disputed
1 point

Hey Progressive do you not have the free will to move about as you wish ? Do you not have the free will to purchase what you want ? Obvious that you do because you purchased a computer but is that free will an illusion ?

Side: Yes
Amarel(5565) Banned
2 points

3. But you cannot be ultimately responsible for the way you are in any respect at all.

3 is the crux of the matter and it must be supported. The outline in the OP provides no basis for this assertion. My take is somewhat unrelated to the outline.

The argument against free will is based on some confusion about the nature of free will. Namely that a causal world makes free will impossible. This notion suggests that a person could only be said to have free will if they did things without cause or reason. That a person with free will would not be able to answer the question of “why” with regards to their actions. This is the straw man most understand to be free will.

Free will relies on a causal universe. In a dynamic causal universe, the individual is simultaneously exposed to a near infinite number of causes. The human brain, is capable of accounting for, and being aware of, a wide array of causes (though not all). The exercise of free will is the process of choosing between alternatives. The alternative actions ahead of us are determined by the causes one values, or puts more weight on. We weigh and measure our reasons and our probable outcomes with unaccounted for variables harassing our progress and demanding constant adjustments. The more aware a person is of the various reasons and alternatives, the more free their will can be said to be. The more unique and even brilliant their solutions will be.

A person who is very much in control of themselves will always have an answer to the question of why they have acted. They are aware of their causes. They have often consciously chosen them. Whereas a person who is not in control of themselves, who cannot maneuver the world, often cannot answer the question of why they have chosen a given course or action. They either don’t know or they simply felt like it. The latter is what free will should look like in the minds of those who think it is not causal and is thus an illusion. Free will is not an illusion, because it is causal.

Side: No
Dermot(5736) Clarified
1 point

I cannot answer the question with the same assurance you seem to have , once you acknowledge your free will it's no longer free , once you think to yourself I'm acting on free will you no longer are , it is now determined you will act this way .

Does step 2 . Not give clarification on step 3 ?

I can send you the broader outline if you wish ?

Side: Yes
Amarel(5565) Clarified Banned
1 point

once you acknowledge your free will it's no longer free

What do you think it is to have free will?

Why is a causal (determined) world in opposition to free will?

Side: Yes
Amarel(5565) Disputed Banned
1 point

Does step 2 . Not give clarification on step 3 ?

It doesn't clarify why step 3 would be true, which is what is needed.

I can send you the broader outline if you wish ?

That may be necessary.

Side: Yes
ironskillet(220) Disputed
1 point

"The exercise of free will is the process of choosing between alternatives."

But what controls the choosing? Even if we rationalize, we rationalize based on past experiences, knowledge, possibly genetics, and so on. We can't control these, yet these factors control our rationalization. If these factors control our "choices", then how are there alternatives?

"The more aware a person is of the various reasons and alternatives, the more free their will can be said to be. The more unique and even brilliant their solutions will be."

Why does increased awareness lead to increased "free will"? Sure, their choice will be more informed, but that does not mean that it has been chosen freely. These various reasons influence rationality.

"They are aware of their causes. They have often consciously chosen them."

Awareness of causes =/= a choice has been made. Rationalization could lead to the illusion of choice, because there are alternatives, but ultimately one choice would have been made given the situation.

Side: Yes
Amarel(5565) Disputed Banned
2 points

But what controls the choosing? Even if we rationalize, we rationalize based on past experiences, knowledge, possibly genetics, and so on.

What else should we base rationale on? We weigh our future expectations against what we know from experience. If we truly learn from experience, we will be more effective at choosing future action that serves our values. Free will depends on this causal relationship, as does your ability to reasonably predict a course you may attempt to choose.

Why does increased awareness lead to increased "free will"? Sure, their choice will be more informed, but that does not mean that it has been chosen freely

Their more informed choice will likely be different than otherwise. They can account for more causes to action. If there were no variables, influences, or determinants, then there would be no choice to make.

Awareness of causes =/= a choice has been made.

You can know that awareness of causes provides choice, because new awareness of new causes often changes the decision that is to be made.

Rationalization could lead to the illusion of choice, because there are alternatives, but ultimately one choice would have been made given the situation.

The past is always a singular timeline. We cannot say the same of the future.

Your criticism of my position seems to be based on what I claim is an incorrect consideration of free will and choice. You cannot get rid of causes and call it free will. The eradication of cause to action would be similar to a madman who knows not what he does nor why. The elimination of determinants would be a universe in which choices would not be possible, since one could never predict outcomes. Thus, to say that free will can’t exist because of the existence of causality is actually absurd. If what you call an illusion is actually awareness, you might consider your outlook.

Side: No
2 points

We all have free will, we can think of anything we want. Even if somone is druged so that he loses his will, that doesnt mean thats always the case. As long as there is one case where free will isn't an ilussion we can't say free will is an illusion.

Side: No
1 point

Atheism requires this kind of nonsensical philosophizing......ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.....a waste of time.

Side: No
Dermot(5736) Disputed
0 points

If you feel that strongly about it .... don't do it 👻👻👻👻

Side: Yes
1 point

Free will is the right, idea or mood to do anything you wish. illusion on the other hand, is like a mirage, hallucination or a false belief. Free will can of course be true not an illusion.

Now coming to the explanation, free will is a right of every person in specific matters and illusion is something that isn't true so that would be actually Donald Trump being better than Barack Obama. Free will can be provided to every single person on this planet. Then how come 'free will' is illusion? Illusions can never be trusted in a proper way. So, by concluding to my point and resting my case by saying that free will is not an illusion, I end my argument.

Side: No

Unless it means something one way or another then it's a meaningless debate and just wordplay, like a "who came first, the chicken or the egg debate".

Because if criminals lack the free will not to commit crimes, then judges also lack the free will not to send them to prison, so everything in daily life is identical either way, making it a redundant debate.

However, the proponents of the "no" side argue for it strongly because the 'implications' of that position imply a lack of personal responsibility, and not being individually to blame for one's bad actions, so arguing the "yes" side would of course be the better of the two positions.

Side: No
1 point

If I knew this was your discussion, I never would have looked at it..but the "is free will an illusion" question is so stupid I couldn't resist posting...(hmmm...duhhhh...maybe I did not choose to post but had to do it because that's the way the chemicals fizz here....hahahhahaha, how stupid can you be? "mommy, can I be smart if I want to, or must I be stupid because I have no free will?" ......stupid brat needs a good whooping so maybe it will learn something about reality and get saved from Hell....but I sure have learned not to read your garbage.

Side: No