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  • 2 years ago

    This was a really fascinating discussion and I'm glad I got to hear it. I think both of you had some really great points and I learned a lot from each of your perspectives. That being said, Pro places a really high burden on himself with his chosen resolution, so it's almost impossible for him to win in my mind.

    The problem with pro's position is that even we take his stance of determinism as proven (and those arguments to my mind were a wash), there is no possible way he can prove that in his system, where people are raised from birth with a belief in determinism, that this would necessarily be a better system for society where people function without ego. I think it's possible it would work that way, but there's simply no reason to believe that he is necessarily correct. Pro even agrees that he has no frame of reference for his system, so the idea that his society would work is just conjecture. It's nothing but a theory, albeit an interesting one.

    Also I agree with Ben that free will is not currently taught to society in schools or anywhere else, so it's wrong to say that libertarian free will is institutionalized. I've never had a class where someone told me "you have free will!" nor do I see it institutionalized in any way except that lots of people sort of believe it by default. But that's just people randomly believing something. Nothing about that is "institutionalized" by government or society, so the idea that institutionalized libertarian free will is so dangerous to the human race doesn't seem proven to me, since I've never actually seen any instances of institutionalized libertarian free will. Even if there is an institutionalization of that concept, it must be pretty small for me never have to seen it, and either way pro didn't show that it existed.

    With that being said, I really like a lot of the pro's arguments, and I think they make a lot of sense, with the caveat that they are theories. But for the purposes of this debate, a theory is not enough to prove the resolution, so I vote Con.

    • 2 years ago

      @debateme13 Thanks for watching. I am glad you got so much out of it. For me , that is a win. I agree my position was too developed with little to fall back on empirically.

  • 2 years ago

    Whether or not free will exists is irrelevant to the debate, so I don't know why half the debate is spent on it... Additionally libertarian free will and hyper-individulism are two completely different things. How Libertarian free will is institutionalized is never really explained.

    Additionally, there is actually a ton of psychological research on the topic. None of which is ever mentioned on either side... But nonetheless almost every shred of research done on societal correlations points that populations who disbelieve in free will tend to be asocial, less likely to contribute to society, and generally more aggressive, where as believers of free will tend to adapt better to stressful situations.




    I was unable to find a single study linking external locus of control or disbelief of free will with anything really positive. So coming from a medical background, its taught in school to screen out patients, co-workers, and employees who have a strong external locus of control (disbelief in freewill).

    They tend to be uncompliant patients: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Farha_Azmi2/publication/272165926_In_Defense_of_Defensive_Nursing_Practice/links/54dcc9ab0cf25b09b912cda2/In-Defense-of-Defensive-Nursing-Practice.pdf#page=126

    and they tend to be poor workers: http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2010-13313-012

    Basically the Pro allows the debate to venture off topic and makes a very poor argument. Not to mention there is literally an avalanche of research which proves the benevolent effects belief in free will has on the progress and prosperity of the human race.

  • 2 years ago

    It's quite a claim! (especially "Greatest cultural affliction")

    You are both totally right about free will :) At least in my opinion. I suspect we have none, but I can't say with certainty. And more importantly, it means nothing to us because we still have to live our lives making choices and being responsible for them. (Y'all are smart cookies!)

    Isn't social justice a moral condemnation in its very nature? I think it is assumed that most criminal code represents a moral/ethical judgment of action by the society. Not every moral act is legislated, but most legislation has a moral underpinning.

    THis is a great discussion because Pro introduces some very interesting idea, and Con does a fantastic job deconstructing them in both a critical and inquisitive fashion.

    I tend to feel that selfishness (at the expense of others) is the great social evil. Is individualism by default selfishness? I tend to see a distinction between them. You can be proud of your individual character, and still be generous or kind or forgiving.

    I also tend to think that human beings are inherently self-interested, and always will be to some degree. But that is good for us as often as not. This is partly because we all learn from peoples efforts to do better for themselves, which in turn helps us do better for ourselves. (none of this is part of the debate, I'm more participating here)

    I'm going to go with a Draw here, partly because both are equal participants, and this is far more an exploring conversation than a contention. If it were in a tournament, I'd vote Con because of how grand the claim is. Without really knocking the claim out of the park, Con wins by default. And Con does a fine job questioning the hypothesis.

    • 2 years ago

      BTW @Jrountrey we see the world in pretty similar ways. Naturalistic, determinisitc, moral subjectivity and so on.

      • 2 years ago

        Nice debate you both. The biggest problem I see is that its a logical, self-defeating fallacy as if you believe you have no free will you do so because you have no choice but to believe so and therefore no reason to believe its a true statement. Also, is the issue that you want to change people's minds, which if you believe in a combination of cause and effect, which I believe is applicable in Some situations but not in this one where you have independent minds, you imply that they can change their minds. You also talk of ego but isn't it the same thing to claim to be the right side of your own issue? You're saying the problems with the world is that it doesn't believe exactly as you do.

        That said, I would enjoy taking you on for another round where we could specifically debate whether individualism is a problem (I say absolutely not) or the existence of free will itself, @jrountrey

        • 2 years ago

          @nellyj_misesian If you think of choices as a methodological process then it is absolutely possible that it results in true outcomes. A sorting machine will sort objects of different size accurately. It achieves a truth outcome. A logical machine, designed to process inputs and rules, will create true outcomes so long as it has true inputs. Free will has no real impact on this. Indeed free will could trump any and all logic, simply deciding to ignore truth no matter it's strength.

          You can absolutely change minds in such a worldview. In a causal universe, if I create new information, or introduce new ideas into someone else's mind, it will consequentially lead to some change. Not always the change you are after, but if you understand how they think well enough, you can very likely change their mind through cause and effect. Indeed in a free will frame of mind, you can argue truth till the end of time, you can give them every reason in the universe to change, and they can simply use will to resist you against all reason.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried you said a “machine Designed to process inputs and rules.” Again, Designed. You can’t use atheistic naturalism and compare it to an intelligently Designed machine. And to cause and effect, maybe mind can change but not because of good rational argument but because of sound waves acting on chemicals. Naturalism means there is no purpose of debate as there is no right and here is no wrong of any kind. There just is and you have no say in the matter.

        • 2 years ago

          @nellyj_misesian Evolution, as a process could easily create an organism with this ability. Any creature that wants to survive, can benefit from a brain that can take in inputs and come to accurate conclusions about cause and effect of actions. The more accurate it is, the better it will be selected for via survival.

          It is a mistake to see evolution as random. It is a process with a purpose, enhanced survival. it "designs" by a trial and error process (or possibly better, the full mechanisms are not entirely understood as of yet). Simulations have demonstrated that this type of selection process can lead to systems that seek an optimal solution.

          Consider this. Binary logic is a system of logic that always produces fully rational and logical outcomes. Everything every computer does is 100% a function of binary logic. Computers are entirely and completely logical. They are also completely natural. No soul or free will operates in them. Thus they prove that logic is not the domain of the soul but of nature itself.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried evolution create? Come now. If evolution is not random that means it has a guide or at a minimum a process set forth for it to follow but that’s impissible in a purely naturalistic world. The idea that evolution is a process, that is to say it has set guidelines, and is advancing things is to say their is such a thing as universal good-ness and it’s seeking it out. But this violates not only what we actually see, the decay of the world on its own, but implies a transcendent guide.
          Computers do exactly as they’re programmed by intelligent designers to do. They don’t create themselves nor do they evolve on their own.

        • 2 years ago

          @nellyj_misesian Everything in the universe is non-random sir. It all moves according to law and order.

          That is not a universal good, it is a universal truth. Good is a subjective value judgment dependent on a human viewpoint. Being nice is a human judgment, gravity and physics are universal truths.

          Computers can create on their own and they can evolve on their own. But, they are designed to do what we create them to do. Even though, due to human fallibility, they often do not do what we intend them to do.

          Consider this. There is a Go program that can defeat the worlds greatest human Go master. Go is the most complicated board game humans play. None of the people who programmed that go program could defeat the greatest human Go master. The computer does more than the people who designed it can do. It is also 100% logical. It is also designed to learn and grow on its own and so it does.

          Read up on "Emergent Behavior" it won't turn you into a godless heathen like me, but it will help you understand what I am saying about systems giving rise to entirely new behaviors and traits that are not part of their "design" yet come from the nature of the rules in a system.

        • 2 years ago

          @sigfried law and order require a law Giver and orderer.
          The computer can be programmed to conduct a set of rules perfectly. Humans can predict but they can also program how to predict into a computer. Logic is also programmed and computers can be programmed to ‘learn.’ The computer can process data immediately in enormous quantities giving it a huge advantage since humans are poor at processing even small amounts of data. So the computer is essentially still just following its commands exactly and perfectly as it’s designer made it to.
          As for emergent order I’m an advocate for it in terms of Spontaneous Order (Hayek) or in Econ terms The Invisible Hand. But here are processes that come Essentially from individuals designing their own part of He world based on the behavior of others. I have a goal and to achieve it I see what others want and do and react in the manner I see best.

        • 2 years ago

          @nellyj_misesian In human society, lawgivers are required because all laws are subjective creations of human beings.

          In the objective universe, there is no evidence for this. You are trying to humanize the universe, make it obey human values and thoughts. That doesn't work. You can order the sea to obey the king but it will not. The universe does not necessarily require a lawgiver just because we have lawgivers.

          We are also following commands as nature has made us. We have systems upon systems of logic we follow to do what we do. Most of how our minds work is totally beyond our awareness. But it is still there none the less, we have begun to barely see into that world of our inner minds through science. Every step we take, shows us more, and it always shows us that how we think is based on what is happening in our brains. We actually are great at processing huge amounts of data, but that's for another discussion I think.

          Emergent behavior in an economy is not different than emergent behavior in nature. It is the interaction of multiple systems to create conjoined outcomes that result from the operation of those multiple systems in differing circumstances.

          I don't deny that there is a possibility the universe is created and designed. But what I can say with much more certainty is that it is not arbitrary or random. It is lawful and ordered. And so are we. There is nothing unnatural about us. And very likely, nothing supernatural.

      • 2 years ago

        Something for you guy
        A great deal of research shows that those who believe there is NO Free Will are much more likely to engage in anti-social behavior and criminal behaviors by corrupting behavior, "Leads to impulsive selfishness", as well as volunteer much less

        • 2 years ago

          @nellyj_misesian I enjoy the irony that science both argues that we likely don't have free will, but that believing we do is beneficial to society.

          It goes to show that being rational, is not always entirely practical. :)