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Free Will or DNA (Discussion Transcript)

posted Oct 7, 2014, 6:32 AM by Carlos García   [ updated Oct 7, 2014, 9:12 AM ]
There was an interesting discussion between Richard Dawkins and David Quinn. This started an interesting exchange that we've chosen to share. 



Our Opening Statement
Dawkins consistently dodges free will in this mini-debate. Why? If we are all the product of our genes and environment, doesn't that mean that our thought processes are varied, but predetermined. 

Example: A child's father beats him, so he beats his child.

If Dawkin's is right, then the child who was originally beaten has no choice but to beat his child. 

However, if there's an intangible that provides free will, then the child who is beaten has a choice of whether he'd beat his child. 

Daily, we punish people for breaking laws, but if people are preprogrammed, then why do we spend time trying to reform (reprogram) these people? 



Their Response
Dawkins has not much interest in free will because he is primarily concerned about the existance of god that has nothing to do with free will. Criticizing Dawkins for not adressing free will instead of adressing his arguments, that is the dodging.



Our Response
If there is no God and no supernatural, then from where do you get free will? 

Consider the argument. 

The naturalist says:
  • consciousness is the result of a mindless process. 
  • there is no spiritual/supernatural

So, if the human mind is the result of a mindless process, how did we get a complex thinking machine from a mass of chemicals? Consider that attempting to simulate the evolution of humanity is counterproductive because you'd put intelligence into your experiments to prove that intelligence isn't needed to produce a mind. 

Furthermore, you're asserting that a mindless, unguided process can and will lead to the produce of a mind. Something unorganized and unguided will create something that is sophisticated enough to bring order and guidance to a being. This line of thinking is the equivalent of finding a temple overrun with vines in the middle of a jungle and concluding that the vines created the temple. 

So, what's this have to do with free will? If our minds are the result of a mindless, unguided chemical process, then the result should be a fully determined being that is (from birth) set on a path. Thus, the murderer is programmed to murder. The arsonist is programmed to burn things. In the end, everyone is preconditioned for their behavior pattern and so we cannot deem one person to be in the moral wrong.

If there is a supernatural, then there's a transcendent essence in humanity that allows humans to imagine something greater than what it is. This would explain how technology advances based on the dreams and aspirations of humans. It would also explain how a person who is preconditioned toward alcoholism can choose a different path that goes against his/her genetic makeup. 




Their Response
"If there is no God and no supernatural, then from where do you get free will?"

Sounds to me like you're saying you don't like the idea of not being free will therefore god. Which is an obvious fallacy.

"So, if the human mind is the result of a mindless process, how did we get a complex thinking machine from a mass of chemicals? Consider that attempting to simulate the evolution of humanity is counterproductive because you'd put intelligence into your experiments to prove that intelligence isn't needed to produce a mind."

We get a complex brain from evolution. We don't need to simulate evolution to see this we only have to look at anthropological evidence. And even if a simulation was provided as proof there being an intelligence behind it would not invalidate it given that the initial conditions of the simulation are naturalistic.

"Furthermore, you're asserting that a mindless, unguided process can and will lead to the produce of a mind. Something unorganized and unguided will create something that is sophisticated enough to bring order and guidance to a being. This line of thinking is the equivalent of finding a temple overrun with vines in the middle of a jungle and concluding that the vines created the temple."

What a strange analogy, we know that evolutions has mechanisms that can create complex intelligence (or mind if you prefer). Vines don't have machanisms to produce a temple. And btw an analogy by definition is never proof of anything.

"So, what's this have to do with free will? If our minds are the result of a mindless, unguided chemical process, then the result should be a fully determined being that is (from birth) set on a path. Thus, the murderer is programmed to murder. The arsonist is programmed to burn things. In the end, everyone is preconditioned for their behavior pattern and so we cannot deem one person to be in the moral wrong."

There being no morality is irrelevant to the question if there is free will. So what if the conclusion of there not having free will is that there is no morality, that still doesn't prove the truth of free will.

"If there is a supernatural, then there's a transcendent essence in humanity that allows humans to imagine something greater than what it is. This would explain how technology advances based on the dreams and aspirations of humans. It would also explain how a person who is preconditioned toward alcoholism can choose a different path that goes against his/her genetic makeup. "

It doesn't logically follow that if there is a supernatural then there is a transcendance essence in humanity. There could be a supernatural (assuming you mean god) and humans could still be mindless machines. And the technology and alcoholism thing don't require a transcendent essence either, another proposition that doesn't follow.

I only debunked your arguments for fun, it still has no bearing on the truth of god question, like Dawkins said free will is a complicated question best answered by qualified people but there are arguments for it like the unpredictability of quantum physics and the plasticity of the brain, none of them require god. And btw, one sure way of eliminating free will is postulating an omniscient omnipotent god because then it would be ultimately responsible for everything.


Our Response
"Sounds to me like you're saying you don't like the idea of not being free will therefore god. Which is an obvious fallacy."

Make a case for your assertion.

"We get a complex brain from evolution. We don't need to simulate evolution to see this we only have to look at anthropological evidence. And even if a simulation was provided as proof there being an intelligence behind it would not invalidate it given that the initial conditions of the simulation are naturalistic."

If we don't need to simulate the environment and can only look at the evidence, then the hypothesis is a matter of the observer's subjective observations. Thus, if an observer is predisposed to believe there is no supernatural, the observer will conclude a naturalistic explanation. Interestingly enough, the naturalist is missing a tool in his/her toolbox. By denying the plausibility of the supernatural,the naturalist denies a plausible cause for the universe, consciousness, and so forth. 

At this point, you'll cite Occam's razor, but consider that the prime mover argument (that even Dawkins holds to) shows that the universe cannot have an infinite past. Thus, there must be an uncaused cause that started the universe. 


"There being no morality is irrelevant to the question if there is free will. So what if the conclusion of there not having free will is that there is no morality, that still doesn't prove the truth of free will."

On the contrary, if there is no free will, there is no morality. Morality is defined as the beliefs of what is right and wrong. Free will is the ability to choose between right and wrong regardless of prior circumstances. So, if there is no free will, then a person would not have the ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus, the person predisposed toward violence has no choice but to perpetuate violence against others. Their actions cannot be deemed right or wrong since they are acting upon their predisposition as set by DNA.



"It doesn't logically follow that if there is a supernatural then there is a transcendance essence in humanity. There could be a supernatural (assuming you mean god) and humans could still be mindless machines. And the technology and alcoholism thing don't require a transcendent essence either, another proposition that doesn't follow."

So, what you're saying is that we can program a robot, stick it in a room with paper and crayons, and it will begin to dream or produce art. The transcendent nature of humanity can be explained by our ability to act contrary to DNA. Again, with the morality argument, if humanity does not have free will, then humans cannot be expected to act against natural urges. In the animal kingdom, we don't claim a snake is immoral because it kills to eat. In animals, there is no morality. All animals act upon DNA and preprogrammed behaviour. 

So, if you choose to respond, I'd expect an explanation of how evolution can produce free will and morality in a species. This is especially problematic in evolution because you're assuming that small changes over time will produce a creature with a completely different family (taxonomy). 


"I only debunked your arguments for fun, it still has no bearing on the truth of god question, like Dawkins said free will is a complicated question best answered by qualified people "


Wow, I'm not sure if you're making an indirect ad hominem in your last paragraph or giving yourself a argumentum ad lapidem. Truth is that you haven't debunked anything nor fully interacted with the claims made. 


"but there are arguments for it like the unpredictability of quantum physics and the plasticity of the brain, none of them require god. And btw, one sure way of eliminating free will is postulating an omniscient omnipotent god because then it would be ultimately responsible for everything."


I find it interesting that in your view, you presuppose that an omniscient, omnipotent god would control everything. Based on your assumption, you're correct, there would be no free will if such a god deemed it. Your argument is a straw man because it fails to consider the will of such a being. Suppose God (being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent) desired to make a creature with which He can have a relationship. The creature would have to have free will. Otherwise, it could have no better relationship with the creator as a toaster would with you. Being free to reject is the very essence of free will. 


Their Response

"Make a case for your assertion."

I did.

"If we don't need to simulate the environment and can only look at the evidence, then the hypothesis is a matter of the observer's subjective observations. Thus, if an observer is predisposed to believe there is no supernatural, the observer will conclude a naturalistic explanation. Interestingly enough, the naturalist is missing a tool in his/her toolbox. By denying the plausibility of the supernatural,the naturalist denies a plausible cause for the universe, consciousness, and so forth."

That's not how science works, scientists extrapolate from the evidence they don't make up evidence to fit their ideas (those that do are just frauds and they get find out) the whole scientific process couldn't function without this intellectual honesty and if there was evidence for the "supernatural" it would just become part of the "natural". Supernatural is just another word for something you don't have any evidence for.

"At this point, you'll cite Occam's razor, but consider that the prime mover argument (that even Dawkins holds to) shows that the universe cannot have an infinite past. Thus, there must be an uncaused cause that started the universe."

Dawkins most certainly does not hold that argument. And even if he did he would be wrong. Do you even look at the other side? because that argument has been so easily refuted time and time again. First, if you say that there must be a first cause, where did god come from? It doesn't make any sense that you start with something complex rather than simple, everything else in nature comes from something simple (edit : or if you rather, everything complex can only be explained by breaking it down in simpler things). Second, it's an argument from ignorance fallacy, because even if you can prove that there must be a first cause (which hasn't been proved) it still in no way justifies for you to call it god it would just mean that there's more to understand. But even then, this argument isn't supported by cosmology, because at T=0 the notion of time breaks down so you can't postulate that there must be a first cause, no matter how much your human intuition tells you to.

"On the contrary, if there is no free will, there is no morality. Morality is defined as the beliefs of what is right and wrong. Free will is the ability to choose between right and wrong regardless of prior circumstances. So, if there is no free will, then a person would not have the ability to choose between right and wrong. Thus, the person predisposed toward violence has no choice but to perpetuate violence against others. Their actions cannot be deemed right or wrong since they are acting upon their predisposition as set by DNA."

Did you even read what I said? I said it doesn't matter if the conclusion of there not having free will is that there's no morality, that still doesn't prove in any way that free will is true.

"So, what you're saying is that we can program a robot, stick it in a room with paper and crayons, and it will begin to dream or produce art."

Given that said robot had an intelligence rivaling our own, I don't see why not.

"The transcendent nature of humanity can be explained by our ability to act contrary to DNA."

Begging the question fallacy, you are assuming in your premise that transcendence exists. And saying "act contrary to DNA" doesn't make any sense, DNA is the blueprint for our genetic make up it doesn't control us.

"Again, with the morality argument, if humanity does not have free will, then humans cannot be expected to act against natural urges. In the animal kingdom, we don't claim a snake is immoral because it kills to eat. In animals, there is no morality. All animals act upon DNA and preprogrammed behaviour."

Again, that doesn't mean free will is true it just means there would be no morality if free will was false.

"So, if you choose to respond, I'd expect an explanation of how evolution can produce free will and morality in a species. This is especially problematic in evolution because you're assuming that small changes over time will produce a creature with a completely different family (taxonomy)."

You are an incredibly confused person, not only do you make all these logical fallacies and doing all these red herrings you can't even keep track of the fact that you're the one arguing for free will not me and like I said I'm just debunking your arguments for fun I have no particular position on free will I just said that even if there was free will, this would in no way prove god. Keep in mind that the argument you posed was "If there is no God and no supernatural, then from where do you get free will?" (which is another begging the question fallacy btw). In other words you think free will exists and that it comes from god. To this you have 2 things to do, #1 prove that free will is true and #2 prove that free will links to god (edit: 3 and prove that god exists of course), which you have failed to do.

"Wow, I'm not sure if you're making an indirect ad hominem in your last paragraph or giving yourself a argumentum ad lapidem. Truth is that you haven't debunked anything nor fully interacted with the claims made."

Read again.

"I find it interesting that in your view, you presuppose that an omniscient, omnipotent god would control everything. Based on your assumption, you're correct, there would be no free will if such a god deemed it. Your argument is a straw man because it fails to consider the will of such a being. Suppose God (being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent) desired to make a creature with which He can have a relationship. The creature would have to have free will. Otherwise, it could have no better relationship with the creator as a toaster would with you. Being free to reject is the very essence of free will."

It's not a straw man, god would still be the one who decides how much "free will" you have. But even if your argument was true you still have to demonstrate that god exists and that free will exists.?


Our Response

What you've failed to acknowledge is that scientists create hypothesis from the data they believe is true. There's a large amount of subjection when dealing with information that's not reproducible. Thus, when scienstists look at fossils, if they are naturalists, they generally hold to evolution. As a radical from the norm, Robbert Bakker proposed that there are only one third of the dinosaurs that we've observed in the fossil record. He proposed that some of the other dinosaurs observed were merely different stages of life. Thus, the protoceratops was a hatchling that would grow into a torosaurus and finally mature to a triceratops. 

Should Robbert Bakker's hypothesis be accepted, it would remove a large number of "transitional fossils" from the evolutionist's set of evidence. Currently, Bakker's hypothesis has been rejected. Regarding Bakker himself, he is an evolutionist, not a creationist.

This is one major case that shows a strong bias being used to keep the God hypothesis out of science. 

Your understanding of Dawkins is lacking. In the "Expelled" documentary, Dawkins (on film) stated that there's no possibility of the Christian God. Shortly after, Dawkins suggests that there may be a possibility of another deity. Shortly after, Dawkins suggests that aliens were the prime mover.

Regarding your disapproval of the first cause (prime mover), there are three accepted possible origins of the universe. 

1) Self Created
2) Eternally Existent
3) Externally Created

The self created argument falls upon itself because the universe cannot be its own cause. For this to pass, the universe would have to have existed before itself or outside of itself. If the universe existed outside of itself, then there would be a supernatural since we could not detect the universe from which our universe came. 

For the universe to be eternally existent, it would exist in one of two states. If a constant state, then you'd require an outside force to start the events in motion which caused the universe to begin the creation of life. This would lead to a supernatural, since in a constant state, inertia would come into play, preventing the universe from changing. 

If the universe was eternal, but in a constant state of flux, then there should be evidence that the universe was in disorder at one point. There should also be evidence that the universe could simply fall apart at any moment. Assuming you're an atheist, you postulate that the earth is over 1 billion years old. Based on that assumption, what are the chances that the universe could remain stable for that length of time if it started in constant flux? 

If the universe was created by an external source, then that source would have the ability to finely tune the universe to remain stable and support life. Whatever outside force created the universe could be considered "god". Whether this is sentient or not, this outside force would have to be more powerful than the universe and have some manner of intelligence to finely tune all forces for stability. 
 

 When you dismissed the existence of morality proving free will, you're failing to deal with a very large question. The question of evil is huge. In nature, there is no evil. All creatures do as they're programmed by their DNA. So, the snake eating the rabbit is not a malicious act of evil. 
 
 However, if someone came up to you and stabbed you in the chest, would that be evil? Would it be wrong? If DNA pulls the strings and we dance to its music, then there's nothing wrong with any atrocity committed. That said, universally, there are certain morals that every society holds. 
 
 1) Do not kill your own
 2) Do not steal from your own
 3) Do not oppress your own
 
The "your own" is added because any deviation from these is justified by saying the target wasn't akin to the one committing the act. Thus, in the early 1900's eugenics movement, people who were less than what was deemed human in society were infringed upon greatly. Mass sterilizations without consent on people of lower IQ's or with deformities and other undesirable traits. 
 
Was this evil? 

Look again at the 3 basic morals of a society.Can people choose to go against them? In today's society, we've seen horrible atrocities. A major one that was on the news some time ago was Ariel Castro. He held women in his basement to rape them as often as he pleased. There were children born from this, some of which he killed. If there is no morality, then what Ariel did was OK. But more interesting, if there is no morality then Ariel Castro could not be tried. He merely did according to what his DNA told him was right. 

Would you say that Ariel could be tried for his crime? if so, by what standard? 

You say I'm begging the question when I assert that our transcendent nature explains our ability to go contrary to our DNA yet you fail to provide a counter point. We have studies showing that humans are predisposed to certain behaviours. Again, with the original example. 

A child of an alcoholic parent has a 60-70% chance of being an alcoholic their self. Native Americans who drink suffer from alcoholism worse than most other races. So, if it's in the DNA to be predisposed toward something, then a human acting upon it must have something that allows them to overrule their natural urges. If a person can overrule their natural urges, they then have free will (as they're not bound to them).

It's interesting how you start more ad hominem when you refer to me as a confused person. Truth is that you haven't debunked anything. 

When a discussion/debate is held, each party must present evidence for their claim. I claim the positive that there is A) God and B) Free Will. To debunk an argument, you must prove the opposite is true. If A = False, then !A = True, but A cannot be both false and true. So, if there is no God, then provide evidence for your negative assertion. If there is no free will, then provide an argument that is logically consistent with your actions explaining why you have chosen to continue this interaction. 


Lets define "Free Will"

According to Mirriam Webster:
1:  voluntary choice or decision <I do this of my own free will>
2:  freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention

Do you disagree with this definition? If so, provide another universally agreed upon definition of Free Will. 

But lets look at it. For a human to have free will, he/she would be able to act independently of the supernatural. When you assert that the measure of free will is based on how much God gives them, you're making an assumption that free will isn't free. You're then moving into a limited free will, which isn't free. Sounds like a red herring to me. 

Either way, your arguments seem to be against the existence of free will. So, you either must respond because there's an outside force compelling you to respond or you choose to respond because you have free will. Please state which one it is in your response... I'm curious. 


Their Response

About your point on science :

If it's true that anthropological science is more subjective than others, but there is no disagreement about the truth of evolution, just about specific aspects of it.

About your point on dinosaurs :

Do you really think that scientists who spent their life studying this don't take into account the "stages of life". And you said his hypothesis was rejected anyway so that's the end of it I guess, if there's a point to make here that will invalidate transitional fossils it will have to be accepted by at least a large number of qualified experts not just 1 guy before I bother looking at it.

About your point on Dawkins :

You're either misrepresenting him on purpose or too dumb to understand his position, because it's clear if you've ever heard him talk or watch his documentaries that he specifically said that there always is the possibility of the christian god, just that it's extremely unlikely, on par with fairies. As for aliens being the prime mover, he said that was a possibility not that that's what he believed, again, you're just lying about this, not that I'd expect intellectual honesty from a theist.

About your point on the Prime mover :

You've just ignored my counter argument and reworded your claim, so there's no reason why I should respond, go back and read what I said.

About your point on the problem of evil :

You have failed to demonstrate how your problem of evil validates free will, sorry to be laconic about this but there's not much more to say about it because it's completely irrelevant to the free will question.

About the transcendent and DNA point :

Again, life experience and rational thought or even irrational in the case of Muslims who don't drink alcohol because of their religion's dogma can easily explain why someone predisposed to alcoholism would not consume, none of that requires transcendence and most certainly does not prove free will.

"It's interesting how you start more ad hominem when you refer to me as a confused person. Truth is that you haven't debunked anything.

When a discussion/debate is held, each party must present evidence for their claim. I claim the positive that there is A) God and B) Free Will. To debunk an argument, you must prove the opposite is true. If A = False, then !A = True, but A cannot be both false and true. So, if there is no God, then provide evidence for your negative assertion. If there is no free will, then provide an argument that is logically consistent with your actions explaining why you have chosen to continue this interaction. "

You can say all you want that I haven't debunked all I can say is read again, I'm happy to clear any confusion but ignoring my counter arguments won't get you anywhere. And you clearly don't understand the burden of proof, I don't have to prove the opposite, I just have to poke holes in your arguments. I suggest you go read on the burden of proof it seems a necessary prerequisite to partake in philosophical discussion.

About your definition of free will :

Okay, let's say I agree on your definition, I wasn't stating that free will isn't free, I was stating that free will isn't free when you have a god. Yes, if free will is given by god then it's not really free will because god is omnipotent and omniscient therefore controls everything, this breaks both your points in your definition. And if you call that a red herring, I would point out that you're the one that brought god in the free will question and I was only responding to that.

About your question on my position on free will :

You guessed right, I would be leaning towards not having free will but I'm not prepared to make a case for it and I'm not very well versed in the subject. Like I said I was just refuting your argument since burden of proof doesn't require me to prove the opposite I see no reason to.?



Our Response:


The problem with evolution is that there isn't sufficient evidence for it. We see stasis in all creatures. They just poof into existence, then are gone. We've never dug up enough transitional phases to show a gradual progression. At this point, the best argument an evolutionist has is falling back on the absence of evidence. 

The other issue with the evolutionary view is that we have found several instances of polystrate fossils. How can the geological column be penetrated by something, if it takes millions of years between layers? Is it possible that the geologic column is wrong? 

Consider also fossilization. In a 1994 study, scientists were able to fossilize shrimp in about a month. If this can be done, what about larger creatures? 

Furthing the issues with evolution, why have there been dinosaur bones found with soft-tissue? In 2005, a juvenile T-Rex leg was found to have soft tissue still in tact. The ultimate assessment by these scientists was that soft tissue can last over 3 billion years, but it doesn't explain another issue. 

Look at anthropoligic evidence for dinosaurs and humans co-existing.  The Acambaro Mexico figures look like dinosaurs. Those date back to the 1600's. The legend of Saint George and the dragon tells of George fighting a creature resembling a Stegosaurus. Saint Martha and the dragon depicts an Ankylosaurus being led into the village to be slaughtered. There are plenty of dragon tales from people all over the world. In each, the dragon descriptions match what we refer to as Dinosaurs. Since the first dinosaur wasn't dug up until the 1800's, how could ancient people describe these creatures in ways that match what we've observed in fossils?

So, when given a wider array of information, the notion of millions to billions of years of evolution seems to have overlooked other factors that could sway against the plausibility of evolution.

But, science doesn't care about history... right?


Regarding the point about Dawkins, I don't understand your need for ad hominem attacks. Generally that's a sign of a person who is weak in their arguments. Oh well...

Since the camera doesn't lie, watch the Expelled interview with Dawkins before replying. Everything I've asserted was actually said by Richard Dawkins. 

Regarding the prime mover, it's OK if you can't interact with what I've written. It happens eventually. 

In my previous statement, I expounded on the evidence for the prime mover. If you don't wish to interact with the expounded explanation, that's your choice since you have free will... right =p


Your not understanding the problem of evil and how morality equates to free will shows me that you either don't understand the issue or haven't read what I wrote. Please reread my response. 

Reading your take on Muslims, you still seem to be confused about how free will allows people to overrule their natural predilections. Please reread all my statements on free will and how a sense of morality demonstrates the existance of free will. 

When you say that you don't HAVE TO PROVE THE OPPOSITE, you clearly are taking a lazy approach. I claim the positive that there is a God. I have presented evidence. You have not provided a counter argument. There's no slacking on this one. Consider also that atheists constitute about 12-15% of the world's population. So, in the grand scheme of things, you are a minority. Perhaps I shouldn't have to prove there isn't a God but rather you should have to prove there is one. 

Considering that you haven't disproven the existence of God, it seems that you are unable to.  


You're logic doesn't follow. You're making the assumption that an omnipotent and omniscent being must be in control of everything. What you're not taking into consideration is if the omniscent, omnipotent being wants to control everything. Remember, that free will is void of influence by a deity or circumstances. 

So, when you postulate that the existence of God doesn't allow for free you fail to recongnize the potential and the will to act. A further illustration. I could go to the store and buy milk, but do I want to? The potential is there, but the desire is not. 

In your argument you falsely represent the nature of God. 

You state that you do not believe we have free will, yet your actions show otherwise. So far, you've continued this conversation. Is there some external force complelling you to do so? If you don't believe in the supernatural, then you must obviously be connected to a machine that's forcing you to type contentious responses. If this isn't the case, why do you keep responding? Why do you choose to to continue down this path? 

Their Response

About your points on evolution :

Just because we don't have the full picture does not invalidate evolution, it' still the best explanation. About polystrate fossils : that was investigated and determined to be caused by flooding rivers, do a short research before presenting such arguments please it would save me some time. About shrimp fossilization : I fail to see what the time to fossilize something have to do to question evolution, you'll have to expand on that. About humans co-existing with dinosaurs: If you really believe that you're nuts and if the pathetic reason you gave me can convince you then you're incredibly gullible. If that's the extent of the evidence you need to believe such a thing when faced with the massive amount of evidence against it then there's not much I can say to you except that your evidentiairy requirements are insufficient. It should be clear to you that the extrapolation you gave me is far fetched.

About Dawkins :

I have just watched that interview, and as I suspected, you are lying. Dawkins says that he finds the probability of a god to be in the 99% against, not that there's no possiblity, and about aliens, he clearly poses a hypothesis, never said that this is what he believed to be true. You sir / ma'am, are a liar. And it's not an ad hominem, because I'm giving you reasons why you are lying.

About prime mover :

I have interacted, I have given you a counter-argument, you have chosen to ignore it. You can expound your supposed evidence all you want, until you counter my rebuttal your argument stands invalidated.

About problem of evil and morality :

Again, you have failed to demonstrate how this proves free will, all you have said is that you don't like the idea of no morality, and expanded on that with your problem of evil, therefore you think there is free will. That is a fallacy. It's as if I said I won the Nobel prize because think it would be nice if it were so.

About Muslims and overriding natural predilections :

Again, you are ignoring my counter argument, I have given you reasons why none of this requires transcendence and how it does not prove free will in any way, until you address this, this argument is also invalidated. But since I know you will try and ignore this as well, let me make it clear : people override their "DNA" as you say, with life experience and using their brains to think, this does not in any way infer free will, just because you do something contrary to your genes, does not mean it's not deterministic, the brain itself, that allows you to make this decisions could also be deterministic, it does not require transcendence or free will. You must use other arguments to justify this.

"When you say that you don't HAVE TO PROVE THE OPPOSITE, you clearly are taking a lazy approach. I claim the positive that there is a God. I have presented evidence. You have not provided a counter argument. There's no slacking on this one. Consider also that atheists constitute about 12-15% of the world's population. So, in the grand scheme of things, you are a minority. Perhaps I shouldn't have to prove there isn't a God but rather you should have to prove there is one.

Considering that you haven't disproven the existence of God, it seems that you are unable to.  "

Again you claim I have provided no counter argument, this is clearly your tactic to win this debate and it's a sad one. There's not much I can do in this context except to tell you to go back and read what I said, if you persist on refusing to do so, I'm gonna have to end this discussion. And again you don't understand the burden of proof, you can call it lazy if you want, I don't care, I'm not required to. And being in a minority in no way shifts the burden of proof. Of course I can't prove the non existence of god, it's a non falsifiable hypothesis, which is why it can never be considered as a serious claim.

About free will and omnipotent god :

It can never be called free will if a god gave it do you, regardless of if it intervenes or not, you only act within the confines of what this god dictates.

About your last paragraph :

That's not an argument for free will, you're just saying I have no reason to do what I'm doing. And yes, the "external force", the "machine" you mention would be my brain.


Our Final Response

In your opinion, evolution is the best explanation. Then again, you ignore the evidences for a creator, thus creating an argument from ignorance. Besides, Darwin himself said if the transitional fossils couldn't be found, then his theory would be debunked. 

Regarding humans and dinosaurs, your opening is ad hominem. I'm guessing that this is argumentum ad lapidem as well since you refuse to interact with the argument by providing evidence to disprove the evidence provided. 

About the prime mover, argumentum ad lapidem. I've read back and you are using the achilles method of argumentation, but not satisfying the burden of proof. In a debate/discussion, the person proposing the negative must provide proof of said negative. It is how a debate works. 


About morality, you haven't provided evidence that morality doesn't exist, so I'll make this very simple.

Is it wrong to kill another person? 


About Muslims and natural predilections, I have reread your arguments. You have failed to show that people cannot override their natural predilections. I have provided evidence for the overriding of natural tendencies, but you have not. Also, to be able to go against your natural tendencies means you have to have something that is able to override nature. Propose evidence that we can examine that disproves this. 

You're saying that you have provided evidence, but yet, after reading through the argument, I can find only places where you say things like "no, it doesn't work that way" or "you're stupid". You use more ad hominem than reason and calling out fallacies to ignore evidence presented. It's not about winning a debate, but rather obtaining evidence and understanding from both sides. 


You also postulate that it can never be free will if God gave it to you. Yet, you're failed to make a case for this. You're assumption is that free will is limited. If free will is limited, it is limited to the realm of your control. This does not infringe upon it being free will. 




""That's not an argument for free will, you're just saying I have no reason to do what I'm doing. And yes, the "external force", the "machine" you mention would be my brain.""

Wow... I don't know what to say here. If your brain is driving you to respond to this thread, then you are choosing to respond. Thus, you're acting on free will. You've made a very illogical claim

For someone who claims to be very logical, the sum of your arguments fail to show thought and understanding. I'm sure an intelligent person such as yourself should be able to interact with what's put forth as evidence beyond the ad hominem or saying that it doesn't work that way without providing evidence. 

This will be my last response, pending your addressing the evidence provided beyond ad hominem and argumentum ad lapidem remarks. I'd like to say that this has been a debate, but it's about as annoying as the time that Eric Hovind debated Beth (don't remember her last name). During that debate, Eric put forth the question of where she got her standard of truth. Beth would not answer the question and wanted to move forward without addressing a key argument. Several arguments have been put forth that you have not addressed. 

So, in closing, I thank you for your time.

Their final response

"In your opinion, evolution is the best explanation. Then again, you ignore the evidences for a creator, thus creating an argument from ignorance. Besides, Darwin himself said if the transitional fossils couldn't be found, then his theory would be debunked. "

You don't understand what an argument from ignorance is. And there isn't any evidence for a creator. And transitional fossils were found.

"Regarding humans and dinosaurs, your opening is ad hominem. I'm guessing that this is argumentum ad lapidem as well since you refuse to interact with the argument by providing evidence to disprove the evidence provided. "

Your "evidence" was myths and stories, so I'm rejecting your argument on its face if you consider the absurdity of weighing this versus the mountains of evidence for evolution.

"About the prime mover, argumentum ad lapidem. I've read back and you are using the achilles method of argumentation, but not satisfying the burden of proof. In a debate/discussion, the person proposing the negative must provide proof of said negative. It is how a debate works. "

Once again you don't understand the burden of proof, you're just trying to justify ways not to address my counter argument, pathetic.

"About morality, you haven't provided evidence that morality doesn't exist, so I'll make this very simple.

Is it wrong to kill another person?"

Please explain why it's necessary for me to provide evidence that morality doesn't exist, you're not making any sense.

"About Muslims and natural predilections, I have reread your arguments. You have failed to show that people cannot override their natural predilections. I have provided evidence for the overriding of natural tendencies, but you have not. Also, to be able to go against your natural tendencies means you have to have something that is able to override nature. Propose evidence that we can examine that disproves this. "

Another attempt to shift the burden of proof, this is getting tiresome, and you once again ignored everything I said. I have given my counter-argument twice, I will not again.

"You're saying that you have provided evidence, but yet, after reading through the argument, I can find only places where you say things like "no, it doesn't work that way" or "you're stupid". You use more ad hominem than reason and calling out fallacies to ignore evidence presented. It's not about winning a debate, but rather obtaining evidence and understanding from both sides. "

It's not my job to provide evidence, and saying I'm using fallacies to ignore your evidence is laughable. In other words you don't care if your argument makes no sense as long as in your mind you've provided evidence. I don't think you're qualified to debate with me. Oh and you don't understand what an ad hominem is, when I attack your person, I do it after debunking what you say, so it's not unjustified. And I'm only doing it because you arrogantly bypass everything I say and pretend you win the argument while in reality you don't even understand my counter points or the ridiculousness of your evidence and fallacies you make.

"You also postulate that it can never be free will if God gave it to you. Yet, you're failed to make a case for this. You're assumption is that free will is limited. If free will is limited, it is limited to the realm of your control. This does not infringe upon it being free will. "

So in other words you think caged dogs have free will because they're free to do whatever they like inside their cage, alright.

"Wow... I don't know what to say here. If your brain is driving you to respond to this thread, then you are choosing to respond. Thus, you're acting on free will. You've made a very illogical claim"

That's it, you've solved free will, I can choose to respond therefore free will! Seriously, you didn't even read what I said. The brain itself could be deterministic. Even if I choose to make decisions they could still be fully material and dependent on a deterministic brain. And it's the last time I'm rewording this for you.

"For someone who claims to be very logical, the sum of your arguments fail to show thought and understanding. I'm sure an intelligent person such as yourself should be able to interact with what's put forth as evidence beyond the ad hominem or saying that it doesn't work that way without providing evidence. "

So after making a streak of insults you portrait my arguments as "it doesn't work that way" and claim I'm relying on ad hominems. Now you should know why I don't talk to you with respect.

"This will be my last response, pending your addressing the evidence provided beyond ad hominem and argumentum ad lapidem remarks. I'd like to say that this has been a debate, but it's about as annoying as the time that Eric Hovind debated Beth (don't remember her last name). During that debate, Eric put forth the question of where she got her standard of truth. Beth would not answer the question and wanted to move forward without addressing a key argument. Several arguments have been put forth that you have not addressed.

So, in closing, I thank you for your time."

Sayonara, hopefully other people see this debate and your position will humiliate them into becoming free thinkers for fear of being associated with the likes of you.?





Post Mortem Thoughts:

I'm very disappointed with how this discourse progressed. The person failed to provide evidence nor answer the questions. The number of assaults on my intelligence seemed to be the best arguments this person could provide. In the end, I had hoped for more interaction with the evidences provided. The philosophic arguments and real world studies show that there is free will. I think that's been proven through out this discourse. 

Sadly, most people will say what's necessary and try to shift the burden of proof to avoid the existence of God. In the end, nature itself does show the existence of God. Also, had God not given us free will, we would not be free to love Him.