The Instigator
nikolo
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Leaning
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

is omniscience incompatible with free will?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2019 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 361 times Debate No: 122284
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

nikolo

Pro

how do those two terms not cancel each other out?
Leaning

Con

A computer can view all of it's code, Yet it will still follow it.

Humans can view some of their code, Yet will still follow it.

I'd also appreciate hearing your definition of free will. Many people I find, Have different definitions. And by humans viewing their code I mean for example CBT cognitive behavioral therapy. A person views their thoughts and behavior, Then alters them, Usually to be a better person.

Out of curiosity, Ever read 8-Bit Theater? Sarda the Sage somehow pops to my mind.
Debate Round No. 1
nikolo

Pro

HI. I define free will as
a)the ability two choose freely between two or more choices
B)the ability to act different in a specific situation if you were able to travel back in time.
c)the ability to act freely based on your will without constraints by external sources.

I havent read 8-Bit Theater.

i think that cognitive behavioral therapy is not a relevant example on this specific case because the argument is not to prove if free will can exists in general but rather if omnicience(for instance which is possessed by a god)can cancel it.
so i think we should focus more into this part
Leaning

Con

A) If there is a cake and a pie in front of me. I choose the cake, Especially if it is chocolate. I did this because I like chocolate cake. Is this not a choice freely made?
You might claim that the events of my life happened to make me into the type of person who likes chocolate cake, But what of it? That's there, And I'm here. My desire of tasty moist and succulent cake did not 'make me choose cake. I chose the cake because that desire of cake was a part of me.

B) If you traveled back in time, What's stopping you from making a different decision? Perhaps one is curious about what a different choice would have led to, Or wish to right some wrong if possible. Myself though I ignore any possibility of time travel to the past existing.

C) How free is free of constraints? Because of gravity I am not free to fly like a bird, But I can choose which direction I walk. Because of social edicate I may feel a need to act polite in public, But I don't have to. Plenty of rude people who do not. I'm also free to choose what type of polite I am.

How does being aware of the choices you will make not free will? Perhaps you will say because then there is no choice. But I'd say wasn't there? I'm just not going to choose it. Just because I know I'm going to eat the cake doesn't mean there isn't a choice.
Debate Round No. 2
nikolo

Pro

So lets work with the cake and pie example. You wake up one day, You are 30 years of age, It is a monday and you choose to eat the cake instead of a pie.
However if a omniscient entity exists that means that it already knew what you were gonna do that day before you were even born. That means that the future is predetermined. Since that being already knows what you are gonna do you have 100% of chance into eating that cake that specific day and 0% of chance into eating the pie. If you try to eat the pie you will fail. If you manage and eat the pie instead of the cake then that means that that being is not omniscient because the knowledge that it had about the future wasnt actually correct. So that is why i believe that omniscience cancels free will and only one of those two can exist.
Leaning

Con

Free will is just us acting out our will isn't it? Like a free ranged chicken or a free ranged water. Just because we naturally and freely choose to do what is in our nature and is possible within our container, Doesn't mean we're not free. Really if you removed all causation and all external constraining forces, Sounds the same as not existing at all.

Some people have suggested time doesn't exist the same for God. I suppose that could be the same as if existence was a book in which God knew every word and page.
Debate Round No. 3
nikolo

Pro

"if you removed all causation and all external constraining forces, Sounds the same as not existing at all"

the problem that i have with this is that im not talking about all external constraining forces or about all causation but specifically about omniscience. It doesnt matter if omniscience exists or not in both scenarios we can still exist. Despite omniscience is not just an external constraining that has some influence to you but it is the most constraining phenomenom that can ever be imagined. If it exists your future is predetermined, The choices you make are predetermined, The neuroanatomy of your brain is predetermined at any given state and as a result your smallest though, Your smallest action, Your biggest thought, Your biggest action are also predetermined. If an omniscient being exists and know every detail about your thoughts and actions billions of years before you are even born how can your will be free?
Leaning

Con

"if you removed all causation and all external constraining forces, Sounds the same as not existing at all"

the problem that i have with this is that im not talking about all external constraining forces or about all causation but specifically about omniscience. It doesnt matter if omniscience exists or not in both scenarios we can still exist. Despite omniscience is not just an external constraining that has some influence to you but it is the most constraining phenomenom that can ever be imagined. If it exists your future is predetermined, The choices you make are predetermined, The neuroanatomy of your brain is predetermined at any given state and as a result your smallest though, Your smallest action, Your biggest thought, Your biggest action are also predetermined. If an omniscient being exists and know every detail about your thoughts and actions billions of years before you are even born how can your will be free?

Ever seen the movie Next (2007 film) with Nicolas Cage?
As I recall he had the ability to know the future for two minutes or something, Then rewind, As many times as he liked. He could say something or act some way and people would respond differently depending on what he did. The fact that if someone had such a power and played rock paper scissors would not change the free will in a person. Even if I know that by playing paper he will play scissors next. No matter how many times I rewind. He is simply choosing scissors freely each time.

If your argument in this case is not against the external constraining forces or about all causation, But merely knowing. Once I have acted, I now know I was never going to act any other way. But still I did act. I thought about the situation and my choices. Made a decision.
I return to the still poorly thought out water example. Water's free to run down all paths that match it's nature. Man's free to run down all the paths that fit his.
Debate Round No. 4
nikolo

Pro

First of all using a movie as an argument is not reliable information especially on complex topics like this one. One of the millions of reasons that this is a bad example is all the factual errors that writters will place in their movies about how time travel works. Not to mention the fact that nobody knows what the results of this situation would be because nobody has ever time travelled or reversed time. I will not even go into detail why reversing time and trying different interactions with people is impossible(at least based on what we know it is impossible for the moment)Another flaw that i can demonstrate with this is that if he reversed time he wouldnt have been able to interact in different ways than before but he would do the same things as he did the first time. The reason for this is that if he reverse time every atom in the universe would be in their past position. The neuroanatomy and biochemistry of cages brain would be in the same state as it was the first time before he tried to reverse time and as a result each time he is gonna have the excact same motivation and desire to do the same actions over and over again, Maikng it impossible to try ne interactions with people and for other people to interact in different ways every time.

i do not find the water example any better. Water can't have free will at least not free will in the same sense that human beings have. (the free will that we gave definitions for in the beginning of the post)
Leaning

Con

Eh, You're likely right about the flaws of movie examples, But I think it has merit as a thought experiment. In the movie however, He reversed everything except his mind. As for practicality, When have we ever discovered something 'with omniscience or time travel? Closest one gets in real life I think is CBT. Being aware of ones own actions and reactions in situations. But enough of that.

Hm,
a)the ability two choose freely between two or more choices
B)the ability to act different in a specific situation if you were able to travel back in time.
c)the ability to act freely based on your will without constraints by external sources.

a) When water comes across different paths/choices. Does it not freely flow down whichever path suits it's own nature as it's choice? When humans come across different choices in life, Do they not freely choose the choice that matches their nature? Simply because their body and mind are arranged to do so in such a way does not mean they do not have free will, For they 'are their body and mind which are making this choice.

b) In this paper called shedding negative thoughts, There is a technique called thought stopping. Where out loud or simply mentally, One states to themself 'STOP, And turns their attention away from the negative thought to other activities. This could be compared to water. Imagine your habitual thought is a river. Like a river it digs a channel along the path it flows. Slowly perhaps, But the longer and more it does so, A deeper path is cut. 'STOP is a way of throwing up a dam to divert that river in another direction, To create a new river. Doesn't work immediately since the old path is so well established but in time a new channel can be created. With enough dams thrown up.
What is it to think back to a previous situation, But to revisit the past, A previous choice and situation?

c) Eh, I think even in round 2 I tried to sideskip this part, For the reason of us needing existence to make 'any choices, And existence merely by us being aware of it effects us. I don't quite get the external complaint part (Well kind of).
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by nikolo 2 years ago
nikolo
no worries cool debate
Posted by Leaning 2 years ago
Leaning
By kind of I mean I often just ignore the free will problem and talk about 'apparent free will. Which is easier to deal with, And more practical.

Eh, Enjoyed the debate, Though I can't quite tell how much of my side is baloney.
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