The mere though of it with change your perceptions of time, how you think, about time and you still never get to that certain point of nirvana that you would like. We don't exactly have the answer, but that's science. We'll understand it sooner or later.

My view on Free Will:
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I believe in a form destiny(don't go yet!!). My reason needs a lot of explanation(much like other views).

Imagine the the outer cosmos where two giant space rocks are flying on a direct course towards each other. They collide. What happens? Rocks go flying everywhere, heat is made, couple chemical reactions are made. NOW imagine that time slot was replayed over and over(AND I don't mean like a video the actual time would repeat over and over). The rocks would collide just as before over and over. Same chemical reactions, same rocks flying into the same direction, same chemical reactions.

Now think of this in a human society. We are not above the laws of the universe to change this path. If a car crashed in front of a bunch of people the time slot would be replayed the same way every single time. The same people who turned to look, the same people who would run towards the vehicle to help, the same people who ran away, blinked, breathed out, breathed in, screamed, stood silent, ect, ect, ect, ect, would do it over and over again. We all have the basic nature of using chemical reactions, like the space rocks did and there would be no room to have that ability to "change an outcome" even if you could have done it at the time. The point is you didn't and you will never be able to.

This leads to the idea that life is predetermined(which is true) and life is meaningless(which is not). It's the first thought when thinking of the will of humankind. The easiest way to understand why life is meaningful is the fact you are living and experiencing it. Why would the fact of us realizing that a predetermined life automatically make life unlivable.
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Another point:

Let's just say that I want to grab a random ball out of a bag without looking at it; Let's say it's a blue one. My response to that is from when time began(VERY IMPORTANT) up until now, everything has had a "cause and effect route" to this very time when I pick up the ball everything has been "just so" so when I grabbed the ball it came out as blue. One little difference at the beginning of the universe would have changed the outcome so dramatically I would never be here to pick the blue ball, have the bag it came from, been born, or written this post.

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It's weird and almost backwards thinking. I'm excited really want to see what you guys say.

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I'm the same way! I pretty much give everything a thought and try to believe it for a second to make sense of it all. I actually find thinking fun!
So you what you are saying is that sentient beings have some property that unbounds them from the chain of cause-and-effect? How?
The boulder has a set path and "program" it must follow(ie. gravity, motion, etc) as do we just with more "programs"(same as before but with thinking, electrical pulses, blood pressure, etc). Nothing gives us a hand to be outside our bubble of reality.
"So you what you are saying is that sentient beings have some property that unbounds them from the chain of cause-and-effect? How?"

reflexivity and the ability to think abstractly and recognize choices given a set of parameters that may be out of their control (e.g. context) = a kind of free will. so in the context where the human person realizes they have a viable choice they can make -- their fate is NOT determined solely by biology or immediate context. In fact, even a skewed perception of reality can alter reality when it comes to human beings interacting amongst other human beings (e.g. parenting/acculturation, society/indoctrination, financial markets, walking on a sidewalk, heck just by observing and being observed by other humans) ... so where is the deterministic cause and effect for a human feedback loop that originated with human being/peoples' flawed perception of reality?

anyway, i think that human beings certainly have a degree of free will and can act with an intention in mind. nothing is really predestined but context (and self-awareness) is everything.


as for one of the points in the original post that our lives have meaning because we exist and are able to think about whether or not our lives have meaning does not mean our lives have meaning independent of human beings' opinions.
also life has meaning if someone chooses for it to have meaning. it's not a given even for human beings (folks who commit suicide for example, heh).
Our best understanding is that we are in a world of cause and effect. For every day objects this seems to be deterministic while sub-atomic particles appear probabilistic, neither offering support for a traditional "uncaused" free-will. Despite the obviousness of free-will to most there seems to be no support in our scientific understanding of the world. Ironically we intuitively treat everything else as being part of cause and effect (what caused the plane crash?) except our free-will. It seems to be another part of our wonderful myth-making - gods, ghosts, souls, free-will, self, and minds.

If you want to blow your "mind" about this, then read the experiments (repeated many times since by others) of Benjamin Libet.

Alex
I guess a common place to start is : wikipedia.

I agree that one moment I'm deciding between coffee or tea at the cafe and next moment saying that cannot be possible!

Re outside force I guess I see a major difference between impersonal physical causes and a divine presence. Still it's an interesting take and what makes these discussions so useful.

Many have suggested that the great absurdity of our lives is the fundamental contradiction between a very impersonal physical world where we are relatively insignificant short life-spanned animals and our hugely important inner lives (well at least to us). God, as suggested, is the ultimate projection of that inner (self-)importance onto an indifferent world. Alex
We always do what we most want to do, and we don't choose our wants. No one ever starts without an inclination to eat peanut butter and arbitrarily "chooses" to want it the next moment.

Free will, apart from superstitious ideas about how it works is actually about a mechanical agent not being coerced by an external agent. In other words the coherent individual system (a person) has the freedom to act in terms of its own devices, just like a computer is free to run its own programming apart from cyber-attacks of viruses.

The other alternative to this view is libertarian free will and I refer to that as "free will tourettes" since there's absolutely no reason why one thing is chosen over another.

Beware! The physicalists claim you have to do what you want to do!

My two cents anyway.

Ben
For a "real philosophy" take on this topic, I recommend Daniel Dennett's Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (Bradford/MIT, 1984).
It is a long way from balls in a bag to stones rolling down a hill to the actions that an animate object may make. All too often, I think a simple physical model comes nowhere close to suggesting what would be required for a volitional animate object (or being.) If the simple mechanical models could easily scale up to people critters (or even mouse critters), we would have actually made some headway on the Three (or N-) Body Problem in Newtonian physics (see the Wiki here.)

Failure to understand the multiple levels of modeling results in philosophical and ontological disasters in addition to making the problems unnecessarily "intractable." For example, attempting to understand what a computer is doing when it runs a program by analyzing the semiconductor physics misses the point. You have to talk about CPUs, RAM, ROM, external storage, programs, languages, etc. Starting with a language description you get something like:

ProblemSolutionDescription ->
SolutionInProgrammingLanguage ->
SolutionInAssemblyLanguage ->
SolutionInMachineLanguage ->
SolutionInTermsOfReconfigurableLogicGates ->
SolutionInTermsOfTransistorsOnAndOff -> SolutionInTermsOfPhysicalSiliconAndOtherMaterialsInPhysicalConfigurations -> SolutionInTermsOfPhysicalConfigurationsAffectingFlowOfElectrons ->
etc. etc. etc.

At some ("upper") levels it make sense to talk about 'a decision being made' but not at others. Likewise, talking about 'the property of SiliconInThisConfiguration to impede electrical flow' doesn't have anything to do with solving the problem.

In fact, the gates, for example, don't have to be electrical at all. It is possible to make a computer out of TinkerToys (small ones have been made.)

I posit that discussions of Free Will are like discussions of general problem solving techniques -- they are even above the problem solving outlined above. There is a kind of modeling language that is appropriate and it is not the calculations of Newtonian billiard balls.
it''s called the heisenberg uncertainty principle.

read hawkins a briefer history of time

http://www.amazon.com/Briefer-History-Time-Stephen-Hawking/dp/05538...
or torrent if you already own a copy and can't find it
http://www.torrentz.com/d3e9b25211953dbd3cf35f473980674c9d66797a
None of what you say here is relevant to the nature of free will. Free will is the ability to make choices. Think of the reality as a tree, where there are many paths toward the sky. We have the ability to process the data you gather about the consequences of each path and choose the path that is good for us.

Reality is predestined only to a certain degree. There are things we can change and there are things we cannot change. The contents of these two categories of things are not fixed and not the same for everyone because everyone has different ability and see things differently at different times and at different angles.

What happens at the beginning of the universe does not matter. There are always things we can change. There are always different paths where we have to choose one.
The idea of the beginning of time can be disputed, and proved to some extent. What I meant by that is: IF time had a absolute beginning then the events occurred after could be completely mathematically prooved and life would just be fit in there quite fine.

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