2 votes
Oct 29, 2015

The question "Can anything be absolutely random?" deals with randomness vs causality: does everything have a cause?

This is entirely different than questions like "Does some unknown power or entity control the universe?" or "Is everything controlled by a grand design?" That is a broad philosophical question which, in my opinion, cannot be conclusively verified either way.

Causality can be looked upon as an entirely natural development that includes no design and no intelligent entity. In the case of typing random letters, your body, nervous system, and brain have come together just the way it is at any one point in time as a result of all the internal and external phenomenon that act upon it. So when you "decide" to type random numbers, the resulting thoughts and actions are entirely dependent upon all that precedes them on all levels, from the subatomic to the molecular to the observable - from the micro to the macro. Even the chemical and electrical activity in your central and peripheral nervous systems are a result of these previous causes. The reason events appear to be random is that we cannot possibly comprehend the innumerable and complex web of events which caused the scenario to unfold in exactly this way. Scientifically, there is a debate about whether quantum unpredictability (randomness) allows for true randomness, or just the inability to predict outcomes (I think the latter).

If everything has a natural cause does this mean there is no free will?

Well, practically, I do not have the ability to predict outcomes. I am faced every day with situations in which my perception of the world around me presents opportunities to make choices. It is also my perception that these choices have consequences. So, even if my choice is the only result that could occur because of all the previous events, I did not know what the result would be until I chose. It appears to me I have free will, and without any alternative ways to function why not make the best of it?

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