There's a loophole in the Force.
Readers of this blog will probably know that one of my major hobbies is scorning organized religion, god, and anything implying some sort of a fatalist "everything happens because that is what was meant to happen" view. But if I mock them so much, then what is the alternative that I do support?
Well, as far as explaining why things happen the way they happen, the theory that I accept as the best so far to explain things is that it is the matter that we are made of that determines what will happen. The first clarification on that would be that Albert and others have already sort of proved that matter is the same shit as energy. The second would be to offer an example: For instance, it is the quarks in my head and the interaction between them that determine what I know, what I remember, and what I'm going to think of next.
However, there is a bit of a problem there. If everything that transpires depends on the interaction between various particles, with no "out of the system" intervention allowed (such as the influence of some divine entity), then this means that whatever takes place tomorrow has already been determined some 10^-43 seconds after the big bang decided that enough is enough some whatever billion years ago. Which means that in actual fact, as much as I would like to think that I'm in control of my destiny, someone who can freely move along the 4th dimension could easily tell me what I will do in a year's time or when and how I will die - because free will is going to have nothing to do with it.
It gets worse: All of the effort we make during our lives, the things we protest about, the things we laugh about - they would all still be there no matter what we do. So why bother in the first place? This is exactly one of my major concerns with religion - if god watches us all and determines the outcome of it all then why bother - and I'm coming towards the same disheartening conclusion by using a rather analytic approach.
So far I can think of two things with which my preferred theory manages to get an out of jail card:
The first, according to my understanding of quantum physics (and I'm in no way pretending to understand much of it), there is a definitive element of randomness to the universe. Even though things seem orderly to us, and the above mentioned Albert has allegedly wasted a significant portion of his life trying to come up with a theory that would prove this orderliness, the universe is quite random and hectic. And it could be that this hectic-ness, this randomness, is the thing that allows us to maintain our free will and act of our own mind's initiative rather than what the brain's atoms dictate.
The second is more philosophical, and is actually the explanation that Jewish scholars present when this very same dilemma is thrown at them (and it was firmly thrown at them in the bible by Moshe when he asks the same question upon his first meeting with god). It basically states that although everything is set, you still have to do what you choose to do in order for things to happen the way god or your atoms dictate things to happen. Sort of a "if you never fill the lottery you ain't never going to win it" recursive explanation. And I don't know about you, but I never liked recursion; my mind was never able to fully grasp it.
But anyway, no one said we must have an answer for everything. At least I'm happy to have asked the question and to continue pondering.