Free-will seems to exist only within the confines of our “reality.” For example: picture a group of people playing soccer on a field. To the uninformed observer (someone without the ability to see that the group is playing a game with set rules and boundaries), the players’ actions appear random on first glance. Upon greater inspection however, there would appear to be a degree of complexity in their actions – “organized chaos”, but no clear way to explain the meaning, purpose and complexity of these actions.
Another example – an animal confined to a cage. The animal’s free-will is limited as far as the cage boundaries. it’s possible for the animal to live its entire life without realizing it was in the cage. my question is, could we say that the animal’s range of possible behaviors was limited because it was in the cage? had it existed in a reality without boundaries, would it have behaved differently? Is this our position on Earth? Is this our position in the universe? How would we behave differently if we were not bound by our human perceptions; by gravity and by the confines of planet Earth? By the confines of the universe itself?
Now for my position on randomness. I’m not sure I believe that all life came into existence completely at random. Rather, I believe life resulted as the result of a single anomaly at the beginning – a freak of nature, a spark if you will – that set off chain reactions, gradually building upon each other and eventually leading to life as we know it. This can also be referred to as evolution. It’s obvious – patterns exist in nature. We can’t ignore these patterns – all animals naturally follow some sort of structure in their existence, sans the man made concept of “time.” Take a long hard look at the species in the so-called kingdom “Animalia” – they apear very similar, anatomically — many variations of one basic framework.
My point is that while a random spark set off the conditions favorable for life, life itself evolved gradually as a result of chain-reactions and natural selection. Complexity when it comes to life forms is only an illusion…the more informed an observer is of any given situation — in this case, “situation” refers to the evolution and arrangement of particles that make up living beings — the less complex that situation appears to the observer.
When (if) humans finally figure out the “meaning of it all,” I wouldn’t be surprised if this meaning is a simple one.