understanding what i'm about to discuss here is one of the single biggest concepts that has impacted my life. if you were to study and understand this as i do, it may very well change your life in many ways too. and i'll tell you now, few human beings on earth right now have this understanding.. and societies are not yet operating according to it. much of politics are people's opinions of how they would LIKE things to be. they think the world SHOULD operate a certain way and our government, etc. should be run in a way that is ideal to them, BUT IT'S NOT BASED ON WHAT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING IN REALITY. my current opinion of politics is that societies, governments, etc. should be run according to how the real world is ACTUALLY OPERATING. sometimes this isn't pretty and it may not be how you want things to be, but too bad. i'm not going to get into this deeply here. i will just point people in the direction that i went. if interested enough, you'll figure it out on your own. i first recommend you watch the movie, "the butterfly effect" to get a clear understanding of cause and effect. EVERYTHING IS CAUSE AND EFFECT. there can be no free will if every effect is impacted by previous causes. basically this is also understanding what chaos is. pretty much, there is no randomness. if you think something is random, you really just don't have enough information to calculate the chaos. read books by VS Ramachandran. he has a show on Nova called "the secrets of the mind" there are also some free lectures from him here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/lecture1.shtml http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mind/ this video is crucial in understanding how the brain works. this will also get you wondering what consciousness is and why we have it. you will then become familar with an experiment done by Benjamin Libet. basically the experiment shows that about a half second before a person believes he is willing something, THE PART OF THE BRAIN RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT ACT ALREADY STARTED THE PROCESS. so about a half second before i feel like i click submit when i'm done this post, my brain will already be getting ready to send the signals for me to click my mouse. free will is fake. we only THINK we have it because it SEEMS like we do. if i go around telling people there's no free will, of course everyone says i'm wrong because clearly it seems like we do have it. however, if you do some research you will see that those believing in free will are lacking knowledge. i then would suggest you read the book "the user illusion" by Tor Norretranders. a lot of the book is complicated but it's still worth reading for some KEY INFORMATION. before the very first chapter of the book, the author has the following quote which is currently my EXACT UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE. it is: "what is done by what is called myself is, i believe, done by something greater than myself within me." who is this quote by? james clerk maxwell on his deathbed in 1879!!!! that guy was WAY ahead of his time to have that understanding. and who is james maxwell clerk? a genius that did a lot of work with electricity and magnetism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Clerk_Maxwell when you completely understand what maxwell means in the quote, you are on the right track and how you live life will start changing. who else has this advanced understanding? ALBERT EINSTEIN. You can do what you will, but in any given moment of your life you can will only one definite thing and absolutely nothing other than that one thing. â Schopenhauer, On the Freedom of the Will, Ch. II Schopenhauer's saying, that a human can very well do what he wants, but can not will what he wants, accompanies me in all of life's circumstances and reconciles me with the actions of humans, even when they are truly distressing. â Albert Einstein, Address to the German League for Human Rights, November 1928. Credo who else has the understanding? stephen hawking.. Hawking admits that even the uncertainty principle does not absolutely rule-out a kind of determinism "in principle", and says that quantum mechanics may very well allow the universe to be deterministic. He wrote: "These quantum theories are deterministic in the sense that they give laws for the evolution of the wave with time. Thus if one knows the wave at one time, one can calculate it at any other time. The unpredictable, random element comes in only when we try to interpret the wave in terms of the positions and velocities of particles. But maybe this is our mistake: maybe there are no positions and velocities, but only waves. It is just that we try to fit the waves to our preconceived ideas of positions and velocities. The resulting mismatch is the cause of the apparent unpredictability." (conclusions section of A Brief History Of Time) and also... Baruch Spinoza compared man's belief in free will to a stone thinking it chose the path it traveled through the air and the spot it landed. In Ethics he wrote, "The decisions of the mind are nothing save desires, which vary according to various dispositions." "There is in the mind no absolute or free will, but the mind is determined in willing this or that by a cause which is determined in its turn by another cause, and this by another and so on to infinity." "Men think themselves free because they are conscious of their volitions and desires, but are ignorant of the causes by which they are led to wish and desire."   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will when you understand there is no free will, it changes your life and how you view people..and pretty much everything. for example, there should be no punishment no matter how much someone pisses you off. trying to change their behavior is fine though. people just are the way they are. people are going to do "good" and "bad" things. you should not hate anyone. currently the world is not really operating to this understanding, but i predict in the future it will increasingly. i will address the god aspect. many times you hear a religion saying "god gave us free will." this is false. however, religion of course has both sides covered because it will also say we are "living god's plan." both can not be true, but of course religion covers both bases because it has adapted that way through social evolution. anyway, "living god's plan" is essentially fate/determinism, which is actually what IS going on in the universe, IMO. finally, just to sum it all up, you can't be too knowledgable on this issue if you agree with free will. to have free will would be to say the things we do ARE NOT BASED ON PREVIOUS CAUSES!!! bull-fucking-shit they are not. when do the causes you do start then?? out of thin air???