The idea of causality is that it's the nature of the 'one thing' that happens that causes the nature of the 'other thing' that happens.
I fully understand that. My point is that there is no reason for such an assumption of dependence and causal relation; it is pure speculation. There is as much evidence for causal relations among bodies as there is for the existance of a god who directs them: none. The only fact, indisputable, is that A happens, followed by B, etc. That we observe A always following B does not prove a causal relation, only that that is the order in which the phenomena always occur: at least pending further observation.
Sequentiality does not account for this - for it does not allow that there could have been another cause with a different effect...
Causality itself does not allow for one cause to have multiple affects. That in real circumstances there are too many variables to predict perfectly the outcome of some action does not demonstrate that said cause has multiple potential effects, only that we have failed to assess perfectly either the cause, the effects, or both. Hence, in theoretical systems, of which we can have perfect knowledge, a cause has certain effects and not others.
Incidentally, there is also the problem of perfect definition, even of a simple object: a ping pong ball, e.g. As there are an infinite number of lower orders of matter (molecule, atom, sub-atom. particles, sub-sub., etc.) all the components of the ping pong ball are not known; ergo all the variables in any reaction between the ping pong ball and something else are not known. This means that randomness will always apparently
exist in real interactions of bodies, not that anything therein is in fact random, merely too complex for our measurement. As I said before, chance, randomness, etc. is the term we place at the end of our knowledge; it is essentially a mystical and not a rational idea; it has no meaning.
Now, if I'd have bought that chocolate cake yesterday, I'd not have had a coin sitting on my desk top and wouldn't have thought of this example, and wouldn't have flipped the coin and so on and on...
Keep in mind that I do not believe in a true external world, seperate from human observation, but I suspect its existance; how could I not. In any case, assuming there is an objective world, your decision has nothing to do with your qualitative emotions, memories, etc., it is purely a matter of neural and other chemistry. There was therefore a certain course of action, given a certain given situation/material/etc., which, by the laws of nature
, had to occur. your ancestors and every trivial detail of your life ensured the buying of that cake, etc.
The chocolate cake decision is another decision that was not in any way necessary - but creative and willful, and which contributed to this outcome.
Cause and effect, yes. Sequentiality - I don't think so, and I do think, create, invent, imagine, dream and decide.
I'm sure you do, as do I, in the common sense of those words. The issue is whether or not there is actually a mystical, motive power, whose existance cannot be proven and whose nature is completely unknown; I think not. To think otherwise, seems to me, completely antithetical to reason; i.e., you might as well, with equal justification, claim that the television is actually operated by a little green man who resides in a control room behind the screen.
I get the feeling that you are especially concerned with maintaining the idea of free will because the alternative repels you. Again, as I said before, at least in my mind, it need not be at all depressing. If we have currently lived without free will, quite satisfied, what difference does it make if we discover it is nonexistent? Moreover, we could never actually determine the course of the world as it unfolds, as someone said earlier, because that very knowledge would alter (via complex neural chemistry, etc.) that future and so on ad infinitum. There is no need to feel as though you are an automaton, a slave, a pawn etc., as there is no robotics company constructing these automatons, no God, no master, no plan for the game. There is only our own experience, however it might be described.