On Free Will and Determinism
Given that I hold to a very mathematical, materialist view of the cosmos in which all points of time are extant with one another, it should come as no surprise that I tend to favor the idea of Determinism. This is a philosophy which states that, given perfect knowledge of the physics of the cosmos and adequate data, one could accurately predict any future event with 100% certitude. The idea is that everything operates according to determinable mechanisms, and that understanding these mechanisms can lead to an accurate understanding of their outcomes even before those outcomes have occurred. This view has quite often butted heads with philosophers who argue that Determinism eliminates the possibility of Free Will. Free Will, they argue, does not exist if the outcome of a choice can be predicted with certainty or if the future is already set.
As a Compatibilist, I contend that Determinism and Free Will are not mutually exclusive concepts.