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Sorry to go off-topic, however I'd like to know how close my understanding of free will and determinism is to reality, or at least to that of Less Wrong.

My understanding is that the world is completely deterministic and the decisions with which we're faced, as well as the choices that we make, are all predetermined (in advance, since the beginning of time - whatever the beginning of time may mean). And even though this is the case, it doesn't mean that we're not fulfilling our preferences at each decision point.

Also, there's nothing spontaneous or random occurring in the world (ever); randomness and spontaneity simply refer to events that are sufficiently unpredictable to a mind labelling them as such.

Please note: My thinking on this has been influenced by Gary Drescher's Good and Real of which I've only read a small part - not even a whole chapter. Also, I'm sorry if this is elementary or if I've missed the relevant discussions on LW, however I only lurk and skim and am yet to read the Sequences. I'm a serious procrastinator, amongst other things.

(If I don't post again, thank you for making LW so amazing - even though it seems that it's all predetermined. :) )