So lately ive been thinking about about the concept of free will and if we even have that ability or not. And now i feel the need to vent. So you see i have a girlfriend, she is a couple years younger than me and well, i like her alot, and it seems that she feels the same for me. Since ive had the whole free will thing in my head alot lately and my girlfriend also, i found myself merging the two together. I thought that if people do have free will, then this girl is the most amazing person in the world, because she chose to be with me on her own, without help of other forces other than her own mind. I as also thinking, if free will was just an illusion, then what is it that choses things like who people are attracted to. Is it an external force? Or within our own minds? These questions have been staring me in the face for a while, and i cant seem to come to a conclusin.
When first contemplating free will and determinism it's very easy to become confused, but the key is understanding that free will and determinsm are not necessarily
mutually exclusive. That is, they can
both exist at the same time. Even if you become convinced that there is a 'force' controlling all that exists, insofar as everything is causally determined or linked, this does not mean you are rendered choice-less. There are causes for all things which occur, yes, but we are still beings capable of choice.
By the same token, we must also remember that we do not
have choice over everything
. The term "Free will" can often make people imagine that they can do anything
they want. I don't find this to be true. We do
have limitations, inhibitions, genetic predispositions, and we do
have behaviors we must actively overcome to make some things happen. There are tons of models for free will and determinism out there, but I favor Daniel Dennett's - at least, from what I've read of it, it makes the most sense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Dennett
Be comfortable in knowing that the relationship with your girlfriend is genuine (well, assuming, neither of you are tricking eachother!), and that regardless of the influences that may have relation, she is choosing to stay with you.