For this topic I came up with the following thought experiment:
Imagine we were able to clone the early universe, an absolutely perfect clone, right down to the exact position of all its particles and then press play. Surely an exact clone would result in an exact copy of the universe we see today, right down to the little details - including myself starting this discussion. If this is the case, is there such a thing as free will? Wouldn't a true freedom to choose alter the resulting universe?
The only conclusion I've come to is that everything in my life has been the result of an almost infenite web of external influences, over which I've had precisely no control.
This conclusion, if I'm honest, I found quite scary and my initial reaction was "of course I have control, I have the power to choose!" But do I? I may have the power to choose between x, y and z, but it was external influences that provided x, y and z in the first place and yet more influences that results in me choosing y. Free will has yet to factor in.
So, the question is: Does this huge web of external influence create an illusion of free will?