So here's a little something that I find myself thinking about from time to time. Now, bear in mind, this isn't something I ever really looked into too deeply--what you read here is really as far as I've gone with it. But I thought maybe somebody out there might have some interesting insight or could at least point me in the direction of someone else who does.
So here goes: Given what we know about neurosciece, specifically neurochemistry--which isn't much--how is it possible that we could have free will? Every single thing we do, hear, see, smell, and think can be reduced to chemistry. For instance, when I move my finger, it's nothing more than the result of muscle fibers contracting which were triggered to do so by their attached nerve cells. The nerve cell releases a neurotransmitter which is absorbed my a nearby muscle cell. That then triggers a cascade of protein-protein interactions, etc, and the muscle fiber contracts. It's all just cause and effect. And the same can be said for a thought. My understanding is that a thought, at least at the molecular level, is just a series of nerve impulses. Once nerve cell releases a neurotransmitter which is detected/absorbed by a neighboring nerve cell. This causes yet another release of neurotransmitter and the cascade of cause and effect goes on and on. If this is indeed the case, how could I (whatever "I" means) have any control over my thoughts, actions, etc. if it all can be reduced to chemicals and casue and effect? How could "I" have any control of the movement of chemicals, etc in my brain, or anywhere else in my body for that matter?
Having said that, I can't help but believe I do have free will, if for no other reason than the alternative is too unbearable. I just don't understand how it's possible given what science has taught us. Maybe what I'm really asking is: what is a thought? or how does a thought arise?