The metaphysical theory of causal determinism is one that fascinates me. Are we subject to an inescapable chain of cause and effect arising from physical laws, a chain that renders all of our past and future actions completely determined and out of our control? Or are we sometimes the agents or originators of certain movements that would seem to have no preceding cause? Or, can we accept the view of soft determinism, which holds that even if our lives are through and through determined, we can think of our voluntary actions as free in that they are unrestrained and seemingly caused by what appear to be something like our own free will? Can indeterminism be argued? Fatalism? I have struggled to find a theory that convincingly debunks determinism, and in response to the argument against determinism regarding subatomic particles, I enjoy Bertrand Russell's view that the physical 'laws' as we know them are empirical observations of how atoms behave most of the time, and therefore citing particular inconsistencies in deterministic structure (e.g. the random decay of an ion or the erratic movement of electrons) is not a strong enough argument against the theory. He uses a lovely image of an atom as a ballroom which moves according to the laws of physics no matter how energetically its electrons (or what have you) may dance around inside of it. Thoughts on the theory and its implications?