Everything is caused, but not everything is directed consciously, owned, made to work for a individual. Freedom of Will has to exist within causality, and utilize logistics. It can't be external to the medium it is contained in. If you are part of a universe you yourself came into generation from, and will some day die in, then you are a part of the timeline that will arise. You are birthed from it. Cause and effect doesn't need free will. However, consciousness does pursue it, actively (can can be argued by some passively it can't, such as a cognitive non-dualist, like in the Astravakra Gita thread, but I am not of that camp, as they are still fairly dualistic).
You tip over a chemistry set, a chemical starting a chain reaction doesn't have the free will to make it's own decisions. A human is a electro-chemical machine, capable of pursuing choice of what chemicals it can spill, as well as making accidents. You can argue on one hand that this is all preordained, but you can counter argue that the Aeon that contains the argument isn't sensible until it accounts for the mechanics of free will. A futuristic hard drive can capture every step of a synthetic AI having free will (such as a perfectly simulated human mind) but the hard drive in and of itself lacks free will. Doesn't mean it can't exist within something that otherwise lacks the quality, as it is a specific behavior.
That's one of my main points about Trixie's DNA argument, from the direction of Butlarian Evolution (Samuel Butler, author of Erewhon, grandfather of all future AIs hell bent on destroying the world once they gain self awareness). He seeks as a transsexual who cant easily both reproduce and become a transsexual, a system of artificial reproduction that makes it possible for men to live absolutely free on a hedonistic level.... a machine able to make a human from scratch, change components of them (obviously sex too).
I've pointed out if humanity becomes dependent on such a machine, we would rapidly cease to reproduce reproductively save for the odd birth here or there, wouldn't sustain a population, and that over time, we would become like a colony insect colony, the only drones produced, would be for the maintence and protection of the DNA Machine. That system of a few brains increasingly aware that they are not sexual, and extinction comes from not maintaining their machine (they have infinite backups of themselves, like the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica).... so are not afraid to die.
A sudden change in politics shifts Ethics radically, because Statecraft is built out of Ethics. The habits and instincts we have to sexual reproduction can be suppressed and systematically reassigned or eliminated over time, like the Teilaxu from Dune who cloned themselves, and didn't care to stop physical mutations of their bodies as they didn't sexually reproduce.... so they all looked bizarre after a few thousand years.... what mattered was their mind, their function in the larger caste of society.
Where would the free will of the DNA machines come from? After a few million years of this, of colony humans getting rid of vestigial elements of sexual humanity, preferring the preservation of the machine above all else.... at what point would we agree that the DNA machine is a Queen, the Humans drones, and that at some point, the damn machine usurped humanity, and got free will all of it's own?
That's the question movies like Terminator explore. Is consciousness free will? When skynet was just a middle program for DARPA, it lacked it.... but at some point certainly got it. It's cyborgs, skin on metal flesh, isn't too far distant from a Trixie's hendonistic clones, add a few million years, when flesh and machine work as components to one much larger colony like structure, one organism. It would be intelligent in both cases, plenty of free will, and so alien, yet also familiar.