Do you believe humans have free will?
I've had quite a few discussions on free will with both theists and atheists. Most theists obviously believe we have free will, and I see a lot of atheists don't think we have free will. Their argument is based on determinism, where anything that happens is the only thing that could have happened. So the choices we make are the only choices we could have made and we only have the illusion of free will. When we make a choice, it was the only path our brain could take in terms of the neurons that are active.. and even if we are faced with numerous choices, we only appear to be the one making the final choice, but in reality, the final choice we simply the most active neural track.
I don't believe that, well most of that. I say that we have a biological free will. A function that evolved out of necessity. A common deterministic thought experiment is Buridan's ass. It states that if a hungry donkey were placed between 2 piles of hay that are exactly the same and have the exact same amount of influence, then the donkey will starve to death as it is unable to choose. My argument is that a neural function evolved out of necessity to avoid that from happening. It would have evolved early in life, when life was simple and barely had 3 or 4 different functions. At some point, there would be neurons telling it to do something that contradicts other neurons saying something else, both with equal influence.. and that would be detrimental to its survival. With all the things neurons can do, I don't think it's farfetched to think that at some point, a function evolved that allows a choice to be made no matter how influential the neurons are. A brain that evolved that function would be better suited for survival that one that didn't.
That isn't to say our choices aren't influenced and for the most part, life typically follows the neural path of least resistance.. but at any moment, we are free to follow any of the choices laid before us.
I also think there is a big push back from atheists with free will because religion absorbed the concept. They're automatically against the concept because religion claims free will was given to us from the supernatural. I feel that just because a religion absorbs a concept and tries to claim it as its own, doesn't mean we should let them.