We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'll tell you something interesting: In the new Eight Volume Encyclopedia of Psychology; the term ""Free Will" does not even appear in the Index. That's because we live in a country that's on lock-down. No public discussion of free will is allowed.
At issue is the extent to which a person may be held accountable for his behavior. This depends on whether a person has been trained (to think) or tamed (to automatically follow certain thought patterns.) For example, would you pee on the bathroom floor, if nobody is at home? Of course not, because you have been conditioned to know that you shouldn't do that. But that kind of conditioning can be taken much further.
First, we are conditioned on what not to "say". And then on what not to "do". These are the boundaries of our conscience. So we have learned that we shouldn't say that Lesbians are Carpet Munchers; because we would be insulting their dignity. It would be a sin. And we certainly shouldn't point to a Lesbian and say "Look! a Carpet Muncher!" because if "thinking" something is a sin, then actually expressing that idea is even worse: it's a crime. Thus, our free will is constrained to those actions which would not be considered a [sin - crime].
So now that we have restrained free will to only thinking or acting within the boundaries of our own conscience, we have to ask: Who sets those boundaries? To answer that, you need to understand the term "Gaslighting." It's the never-ending stream of government propaganda that accuses people of moral crimes; like Homophobia. As we internalize these [sin - crimes] we narrow our boundaries of our own conscience; and reduce the scope of action of our own free will, until it's gone.
If freedom of speech is a sin, then there can be no such thing as free will.
"“One cannot intend whatever one wants to intend any more than one can believe whatever one wants to believe. As our beliefs are constrained by our evidence, so our intentions are constrained by our reasons for action.”
I thought these were supposed to be smart people. Have they never met someone who is bipolar (or any of the other mental illnesses)? Somewhere between 5%-15% of humans are bipolar. It tends to manifest itself "somewhat" differently in different people AND it can be totally debilitating or a minor mental "tick". Probably everyone you have ever seen with major tattoos, piercings, blue/pink hair, drug addicted; is bipolar. Just as likely every highly successful musician/composer, artist, actor, writer, dictator and oppressive ruler is bi-polar as well. President Clinton is most likely bi-polar. Most/many bi-polar people could lie while passing a lie detector test. Typically they see what they do as normal and where they stray from what you or I consider normal they think it is us who are crazy. But they can rationalize anything in their mind including lying to your face if it benefits them.
Identifying the circuits in the brain that assist with Free Will does not prove or disprove free will -- only proves that the circuits exist.
When a light bulb is burned out, I do not question the existence of light or electricity. No, I change the bulb to get the light back.
Those that question the existence of Free Will, have never raised children; Who will deliberately disobey to check the reaction to their behavior, even though the results (knowledge) have been explained to them.
The quote cited above by Anon does not say whether Free Will exists or not, but only implies that Free Will can be constrained. If it can be constrained, it exists.