Let's start with this idea: The subjective experience (aka phenomenal experience) is a hypothetical model of reality. The brain represents the world to itself, itself being another representation. A combined simulation and emulation. But we are naive realists; the brain does not represent the representing; we intuitively believe our given experience is a direct experience with reality. Our intuitions are wrong. We mistakenly believe what we see is the external reality and not our brain flipping a grid of optical nerves firing and calling it real.
To our intuitions, freewill exists. We definitely have a sense of freewill. I perceive I can direct my attentional resources to all sorts of phenomena, concepts, and engage in all sorts of actions. I cannot perceive the physics determining my freewill. Neither does my brain represent to me it's subconscious processes which the conscious percept of freewill emerges. Right. And those subconscious processes emerge from physics, if we are to accept materialism.
Let's accept materialism. Freewill is an extension of physics. Physics is ultimately in control of freewill. If someone had the proper information, they could predict your every action and could manipulate physics to produce whatever result they wanted given it fits the constraints of what's possible.
Feels crappy doesn't it? It directly clashes with our intuition. It feels we aren't really in control.
And now what happens to the concept of responsibility? Can any brain be guilty of what physics determines?
Here's a pretty interesting quote from this discussion from r/depthhub on freewill:
>If every 'bad' act is committed by a brain bound to obey its own physics, is a human ever truly guilty of such an act?
I think the problem here lies in some confusion, as if guilt exists outside the universe, rather than being a description of something in it. If it turned out that physical determinism was absolutely and obviously true, would it change how we treated guilt and innocence? The crime and the punishment would all be part of the same clockwork; the meaningfulness of the crime and the punishment, if they're at all dependent on determinism, move in lockstep with it.
>the one that most people seem to believe in / hope for: being free from any third party's control, including the laws of physics - making choices and performing actions from pure will alone.
There's a fundamental confusion here. You're not competing with the laws of physics (I don't think that's even a well-defined state of things); you are made out of the laws of physics. Your "pure will" is made out of physics. The ill-defined idea of "pure will", like a glowing ball bearing in the center of your skull, is an artifact of the way we think; it doesn't necessary have any meaningful correlates in reality.
Our intuitions are wrong, but we have them for a reason: they work. A sense of agency is a key part of consciousness in humans because it helps to form the gestalt of ourselves as dynamic agents in a world of branching paths. Could we make sense of ourselves without it? Responsibility, blame, guilt are feelings and concepts made of the intersection between value systems and causal relationships. Could we function intelligently without them?