Below is a paragraph from one of the comments I received.
“First, though, I want to make it clear that free will is us making choices on our own, without being coerced by someone else to do something against our will. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is a mental process located within a biological organism within a physical and deterministic universe. It is, in fact, present in any animal with sufficient neurological evolution to imagine more than one option, imagine the outcome of choosing one over another, and to act upon the choice that seems to produce the best result. It is totally consistent with a deterministic view.” – Marvin Edwards site: http://marvinedwards.me/
I think I understand what you mean by this. Because there is no physical person outside of me moving my fingers on this keyboard, this is done of my will. However I do not call it a free will. Remember, these definitions are what I use:
free will: “The power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies” – Wordweb
free will: “freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention” – Merriam Webster
Because you are an external agency who commented on my post, and because you are the prior cause of me writing this reply, I say with complete truth that ANYTHING that I say would not have happened had you not commented. Furthermore, my intellectual and emotional responses do happen within my brain but that in no way suggests that my reply will be the choice that produces the best possible result. That being said, I hope that my reply effectively communicates what I am thinking.
However, the key phrase in what you said is “act upon the choice that seems to produce the best result”. The difficult with this is: Where do I get my ideas of what is the “best” result. This comes from my current knowledge, preferences, and the way I was raised.
So in short, I do not choose my responses simply because I did not choose to exist nor to be the person I am today. I like who I am but I take no credit for it. Because I am thinking about all the prior causes that our out of my control that led to me thinking and feeling what I do, I say that I am not “making choices on my own”.