Chris Shelton recently put out a podcast and YouTube video regarding free will. Sensibly Speaking Podcast #185: You Have No Free Will - Watch This Podcast! He described some of the evidence, but far, far, far less than all of the evidence. There are thousands and thousands of experiments that support the idea that free will doesn't exist or that if it does exist at all it is extremely, extremely limited. In other words there is good evidence that free will doesn't exist and only an increasingly tiny corner of the possibility that free will might exist because it has not yet been entirely disproven. Numerous experts and books have laid out the evidence. The books Behave by Robert Sapolsky, Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow, How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker, A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind by Robert Burton and On Certainty by Robert Burton ALL present some of the evidence that free will either doesn't exist or if it exists it is extremely limited and not supported by scientific evidence. Numerous other books on psychology, neuroscience and economics support the idea that free will doesn't exist or is a far tinier and less free component than we usually believe. An example is the book Free Will by Sam Harris. Here is an overview of that book by Wikipedia: "Harris says the idea of free will "cannot be mapped on to any conceivable reality" and is incoherent. According to Harris, science "reveals you to be a biochemical puppet." People's thoughts and intentions, Harris says, "emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control." Every choice we make is made as a result of preceding causes. These choices we make are determined by those causes, and are therefore not really choices at all. Harris also draws a distinction between conscious and unconscious reactions to the world. Even without free will, consciousness has an important role to play in the choices we make. Harris argues that this realization about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life. " End quote Any serious discussion of free will should include the terms hard determinism, soft determinism and libertarian free will. I am going to quote excerpts from the article Free Will and Determinism by Jim Riley Free Will and Determinism Jim Riley "There are three theories of free will and determinism that you will need to be aware of: Hard Determinism Hard Determinism is the theory that human behaviour and actions are wholly determined by external factors, and therefore humans do not have genuine free will or ethical accountability. There are several different supporting views for this belief, which incorporates philosophical determinism, psychological determinism, theological determinism and scientific determinism. Soft Determinism Soft Determinism is the theory that human behaviour and actions are wholly determined by causal events, but human free will does exist when defined as the capacity to act according to one's nature (which is shaped by external factors such as heredity, society and upbringing). Libertarianism Libertarianism is the theory that humans do have genuine freedom to make a morally undetermined decision, although our behaviour may be partially determined by external factors. You also need to understand that philosophers distinguish between two different definitions of freedom. This will invariably influence one's views on free will and determinism: The liberty of indifference is a genuine freedom to act according to independent choices that are not wholly determined by eternal constraints such as heredity, background and education. The liberty of spontaneity is the freedom to act according to one's nature, the ability to do what one wishes to do although what they wish to do is determined by their nature which, in turn, is shaped by external constraints such as heredity, background and education. " End quote The literature by Sam Harris and other academics generally considers hard determinism the default position. If you say free will doesn't exist or is an illusion that now is taken to mean it as hard determinism - you are saying free will doesn't exist in an absolute sense. It doesn't exist at all to any degree under any circumstances ever. That is the most common meaning and therefore what you are saying when you say free will doesn't exist. I believe it is the position Sam Harris for example takes. I personally believe if we examine the evidence that libertarian free will is completely outside the realm of possibility. It just cannot be unless we are wrong about thousands of studies. That leaves soft and hard determinism. I think that mountains of evidence against soft determinism exist and the only "evidence" for it is that it hasn't been completely disproven. That's it. The odds of libertarian free will being true are far less than one in a million. The odds of soft determinism being true are exceedingly small. Saying it is under one percent may be grossly overestimating it. And good old hard determinism has everything going for it. And more evidence piling up with more studies every year. Now, I am not trying to sell any of the three models here. I just gave my impression of the status quo. I want to make a second major point, the first one was what the three models of free will are and the relative acceptance each one has in science, along with hard determinism as the default position in the literature. The second point is only relevant to hard determinism. We can look at folks like Sam Harris who embrace hard determinism for this part. It just makes it easier. There is a tendency in human thought to consider bias or limits as affecting other people but not oneself. Numerous factors create this. One is naive realism, in psychology we normally assume we personally are unbiased and see the world as it truly is even if we recognize bias and flaws in thinking in others. We have the same bias and flaws as others but have numerous factors that inhibit being aware of and able to perceive our own flaws. The bias blindspot is a name for one of these cognitive biases. If you tell people about a particular bias or weakness they believe they do not have it or are not affected because they know about the weakness or are a skilled critical thinker or some other explanation. As an example I told my wife about the Pepsi paradox. In blind taste tests for decades people choose Pepsi over Coke but in love taste tests they prefer Coke. This has proved true over and over. The advertising campaigns by Coke have consistently portrayed drinking Coke as associated with positive emotions and relationships. The hypothesis is that the emotional association with positive experience has made Coke associated with good taste and so people prefer Coke, when they know which product they are consuming. I explained all this to my wife and she said "we are the people who prefer Coke because of how it tastes." I said "No, we are the people who are influenced that they described." Imagine seeing world and the people who have biases that impair their judgement. Most people who examine this instictively think of themselves as still being unbiased. it is like looking at a picture that describes human nature and mentally putting yourself out of the picture. You regress out of the picture and if someone demonstrates to you that the picture includes everyone you momentarily say okay, then automatically again regress yourself out of the picture. It is like those pictures they used to have on cereal boxes that have a smaller picture of the cereal box on the box and on that tiny box is a smaller picture and if you keep going down the picture is shrinking and shrinking, seemingly forever. The concept is infinite regress. A pattern of something shrinking back in perpetuity. That is how naive realism functions in dealing with hard determinism. As an explanation I can reference how people discuss it. I have run into numerous people who profess belief in hard determinism but use language that contradicts that concept. Under hard determinism there are no true things that reflect good or bad choices because we have no freedom to choose. Sam Harris has said people SHOULD do certain things but how COULD they if they completely lack free will ? Similarly neuroendocrinologist Robert Sapolsky has said people SHOULD do certain things but how COULD they choose with no ability to choose ? He has said we in the future should eliminate modern prisons because we are punishing people who have no freedom to choose to be criminals but if the person supporting prisons has no free will either then why would they hold responsibility for their choices while the criminals are not held accountable ? In other words Sam Harris and Robert Sapolsky as examples act like people have no free will but describe the process of understanding and accepting that free will doesn't exist is something you have free will over. They use language that assumes free will and moral responsibility exist but say free will doesn't exist at all which to me makes ALL moral responsibility illusory because if you have no choice then you should have no blame or credit for things entirely outside your control. I have run into this phenomena in dealing with lots of people who both claim free will doesn't exist at all but then describe people as having responsibility for either not accepting this or factoring it into their thinking. If they have n free will then they have no responsibility for not accepting free will or anything else. I understand that human minds are hardwired to use moral responsibility and concepts of free will, particularly libertarian free will, instinctively. We naturally behave and assume free will is a fundamental foundation of reality, human existence and morality. In On Being Certain author Robert Burton described in fine detail the emotions and sensations that accompany the feeling we have made choices and know things. These sensations help frame the world as under our control and our own minds, emotions and decisions as independent choices. But feeling something is one way doesn't make it so. Not by a lot.