And yet…There’s a certain frivolousness to all these eloquent arguments over free will. The fact is, we are deeply wired to believe in our freedom. We feel like willful creatures, blessed with elbow room and endowed with the capacity to pick our own breakfast cereal. Furthermore, there’s probably a very good reason why this belief is so universal. Consider this recent study by the psychologists Kathleen Vohs, at the University of Minnesota, and Jonathan Schooler ,at the University of California at Santa Barbara...While an argument from what we feel to be true may seem weak, perhaps the apparent fact that it's good for us to believe in free will indicates that there is free will. What keeps me agnostic rather than out-and-out atheist is the mystery of consciousness itself, of which the experience of will is a subset. There's no reason for consciousness to exist, and no one knows what it is. The perception of free will seems as ubiquitous as the perception of God (or gods), hard-wired into consciousness for most people. That all those predispositions arise purely from the laws of physics seems as implausible to me as that they were planted by a shaping external consciousness. I don't see how any knowledge of physics or neuroscience affects the speculation that gets hung up between those two almost equally unlikely scenarios.
From the same font of circular but unstoppable speculation comes my personal weakness for mysticism.