This is my genuine response to the problem of free will. If my kids ask what is free will, I will direct them here. I apologize for reposting, but this subject is important to me because of how free will is used for all the wrong reasons. I also don’t like that the philosophers even though trained on metaphysical matters are the ones defining the terms of how free will is to be interpreted.
The apparent paradoxes emerge from a false theory of mind and language that assumes that freedom can be defined abstractly on its own terms, frame free and metaphor free. 
The reason why there is such a divide on free will is that we all think of it in our own terms. The existence of free will is a matter of framework. If we prefer a materialist worldview, then free will is an illusion or an experience at best. If we prefer to use the language of intentionality, then free will exists as freedom of action and maybe freedom of choice. The problem is that philosophers believe that an absolute objective concept exists independent of our understanding and experiences. Cognitive science says that this is false. Since I privilege science over any other body of knowledge, then I am justified in saying free will’s existence depends.
Free Will As Metaphor
Free will is a concept made up by humans, but it wasn’t arbitrarily created. It is actually grounded in our real-life experiences. Since it is grounded in our real life, then it is physical yet still metaphorical. You will see how soon. The problem is that philosophy is trying to make free will an objective truth. Although concepts, by the objectivist approach, are defined by their inherent properties, we understand them by how we interact with them. Not only that but we only understand concepts in light of what we already know.
Philosophers are usually doing us a service by clarifying concepts, but they need to do a better job in communicating this. Because everyday understanding relies on our frames, metaphors, and point of view. If we have a materialist mindset, then free will strikes us as an abomination. This is especially true if we view ourselves as a third party—that is, as passive observers of physiological mechanisms. But once the system is viewed as “you” and we adopt the use of intentional language, then “you” have some freedom.
To break down free will, we must figure out where freedom comes from. It is based literally on the physical act of moving . If freedom is about moving, then we need the metaphor “freedom as freedom of motion” for it to make sense. Freedom as freedom of motion breaks down to freedom to do what we want or freedom from being pushed off our path. What we want is the freedom to achieve something, which means we have a motivation to get and do what we want. So freedom is bodily motion towards a goal.
We need the metaphor motion in space to allow for the will to move around. The will is governed by reason (reason as force) though since we should be rational. If our will is weak, then the battle between better judgment and passion is lost. We may not want to achieve a physical purpose but a higher purpose, say reaching the pinnacle of our career, so we extend the metaphor even further. We now project freedom onto the will, and we have free will. Free will usually chooses rational goals in accord with reason.
Freedom of Action Exists
- Freedom is freedom to do what we want and freedom from being prevented to do what we want.
- Freedom is a physical phenomenon because it is rooted in the metaphor freedom as freedom of motion.
- Language is replete with references to freedom from: “in chains”, “repressed”, “trapped”, “held down”, etc.
- If I want a cup of coffee, I have the freedom to get it as long as I have the freedom from being blocked.
- If free will is defined as the freedom to choose and control our actions, then free will exists as freedom of action.
- We must define the reference of “our” as the self being the entire system described by science, i.e., the agent.
- If freedom is defined in different terms, such as freedom from the laws of physics, then it won’t work.
- This a matter of who gets to define the terms because we could adopt a purely physical framework.
What Is Really Real
So free will is metaphorical although it is rooted in our understanding and experience of motion toward a goal. This narrative on how the will works is not an accurate picture according to neuroscience. In fact, it came from the Enlightenment era and has its influences from “faculty” psychology. Faculty gave each one of these entities, the will, passion, etc. a role to play out. Despite this, metaphorical thought is a necessary part of understanding our world and all of science uses it to glean insight into processes.
What do you think neural computation, the brain is like a computer, even Einstein’s theory of general relativity is? These are all metaphors and not physical entities. Metaphors are used to help us to understand things because they allow us to see concepts in terms of other concepts. Since the mind only understands things in light of what it already knows, then we can hardly do without metaphorical thought. Although some concepts are literal, to understand them we often frame them in terms of something else.
If a model or theory allows us to explain and predict phenomena, then the phenomenon is real. But its intentional agency—humans’ capacity to act in goal-oriented ways—that predicts human behavior, not free will. Philosophers may argue that they are identical but then fail to mention the baggage that comes with free will’s use. To be sure, concepts that are not literal are socially constructed because there is a consensus that agrees to believe in their existence. Even so, free will as a concept is rooted in a physical reality.
Free Will Narrative Fails
When a person is weak-willed, he does not intentionally choose that which he knows or believes to be the worse course of action when he could choose the better course. 
Level of Analysis
Step by step, science has shrunk the domain of “the intentional.” We still take human beings to be intentional agents—and perhaps we do so too in the case of cats, dogs, and other complex animals—but we generally no longer believe in ghosts, demons, and spirits, and we prefer nonintentional explanations for most natural phenomena. 
Cause and Effect
A system of propositional attitudes [such as beliefs, desires, and intentions] … must inevitably fail to capture what is going on here, though it may reflect just enough superficial structure to sustain an alchemylike tradition among folk who lack any better theory. 
Relinquish Free WIll
We need to give up believing in free will because it is used for all the wrong reasons. Free will is used to blame others and is a shorthand explanation for our actions and choices. But it is inadequate and even obtuse when used: you choose to not love God and go to hell, you choose your sexual orientation, you choose to have unprotected sex and got pregnant, you choose to be the victim of an exploiter. In the few cases where these are even choices, they are not either-or decisions but incremental ones made over time in an uncertain world. A world in which social influences, desires, and our unique dispositions can get the better of us.
To simplify it as a simple choice and to deny someone’s experience, is to deny their humanity. Free will makes it too easy for us to take the moral high ground when it wasn’t our choice. It also makes it sound like choices are the type that we would make when shopping in the free market. The narrative of free will undermines what science can tell us about human motivation and self-control, and it masks the parts of our choices that are out of our control. This of course does not mean that we aren’t responsible for our choices and actions. And I assure you that we don’t need belief in free will to blame and punish; it’s far too instinctive of a behavior.
 Roy F. Baumeister. “Free WIll and Consciousness”
 Ib Bondebjerg. The creative mind: cognition, society and culture. Nature.com.
 Holton, Richard, “Willing, Wanting, Waiting.”
 Kane, Robert. “The Oxford Handbook of Free Will”
 Lakoff, George. “Whose Freedom”
 List, Christian. “Why Is Free Will Real.”