You’re a philosopher with an interest and expertise in science, have followed the latest discoveries in neuroscience, and realize that the idea of contracausal free will is long dead. You see that people’s choices are completely determined by their genes and environments (internal and external), and that, save for quantum indeterminacy, people could not have chosen otherwise when making any decision. In other words, all the religious people and laypeople who think that they have classical contracausal free will are wrong.
What do you do? (Choose one.)
a). Realizing that physical determinacy has profound implications for punishment and moral responsibility (after all, our justice system must take note, as it already does to some extent, of the fact that a criminal could not have chosen otherwise when doing a crime; and how is one “morally” responsible if one can’t do otherwise?), you ponder and then write about what should be done in the light of neuroscience, suggesting reforms of the penal system and new ways to think about “moral responsibility.”
b). You spend time concocting new definitions of “free will” to replace the ghost-in-the-machine “contracausal” free will that no longer holds.
In my view, choice a). is eminently worthwhile, while choice b). is a complete waste of time. I am mystified that most philosophers choose b).