It is not, apparently, only the Calvinist, the Reformed, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards and all those given to morbid introspection who question the legitimacy of so-called “free will.” Although for different reasons, and with different results, high-flying materialist thinkers doubt it, too, yet one might question whether they do so willingly…
It is possible to live happily and morally without believing in free will. … When the feeling [of acting with free will] is gone, decisions just happen with no sense of anyone making them … It seems that when people discard the illusion of an inner self who acts … they generally do behave in ways that we think of as moral and good. So perhaps giving up free will is not as dangerous as it sounds — but this too I cannot prove. (Susan Blackmore, in What We Believe but Cannot Prove.)
Giving up free will is certainly not as dangerous as it sounds, notwithstanding vigorous, deterministic protestations of Arminians and Pelagians of every shade and stripe, especially when one considers that utter corruption to which the human self has been subject.
One rightly challenges Blackmore’s assessment that moral good can come of materialistic determinism, but must confirm the conclusion that free selection between all possibilities is false.
Christian determinists become so not because “this body and its genes and memes and the whole universe it lives in” compels it, but because experience and the word of God confirm it: our will is — rather than being “free” — bound by the sin that it so loves. We are “free” to act according to that sin nature — we are, in fact, “determined” to do so — but we are otherwise most assuredly not free of constraint.