Okay, so, to some it might seem weird that I’m weighing in here, given that I identify as a pantheist, but anyone who has ever read my posts will realise that I am as much an atheist as matters from a theistic perspective - reverence for the universe takes many forms, and mine certainly does not involve anything like a personal deity.
I certainly think there’s a strong probability that this is the case. Electrons transition from one quantum state to another in different patterns, in humans, than they do in other organisms or other objects - even differently between different individual humans. We are not identical arrangements of matter, after all. If any evidence comes to light of another force at work - one that somehow transcends what we currently consider to be natural, physical phenomena - then I will certainly consider said evidence, but at present there is none.
If you believe this, do you believe that you have free will, and if so, how would you explain free will per the conservation laws of nature – energy, momentum, angular momentum, electrical charge, etc.? What “force,” in particular, do you believe influences and/or decides “Choice A” versus “Choice B,” etc.
I certainly don’t believe in the classical libertarian version of free will, in the sense that we have some internal homunculus (our “true self”) that acts independently of our bodies and surroundings such that in any given circumstances, we might as easily settle upon one option as another.
I do believe, however, that we must assume responsibility for our actions to the extent that they are not actions committed by any entity other than our selves, to the extent that our physically manifested beings participate in these actions. I guess it comes down to how narrowly or broadly you conceive of the “self” - I don’t believe we can make any decision we like regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves (and even classical libertarian free will supporters can consider actions to be in or out of “character” for any given individual, as well as taking into account the external circumstances with which said individual is faced), but the actions we take are the actions of our selves nonetheless - no-one else is taking them, and so we are integral to the occurrence, whatever it may be.
As to where the point of decision occurs, I would suppose it to be at any given moment in which our circumstances - both internal and external - combine to produce an action. This probably seems far too vague for those who believe in the abovementioned libertarian version of free will, but I don’t think there is any particular “force” that prompts decision - it is just a confluence of circumstance, but one in which we - however that is understood - are intricately involved.
I really do think that only those who believe our selves exist apart from our physical manifestation could see this as an abdication of any sort of personal responsibility.
Are you absolutely sure that your conscious self will not survive the physical death of your brain, and if so, do you have any subjective probabilities about those “odds”?
Not absolutely sure, no - but then, I am not absolutely sure of anything, and nor do I think such absolute surety is possible for a finite being - or, at least, a being with finite powers. I do think that given the evidence in one direction and the lack of evidence in the other, the cessation of consicousness upon bodily death is by far the most likely outcome, and I am reconciled to this.