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Free Will Does Not Exist - Should it be a Transhumanist Enhancement?
Hank Pellissier   Jul 27, 2015   Ethical Technology  

Humans Do Not Have Free Will.

I agree with that statement. So do the vast majority of today’s scientists; neurology and psychology journals increasingly define free will as “an illusion… a figment of our imagination.”

In his 1932 “My Credo” Albert Einstein wrote “I do not believe in free will.”  In the best-seller Free Will, Sam Harris declares the notion “incoherent.” Neuro-philosopher Garrett Merriam opines in an IEET interview “the notion of ‘free will’.. [is a] useless concept… I have high hopes that neuroscience will…eliminate [it]…”

We don’t have free will because human physiology isn’t wired that way.  In 1983 Benjamin LIbet published research in Brain proving our motor cortex initiates action before the “I” is informed about it. Gary Weber PhD., agrees: “The research is conclusive; the brain determines what you will do, well before you are aware that you will do it.  What does your “free will” mean?  We no more initiate events “consciously”, than we cause our hearts to beat, or our stomach to digest our lunch.  

Nobel Prize Winner Francis Crick offers this definition: “your free will [is] no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.” Sam Harris asserts, “You are not controlling the storm…  You are the storm.”  

I agree with all this. I believe we’re controlled by chemical cocktails in our brains that require us to behave in ways that are impossible to avoid. We are not responsible for our actions; we’re slaves, victims of our psychophysiology.

It is true that certain factions still believe in free will - Religionists and Libertarians - but I’m not in either camp. I’m an atheist social progressive.

Having established my opinion on free will, let’s proceed… Am I “happy” about my Un-Free situation? No. Not at all. I would hugely prefer to have free will.

So… my question, dear readers, is: Should 100% Free Will be a Transhumanist Goal? Think about this: if humanity never achieves free will, we’ll remain slaves. Genius slaves who can fly, perhaps, but slaves, nonetheless.

But, on the other hand.. would universal free will lead to chaos?  Is it even possible?

Four years ago I thought boosting IQ was the most important mental enhancement for transhumanists. I’ve written two ebooks on that topic, Why is the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews So High? and Brighter Brains: 225 Ways to Elevate or Injure IQ.

But today, I find that assumption premature. Attaining a large IQ for all humans is not as monumental an achievement as obtaining free will for all humans, unlimited control over our actions, total liberation.

Let’s back up a bit first - in the 1970’s I participated in the “Human Potential” movement. Free Will or the lack of it was a common topic in the “personal growth” ambitions of that era. Although many leaders promoted the naive notion that “we create our own reality” - I wasn’t attracted to that. I preferred the harsher ideas of George Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Carlos Castaneda.

Gurdjieff asserts that humanity is just a herd of unconscious “automatons” who are “hypnotized”, existing in “waking sleep” with no freedom of thought or action. Our only escape is via full acceptance of our imprisonment, followed by deep, persistent discipline towards “The Work” that can transcend us to a higher state of consciousness.

Castaneda was my favorite author in this genre, although he has since been discredited as a fraud and plagiarist. The viewpoint of Don Juan, the shaman protagonist, is “that the idea of free will is absurd.”  Only “warriors” who pursue “the path of knowledge” with “unbending intent to be free” have a chance to escape psychological bondage.

My subsequent opinion mimics the philosophies of these two writers - I believe free will isn’t available, but it could be attained, at least partially, perhaps through excruciating disciplines… or - definitely - via emerging transhuman technologies.

Returning to the present time, let’s examine the suffering caused by our enslavement to our outdated neurochemistry, which evolved to protect us from pre-civilization menaces. Let’s divide our investigation of the consequences into three categories:

Body Many people, in the hundreds of millions, are enslaved to physical addictions that render them helpless. Alcoholics (76 million internationally) drug addicts, food addicts, (5.8% of USA women) addicts, smartphone addicts - all at the mercy of these powerful urges, caused by disorder in the brain’s reward system.

Emotion Humanity is cursed with negative feelings that injure us with internal pain and agony. On a good day, some of us feel “happy” half the time. On a bad day, we’re on a cruel roller-coaster due to our neuro-chemistry instinctively responding to what it perceives as environmental and social “threats.” We’re constricted by anger, greed, envy, resentment, fear, anxiety, grief, disgust, shyness, alienation, guilt, and depression. Episodes of depression scourge 6.7% of the US population annually.  Our ghastly feeling are not chosen by us, we’re condemned to experience them in this overlap between Body and Thought.

Thought Our minds often flit spasmodically from one obsession to another, exhausting us with their randomness and superficiality. Frequently we ruminate helplessly on subjects we’d rather avoid - like traumatic memories and irrational phobias. We procrastinate, we lose focus, we can’t pay attention, we brood, we’re paralyzed, we’re helpless to resist our prejudices, biases, and self-destructive affections.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all these problems were eradicated?

Imagine an existence as Free-Will Transhumans, who decided 100% of the time what we wanted to think, feel, and do.. We would be an immensely more powerful species.

But - returning to the cautionary questions - would a planet of elevated free will beings be safer, or in unforeseen danger? Massive ability requires massive responsibility. Would it be wiser to only incorporate 70% free will, or 50%, or a mere 20%? (Assuming free will is even quantifiable) Should transhumanity gradually accumulate greater free will, slowly in tiny increments, to prevent social catastrophes?

I’m going to further delay that speculation, to theorize first how Free Will - or, at least, increased control of our psychophysiology - can be approached. We’ll begin with options presently available, and continue from there into futuristic, far-out, fantastical possibilities.

Today’s Techniques and Technology Control of one’s thoughts and feelings can be improved via meditation. Studies have shown that the ancient discipline can elevate attentional control, rational decision-making, and dozens of other mental activities. “Consciousness Hacker” and IEET Affiliate Scholar Mikey Siegel is also developing “biofluent technologies” that steer users “toward higher consciousness, self-realization, awakening…transcendence.”

Pharmaceutical Control of our Biochemistry “Paradise engineering”, advocated by philosopher David Pearce of, has “abolition of suffering” as its goal. Copious synthesized and organic chemicals are proposed to alleviate emotional agony and severe discontent; dozens are listed on the Good Drug Guide - with promises that many are “exhilarating… life-transforming and soul-enriching.” Does this equate with “free will”? Not exactly, but studies on psilocybin, for example, have found that it can release people from entrapment in negative emotions and reduce the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

Memory Erasure and Alteration + Injection of Joyful Invented Memories Our neurological response to situations is largely determined by memories of similar events. Egg sandwiches disgust me, for example, because I vomited one up when I was young. “Once bitten, twice shy.” PTSD episodes and panic attacks are triggered by noises, visual cues, or other stimuli that remind the victim of the original trauma. Wonderfully, a cure is appearing to end this repetition of horror - scientists are erasing painful memories in rats by injecting “a compound called ZIP into the hippocampus.”  “Sunshine Technology” could make humans happier by deleting negative memories or altering them to make their recall enjoyable. Artificial memories could also be installed in our hippocampi, to provide calmness, trust, exuberance and other positive feelings.

Rewiring Our Brains, with Wires Our mental activity currently depends on largely-out-of-our-control neurochemical reactions. If we can’t manipulate these complex substances to guarantee ourselves free will, perhaps we should scrap the fragile, temperamental biological system for a network that’s easier to control. Of course I’m talking about a “machine” - a supercomputer brain. Adding thoughts (data) will be simple downloads, choosing emotions will be as easy as selecting fonts. Our will, our focus, our attention, will be enormously freed because it will be on a binary system, without all the distractions of the hundreds of competing neurochemicals in our present thinking organ.

Now let’s return to the twice-avoided question - what would society be like if everyone had 100% Free Will?  Would it be boring? Is it even feasible via social and biological laws? This topic has not been heavily argued yet on the internet; I found only one blogger addressing the concept: “Dolor” at with articles and videos like How Much Free Will Do You Have? How Free Are Your Choices? Is Free Will an All or Nothing Concept? and What Does it Mean to Be Free in a Totally Interconnected Universe?

You’re welcome to listen to her POV: I haven’t yet, because the answer seems obvious to me.

A 2014 study from Utrecht, The Netherlands reports that people with greater self-control are happier.  Why? Impulse control is linked to academic success, professional achievement, and better health; it enables us in goal-directed, disciplined drives to become our ideal self.  Additional studies support these claims.

Am I willing to say this is proof enough? Yes, I am.

Am I asserting that a quantifiable gain in happiness attained via self-control, indicates more happiness will be available to everyone if 100% Free Will is attained? Yes, I am.

Happy people are also more inclined to be compassionate

Free Will = Happiness = Compassion = Peaceful, Egalitarian Transhuman Planet

Disagree? Please leave your comments below:

Hank Pellissier serves as IEET Managing Director and is an IEET Affiliate Scholar.


Great article Hank! Neuro-physiology controlled by uploading, or rewiring our brains may allow us fee will in one sense, but not in Einstein’s sense. I"m pretty sure Einstein was talking about Block-Time and General Relativity when he said we have no free will. Most scientists agree the passage of time is an illusion. The future exists in a kind of “eternal now”. If that’s so, maybe the only way to gain complete free will is to become a creator of universes, participate in the creation of something from absolute nothing. Rewiring our brains would be an important step in that direction. It’s a very radical Christian Transhumanist idea: Over time, we take more control of our evolution. The dominion mandate: the first thing God said to mankind is “you are cool, take control”. When life learns to take full control true freedom is possible.

I’m afraid I’m going to have disagree with your source Gary Weber. The research is far from conclusive, and the idea that all voluntary action is actually autonomic is frankly absurd. Consciousness would not have evolved if it served no purpose. Thoughts and actions may well originate subconsciously, but the conscious mind no doubt plays a vital role in regulating these impulses, suppressing some and approving others. Consciousness also functions as a means of focusing attention. Though I do not deny decisions are influenced by a number of factors, to say that consciousness itself is not one of these factors is simply the most nihilistic interpretation of available evidence, which by no means makes it the correct one.

Also, none of the modifications you mentioned would qualify as free will. They would merely modulate unconscious factors in decision making.

I wrote an article about Free Will on my blog a few years ago. Feel free to read it if you’d like a more in depth discussion about my thoughts on the matter.

Other Sources:

A really delightful article, Hank! 😊 Good that you have thought about this very intriguing issue. However, it seems to be that “free will” is not the right term for what you are actually talking about. You seem to be talking more about self regulation / self control / willpower. Let’s call it “willpower” for simplicity.

What if people had augmented willpower? Well, I suppose they would quickly learn to behave in better ways. They might of course do really stupid things with augmented willpower, but they will also have the power to learn from their mistakes quickly, rather than doing the same mistakes again and again.

Of course, people with more willpower would be more self-directed. They won’t be as eager to follow stupid orders blindly – and why should they? This will definitely unfold a lot of positive (r)evolutionary potential towards a more enlightened society that is more rational and free.

Thanks for your comments.

Armand - I look forward to reading your link. I agree that my opinion appears “nihilistic” to you. I find it fascinating, of course, that some people are very committed to belief in free will, and others like myself, are happy to abandon any belief in it. I think I will explore this in a future essay. As to your comment about Gary Weber… “conclusive” - yes, I agree with that.

Radivis - I am talking about free will, and willpower. The latter gives us a small bit of what seems to be self-determination/choice, but it seems very helpless in the majority of circumstances - controlling thoughts, controlling emotions, and controlling bodily reactions, urges, etc. I also think most of what we regard as “free choices” via our willpower, is just self-congratulatory illusion.

James - You have “religious” neurology; I think Jonathan Haidt has written about this. I am from a large family that has 4 evangelical christians and 4 atheists, so the topic of how and why we think so radically different is intriguing to me.

I think the concept of free will must be framed.  Do you ever have a choice?  I personally believe that there are cusps in life where the “trail” divides, and you have a choice to make.  Yes, you could chose either way, but is our ultimate choice inevitable?  I don’t think so - maybe it is probabilistic, but not destined.  At the very least, you could decide to throw a coin to decide the choice on which way to go.

On the other hand, I completely and wholeheartedly agree with the notion that the self is an illusion, and since the concept of free will depends upon a coherent self…

For me, the most interesting aspect about Free Will, or lack of it - is “Responsibility”

If we have no true choice in our actions - this means we are not to “blame” for our behaviors. We should be compassionate and forgiving towards each other, since we cannot act otherwise.

If we do have free will, we are responsible for our actions.

Evidence that we lack free will is the fact that nearly 100% of violent offenders in prison were traumatically abused as children. Their neurology was damaged, leading to weak impulse control and violent responses in stressful situations. It is tragic.

Libet’s experiment was debunked. Scientists may “overwhelmingly” think there is no free will (do you have survey stats to prove that?), but philosophers do not think this.

Article reporting on Libet’s errors:

Survey of Philosophers on their opinions (including free will):

The cited argument for the nonexistence of free will is invalid.  That motor action precedes conscious awareness of a decision is counterintuitive and interesting, but says nothing about free will or determinism.  Of course, we make our decisions in the brain through a series of steps, so learning to observe the earlier steps in the decision process does not imply that we don’t really decide.  Rather, it teaches us about how we decide.

The common-sense notion of free will is incoherent, to be sure. People often say free will means our decisions are uninfluenced, arbitrary, random, or unpredictable, but those are misguided definitions, as you can plainly see.  A better conception of free will means that we decide based on our own mental states rather than having decisions externally imposed.

rms - I can’t agree with your comment:

“That motor action precedes conscious awareness of a decision is counterintuitive and interesting, but says nothing about free will.”

Motor action preceding the awareness of the decision, implicitly indicates that a process other than consciousness made the decision, IMO

Hi again Hank

If you won’t believe in Free Will, will you believe in Free Won’t, the idea that consciousness has the authority to veto autonomic impulses?

To cite the above example, the decision to move may be made unconsciously, but the conscious mind can choose whether or not to act on that decision.

Somebody said that consciousness is like a general who watches what his soldiers do on the battlefield and takes responsibility after the battle.

I tend to think that there is something true in the no-free-will view, but not always. We do act automatically most of the times (without realizing it) but we are also able to take the wheel some times.

Think of a videogame - most of the movements of your avatar are automatic and procedurally generated. In a fight, your avatar does combat moves that you don’t choose (and you wouldn’t be able to control your avatar with that degree of precision anyway), but you can intervene (go somewhere else, run away etc.)

EdGibney - Libet “de-bunked”? You are the only person who I have ever seen state that. His methods have been criticized by some. Others have done studies that duplicated his results. “de-bunked” is a wild exaggeration.

I have stated that yes, this is [often] a debate between philosophers and neuroscientists. And I side with the neuroscientists.

I think, overall, most transhumanists are generally inclined to side with scientists… right?

@Hank re “I think, overall, most transhumanists are generally inclined to side with scientists… right?”

Often, but not always. Scientists may be too immersed in the trees and lose the perception of the forest, and philosophers are there to provide the high level bird view. As it always happens, both categories are needed and complementary.

Back to the analogy of the general and the troops, Napoleon didn’t choose (and wasn’t aware of) the actions of individual soldiers. But it would be a mistake to think that Napoleon didn’t lead his battles.

Hi Armand —

I read your blog entry on Free Will, thanks.

First of all, I find it interesting that Scientific America does indeed publish many articles supporting Free Will. This seems unusual — the journal Nature, for example, does not seem as inclined to publish pro-Free Will articles. I am just pointing this out because we should all read from a variety of sources.

Regarding Free Will and Morality - I think yes, you’re perhaps right, some people might try to use “no free will” as an excuse for bad behavior. But isn’t this besides the point?  We should assert that Free Will exists because it * might * create improved Morality. That’s the same argument deists use - regarding Atheists as moral nihilists because there’s no reward or punishment, etc.

I will read the rest of your entry soon and post further comments. Thanks

I think “free will” is a locked in mechanism from the neural biology of life. If I get thrown off a tall building, my opinion is that I am against it. Now there is your free will. Opinion, that’s it.

Doesn’t this all depend a bit on how one defines “free will”?

Really a thoughtful piece Hank.

By the time most of us become adults, we are living scripted lives - any free will that may have existed has been buried under years of conditioning. This conditioning starts the day we are born; from day one we experience the world through limiting filters. We are inundated with subjective rules and regulations that stifle our natural humanity.

Look at a newborn baby. See how their eyes sparkle with curiosity and joy. But then they cry because they are hungry, and since our culture is terrified of ‘negative’ emotions, that fear will be passed on to the baby - and that’s the last time they will feel unadulterated emotion of any kind. From that day forward, every thought, every action - every emotion - will be tainted by someone else’s subjective interference in what should be a personal experience.

But these tainted emotions that end up being the cause of much suffering are learned behaviors; they can be unlearned. Do we choose them? No. But we can choose how we handle uncomfortable emotions. And we can choose to question whether these emotions are legitimate and true.

I speak from personal experience - I was fortunate enough to find my my way out of the fog. Did I have free will when I was living according to the script I was given? No. Do I have free will now that I live without filters? I don’t know, but I do know my world feels unlimited, and the suffocating weight of trying to live according to someone else’s script is gone.

When more people are capable of understanding the concept, maybe we will have our answer. Then again, maybe the answer not something we can discover together - maybe the answer can only be found by each one of us, individually.


  Motor action preceding the awareness of the decision, implicitly indicates
  that a process other than consciousness made the decision, IMO

What it indicates is that at least the final step of deciding led to action faster than to a conscious awareness of it.  That doesn’t preclude the existence of a process of conscious thought weighing the reasons for the decision.

Anyway, the deeper question is just what “free will” should mean.

Conscious thought can (and does) also influence future decisions, of course. And of course not all decisions are split-second (therefore unconcsious): sometimes I deliberate, then decide, then act. But does this make it free will?

The way I see it it’s a question of perspective. From an outsider, third-person perspective, it’s unclear how anyone can really have free will (or what kind of “transhumanist implant” would provide it). But if I consider myself (or anyone else) as an agent, conceptually separate from the rest of the universe, then of course I (or they) have free will. And even if I “decide” something subconsciously, it’s still my decision according to the way I see things. But I’m also aware that I am making semantic choices here (FREE choices, no less). They are what I find most convincing and useful, but other choices maybe just as legitimate.

Hmmm Wicks,  What do you think about Evertt’s-DeWitt-Wheeler pointing to the universe needing an Observer to make the universe work? It also makes me think of boltzmann brains. Maybe this is really what “free will” is?

I think we need to be a bit suspicicious of “scientific consensus” that essentially makes it impossible to make sense of decision-making. I’m thinking especially here of statements like “Most scientists agree that the passage of time is an illusion” (from the first comment on this thread).

Firstly, “most scientists” used to agree that the earth was flat, and until recently “most scientists” thought saturated fat was deadly and margarine was a healthy substitute. Turned out to be a case of everyone copying everyone else - a kind of scientific equivalent of a financial bubble.

Secondly, and more damningly, how could you possibly make sense of your day-to-day decision-making if you were to really abandon faith in the passage of time, or thought of the universe as something you’ve essentially just conjured up out of nothing? It’s just not how we experience life, and that must be telling us _something_ .

By the way, I have found some of the recent work of Lee Smolin and Roberto Ungrr on this issue quite interesting and insightful. Would be interested to know if others here have come across it, and what you all think.

What if notions of Free Will are dependent upon personal/mental disposition?  For instance if we go with an interpretation of Kierkegaard’s notion about the Schizophrenia vs. Depression continuum.  The Schizophrenic is “destroyed/overwhelmed” by the infinite possibilities that their life may take (say it’s comparable to mental paralysis from too many possible choices, so fully bared/realized “Free Will”....having to decide every issue), and a Depressive is inverse with the notion that they render themselves moot through dwelling on the finite to the point that they lose sense of a grander meaning (they feel like they have no choice, and they trudge along in a sense).

Does this mean that we should “aim for the schizophrenic”, in the sense that it will foster the greatest meaning of the “Free/Infinite”, or is a “Depressive” state better?  In regards to fostering Transhuman technology/techniques of personal transcendence/growth.

Non-scholarly source that sums up Kierkegaard’s notion;
And a link to an analysis of the Sickness Unto Death at;

But are schizophrenia and depression really opposites? Surely one can be aware of many possibilities and not really want to realise any of them because one is depressed. Conversely, one can be happily and contentedly “trudging along”, without a care in the world. It must at least depend in part on external stimulation.

Still, I like the concept of free will as a measure of one’s awareness of the available choices, which are indeed, unless one is half-dead, in prison or asleep, multitudinous. And I certainly agree that sanity depends on not being aware of too many of them.

I wouldn’t really know if they are direct opposites since it’s outside my field of expertise, but considering that I’ve been tentatively diagnosed as one of the two in my past.  I have firsthand experience to fall back upon.  From my point of view, there probably is an overlap, but I don’t know how much of one that is able to be extrapolated to others.

So, to speculate and draw upon my experiences. 

Depression would seem to be a narrowing of what is desirable/sought after for a person.  Sure, I can think of multiple possibilities, but it doesn’t matter for I’m going to die.  Therefore I can only choose/do one path.  Gradually, I think the experience of living narrows to the point of, “Suicide, Y/N?” if simply because the notion of control is lost over one’s own mortality otherwise.  And there has to be some form of control in life.

Schizophrenia on the other hand would seem to be a broadening of perspective to grandiose levels.  “I am a ‘God/Deity/Hero…etc’”, and with that my actions will have great repercussions.  Or I can do whatever I want, when I want because I am innately “infinite/immortal”.  As a result, the view of life inflates past the means of living (lack of resources available to enact the “dreams”).

Overall, I’d say that they aren’t opposites, but more of different polarities, and I can agree with your sentiment of balancing both to maintain sanity.

@Peter re “‘most scientists’ used to agree that the earth was flat,”

Exactly. Nature is a dictatorship, not a democracy or a cooperative (or perhaps, as I like to think, not yet).

Scientific models are validated in the lab, not by authority or consensus.

You are doubtless in a better position to judge, but I tend to see depression as an essentially debilitating condition associated with feelings of hopelessness and lack of motivation. I think the suicidal thoughts take place very much against this background, reflecting the idea that even oblivion would be better than this, and a lack of faith in the prospect of anything really improving.

In such a state, I can certainly see that one would eventually see only the question, “To be or not to be”. Whether is is mainly because the notion of control is lost over one’s own mortality otherwise is less clear to me, but once again you’re perhaps in a better position to judge this.

Like you I’m not an expert on these matters, and especially the definition of schizophrenia seems to differ every time I hear one. If anything I tend to think of it as a kind of compulsion to take seriously (and perhaps act on) the voices in our head, to an extent that interferes with our daily life and/or leads us to do things that we would clearly not do otherwise. But again, I’m no expert. Doubtless Wikipedia has plenty to say on this 😊

Indeed, but it’s not only that we should be suspicious of consensus and authority because nature might have other ideas. It’s also that the whole concept of scientific knowledge seems to depend on a concept of time, and directional causality.

I referred to Smolin and Unger’s work because I think they’ve done a great job of debunking the “God is a mathematician” conceit of much fundamental physics, especially string theory - and I say this as a mathematician! As they pont out, mathematics is powerful because it provides explanations stripped of time and specificity. But this is also a limitation, because in reality nothing is altogether timeless or universally applicable. E probably hasn’t always equalled mc^2, will not always continue to do so, and doesn’t do so in every situation.

In any case, those who claim that time does not exist should refrain from using any grammatical tense other than the present. At least from now on.

@Peter -  In Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, a fictional Alan Turing describes mathematics as the “physics of bottlecaps,” and I find that approach - considering pure mathematics as a generalization of practical experience - very sound.

I’m sorry to disappoint you Hank, but to not believe in free-will requires A LOT of BELIEF.
OBVIOUSLY free-will exists. and I repeat it 1000x, because It’s obvious.
To believe in the nonsense that free will is somehow an “illusion”, you must believe in some “mysterious entity” controlling you, well, and that’s mumbo-jumbo.
If you TRYING to use science to describe it, then you are more even wrong… atoms and molecules clearly don’t think for you…and now science is demonstrating that even WORMS have free-will.
And no, neuroscience is not on your side, all neuroscientists agree on that, free-will is matter of philosophy, not neuroscience, you are more wrong than you thought. Ohh, btw, are u talking about the libet’s experiment? If so, you misinterpreted the whole experiment, search google and understand it more.. the experiment does not debunks free-will in any way, on the contrary, It shows even more that we have conscious will.
You are the brain, therefore, you make your own decisions. The argument of the brain decides to decide before you is absurd, considering both are one… (again, unless you believe in some “ghost” controlling you), 
Yes, we can be influenced by “good feelings” like dopamine (like cocaine for a drugged, he obviously will choose cocaine instead of a tea, because of the “feel good” he gets… though, the final choice is always him, there is nothing forcing him to smell cocaine, it is he who will make the choice.

People have will; and to call it “free will” should simply mean that they are able to exercise their will without too much interference from people or other causes that would be insurmountable obstacles to their doing so.
Genetics and environment cannot hinder that which they make possible - they are the prerequisite of will; and will is the motor that drives action. A “free will” refers to how a person will act in circumstances where he’s able to act; or otherwise would act if he were able to do so.

There is no such thing as will that’s divorced from who someone is - it would be very disturbing to see evidence of such a thing - it implies actions for which we cannot give account and for which we cannot be held responsible, driven by some supernatural entity that has usurped our own will; or, otherwise, random decisions - not a very uplifting concept for explaining behavior. Anyway, “random” is a pseudo-concept; it doesn’t exist; and is used as a euphemism for “unpredictable”.

even to not believe in free-will requires free-will, free-will obviously exists, and there is no other choice, get over it.

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