If atheists believe in free will, has any of them ever explained where free will came from?
Not in any satisfactory manner, no. Compatibilism
is one view that Daniel Dennett pushes, but it largely boils down to a semantic argument - which isn't really a problem actually, because I think semantics is one of more difficult problems involving any discussion of 'free will'. I remember reading Sam Harris' Free Will
, and remember asking myself what exactly Sam Harris was arguing. He takes the position that there is no free will, and then goes on to argue...ish why compatibilism is an incorrect view of free will, but from what I got, his argument essentially boiled down to 'and what compatibilism calls free will ain't free will'
Some people will cite natural uncertainty per quantum mechanical models as the mechanism for 'free will', but that's unsatisfactory insofar as all that provides is a mechanism for unpredictability
. And unpredictability
is a feature
of 'free will', but I don't think is a sufficient property for some...thingie? behavior?...to be called 'free will'. Or, rather, just because an entity is unpredictable
does not necessarily
mean it is a free agent
So I think most conversations around 'free will', at least among those that accept 'free will' as an actual thingie
, revolve around trying to nail down precisely what everyone means with the phrase 'free will'.