Our understanding of free will, in fact, was informed by theology. If you could choose how to act, religion could control you, the bread and the birch. Calvinists adopted the opposite position but still acted in accordance with scripture. Same goes for other ‘Chosen’ groups.
Free will is antithetical to cause and effect. Billions of events occurred to bring us as organisms to this present moment in the universe, with our precise configuration of genes, chemicals and schemata. We may think we are choosing A over B over C, yet divorced from our personal involvement, it is easy to see which option a self-interested higher mammal will opt for on little biographical info.
Humans are predictable and the ever-dwindling excess margin is a measurement error.
Belief has an effect on outcomes, thusly it is a cause, but sustaining belief is an ability in itself (try telling that to atheists). Strength to strength, or character, as it was once known. Self-efficacy, the belief in oneself when acting, bolsters performance, in a type of outcome placebo effect.
Extremes are frowned upon by the average, it threatens them. Absolving responsibility is an outcome of misinterpretation. There is certainly responsibility for our actions, in spite of our changing understanding of choice, because we did them. Criminal responsibility requires actus reus, the act, and mens rea in many cases, the intention.
As both are present, we are not free but we are responsible.
It joins the ranks of other terrifying facts, shelved alongside precious mortality.