Sam Harris, in his new book, asserts that we humans don’t have Free Will. First, I'll discuss why I disagree, and then I'll state what I think is the real issue.
However, "wants" (or genes, for that matter) are not something you have; they are who you are. They define you. I consciously choose based on who I am, based on my design, including my genetically constructed brain, with its cognitive abilities and specialized brain modules that implement primal needs/preferences/ desires/interests. Implementing "desire" in neurons is no easy feat, but that's another topic.
And what is consciousness? The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each connected to 7,000 other neurons (or to the senses), each firing at 200 times per second. The whole brain begins to hum and resonate with the environment like a tuning fork. We are continually thrown off balance by external stimuli or internal wants/interests/desires that perturb the system, and the brain struggles to regain resonance. Past memories and future plans/predictions are all thrown into the multi-dimensional resonance mix. We often have competing desires (e.g. fear and greed), which the brain’s resonance engine resolves in the environmental context. But we only sense and retain things for which we were genetically built.
So if we are free to do what we want (based on who we "genetically are"), and consciousness emerges from the resonance of the human brain with its internal and external environment, then what is the real issue?
It's the unfairness of genetic diversity. It's the fact that we’re all born unequal, with different wants/ desires/ interests, which essentially come from our unequal genes (and the unequal “resonance engines” they construct), and which lead to inequality in pay, opportunity and status. (According to Business Week, "needs, desires, and weaknesses [are] coded into our DNA.")
Are genetic inequalities within the realm of justice? Not for those already living, since our genes define who we are. I decide freely based on who I am (by my design). If your “wants” aren’t in sync with social expectation (e.g. you want to kill people), then you’ll end up impoverished and perhaps incarcerated. The legal system will throw you in jail for being “you”. Laws are written by genetic beings to control other genetic beings, whom they fear. But you can’t change someone’s genes without changing who they are (the exception being non-development genes).
In the future, with the advent of affordable genetic testing, parents will decide their children’s genes before they are conceived. This will restore fairness and equality in society. Create a future generation who freely choose the things that will make them more prosperous, and eliminate those who freely choose to be serial killers.