Free will is clearly an ontological issue, but it is rooted in the metaphysical nature of reality. There are scientific arguments for determinism, which often involve matter and energy creating the universe and all of its interactions, predetermined by the initial conditions of the universe. There are also religious arguments for determinism that entail that God's omniscient nature implies God's knowledge of all things that were, are, and will be and therefore no action could be executed without God's prior knowledge and determination of the action. In a purely material reality a material, including consciousness, constitutes all things. In order to recognize that human consciousness possesses free will (without further scientific discovery) one would have to make the claim that consciousness is immaterial and is therefore outside of the laws of Newtonian physics that seemingly determine all material occurrences.
In order to determine free will's existence, one must determine if immaterial objects exist. I know that I exist as a thinking thing or rather I know that my consciousness exists. If my consciousness exists then it is logical to believe that consciousness exists. To claim that an immaterial 'thing' (consciousness) exists is to claim that there exists immaterial 'things' in addition to the material world we live in. Consciousness exists as a nonmaterial entity and is therefore free from the deterministic nature of the material world. .
According to Strawson, he could never make sense of the ideas free will and determinism. Instead, Strawson believed that we should focus primarily on reactive attitudes-those attitudes we have toward other people based on their attitudes toward and treatment of us. Some examples of these attitudes include: love, forgiveness, resentment, and gratitude. Strawson believed that these attitudes were incredibly vital to interpersonal interactions and that they provide the basis for holding individuals morally responsible.