I don't know about organized religion. (what are "the big three"? Muslim, Hinduism, and Buddhism?or did you mean to include Christianity, Judaism ...?)<br />
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The usefulness of free will is to teach you how the universe works. Align your will with God's will and the result will be the most happiness for all concerned. Alternatively, your action may bring happiness for yourself at the expense of others, or happiness for others at your own expense. <br />
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Choose wisely, Grasshopper.

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Not smoking anything. Perhaps it is the result of things I have smoked or ingested in the distant past?

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The idea is that you're supposed to choose the right thing, but you have the option to do the wrong thing. It's just an explanation as to why god allows evil to go on. You'd hear it in sunday school, or at least I did.<br />
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What most religions boil down to is spritual blackmail. If you're good you're rewarded, if you're bad you get punished. What's commendable are the people with no religion who are good for "no reason" according to some.

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the fact that you still get to make that choice? that makes it free will.<br />
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besides, if there was no wrong choice then killing someone wouldn't matter, would it?

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Indeed!

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It's not about religion it's about ethics

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