(Re: Brian Green on free will) There is no need to redefine choice in order to acknowledge free will. We have a sentient being that is aware of two or more alternatives and selects one (or more if they are non-exclusive). That’s what free will entails: what else could it? Let’s say selections made had nothing to do with predispositions and awareness of consequences—in other words a completely random event: How would this constitute a choice? Green and the theologians get tied up in knots because the target they both have in mind is a naïve, absolute (fantastic) idea of choice that is disconnected from anything physical (or any context in which the word is ordinarily used): the immaterial spirit influencing the laws of physics. That is all Green is denying, which in no way denies any defensible idea of free will. He says the elements of choice are made up of events governed by deterministic laws of physics, so those elements don’t constitute a “real” choice—which is why he speaks of merely “experiencing a choice”. Fine: let’s say the laws of physics were non-deterministic, the underlying processes completely random, and there was no regularity in the world whatsoever that could enable persistence and evolutionary change: would the elements of “choice” ever have got a foot hold? I would argue the only reason we have free will is because of those underlying deterministic processes.
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