I read with interest the Fullness of the Gospel series on Agency which addresses free will. This has caused me to contemplate the lyrics to a great song called ‘Free Will’ by my favorite music group RUSH. The lyrics to me seem to take one through the process of naive free will, to determinism, to choosing free will over determinism, or what may be called enlightened free will. Those of you who know me a little know that these are words I barely even know. I am like a fish out of water here, but I would not mind increasing my understanding of this type a thing, at least a little.
Does this song not suggest that we have the ability to choose not just our actions but our view of life? Is choosing free will in itself a defining moment of taking responsibility for your actions? Is this the type of choice all of us made in the council of heaven, and the same type of choice made in the Garden of Eden.
I may not know much about philosophy, but I will choose free will. I would be glad to read any straight forward thoughts on my comments here or the lyrics to ‘Free Will’. I realize that parts of this song may imply an atheist conclusion, but hey it’s just a rock song. The important part to me is the choice of a free will approach. A choice which I have made.
Free Will, by Neil Peart
There are those who think that life has nothing left to chance,
A host of holy horrors to direct our aimless dance.
A planet of playthings,
We dance on the strings
Of powers we cannot perceive
“The stars aren’t aligned –
Or the gods are malign”
Blame is better to give than receive.
There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
The cards were stacked against them – they weren’t born in Lotus-Land.
A prisoner in chains-
A victim of venomous fate.
Kicked in the face,
You can’t pray for a place
In Heaven’s unearthly estate.
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that’s clear-
I will choose Free Will.
Each of us-
A cell of awareness-
Imperfect and incomplete.
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt that’s far too fleet.