Rush “Freewill

February 2nd, 2009

“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 as clear. I will choose free will”

This chorus really bothers me. The concept of making a choice has an implied adjunct of options. That is, there are limited things to choose from. Free will implies that each individual can make up their mind, and yes, I would agree with that for the most part, but the choices are limited and unaffected by the chooser.

The idea of choosing free will is simply preposterous, because the choice is being made in order to express the chooser’s freedom, yet in choosing it, the chooser is accepting that it isn’t something innate to him. Does this not seem a bizarre contradiction to everyone else? On a side note the music to this song, as with the majority of Rush songs, is unbelievable. Anyway I am not certain that Neil Peart didn’t have some sort of ironic reason for saying this the way he did, but it really bugs me at face value.

(This was written a while ago, but I thought I would port it to this blog)

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  1. I’m liking the new theme man!

    I think the point that Pert is trying to convey is that people always take sides and choose what to believe, and he prefers to be open-minded and not ‘choose’ things. This is, in and of itself, a choice of course, which is why he says ‘i choose free will’ — a paradox which is, in a way, unavoidable.

    I am a Fallibalist: I choose to believe that anything that I think I know could very well be wrong, so I do not choose a particular doctrine to side with. What I think is best or even logical could very well be far from actuality, and it’s impossible to be certain. I find absolute uncertainty in certainty.

    The same paradox exists here… How can I choose to call myself a Fallibibilist if I think that’s the right way of thinking?
    You cant.

    So I choose not to choose, as I think Pert might be.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Well it’s most specifically the line “If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice.”

    Clearly, the point is that you have to exercise free will whether you choose to or not. However, the choices are limited, so you can’t really call it “free” will. There is, of course, a paradox within, unless, like me, you don’t believe in free will anyway.

    I would consider myself partly fallibilistic in that I believe I can always be proven wrong, but I do draw conclusions based on premises and assertions, specifically — classifiable, observable phenomena. To not remain steadfast in one’s conclusions until proven wrong really nullifies one’s existence.

    I can make the assertion that I exist, otherwise making any assertions at all has no point. If I allow this to be fallible, I am existing without purpose, so fallibilism seems to be more of a cop out than an ideology. I would like to think that their is a purpose to my existence. Otherwise, I would actively, eagerly pursue non-existence.

    Oh, and the theme is called “Acid Rain.” I thought it fit the profile of the site better. Also, it is spelled “Peart” — just so you know. 😉

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