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

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

There are those who think that
They've been dealt a losing hand
The cards were stacked against them
They weren't born in Lotus-Land

All preordained
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
Genetic blends
With uncertain ends
On a fortune hunt
That's far too fleet

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


Lyrics submitted by shed27, edited by drewzer15, Rush4Peace

"Freewill" as written by Alex Lifeson Geddy Lee

Lyrics © OLE MEDIA MANAGEMENT LP

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Freewill song meanings
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  • +6
    My InterpretationWith the possible exception of Brian Steeksma’s “Listen to Reason”, I find this to be the most clearly pro-atheists song I’ve ever heard:

    There are those who think that life is 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 conceive.
    "The stars aren't aligned
    Or the gods are malign"-
    Blame is better to give than receive.

    This first section clearly seems to be categorizing god beliefs as something other than freewill. It clearly characterizes religious beliefs as making us nothing but playthings in a deterministic world, while acknowledging that this may suit some better than freewill as it allows one to simply blame misfortune or failure on supernatural forces rather than taking responsibility — “Blame is better to give than receive.”

    You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
    If you choose not to decide, you still haven't made a choice. — I would insert a correction here — I am 99% certain that is says “HAVE made a choice” which makes more sense.
    You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
    I will choose a path that's clear-
    I will choose Free Will.

    Here in the chorus they clearly imply that religious belief is something apart from freewill.


    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.
    Again the lines above and the next 3 speak to a belief in a theistic mindset that rejects responsibility for one’s own fate.

    All preordained-
    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.

    The last part of this verse seems to almost ridicule the notion of intercessory prayer. Roughly paraphrased, the writer seems to be saying: ‘when life gets rough, it makes no sense to just pray for a better afterlife — you should take responsibility and try to make the most of the one life you know you have.

    Each of us-
    A cell of awareness-
    Imperfect and incomplete.
    Genetic blends
    With uncertain ends
    On a fortune hunt that's far too fleet.

    This last seems to be an assertion and acceptance again of the idea that we are simply evolved creatures who have developed a level of awareness and that we have one life to live, so let’s not waste it worrying about superstition.
    pdoylemion August 12, 2012   Link

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