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8/3/05


Home_____Bad Religion Rocker Greg Graffin on Free Will

Frontman of Bad Religion, Greg Graffin purportedly started the band at age 15 after moving to the San Bernardino valley of California during the Carter era. Around him he beheld suburban sprawl and antiseptic value and his response was to form his group. Other bands of the era have fallen out of memory, but Graffin's remains. His songs include "Television," "21st Century Digital Boy," and "I Love My Computer," each about the electronic age and its dominance over consciousness. "Supersonic" is about the accelerated pace of modern living, the fast-lane life imposed by the modern, technological age.

His "Punk Manifesto" expressed his effort at defining the movement, although filled with wooly thinking, and adolescent sentiment, as exemplified by this: "PUNK IS: the personal expression of uniqueness that comes from the experience of growing up in touch with our human ability to reason and ask questions."

Go figure.

The manifesto seems designed for consumer appeal. Regardless of its nonsense, his demographic would identify with it and buy more of his music. I say this, because he does have a brain.

In his late thirties, he recently received a PhD in evolutionary biology from Cornell University. In his dissertation, "Monism, Atheism, and The Naturalist World-View: Perspectives from Evolutionary Biology," he argues that naturalism will become a new kind of religion, one that promises to offset the "bad" religion of "traditional churches, political dogmas, conformist social codes."

Graffin denies the existence of free will, and cites Richard Dawkins (see Inveterate Bystander, Dawkins, Memes, Genes, & God, 31 December 2003) who says free will is a pervasive delusion that we might as well accommodate. Our sense of our own volition won’t go away. In Consilience, sociobiologist E. O. Wilson says that, "Because the individual mind cannot be fully known and predicted, the self can go on passionately believing in its own free will." Found here.

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