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How do you define freedom

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by foggedinn, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    Just curious. When I was 16, I seemed to know exactly what it was. I'm a lot less sure these days.
     
  2. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Marx said: Peace is the absence of opposition to Socialism.

    GenSeneca says: Freedom is the absence of Socialism.

    I know many people think that the "Common/Greater Good" is something worth sacrificing our freedoms for but thats just sacrificing freedom for security.

    "Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither" - Benjamin Franklin (He wasn't just talking about Police and Military with that quote, although many seem to think he was - they never read his works)

    Life has risk thats involved, socialism seeks to eliminate as many of those risks as possible - A cradle to grave mentality - but there is no perfect solution and we will never create a Utopian society, only Despotic ones.

    Its my belief that anyone who does really care about the "Greater Good" would do well to look at ways to protect individual rights because thats the ONLY way we can ensure the "greater good" for every generation. While some may understand exactly what I'm talking about, let me be more specific.

    Laws should affect every citizen equally. Passing laws that affect only certain groups or segments of the population are NOT good for protecting our freedoms and in fact often threaten them, but they are often very popular... Any laws that cannot affect all equally, should not be written or even considered for that reason.
     
  3. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    Political freedom is nothing but the absence of state control, for those who don't abrogate others' rights.
     
  4. SusanConstant

    SusanConstant New Member

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    If you're a human being there is no such thing as freedom. "Free" is the ability to do anything and everything; only animals are free. Human beings possess the capacity to emotionally reason and so they are liberated. Liberty is the abiltiy to make reasoned decisons for yourself; it is a choice from among some just choices. A choice is not ever forced upon you; due to its very nature you freely choose for yourself - if your nation is a nation that, as one poster pointed out, has actual universal law that applies to all equally.

    We do; we have refused to apply it justly and we have refuse to live it out. It is my personal belief that one of the very worst things to happen in this nation over the past few decades was to convince children that life was matter of fairness instead of justice and that free is the same as liberty.

    I was sickened when I saw that battleship with the giant banner proclaiming "Operation Iraqi Freedom" as if you expect people to act like animals they will. The first guy I'm going to fault after the whole Congress? The guy who named it that instead of "Operation Iraqi Liberation".

    Liberty enables you to defy authority and to defy any outside conditions forced upon you by the state that are not just. Free? You become a slave to any person you call an authority and the outside things own you.
     
  5. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    The law is simply an extension of sovereign will, yes? And "sovereign will" (the body politic, voice of the people, etc.) must necessarily reflect the norms and values of the society from which it originates? And no society has ever existed in which all component people (residents, citizens, slaves, nobles, etc.) are treated completely equally, by simple measure of norms and values. Racial and sexual stereotypes still exist today, and must be broken down by way of education and example before the law may treat all completely equally.

    In essence, what I'm saying is, you can make the law equal for all, but that does nothing to correct social problems. We could impose the sort of legal equality you're talking about tomorrow and stand around, nodding at ourselves for doing such a great job, while discriminated minorities like homosexuals find that an equal law system doesn't afford them equality in an unequal society.
     
  6. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    You make good points but they refer to a failure in society and not the law. You cannot legislate away hatred, intolerance or otherwise undesirable emotions - only actions.

    My point would be that justice is supposed to blind... she's not peeking out from under her blindfold to see if you're a discriminated minority - thats not her job - she is supposed to afford the same rights, under the law, equally to everyone.

    Additionally, I think you have it backwards:
    The law must treat all people equally so that society can come to realize, by way of education and example, that nobody is better than the next person in the eyes of our government. If we wait around for society to treat everyone equally - there will never be equitable law.

    And Vyo, you seem to rarely post... so I'm honored my comments elicited a response from you. :)
     
  7. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    It is true that you can only legislate on actions - actually legislating ideas is far too Orwellian.

    I don't want to "legislate away" emotions. That sort of thing lacks subtlety. The trick is to use legislation as an identifier - much in the way DUI offenders are required to undergo alcohol-related therapy, those who commit hate crimes should undergo some form of diversity training (hopefully a form that works and not one of those insipid, smiles'n'sunshine "feelings-share" circles).

    Consider the early 20th Century South. Murder there was illegal, yet lynching - a form of murder - was common, often ignored by law enforcement officials (sometimes even participated in by law enforcement officials). Although their legal system was far from equal, in that instance the law was equal - and yet that equality was ignored in favor of social norms.

    Todays issues with social norms conflicting with the law are generally more subtle. I doubt that lynching would come back into style, but problems of social acceptance would continue to be problems. Fully legal equality does nothing to correct these problems - people will ignore that equality at the drop of a hat, if for some reason hat dropping offends them.

    Hopefully I'll be able to post more often. I'll be going back to school fairly soon, which removes me from my exhausting job and even more exhausting family.
     
  8. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    well stated, Susan. The word "freedom" and all that is attached /associated to it....... have become a meaningless slogan. Just propaganda.


    One is "free" to drive, IF one follows the rules. (an example).

    People may think and even believe they are 'free"......yet ignore the fact they are enslaved to money, their jobs, their possessions, their beliefs , and then there are the folks who enslave themselves to the variety of substances available now.

    freedom does NOT mean one can do anything they want. say anything they want, etc. There are laws to obey or society would be chaos in no tme. Even in speach. Tact, diplomacy & sensitivity is called for in a civilized society.


    It also depends on what a population is used to. The only real "freedom" one has is the one within oneself.........where one is free of prejudice, negative emotions, of obsessions, fixaed ideas about things. .... etc. One can have an inner peace and freedom ANYWHERE. .....and it is the inner dimensions that really matter . (IMHO)
     
  9. foggedinn

    foggedinn New Member

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    Thank you for your responses. I've read them all.

    Over the decades, I've come to think of political freedom as something of an illusion. The well off under any political system always seem to think that they are free, but people under other systems aren't.

    Economic freedom is much the same. The poor always seem to think that wealth will make them free. The wealthy as often as not become slaves to their wealth.

    Liberty certainly isn't freedom. I wonder how many of the newly wealthy hollywood crowd destroy themselves with the liberty to do as they please. Alchoholics and drug addicts think of themselves as free to do as they wish, and subject themselves to a terrible form of slavery.

    I don't remember the exact quote from the bible; it was something about when the son of man sets you free, you are free indeed. I believe it has something to do with freedom from fear and want. That's as close as I've found to what I believe freedom is.
     
  10. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    I wonder how many of the newly wealthy hollywood crowd destroy themselves with the liberty to do as they please.


    the so called Hollywood crowd is NOT free . They cannot do as they please. They can't drive on the wrong side of the road just because they are rich. they might be able to buy as they please.......for a while. Is living under constant media scrutiny a form of freedom?? Nope. Is having to live in gated / secure homes being free?? Nope. Is having to move around with body guards a form of being free?? Nope. Money is shallow......and can buy a lot of materialism. But it cannot buy true inner freedom / inner peace and other critical human elements and needs. It does not buy happiness as in inner contentment/fullfillment. It just creates the "want' for more. .....and enslaves a person to pathological / extreme consumerism.


    People are enslaved in many ways. some enslave themselves by choice. ( addictions are the ultimate enslavement ) some are enslaved psychologically. ( to their needs, their wants , their things .....well, you get the drift.) Of course the big enslaver now is FEAR.....and the fact it is continuously being exploited by their (US) Gov.t But then fear has been used as a political tactic since man discovered politics . How else does a gov't control a population?? Even the neanderthal realized this.
     
  11. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    YOU dare to think you can speak for AMERICANS???! :D That's as stupid as it gets. :rolleyes:
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    I think our government has reflected the baseless norms and values that are in our society, which is why there is so much injustice.

    When Humans are in control of right and wrong, you end up with socialism. You end up with Gulags, with Nazis creating the superior race. You end up with Pol Pot and Mao.

    The key, is an understanding that there is someone higher than man who has authority on right and wrong. With out that, you end up with all the problems socially that we have.

    Further, I don't think it's the duty of government to make, or legislate everyone love each other, nor to stamp out stereotypes. In fact, doing so normally makes the problem worse. If any group wants to end stereotypes, simply work hard to break them.

    Without naming any groups, because someone somewhere will twist whatever I say to fit their view... Let us say the stereotype is that purple people are always gangsters, always on drugs, and are all collecting welfare.

    A bunch of purple people living a good life, working hard at a job, raising a family in the best possible manor, will do many times more to break the stereotype than any government run re-education plan.

    It is incumbent on you, the individual to break the stereotype, not government to somehow fix it for you. I'd also say, government is doing a lousy job trying anyway. Racism still exists and is growing. It's just hidden more, but it's getting worse. I meet people all the time really bent about special benefits for specific groups.
     
  13. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    I get a kick out of the mental muddle of some people here. Libs like to claim there is no such thing as freedom, because they are the ones that take it away, and need "intellectual" cover. There are the people who confuse freedom with anarchy, ie you aren't free because you can't punch someone else. Then there are those that try to concoct supposed contradictions by disconnecting property ownership from freedom "you are free to drive on the highway IF you follow the rules". Lots o' laughs here! :p
     
  14. Shadow

    Shadow New Member

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    seems the subtleties and nuances escape the author of above.;)
     
  15. Libsmasher

    Libsmasher New Member

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    What you consider a "nuance" I recognize as superficial, naive, and well - just a good giggle! :)
     
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