What is freedom and why is it important?

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by someguy0123, May 28, 2015.

  1. someguy0123 Registered Member

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    Ask anyone, and you get a different answer.

    What is this freedom that people claim is 'good' and why? If it's just an idea, then is it the idea of freedom that's so desirable or is freedom something that can be defined in a way that can be measured and handed out?
     
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  3. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    It's just another name for nothing left to lose. Haven't you ever listened to "Me and Bobby McGee"?
     
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  5. Capracus Registered Senior Member

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    Yes, freedom is just an idea. It exists as an incomplete assessment of actual elemental behavior.
     
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  7. wellwisher Banned Banned

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    Freedom is a precondition for total self reliance. Lack of freedom is connected to other people and other things leading you and limits the potential and/or need for self reliance.

    Not everyone wants to be totally free, because this requires more effort on your part. Total lack of freedom is when government, other people and things, make all the decisions for you and you just follow.

    Freedom is just another word for nothing else to lose. The feeling of loss is due to a dependency connection on something or someone that is broken. This connection limited your freedom, in exchange for maybe a good feeling. Once all those are broken one is free and has to be self reliant, which can be hard at first.

    In relationships we have to give up total freedom in exchange for the need of the other person and the team. We can't be totally self reliant, but have to be able to depend on the other; trust.
     
  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom is the opposite of responsibility - free to do what you shouldn't do.
     
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    sculptor and sideshowbob like this.
  10. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom is slavery.
     
  11. someguy0123 Registered Member

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    Thank you for your replies.

    One that intrigued me was by Spellbound.

    Freedom is slavery.

    What an interesting thought. Does the idea of freedom cover up the slavery, or are you saying that freedom itself is actually its antithesis?
     
  12. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    I am saying that freedom must be earned. And so it becomes a kind of slavery.
     
  13. someguy0123 Registered Member

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    How does one "earn" freedom?
     
  14. river

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    By knowledge and applying that knowledge
     
  15. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom, like other rights, truth, liberty, etc. is a value.

    We value some freedoms, but with every freedom comes responsibility. You cannot take a walk on a sidewalk without taking the responsibility to do so in a manner that respects the rights and freedoms of other people who also use it, obey various traffic regulations pertaining to pedestrians, observe cultural norms of decency in terms of attire, language, and if you take a pet along with you, the responsibility to clean up after the animal wherever you may wander.

    You may be someone who plants, harvests, and consumes, sells, or otherwise enjoys the fruits of your labor, but you cannot do that unless someone else has previously taken the responsibility to harvest, maintain and sell you the seeds from previous harvests, and protected those seeds from pests that otherwise might have consumed them. You also can't depend on municipal sources of water to water them or even your lawn in times of drought, because vital resources such as these are owned by the community. No freedom is ever absolute.

    We value some freedoms; others we evidently could care less about. In the 21st century, we seem to have collectively forgotten that the right to privacy means that it is not a right for vendors of products or services, nor our government, to maintain records of what we read, purchase, browse, nor whom we associate with, whatever clubs we care to join, etc. These days, if you play a game of solitaire on your mobile device, you get bombarded by ads for online gambling casinos. A trip to the local pharmacy to purchase prescription pain killers authorized by your doctor might result in an ad or even a phone solicitation for the services of a criminal trial attorney appearing on your smartphone. Some of us find this annoying, but what is more annoying is there seems to be a perception that any means to finding a customer is somehow a protected right for advertisers.
     
  16. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom is a created abstract value of our culture. It is a generalization of a behavioral state, namely of doing whatever the fuck you want to do. The problem that arises is how does a system of government and laws, essentially a system of control and restriction, grant MORE freedom to all of its subjects? It doesn't. The idea of rights and priveleges is only granted to those who behave properly and conform to the rules of society. Witness the rights that are denied to prisoners who have only smoked marijuana. A clear case of rebellion against social mores resulting in the denial of freedom to the rebels. Freedom is an illusion designed to keep the masses obedient and happy. You're free as long as you're happy to be enslaved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
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  17. danshawen Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom is a social contract you assent to whether or not you ever agreed to whatever it says. Kinda like Newt Gingrich's contract with America. Not slavery, exactly, but pretty darned close.
     
  18. Magical Realist Valued Senior Member

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    True. And the things you thought were in the contract weren't, while other things get added as time goes by. Before you know it you've spent your whole life working at a job you hate, to make money you don't want, to buy things you never needed, in order to retire when you're too old to enjoy it. Few of us read the fine print on our "Pursuit of Happiness" contract.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
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  19. Spellbound Banned Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom of expression and freedom of thought are really the most valuable freedoms there are.
     
  20. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Freedom is always the next rung on a ladder that endlessly grows. Which is to say, each generation bitches in the context of that particular rung which its masses have ascended to (as if considering itself to be the bottom). This perpetual dissatisfaction is one element that prevents civil rights organizations and watchdog groups from greeting their functional demise. The other being that, like a standing military, fear and paranoia breed continual need that agencies of liberty must ward-off lingering threats or potential re-encroachments of the past.

    The elimination of feudal-like class systems, slavery, and double standards once applied to lofty and ignoble, male and female, employer and employee, creed X and creed Y, ethnic-group A and ethnic-group B, etc... Simply cleared the occidental countryside of obscuring brush which obscured ever finer subtleties of these that survived. Elsewhere, of course, as well as in hidden pockets of the elite nations' own backyards, the old traditions persist more blatantly: Chattel slavery, indentured servitude, forced labor and human trafficking, conscription of child soldiers, compulsory marriage, both sanctioned and rogue requisition of property / money, and the assorted divisions of disproportionate privileges among members of general communities.
     
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  21. Yazata Valued Senior Member

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    I think that perhaps the best definition of 'freedom' is absence of external coercion. We are free when we behave according to our own internal process, when we make our own decisions in other words.

    Disputes arise when we try to define what 'external coercion' means. It's pretty obvious in the case of slavery. But do the circumstances of people's normal lives in any way constitute coercion? I'm not Chinese, so being a native inhabitant of Beijing seems to be a choice that's closed off to me. To what extent do the conditions of normal life constrain us? Some people even argue that our being physical beings, subject to the laws of physics, means that we aren't free. (Presumably we can only be free when we are fully spiritual beings, ascended to a higher plane.)
     
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  22. river

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    Freedom is the fundamental foundation on which you have build your future . Mine is anti-gravity flying saucers . With the intent of having a picnic on the Moon and Mars .
     
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