The Correlation of Freedom and Right

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gad-fly
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The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » July 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm

Freedom is the power to do what you want. To protect and preserve this power calls for setting up specific right in each specific area, to ensure that the power will be observed, respected, and obeyed by all others concerned. At the same time, the right’s rationale would vanish if the need to exercise the power has not arisen. Say you are blind. No need to bother about adequate lighting. In this respect, freedom and right are involved in the cause-effect relationship. Freedom without the protection of right as its armor-plate would be defenseless against the onslaught of attack from all sides.

In society, freedom necessarily leads to responsibility. The former is the vested power of choice; the latter is the burden on the vested person to safeguard others with the same power. Thus freedom and responsibility are two parallel concepts that go hand in hand. Identify the former as ‘right’, and the latter as ‘duty’. Help the poor. It is more than a luxury you can afford. You should not feel comfortable being aware of the homeless having no Christmas dinner. Legally, freedoms are rights given in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In a wider arena, none of us is free until all of us are free. Fighting solely for your own freedom is futile, because you can only win if you fight for all. Admittedly, this is a high order. In this respect, freedom in society is not free as in free lunch. It comes with a price. Blame it on yourself for being a social animal.

One has often been reminded that freedom comes with the rider that your enjoyment cannot adversely affect similar and comparable enjoyment by others. You may enjoy wide open space, but you cannot deny others access to the same beach. Sometimes this argument has been applied as a lame excuse to impose arbitrary limit on freedom. "You have full democratic right to stage demonstration, subject to receiving no written objection from the Hong Kong Police." How do you challenge the argument that demonstration disturbs the peace and the national security structure?

Perhaps only isolation from society can serve to provide ‘full’ or ‘free’ freedom. It is ‘free’ to the extent that you do not even have to claim the associated right. The natural rights, emerging from natural law, have always been around, with or without you awareness and concern. I have composed a list of natural rights in another thread.

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Marvin_Edwards
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Marvin_Edwards » July 29th, 2020, 10:34 pm

Someone once said, "one man's right to swing his fist stops at another man's nose". Rights are protected by rules, and rules restrict freedom. Because we all desire the maximum possible freedom, we try to create rules/rights only when necessary.

Rights and rules arise by agreement. A Constitution is an agreement to create a state or nation. It defines a democratically elected legislature as the means of reaching further agreements on rules and rights.

We claim rights. We try to set things right. We do the right thing. In all these uses, the notion of "right" carries the meaning of "how things ought to be".

Morally, "how things ought to be" is "the best good and least harm for everyone". And that is how any two rules/rights are comparatively evaluated, how they are "morally judged".

Working out the details will involve research, discussion, expert testimony, and debate. That's what legislatures do as they go about creating, modifying, or deleting rules and rights.

The Constitutional agreement must work for everyone. If a law results in a citizen starving to death, then it is a breach of the understanding between us when we constituted the state or nation, and the victim of such a law is not morally obligated to obey it. We have broken our trust with him by creating such a law. That's why we have public welfare programs, to assure that everyone can have food and shelter and medical care and so on.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Terrapin Station » July 30th, 2020, 10:00 am

Freedom is simply having options. I wouldn't say it's the "power to do what you want." You often can't do what you want, for various reasons, but you'll still have options, you'll still have freedom (to choose among the options that are achievable).

Legal rights are only important there if for some reason someone is threatening to take away those options. Often they're not. For example, no one is trying to make it so that you can't choose to walk by shaking your right foot every time you lift it. So there's no need to worry about a legal right in that regard.

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Pattern-chaser » July 30th, 2020, 10:46 am

gad-fly wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm
Freedom is the power to do what you want.
Isn't freedom the state of not being constrained in choosing what you want to do? Freedom is just that, and doesn't necessarily require power to accompany it, no? 🤔
Pattern-chaser

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gad-fly
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » July 30th, 2020, 4:11 pm

Marvin_Edwards wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 10:34 pm
Someone once said, "one man's right to swing his fist stops at another man's nose". Rights are protected by rules, and rules restrict freedom. Because we all desire the maximum possible freedom, we try to create rules/rights only when necessary.

Rights and rules arise by agreement. A Constitution is an agreement to create a state or nation. It defines a democratically elected legislature as the means of reaching further agreements on rules and rights.
"one man's right to swing his fist stops at another man's nose" is an aggressive metaphor. No one has the right to swing his fist at another.

By example.
Freedom: to travel everywhere
Right: to dive on the road
Rule: speed limit, seat belt, driver license.

Rule imposes constraint on (not protects) the exercising of Right, sometimes to the extent of stifling. If you are woman in Saudi Arabia, the rule may disqualify you from driving or similar. It is their way to protect woman from harm.

Agreement arises from the need to settle a dispute. A nation is not created by a constitution. A nation creates its own constitution.

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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » July 30th, 2020, 4:23 pm

Pattern-chaser wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 10:46 am
gad-fly wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm
Freedom is the power to do what you want.
Isn't freedom the state of not being constrained in choosing what you want to do? Freedom is just that, and doesn't necessarily require power to accompany it, no? 🤔
Freedom infers unconstrained. Powerless, and you would be constrained. Thus freedom requires power.

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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » July 30th, 2020, 4:34 pm

Terrapin Station wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 10:00 am
Freedom is simply having options. I wouldn't say it's the "power to do what you want." You often can't do what you want, for various reasons, but you'll still have options, you'll still have freedom (to choose among the options that are achievable).
Freedom is very much more than having options. An option to travel between prison and prison yard is not travel freedom. That you have one freedom like travel does not mean you have another like voting.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Terrapin Station » July 30th, 2020, 6:43 pm

gad-fly wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 4:34 pm
Freedom is very much more than having options. An option to travel between prison and prison yard is not travel freedom.
Sure it is. It's freedom to travel between those two places. Freedom is always with respect to certain options, but not others.

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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » July 31st, 2020, 12:48 am

Terrapin Station wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 6:43 pm
gad-fly wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 4:34 pm
Freedom is very much more than having options. An option to travel between prison and prison yard is not travel freedom.
Sure it is. It's freedom to travel between those two places. Freedom is always with respect to certain options, but not others.
According to Merriam-Webster:
Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints or enslavement.

Note "undue or unjust constraints" mentioned. You may have mixed up 'freedom' with 'leeway'.

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Terrapin Station
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Terrapin Station » July 31st, 2020, 10:06 am

gad-fly wrote:
July 31st, 2020, 12:48 am
Terrapin Station wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 6:43 pm


Sure it is. It's freedom to travel between those two places. Freedom is always with respect to certain options, but not others.
According to Merriam-Webster:
Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints or enslavement.

Note "undue or unjust constraints" mentioned. You may have mixed up 'freedom' with 'leeway'.
Wait--are we doing philosophy or dictionary journalism?

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chewybrian
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by chewybrian » August 1st, 2020, 5:59 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 10:46 am
gad-fly wrote:
July 29th, 2020, 3:09 pm
Freedom is the power to do what you want.
Isn't freedom the state of not being constrained in choosing what you want to do? Freedom is just that, and doesn't necessarily require power to accompany it, no? 🤔
Are you hinting at stoic freedom? It requires not power but understanding and acceptance. You must understand that you only control your own opinions, attitudes and intentions; everything else is outside your control. You must accept the implications and cease desiring or fearing what is outside your control. A real stoic, if there was one, could walk out the door with confidence that he was truly free. You can always get what you desire and avoid that to which you are averse if all these impulses are limited to what is in your own power. If you only wish to control your own opinions, attitude and intentions, then you need never find misfortune or injustice out in the world. "Freedom" to fight over money, possession, titles and other trivial crap amounts to nothing. What matters is being the kind of person you wish to be, and in this you are never constrained by the world outside, but only by yourself. Thus, you are free if you only understand and accept that you are.
"If determinism holds, then past events have conspired to cause me to hold this view--it is out of my control. Either I am right about free will, or it is not my fault that I am wrong."

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Pattern-chaser
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Pattern-chaser » August 1st, 2020, 9:33 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 10:46 am
Isn't freedom the state of not being constrained in choosing what you want to do? Freedom is just that, and doesn't necessarily require power to accompany it, no? 🤔
gad-fly wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 4:23 pm
Freedom infers unconstrained. Powerless, and you would be constrained. Thus freedom requires power.
Wow! So freedom to you is the ability to do what you wish, using power to force your choices, your freedom, onto the world. "I can do this, so I may do this, and I will do it, if I choose ... without regard for anything or anyone but me." In that case, I oppose freedom, always and forever.
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by Pattern-chaser » August 1st, 2020, 9:37 am

chewybrian wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 5:59 am
Pattern-chaser wrote:
July 30th, 2020, 10:46 am


Isn't freedom the state of not being constrained in choosing what you want to do? Freedom is just that, and doesn't necessarily require power to accompany it, no? 🤔
Are you hinting at stoic freedom?
No, I'm trying to refute or oppose the notion that freedom cannot exist without the power to enforce itself. I'm trying to deny any direct link between freedom and power.
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gad-fly
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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » August 1st, 2020, 10:42 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 9:33 am

Wow! So freedom to you is the ability to do what you wish, using power to force your choices, your freedom, onto the world.
According to Merriam-Webster:
Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. In philosophy and religion, it is associated with having free will and being without undue or unjust constraints or enslavement.

For "without undue or unjust constraints", please read: "'with due or just constraints".

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Re: The Correlation of Freedom and Right

Post by gad-fly » August 1st, 2020, 10:55 am

Pattern-chaser wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 9:37 am
chewybrian wrote:
August 1st, 2020, 5:59 am

Are you hinting at stoic freedom?
No, I'm trying to refute or oppose the notion that freedom cannot exist without the power to enforce itself. I'm trying to deny any direct link between freedom and power.
On freedom and power, please read from Merriam-Webster:

FREEDOM, LIBERTY, LICENSE mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion.

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