Defining Freedom

Have philosophical discussions about politics, law, and government.
Featured Article: Definition of Freedom - What Freedom Means to Me
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Scott
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Defining Freedom

Post by Scott »

If you have not already, check out my definition of freedom: What Freedom Means to Me

What do you think? Do you agree with my definition? Do you support 'freedom' as I have defined it?

Do you think my definition accurate represents what most people mean by 'freedom' in the political sense?

If you disagree with my definition of freedom, how would you define it?

Thanks,
Scott
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Francois Tremblay
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Post by Francois Tremblay »

What you call freedom I designate "rights." But I know many people disagree with my nomenclature.

I define freedom as the scope of possibilities available to the individual. So while political oppression does reduce freedom, many other things do this. Being crippled physically reduce the freedom of the individual, while not necessarily reducing his rights.
anarchyisbliss
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Post by anarchyisbliss »

I define freedom as being able to do whatever you want, having no inhibitions or restrictions, and being free from the black hole of society.
"If there is hope, it lies in the proles." - George Orwell, 1984
Edward J. Bartek
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Re: Defining Freedom

Post by Edward J. Bartek »

Scott wrote:If
If you disagree with my definition of freedom, how would you define it?
You give a good detailed explanation of some political, economic, and legal freedoms, but wouldn't it require a lawyer to explain the possible loop-holes in it?

A more philosophical explanation of freedom,that is more understandable to most people, is: There is no singular "Freedom", only freedoms (Plural). All freedoms of the individiual begin with free will, that enablesthe freedom to choose. After that all freedoms are a choice, whether for the individiual, family, city, nation, state, or humanity.
but every freedom has a responsibility, which is a denial of some freedom, to enable the best moderation of freedoms for most.
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Post by Belinda »

Freedom starts with a principle of self-control, also known as self-ownership. In a free society, each and every person has legal control (or "ownership") of their own body and mind.
writes Scott in his essay .

I endorse this, because it is part of the complete rationale about the nature of freedom which was composed by Spinoza in the 17th century. In short, if I may :!: every event is a necessary event, so freedom may seemt to be an illusion. however, there is a way to revive freedom. That way is the way of reason. The more reason that an individual exerts to understand the causes and effects of any event the more free the individual is.

The corollary of this is evident in liberal courts of law, where the criminal is punished in accordance with trying to lessen the damage done by their crime. Understanding the motives and disabilities of the criminal are more likely than is tit for tat to result in appropriate treatment of the criminal; for the safety of the law- abiding majority as well as justice for the criminal.

A similar scenario can be made in the case of a general in the field of war, or for a diplomat trying to sort the disagreement with Russia.

'Knowledge' of facts, of causes and effects, confer as much freedom as is possible in a world that is governed by causal necessity.

Personal freedom is more possible the more one is free of reactive emotions, including the intrusion of injured ego. And freedom from reactive emotions comes from reasoning insight into the reactive emotions.(e.g. road rage,or premenstrual tension).
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Defining freedom

Post by Edward J. Bartek »

Aristotle said that all virtues are a moderation between the extremes (The "Golden Mean" of moderation.} In terms of freedom, freedom is a mean between excessive liberty and deficient liberty. It is between too much law and too little law, between tyranny-anarchy, and duty-responsibility. Freedom is a moderate, but dynamic balancing change between opposite extremes of choices to be, to become, or to act.
Belinda
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Post by Belinda »

Edward J B , Aristotle's Golden Mean is a good rule of thumb in many circs but not always. Some of our greatest heroes did not observe the Golden Mean, but spent all the life energy they had . E.g. Gandhi, Socrates, Jesus, and all the more obscure heroes that we know to have lived and died.

True, there have been more questionable heroes such as Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, the Kamikaze pilots of the WW2,and other suicide bombers, who also were immoderate.

Aristotle's Golden Mean is not a recipe for the good life, but an idea regarding prudence.
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Post by Akhenaten »

Freedom is what you dream, and soon shake off and constrain as you wake... so ingrained is the oppressive ideology our race has culminated for so very long it has become instinctual.
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Defining freedom

Post by willowtreeme »

I think one definition of "real" freedom is having no ties which bind "within ourselves".

Yes, ties -- but none which may "bind" us.

Some people in the concentration camps had no physical "freedom" but to themselves they were "free", they "felt" free. When one has real freedom, nothing nor no one can threaten that.
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Post by nameless »

"Freedom" is a 'feeling' and a 'concept' and, if 'believed' to be 'more' than that, generally finds us behaving 'poorly' (committing all and any acts of horror upon our fellow humans, and planet, to maintain and propagate that 'belief'. History evidences this.
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Post by Belinda »

Aren't you conflating freedom and licenciousness? Or perhaps freedom and liberty?

Freedom is actual, more than a feeling, and this applies to both freedom -to and freedom- from.

If I suffer from an addiction or a compulsion I am less free than if I am not addicted or compelled because my choices are wider than if I am not addicted or compelled .
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Post by nameless »

Belinda wrote:Aren't you conflating freedom and licenciousness? Or perhaps freedom and liberty?
No...
Ultimately I'd be conflating all apparent things in the universe, at the moment, into One. The Universal Tapestries are One. Conflation is another name for 'enlightenment', the experience of the 'Oneness'.
Freedom is actual, more than a feeling, and this applies to both freedom -to and freedom- from.
That is certainly one Perspective. A Perspective that see it's universes in terms of 'linearity', 'temporality' and 'cause and effect'. It assumes that you can alter the moment from what it is into what you want.
Other Perspectives do not see their universes as such.
Simultaneously arising moments = no changing anything. Though many 'feel' as if they do. But, because you see this, it is 'correct' and 'true', for you.
If I suffer from an addiction or a compulsion I am less free than if I am not addicted or compelled because my choices are wider than if I am not addicted or compelled .
I understand that Perspective; I do not 'share' it.
But I don't have to. All Perspectives are unique, and, besides, "for every Perspective, there is an equal and opposite Perspective."
I find that a philosophy uninformed by science is frought with more error/paradox than one so informed. From a 'scientific' Perspective... *__-
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Wonder
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Post by Wonder »

dear Scott
My question is how do you define "control (ownership) of one's mind"?
I understand control of the body, but control of one's own mind?
Of cource I understand that all crazies get locked up, derprived of their freedom.
I basically agree whith all the rest.
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whitetrshsoldier
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Post by whitetrshsoldier »

Wonder wrote:dear Scott
My question is how do you define "control (ownership) of one's mind"?
I understand control of the body, but control of one's own mind?
Of cource I understand that all crazies get locked up, derprived of their freedom.
I basically agree whith all the rest.
Wonder,

Here's how I define it all, not that you asked ...

Here's an insight of how I see the human mind working physiologically [from a prior post]
I'm of the belief that there's no such thing as a truly selfless act. Here's a discussion Homicidal Pacifist and I had a while back in the Accountability is Still the #1 Virtue thread...
Homicidal Pacifist wrote: That statement is not true. I do many things simply for the good of other people. The fact that I get enjoyment out of it is neither the cause of my action nor is it a characteristic of selfishness.
How does a human body function, HP? I guess that's the question at hand here. My understanding of it is that chemicals are released by neurotransmitters in the mind. Among those chemicals are seratonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These chemicals are released based on various stimuli, among those are visual and auditory input. However, the body reacts as a result of the brain's desire for MORE CHEMICALS.

It is presumably "selfish" for a being to act solely in order to feed it's own need for "another hit", is it not? We're basically all just addicts, begging for a release of more chemicals from a neurotransmitter to a synapse, on and on, millions of times over every second. So stands my argument.

In the end, I don't think there is such a thing as a "selfless" act. No matter what it is that you do, you derive some kind of benefit from [if only a chemical/neurological/psychological "high"].

So our mind will always guide us to the most "pleasurable" or "painless" choice. But that still does not prevent me from arguing that governments should not exist to prevent my mind from being free to lead me towards achieving that end, should it?
In other words, "control of the mind" is really just resisting the natural physical urges that drive us, if that's possible ...
"I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings! I'm obviously just insecure with the ineptitudes of my logic and rational faculties. Forgive me - I'm a "lost soul", blinded by my "ignorant belief" that there's such a thing as reality and truth in the world"
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Wonder
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Post by Wonder »

whitetrshsoldier wrote: In other words, "control of the mind" is really just resisting the natural physical urges that drive us, if that's possible ...
Well, from a materialistic point of view this might be true whitetrshsoldier.
i am not a materialist, and I just don't think that everything is a result of neurons, cells, molecules etc.
I am more of a spirituality kind of philosopher, not an atheist, read Plato's theory of Forms.
Ideas are more than just matter, they are spirit
Actually it is the spiritual part of the mind that I am trying to get at with this question.
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