Let Me Ask You A Question – 9/30/17

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Let me ask you a question:

How much freedom should people have?  

51 thoughts on “Let Me Ask You A Question – 9/30/17

  1. This is a difficult one, I would Say looking at the world today, to much, however that depends on where you are in this world, when there is no respect anywhere to be found, maybe something went wrong some where, but where do you draw that Line ? i honestly dont know ?

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  2. I agree with the English philosopher J. S Mill who, in his essay of 1859, entitled “On Liberty” argued in favour of the maximum freedom of the individual. Mill accepts that constraints must be placed on individual freedom but only in so far as the actions of individuals cause harm to others. Please excuse the extensive quote below (taken from chapter 1 of “On Liberty” but Mill puts it far better than I am able to:

    “The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way
    of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle
    is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number,
    is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to
    prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because
    it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These
    are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with
    any evil in case he do otherwise. To justify that, the conduct from which it is desired to deter him, must be calculated to produce evil to some one else.
    The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself,
    his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign”.

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      • In essence that is indeed what I am saying. To take a concrete example, however tragic it may be (and it is indeed tragic), people do, in my view have the right to drink themselves to death. What they do not have the right to do is to get into a vehicle (while drunk) and, as a consequence injure or kill a fellow road user or pedestrian. The person drinking themselves to death is (to use Mill’s terminology) engaging in a “self-regarding act as it affects only the individual concerned, while 9(once the individual gets into a vehicle) it becomes a “other-regarding” act as it has consequences for his/her fellow road users/pedestrians. Mill only applies his theory to mentally competent adults (he accepts that children and those with mental impairments require protection from their own actions).

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  3. “Freedom” may be the second most abused word in the American English language (second only to “Love”). First, it is confused with “Liberty”, which means almost, but not quite the same thing. Then, there is the question of which kind, “Freedom to”, “Freedom not to”, “Freedom from.” Too often it is spoken as an absolute thing rather than a feature of relationship.
    [“Language commonly stresses only one side of a relationship.” Gregory Bateson – “Mind And Nature”]
    So, how much? Maybe the answer is: As much as for which they are willing to take complete responsibility.

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    • It is a tough question. The leisurely use of it in some of the Question comments is what provoked it. “Freedom” is so over-used that I don’t think the word has a true definition any more. Everyone wants freedom until something happens or someone does something different, then they don’t want freedom. Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m reminded of a set of two books I had in school, especially the subtitle. It was a compendium of the important Supreme Court decisions from the beginning up to Brown V. Board. The title was “The People Shall Judge: Rights In Conflict”. Its that part about rights in conflict that expresses the essence of those decisions. They are not generally about right versus wrong, but about the places where the freedom of one collides with the freedom of another, and seeking (hopefully) a fair and just balance of those boundaries.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s a double edged sword. Lately I’ve heard people say that military service men and women fought to protect our freedom. The same people say that if we’re not forced to stand for a particular song and honor a particular piece of cloth, we dishonor those same people. This confuses me. I want to live in a country where we are proud of what we’ve accomplished and that results in patriotism. Forced loyalty or penalties for not being loyal sounds a lot like a dictatorship. I don’t want to see us move in that direction.

    That being said, unfettered freedom to do anything we choose is not the answer. Rules and laws are in place so that less than honorable people do not hurt others either physically or financially. Those rules and laws, however, fall into categories. Businesses and organizations can enact whatever rules they see fit and then individuals can decide whether or not they want to be a member of that organization or work for that business.

    Laws and rules in the public domain should come about by actions from representatives or elected officials, not through unilateral instruments such as executive orders.

    That’s my two cents. Let the counterpoint begin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. To me freedom is being able to do what I want, when I want and as such I don’t think anyone has real freedom. We all have to grow up, get a job, pay bills. We are confined in that till we hit retirement age and then we are confined into watching the pennies.

    Also the human race as a general rule are not reliable enough to cope with such freedom, you are always going to get one nutjob.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. People should have as much freedom as they are willing to grant others. I often think of the Abraham Lincoln quote: “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” when I read of one group wanting to restrict something about another group. If the tables were turned, the shoe on the other foot, how would it play out?

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