What is freedom?

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What is freedom?

Post  lpelicieux on Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:21 am

Do you belive that we are really free or is our freedom limited? Does the Government control how much freedom we really have?

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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:45 am

Freedom is always limited, especially in a society. We sacrifice "freedom" for security, but we really never had freedom in the first place, our actions are determined by our past.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Phoenix on Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:55 am

There's no such thing as freedom, nor is it a good even if it did exist.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Rombat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:01 pm

Phoenix and Eclipse, I'd like to see some form of reasons why there is no such thing as freedom besides "Society". I think we're working on different definitions here, because I think you're all limiting it to doing anything you want with no repercussions, which isn't a fair assessment of freedom. Humans are free to do whatever we want within our ability (obviously I'm not going to start flying without outside assistance anytime soon), just what we want to do sometimes has more extreme negative reactions than we'd like to deal with. If we weren't free than there would be no crime, because we wouldn't be able to do all things illegal.

Just because we choose to limit ourselves to gain the benefits of living in a society doesn't mean we're not free, it just means we choose to follow some rules to get something in return.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Phoenix on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:52 pm

Rombat wrote:Phoenix and Eclipse, I'd like to see some form of reasons why there is no such thing as freedom besides "Society". I think we're working on different definitions here, because I think you're all limiting it to doing anything you want with no repercussions, which isn't a fair assessment of freedom. Humans are free to do whatever we want within our ability (obviously I'm not going to start flying without outside assistance anytime soon), just what we want to do sometimes has more extreme negative reactions than we'd like to deal with. If we weren't free than there would be no crime, because we wouldn't be able to do all things illegal.

Just because we choose to limit ourselves to gain the benefits of living in a society doesn't mean we're not free, it just means we choose to follow some rules to get something in return.

This is the only definition of freedom I work with:

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc

Freedom is the ability to do anything we could possibly do without any sort of interference. Now, the freedom this country is founded on is the type of freedom to do anything you want without infringing on the freedom of others (murder, theft, etc.). But more and more recently, there are laws coming up that is limiting that kind of freedom to where this country becomes the country that our founding father came here to get away from.

I don't think perfect freedom is a good idea. It doesn't even work in theory. However, what we have now shouldn't even be referred to as freedom.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:39 pm

Rombat wrote:Phoenix and Eclipse, I'd like to see some form of reasons why there is no such thing as freedom besides "Society". I think we're working on different definitions here, because I think you're all limiting it to doing anything you want with no repercussions, which isn't a fair assessment of freedom. Humans are free to do whatever we want within our ability (obviously I'm not going to start flying without outside assistance anytime soon), just what we want to do sometimes has more extreme negative reactions than we'd like to deal with. If we weren't free than there would be no crime, because we wouldn't be able to do all things illegal.

Just because we choose to limit ourselves to gain the benefits of living in a society doesn't mean we're not free, it just means we choose to follow some rules to get something in return.

But can you really make a complete and free choice that has no external influences? You might think you're free to make another choice, but that's just an illusion. Your past, your experiences, and a number of other influences determine what you will do. Those extreme negatives are exactly the type of external influences that helps determine someone's decisions, but other factors could outweigh them. That's why there is crime.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Rombat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:32 pm

I'd like to note how I completely and totally disagree with that definition. Which is really what's going on here. I don't think external influences reduce freedom, they just help mold choices. Phoenix go scroll down farther on dictionary.com and find the entry that says

The capacity to exercise choice;

This is what I view as freedom. Choice. What molds your choices isn't reduction of freedom, it's defining who you are. If something can take your ability to make choices away, it's taken away your freedom.

This entire discussion is meaningless if we don't have a unified stance on what freedom is. If we go along your lines then yes, I do agree that freedom is reduced by Governments and Societies and External Influences. If we go by whether or not choice can be taken from you, I find your arguments that external influences decide things for you terribly inaccurate. Sally just got a new bike for her birthday, and her parents really want her to ride it around, but she can still go swimming. Just because the external influences are there, doesn't mean they reduced her ability to choose. Also:

Your past, your experiences, and a number of other influences determine what you will do.

They do not determine what you will do, they determine who you are. Who you are helps determine what you will do, like I seriously doubt I'll be clubbing it up this weekend, but it's not the end all be all of how you make choices, as I might decide to learn how to dance the Tunak Tunak Tun with two friends of mine and EMBARRASS everyone else there with our amazing super coolness. It's not likely, but it's not impossible. (As a note yes, we've actually been kind of sort of planning this amazing show of awesomeness. It's ok, I know you're now jealous, so as long as you don't do it in Gainesville I don't care if you guys copy our amazing idea.)
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:42 pm

Rombat wrote:They do not determine what you will do, they determine who you are.

I'm saying who you are determines what choice you will make. If you've always been afraid of water, and are given two paths. One is covered in water and the other is dirt, I think it's safe to say that you'd choose the dirt. The same is true if you purposely go against what people would think you'd do, it's your own history and personality that determined what you would do.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Rombat on Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:01 pm

Picking something that is completely harmless versus something that is scary is a bit of a weighted argument. Now, if you say the choice is between a short trip through a water'd pass over a long round about dirt trail, I'm not so sure it's clear cut. And if there's a hurry you might just decide the water, while scary, is worth it.

Either way, it's a choice, and you're free to make that choice. People do just suddenly wake up and decide to try things they're afraid of or do something they'd never done before. Saying that all of your life's choices are already made by your past and that your person is set in stone is ridiculous. People do go out and do the strangest things (for their personality) occasionally. It might be unlikely, but it's not impossible.

Your personality is an element of where your decision comes from, but it doesn't make your decision. Thus doesn't take away choice, so you still have freedom (how I'm viewing freedom at least).
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Phoenix on Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:25 pm

Rombat wrote:Phoenix go scroll down farther on dictionary.com and find the entry that says

The capacity to exercise choice;

This is what I view as freedom. Choice. What molds your choices isn't reduction of freedom, it's defining who you are. If something can take your ability to make choices away, it's taken away your freedom.

You can also choose to murder someone. You have the "freedom" (so to speak) to do so, but your freedoms will be taken away from you soon after. It's all about the repercussions.

They do not determine what you will do, they determine who you are. Who you are helps determine what you will do, like I seriously doubt I'll be clubbing it up this weekend, but it's not the end all be all of how you make choices, as I might decide to learn how to dance the Tunak Tunak Tun with two friends of mine and EMBARRASS everyone else there with our amazing super coolness. It's not likely, but it's not impossible.

But what if right now you get put in jail? Then your chances of going out and doing the robot in the middle of the dance floor while your two friends stare at you as if they don't know you become very slim to impossible. Unless of course you bust that step in front of a judge that becomes so mesmerized that he or she frees you, but I digress.

You get my point, there is no such thing as absolute freedom if your choices can be compromised to where not everything possible is in fact possible.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:47 am

Rombat wrote:Picking something that is completely harmless versus something that is scary is a bit of a weighted argument. Now, if you say the choice is between a short trip through a water'd pass over a long round about dirt trail, I'm not so sure it's clear cut. And if there's a hurry you might just decide the water, while scary, is worth it.

Either way, it's a choice, and you're free to make that choice. People do just suddenly wake up and decide to try things they're afraid of or do something they'd never done before. Saying that all of your life's choices are already made by your past and that your person is set in stone is ridiculous. People do go out and do the strangest things (for their personality) occasionally. It might be unlikely, but it's not impossible.

Your personality is an element of where your decision comes from, but it doesn't make your decision. Thus doesn't take away choice, so you still have freedom (how I'm viewing freedom at least).

There's the illusion of choice, but in the end, our personality (conscious and unconscious) determines what we will do, and those are determined by external influences. If someone took the path covered in water even though he was scared of water, he was determined to overcome his fear, not a free choice.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Rombat on Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:09 pm

Eclipse wrote:
There's the illusion of choice, but in the end, our personality (conscious and unconscious) determines what we will do, and those are determined by external influences. If someone took the path covered in water even though he was scared of water, he was determined to overcome his fear, not a free choice.

So you're saying our personality isn't part of us, thus we aren't free? Because that's what you wrote. And if so, it is at this point that I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:37 pm

Rombat wrote:
Eclipse wrote:
There's the illusion of choice, but in the end, our personality (conscious and unconscious) determines what we will do, and those are determined by external influences. If someone took the path covered in water even though he was scared of water, he was determined to overcome his fear, not a free choice.

So you're saying our personality isn't part of us, thus we aren't free? Because that's what you wrote. And if so, it is at this point that I think we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

No, I'm saying who we are is determined by our personality, which is determined by external influences. It's a part of us, but because it is the sum of it's experiences, it responds to situations based on that. We aren't free because of that. If someone knew everything about you, your past, your presaent, and everything else about the universe, they would be able to predict exactly what you'd do in any given situation.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Rombat on Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:47 pm

Eclipse wrote:
No, I'm saying who we are is determined by our personality, which is determined by external influences. It's a part of us, but because it is the sum of it's experiences, it responds to situations based on that. We aren't free because of that. If someone knew everything about you, your past, your presaent, and everything else about the universe, they would be able to predict exactly what you'd do in any given situation.

Even if our personality is determined by external influences (which I don't believe entirely, I do feel our genetics play a large part in who we become, and I'm not about to call those external influences, because even if they are donated, what you turn out to be could be nothing at all like anyone else in your line) you still wouldn't be able to exactly predict every situation. You'd be able to select the most likely, you'd probably get >99% of them right, but not every single choice can be predicted beforehand.

However neither of us can prove our point. We can't really test it, because we don't have blank slate people that we can raise in exactly the same way, then have them go through a series of choices to see if they always pick the same way. So we're really just at our beliefs now.

Again, it's agree to disagree time.
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Re: What is freedom?

Post  Eclipse on Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:50 pm

Alas, I suppose we'll have to.
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