"It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired." --Robert Heinlein
 

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impossible assertions of "freedom"


Does freedom mean no consequences for your actions? That definition ignores reality, every action (or inaction) has consequences.

Does freedom mean you can do whatever you want to do? Again, that definition ignores reality, because our capabilities correspond neither to our imaginations nor our desires.

Does freedom mean you can do whatever you are capable of? What a strange definition, it includes everybody and excludes nobody. What would be the purpose of fighting for freedom or valuing freedom if we all have it?

Does freedom mean being able to act without restraint from others? I think you might have to live in an unpopulated area to get away with that.

The definition I most often hear is freedom means I can do whatever I choose so long as I do not interfere with somebody else's right to do whatever she chooses. This sounds cool ... but I think it satisfies neither the test of logic nor the test of reality.

Typically what people think of as freedom is a social code of conduct that allows people to make some choices, and to not make others. In this way the concept of freedom is at best a compromise, in which you are offered some choices in return for giving up others. If everybody gets the same mix of choices and non-choices that sounds fair ... but there is always a struggle between various people and groups who propose mutually incompatible social codes, because there is no single social code that works best for everybody. One person's compromise is another person's injustice.


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