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Are we free?

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Are we free?
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OzymandyusUser avatarPosts: 986Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:02 pm

Post Re: Are we free?

irmerk wrote:I guess I am not trying to say we are actually enslaved, I am merely saying it is an interesting thought or concept.
I can agree with this. But I think that there is definitely an answer and the answer is no... freedom is always good to contemplate, and it certainly is applicable to every question and every action in human life. I don't fault you for finding the question interesting certainly.
And in an instant all progress towards the sublime, the great and enduring in man fell away and became a monkey's trick.
Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:33 am
XC(A)liburPosts: 46Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:21 amLocation: Florida

Post Re: Are we free?

But if murder is prevalent within a society, is the society free? When you take a life away this is not an act of freedom, history has shown that murder is only regular in a society when A. The society is being infringed upon leading to mental instability B. There is a presupposition for the murder, or a need for it. Normally murder does not lead to any profit or benefit, you are left with a dead carcass and a life taken, and a life taken obviously means the individual being murdered was not exactly free.

Freedom cannot be measured by "how much?" because freedom itself is natural. If you find yourself in a position of asking "how much freedom can I have?" you're obviously not too free since you're depending on a source of power to tell you how much you can have. That's essentially Irmerk's argument. If he's aware of it or not, that graffiti was not asking "how much?" in the sense of "how much freedom we can have?" It was asking "how much?" in the sense of "How much are we going to depend on a source of power to say what we can and cannot do?"
"If they are capable of saying 2+2=5, they are capable of making it 2+2=6 in an instant"

XC(A)libur
Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:35 am
OzymandyusUser avatarPosts: 986Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:02 pm

Post Re: Are we free?

How exactly is it not freedom to murder someone if they offend you or if they are planning to eat the last apple off the tree, or whatever? I mean precisely, how would that not be more free for the individual committing the murder? Why should such a person care about the freedom of the other individual? The only answer to this problem is the social contract. We choose to give up that very minor and stupid freedom in order to be free from being murdered ourselves. We do the same things with giving up the freedom to walk in the middle of the street, even though it might sometimes get us somewhere faster. In fact, its the basis for All our laws.

I guess there is a CHANCE that we could educate ourselves so well and perfectly that we would never have such confrontations, but I am very skeptical. Even so that sort of forced education is one of the scariest sorts of unfreedom, and we see these efforts in every regime that tries to install this communist mindset.
And in an instant all progress towards the sublime, the great and enduring in man fell away and became a monkey's trick.
Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:43 am
WolfAUPosts: 564Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:56 pmLocation: Australia

Post Re: Are we free?

To address the original question. Who is 'we', the USA? the West? The World and/or the human race? What is 'freedom'? As Goodkat addressed. Total freedom is simply anarchy, which no Western country has. We have laws that take our freedoms away, but in exchange many of these laws free us from others abuses of power, and free us from fear.

At the end of the day, the 'best' system is one which serves a specific goal to the best of our ability, while balancing it with other alternatives and worthy goals. The problem however is no one can agree on what the most important thing for society to persue is.
1. I believe it is progress; to strengthen the world, improve on it and find sustainable solutions to old problems.
2. Some say it is happiness for its people, this is problematic, as people are often unhappy because of problems of their own making, and the only way to prevent this is to take away their freedom to potentially make mistakes, making them unhappy because of these restrictions. Also issues like chronic depression.
3. Some say it is quality of life. While a noble goal I subscribe to the 'It is better to live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a sheep' philosophy.

And thus, where societies differ in how to achieve these goals. Some argue 'free market', some argue 'equal distribution' etc etc. So therein lies the major problem with societies, they comprise of people who want different things, and want to go about getting them in different ways.

For instance I believe that the importance of disease control is absolute, and feel that if politicians before had've agreed with that, many more diseases would've been eliminated by now (ie after developing an effective test for HIV, and being careful with blood transfusions, there is really no good explanation for it still being a prevalent disease), and feel things like forced quarantine are acceptable in some situations (ie detaining an individual who are carriers who have made no attempt to prevent spreading the disease). Not everyone would agree with these stances, as they clearly do violate peoples freedoms, but as a result we save lives and prevent misery.

To respond to Ben Franklins comment, I doubt he meant it to be absolute, as I'm sure if he was forced with the choice between absolute freedom and risk of imminent death, or some freedom and safety he would take it. Americans tend to idolise these 'founding fathers', they were idealists, and the world is in no shortage of them.
Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:59 am
Jotto999User avatarPosts: 572Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:18 amLocation: Ontario, Canada Gender: Male

Post Re: Are we free?

I'm going to break it apart and examine little pieces.

Go to work, send your kids to school

Education is needed, as is employment. I don't see the necessity of those things as stepping on our freedom. Society's gotta hold together somehow...we can't all be hunter/gatherers.
Follow fashion, act normal

You don't have to do this. I don't.

People will think you are weird, maybe you will be socially ostracized. But whoever is doing that to you is probably an idiot anyways, because they do not see the value in individuality and they don't realize why eccentrics should be respected. They are judging you on how you dress and on trivial things that mean nothing. In my eyes this makes them idiots, and so I do not care for their opinion anyways. As an eccentric misanthrope, I think most people don't have a clue of what is important in life, and any opinion they have in judging me is garbage. Makes no difference to me.

Walk on the pavement, watch T.V.

I don't watch TV, I read the news on the internet, and I talk with people. I think 95% of TV is garbage. Walk on the pavement...how is this even relevant?

Save for your old age, obey the law

Save for your old age, makes sense. Once again, that's not stepping on our freedom, that's just a good idea. Obey the law, sure, I don't intend to hurt anyone. I mean, if the law is unreasonable in my mind, then I will certainly break it. For example, I pirate music all the time.

Repeat after me: I am free.



However, note that I don't think people are as free as we could be while still having a healthy, functioning society. I do think in some ways we are slaves, just not quite in the ways mentioned in the quote. Or at least, we kind of let ourselves be slave. Like following fashion, I never do that, I wear whatever I want, and I'm collect enough to not care about it. I don't dress like a bum or anything, but I don't go out of my way at all to wear trendy stuff. I wear inexpensive stuff. And if you judge me negatively and socially ostracize me for not following fashion, then simply put, fuck you, I think you're a lowlife anyways.
With poor mental and physical health, happiness is like smoke that you reach for with bare hands. With great health, happiness is just pouring into your lap all the time.
Fri Apr 24, 2009 10:35 am
irmerkUser avatarPosts: 351Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:42 amLocation: California, USA Gender: Male

Post Re: Are we free?

Jotto999 and WolfAU, note that just about any quote from any person can be torn to shreds and discredited in one aspect or another. The point was to get you thinking, as it did me. It is just an interesting quote, not fact or complete reality. Just settle down, you might burst an e-vessel in your e-bicep due to flexing your e-intellect too much. :lol:
Fri Apr 24, 2009 6:54 pm
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WolfAUPosts: 564Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:56 pmLocation: Australia

Post Re: Are we free?

re Jotto:
I agree education is important, but that is not the main social function of school. It is part glorified daycare, part about indoctrination and 'hazing'. I also think you underestimate some of the repercussions for acting weird. When I was in highschool I can remember being accused of a great many things by both students and staff, ranging from Schizophrenia, multiple personality, bipolar, antisocial personality disorder, suicidal tendancies etc, most of which had no diagnostic validity (ie I had very few warning signs, and many traits that conflicted with that 'diagnosis').

If you look beneath the surface of the 'act normal' issue, threatening people with being labelled a freak (and the being ostracised as a result) is a frequently used method of indoctrination (ie not questioning authority).

re Irmerk:
Sit down punk before i e-slap you in your e-face!

I am familiar with the quote, and like I was saying the context of the period is important, and I think the quote has great validity in terms of modern times (ie why we should resist things like the PATRIOT act), and who knows, maybe Franklin himself didn't believe in true freedom, but was dumbing it down for the masses (great quotes are always simple and catchy). But that doesn't make his understanding of freedom more true than ours.
Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:23 pm
XC(A)liburPosts: 46Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:21 amLocation: Florida

Post Re: Are we free?

Ozymandyus wrote:How exactly is it not freedom to murder someone if they offend you or if they are planning to eat the last apple off the tree, or whatever? I mean precisely, how would that not be more free for the individual committing the murder? Why should such a person care about the freedom of the other individual? The only answer to this problem is the social contract. We choose to give up that very minor and stupid freedom in order to be free from being murdered ourselves. We do the same things with giving up the freedom to walk in the middle of the street, even though it might sometimes get us somewhere faster. In fact, its the basis for All our laws.

I guess there is a CHANCE that we could educate ourselves so well and perfectly that we would never have such confrontations, but I am very skeptical. Even so that sort of forced education is one of the scariest sorts of unfreedom, and we see these efforts in every regime that tries to install this communist mindset.


There is never a last apple on the tree. It is characteristic of every hierarchical society to limit the produce available to the point it causes starvation or shortage. For instance, 6 vegetarians can live off the land of 1 meat eater. It takes 6 times the amount of land just to feed an average meat eater in the US than the land it takes to feed vegetarians. If you have ever studied veganism you can see how abundant food truly is when you consume only natural foods opposed to artificial produce and the meat that comes from animals. This would solve many produce problems and food shortages in our nation and around the whole world if it keeps growing at the rate it is today. I am not only for animal rights and against the inhumane and unnecessary slaughter and consumption of living animals, but I am also for the realization that we don't need meat, as the meat industry and its growth has caused major food shortages and starvation. Even fish is a healthier and wiser alternative than meat, fish also do not feel pain.

Aside from that argument, there is no forced doctrine or education of any kind. The abolition of a state means the abolishment of the state's functions on the society as well. It is completelky necessary for our survival and evolution to seek higher forms of knowledge and help others do this as much as possible, it is not something that can be forced as this would result in the exact opposite of intended. Education is not something that can be taught through a state or be forced by intrusive measures. I agree completely with you.

I am not a communist or a state-socialist. A major reason being I oppose this forceful and coercive state apparatus necessary for state-socialism to exist. I'm an anarchist communist, which simply means common ownership over the production of goods.
"If they are capable of saying 2+2=5, they are capable of making it 2+2=6 in an instant"

XC(A)libur
Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:01 am
OzymandyusUser avatarPosts: 986Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:02 pm

Post Re: Are we free?

Okay fine, not a last apple on a tree then, but the prettiest woman, or the shelter without the view of the dumpster, or the last apple of the fall harvest. Or the person that just believes something you don't, for whatever reason.

There will always be confrontation as long as there is desire, hunger, differences of opinion, pursuit of happiness or fear of pain. In other words, as long as we are human.

I completely agree about the vegetarian thing by the way, I made an argument about it in the thread about fake meat.
And in an instant all progress towards the sublime, the great and enduring in man fell away and became a monkey's trick.
Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:17 am
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