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Author Topic: Freedom?
Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 16:33      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Last week the US as usual celebrated Independence Day on the 4th July. In fact of course none of us are independent, no man is an island, so perhaps freedom is a better word, or liberty if you prefer a fancy sounding word. What does freedom mean to you? In what does your freedom lie? When in your life did (or do) you feel most free? Do your possessions or your power or lack of these things make you feel more or less free?

To start here are some thoughts of Nelson Mandela, contained in the concluding paragraphs of his autobiography "The long walk to freedom"

quote:
It was during those long and lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A man who takes away another man's freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.

When I walked out of prison, that was my mission, to liberate the oppressed and the oppressor both. Some say that has now been achieved. But I know that that is not the case. The truth is that we are not yet free; we have merely achieved the freedom to be free, the right not to be oppressed. We have not taken the final step of our journey, but the first step on a longer and even more difficult road. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. The true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning.

I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.



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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

Posts: 2922 | From: Brighton - UK | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 16:49      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freedom : Be able to do anything I want within a set of rules that i've agreed upon.

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WinterSolstice

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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 17:13      Profile for WinterSolstice     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me, it's like this

Independence: The ability to be self-sustaining, and require the services of a specific individual. It also means not being required to do anything for anyone else. In other words, not requiring parents to support me, and to have noone directly depending on me.

Freedom: The ability to live my life much as I would like with no constraints that I personally view as "oppressive". I don't mind laws that don't interfere with me (don't kill, don't speed, etc) because they aren't restrictive really. I do mind restrictive laws like non-competes, copyright, etc.

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An operating system should be like a light switch... simple, effective, easy to use, and designed for everyone.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 17:18      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freedom is the absence of fear.

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"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
óMiss Piggy

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 17:37      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freedom is: having DNA markers that draw nothing but blanks on federal databases.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 17:39      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freedom is being able to live my life as I want, subject to a set of rules that are fair and just.

"unfair and unjust" is like pornography, hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

One sure way of knowing when rules aren't fair and just is... when those imposing the rules aren't willing to be bound by them themselves. (GWB - are you listening?)

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted July 09, 2007 18:25      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:


One sure way of knowing when rules aren't fair and just is... when those imposing the rules aren't willing to be bound by them themselves. (GWB - are you listening?)

AMEN - yeah nothing else to say except that I hope he is listening.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2007 03:13      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TMBWITW,PB:
Freedom is the absence of fear.

Is that freedom? For me the experience of freedom usually has some (not necessarily unpleasant) fear as a part of it. The moment you jump off the highest diving board, or leave home, or fire up a motorbike, or become a parent, or fall in love. Religious people say their faith sets them free. In all cases you are releasing control, submitting yourself to forces outside yourself. It's scary stuff.

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"Knowledge is Power. France is Bacon" - Milton

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Grummash

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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2007 03:41      Profile for Grummash     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would imagine that a lot of concepts of freedom are based on the degree to which, and the way in which, individuals might feel "unfree", and this would provide an alternative to attempting to define freedom a more abstract way.

For me, freedom would need to include a sense of day-to-day physical safety, intellectual and spiritual/religious freedom, and sufficient economic independence to allow me to exercise choice as often as possible.

But then.....I've always been easily satisfied! [Big Grin] [Wink]

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...and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this earth with envious eyes...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2007 04:06      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Freedom is an incomplete concept in and of itself. You must specify something to be free from before it makes any sense.

What you find oppressive defines what you consider freedom. What you find oppressive may also be what someone else defines as freedom.

Yay! for diversity of viewpoints [Smile]

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2007 08:13      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Every time I see this topic in the active topics I hate to say it, but only one thing runs through my head.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free, now now.


True freedom is kind of a myth in many ways. It is something to strive for. Though there is always something or someone that will hold power over you. Government, people, family, obligations, work.

My personal feeling is that freedom is the absence of others telling me how I should live my life. Good, bad or indifferent. If I choose to wreck myself in every way known to man, so be it. If I decide to be the most giving or the most cruel person in the world, so be it. Anarchy.

For obvious reasons that does not work.

Freedom? Basically it's a myth. Something created by people to give a reason to end cruelty, totalitarian rule, hate and pain. People equate fairness with freedom. Or love with freedom. When it is just not true. The only way people have created fairness is through religious, social and governmental rule.

I am not saying it is wrong to want for freedom and equality. I just don't believe that it can be possible.

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Does he know our big secret?
Has one of us confessed?
'Bout the wires circuits and motors
Buried in our chest

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Stereo

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Icon 1 posted July 10, 2007 08:37      Profile for Stereo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
What you find oppressive defines what you consider freedom. What you find oppressive may also be what someone else defines as freedom.

I can't help but agree with this. Which leads me to this definition: freedom would be when one's "obligations" aren't a burden anymore, but a fully - and willingfully - assumed consequence of the life choices we make.

Oof! that's kinda hard to accept, though. With all the social pressure we grow up with, and learn to accept, it's very hard to go and say: "I don't like this life I live. So I'll go out and do something else, break apart from all the comfort I have grown accustomed to, from the easy answers, and build myself a new life I will assume throughout." Particularly the "comfort" part - like it or not, rules (social ones just as much as laws) gives us something to rely on when we get in doubth. They make life easier to live than having to ponder everything, balancing each ones of our actions against our core beliefs.

Is this what the historical prophets and great leaders did? Rethink the rules, setting themselves free, thus becoming beacons of hope for those who have found the preceding rules opressives but didn't have the courage to break away on their own? Then each and every revolution is doomed to fail, because no personnal set of rules can be applied to another being and still fit perfectly.

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Eppur, si muove!

Galileo Galilei

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 1 posted July 11, 2007 21:06      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Seven figures in the bank.

The kid out of school.

The mortgage paid.

The ex in another country.

Throttle wide open with a 32-year old stripper who calls herself "Chastity" on the back.

No deadlines for six weeks.

Dick and George, tried, convicted and hung for treason.

Six out of seven ain't bad, though.

CP

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Free! Free at last!

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