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Old 11-16-2010, 05:14 AM
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Default How much Freedom?

Something that I have been pondering recently is how much freedom we should have in our lives.

I ask because around here on ToS I see so many people who seem to be seeking more freedom in their schedules, from society, from worries, etc especially in the community support section. I see some individuals who seek complete freedom and I do not quite fully understand their perspective.

for me:

If I were completely free in my schedule "to do what I wanted" I would not know what to do with my free time.

If I were free from worries or adversity, life would seem rather boring.

If I were free from society, I would have no clue as to how to live my life.

If I were completely free of responsibility I would perhaps be the most miserable person who had ever lived. I would find life totally meaningless.

Perhaps its the way I view things but I am currently in college, honors program, 19 credit hours, and it is heavy and perhaps I would prefer a lighter workload but I don't feel a burning desire to be freer. More freedom doesn't seem to make me happier. Sometimes I wonder if I have too much freedom.

So I have come to ask, "How much freedom should we have in our lives?"

Last edited by Banefull; 11-16-2010 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 06:37 AM
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As much freedom as we each wish to have. I have a very Que Sera Sera, existential outlook on life, so I personally feel that as long as people's personal search for their lives doesn't impede on other people's lives, then they should be free to do what they choose. The world is a canvas, and we each have only a very limited time to paint a picture. I don't feel it is right for society to be dictating what is and is not an acceptable way to paint. People's worldviews and lifeviews are simply too diverse to attempt to impose an umbrella standard on. One man's dream is another man's nightmare. It sounds like you would thrive in the current modern, western world and it's standards, others (me included) would not. Some wish to take the road less traveled, pave their own way, does it seem right to try and stop them? What if they tried imposing their own lifestyle on you? You would resist, wouldn't you? See, we all have different views and expectations from life, to restrict people's freedom of lifestyle would be unfair.

So my take is that how much freedom someone wishes to have (again, without impeding on others) should entirely be their own decision. You're gonna die your own death one day, might as well live your own life. What someone wishes to do with their own lives should not be dictated by one mass, societal standard.
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Last edited by Tsyal Makto; 11-16-2010 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Tsyal Makto View Post
As much freedom as we each wish to have. I have a very Que Sera Sera, existential outlook on life, so I personally feel that as long as people's personal search for their lives doesn't impede on other people's lives, then they should be free to do what they choose.
My view is quite different as I believe that individuals have responsibilities besides not impeding upon other's lives. We have to work towards improving and making the world a better place. If someone is making the world worse, we need to correct the mistake. This still leaves a lot of room for freedom but acknowledges the concept of responsibility first.

If someone beside me is in danger, I could either choose to help or not to to help. In both cases I am not infringing upon them. However, I have an obligation to help. I am not free to watch and let them die. I have responsibility.

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I don't feel it is right for society to be dictating what is and is not an acceptable way to paint. People's worldviews and lifeviews are simply too diverse to attempt to impose an umbrella standard on. One man's dream is another man's nightmare.
Perhaps Tsyal Makto but society has had thousands of years of trial and error. Thousands of years of building upon certain principles and standards which have stood the test of time. The previous generation does not want us to make the same mistakes. They want us to learn from history.

I am not advocating strict adherence to tradition. We should as rational and educated thinkers question what society tells us but we should work to change what is wrong with society, not eliminate or escape it. We have an obligation to contribute to society, to make it better, to make it more beneficial to others.


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It sounds like you would thrive in the current modern, western world and it's standards, others (me included) would not.
In this manner I probrably am a textbook skxawng.

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Originally Posted by Tsyal Makto View Post
Some wish to take the road less traveled, pave their own way, does it seem right to try and stop them? What if they tried imposing their own lifestyle on you? You would resist, wouldn't you? See, we all have different views and expectations from life, to restrict people's freedom of lifestyle would be unfair.
We have different views but they are not "just different." Is Hitler's view of the world worth equal consideration as let us say, Ghandhi's worldview? Perhaps some worldviews are equal but some are definitely not as good. Let us say that some evil dictator like Hitler is persecuting certain groups of individuals within his own country. Should we just stand by and let him do it? Should we let his worldview be put into practice and not impose our own better view (that we should not kill people for frivolous reasons)?

Last edited by Banefull; 11-16-2010 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:57 AM
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I feel free enough. I live in peace and freedom knowing that one day I will contribute to society and ascend to a position of power, no, I don't know that, but trying to achieve success is real freedom. Really we are free to do whatever we want, but in a universe of physical laws there are always consequences.

There was once a time where I would write a good 4-5 paragraphs on something like this, but, I just don't see the point anymore.
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Old 11-16-2010, 07:58 AM
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Of course Hitler's worldviews would not be acceptable, because that would be him impeding on the lives of others. In which case people would have the obligation to stop him. Same with saving people in danger. By "not impeding" I kinda had the golden rule in there, if I didn't make that clear. Everyone wants to stay alive, so treat people in ways that will keep them alive. However, as one expands out into more existential/personal preferance issues, the golden rule starts to break down, because how people would treat themselves in terms of their lifestyles would begin to diverge from the lifestyles of others. For example, a fundamentalist religious person's way of life would likely counter someone who is not as devout, or an atheist. Would it be right for the fundamentalist to impose their brand of ideology on others? No. However, if an atheist was drowning, should the fundamentalist impose himself on the atheist to save him? Yes. Life and death situations are one thing, people's brands of ideology in how they wish to run their lives in the everday world is another.

Ah, but which society? Western society is different from eastern society is different from tribal society is different from... Many societies have existed and exist on this planet, and all succeed and fail in their own ways. Which one do you see fit to run the world on?

I'm wondering, exactly what freedoms are you looking to take away? And how? Personal choice? Fiat? Like what if people wanted to go off and live in a commune, or rewild, or something that would involve them choosing to leave mainstream society? (which I can't really see how that can make the world worse in and of itself) Would you enact laws to prevent people from doing such things? Or what about issues within mainstream society, something like same-sex marriage? Bodily ownership?

And on a side note, when one thinks about it, there really is no way to "leave" societies completely (short of being a hermit), just move to a different one. All social interaction is in itself a society. Hell, two people is a society. Now it becomes a matter of what societies people should and should not be allowed to choose from to live in, and who should make that decision. I still stand by my belief that it should be a personal choice, based on one's own brand of ideology and with the golden rule in mind.
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"You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling." - Inception

"Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy **** we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off." - Tyler Durden

Last edited by Tsyal Makto; 11-16-2010 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:32 AM
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I am not directing this at one particular freedom or another. I am really searching for a guideline for what freedoms we should have. In my model I wonder as to where personal responsibility ends and freedom begins.
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Old 11-16-2010, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Banefull View Post
I am not directing this at one particular freedom or another. I am really searching for a guideline for what freedoms we should have. In my model I wonder as to where personal responsibility ends and freedom begins.
For that you can use your conscious, and logic.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:50 PM
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I disagree. Freedom is to be able to do WHAT you want, not to be stuck with nothing. That isn't free either. If I was free I could do something different each day if I wanted to.
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Old 11-17-2010, 06:14 PM
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As HNM pointed out, one thing is having freedom, another thing is knowing what to do with it.

If you have freedom but you yourself can't come up with projects of your own, then you need someone make that for you.

Which in my opinion, is sad.

And you also mix up two things -personal limitations made up by oneself, for the sake of one's own happiness and health (like having a sense of responsibility, and worrying about the things you care about and love); the imposed limitations coming from your own nature (can't fly or see through walls); and also social ones, like culture, peer pressure (fashions, group acceptance or rejection,...), authority and coercion.

We are limited. I can't deny that.

But we aren't enslaved to the environment either -and from what you write, I feel you fear using that freedom left and you have to let others set the goals for your life.

EDIT -How much freedom? As much as we desire to live with. Heck, it's your life! It's different for each of us.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 11-17-2010 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
As HNM pointed out, one thing is having freedom, another thing is knowing what to do with it.

If you have freedom but you yourself can't come up with projects of your own, then you need someone make that for you.

Which in my opinion, is sad.
I am more than capable of making independent decisions for myself and do so on a regular basis; however, responsibility comes first.

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I feel you fear using that freedom left and you have to let others set the goals for your life.
Do not think that I have not questioned what others tell me. I have given it plenty of consideration and have concluded that certain goals (not all) that others set are just as applicable to my life. Others around me seem to pursue freedom for freeom's sake and I now question what they tell me. I wonder as to whether that is a goal I should follow.

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And you also mix up two things -personal limitations made up by oneself, for the sake of one's own happiness and health (like having a sense of responsibility, and worrying about the things you care about and love); the imposed limitations coming from your own nature (can't fly or see through walls); and also social ones, like culture, peer pressure (fashions, group acceptance or rejection,...), authority and coercion.
I disagree in the sense that we have universal obligations to others such as protecting life.


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Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
We are limited. I can't deny that.

But we aren't enslaved to the environment either
We have free will in the sense that we can choose how we react to things. We may have the freedom to react in whatever way we choose but that does not always mean that we should react in a certain way just because we can.
-------------------------

What I question is whether we really need to pursue freedom just for the sake of having freedom even if we don't seem to need it.

Last edited by Banefull; 11-18-2010 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:06 AM
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We are talking about two different things here, freedoms and social structure.

Whether you believe it or not, you are free. You have all the freedoms in the world. The only thing that limits you is the idea that something limits you. And perhaps the laws of physics - gravity, physical obstacles etc.

Social structure is different. It's the idea that makes you feel enslaved, even though you physically can do just about anything. This would be taxes, laws, brands and trends.

My thoughts are: the modern social structure is flawed, sure. But that doesn't mean I'm a slave, or anything close to that. I feel free in the heart, mind, soul, and the body. Everything else just seems trivial.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:21 AM
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Whether you believe it or not, you are free. You have all the freedoms in the world. The only thing that limits you is the idea that something limits you. And perhaps the laws of physics - gravity, physical obstacles etc.
^^ This

What you say I recognize as true, any perceived limit on freedom is really only a consequence. The amount freedom we have remains constant throughout our entire lives (excluding physical limitations).

perhaps this thread should be named "How much consequence?" How much liberty from consequence should we achieve. That is what I have been aiming to find.

Last edited by Banefull; 11-18-2010 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:47 AM
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perhaps this thread should be named "How much consequence?" How much liberty from consequence should we achieve. That is what I have been aiming to find.
That's actually what I interpreted the thread to be about.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:09 PM
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well.. freedom.. sometimes i wish myself unlimited one, so i could listen all day and night long to music or idling lazy somewhere around, that two points would be more of enough for me
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:27 PM
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Out of curiosity, how would you guys define freedom?
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