Freedom and Unfreedom
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27-08-2011, 04:40 PM
Freedom and Unfreedom
I said employees are wage-slaves and only the bosses are free. Observer replied that bosses are not free, either; they're prisoners of their addiction to money and power. (Not an exact quote).

But this is spilling over from social contract - that is, constitutional and legal - freedoms, which are an aspect of our relations with other people, to the personal - physical, psychological and spiritual freedoms.

Societies give different degrees of autonomy, and different ranges of allowable action to different classes of person. It doesn't matter if the preamble holds you all equal under the law: the landed, moneyed, politically powerful, captains of industry and well-connected are given a far greater range of action than their tenants and employees. Not to mention illegals, indentured, incarcerated, incapacitated, institutionalized, indigent, too young, too old and slaves.

The personal shackles imposed by society are religion and patriotism.
Personal constraints of nature: physical disability, mental disability, genetic predisposition to illness, allergies or other maladaptation to the environment; poor physique and/or low energy due to privation; emotional illness/ inadequacy due to stress, trauma or brainwashing.
Personal constraints that are partly or wholly a result of individual choices: addiction, ill-health due to bad habits or diet; joining a cult, clique or club and accepting its rules; social pressure to conform in a chosen occupation, neighbourhood or class, self-deception, ambition, jealousy; dangerous or insidious enemies made though past action.

Have i missed any?

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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27-08-2011, 05:24 PM
 
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
I meant it as a post on freedom and it turned out to be a tribute to Atheists.

Freedom is in your head.

Nobody can give it to you but yourself.

You may be in shackles and still be free – you may be the ruler of the world and still a slave to your demons.

It takes a long time to liberate yourself from the ropes tied on you from birth on. Most Atheists will understand it very well. They had to fight, often tooth and nail, to claw their way out of the spiritual dungeon their parents, teachers, friends, society put them in from an early age.

They had to face doubt, guilt, flashes of insight, disturbing thoughts, many “what-if”-s, cries of “that doesn’t make any sense” until, finally, they had the strength and courage to stand up and say: I am an atheist.

Ayn Rand has one unforgettable sentence in Atlas shrugged: John Galt says to Dagny: “I would give you my life, but not my mind”!.

Freedom has to be earned, it has to be fought for like trapped animals fighting for life – it is the most precious possession we can have.

And the best thing is – once we have it, nobody can take it away.
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27-08-2011, 05:48 PM (This post was last modified: 27-08-2011 05:51 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
(27-08-2011 05:24 PM)Zatamon Wrote:  It takes a long time to liberate yourself from the ropes tied on you from birth on. Most Atheists will understand it very well. They had to fight, often tooth and nail, to claw their way out of the spiritual dungeon their parents, teachers, friends, society put them in from an early age.

It did take a long time, but in hindsight it shouldn't have. The dungeon was always unlocked and the bars were always illusory. Could've walked out any time I wanted.

Breathing - it's more art than science.
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27-08-2011, 06:30 PM
 
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
(27-08-2011 05:48 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  It did take a long time, but in hindsight it shouldn't have. The dungeon was always unlocked and the bars were always illusory. Could've walked out any time I wanted.

Amen!

Big Grin
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28-08-2011, 04:12 AM
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
(27-08-2011 04:40 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  I said employees are wage-slaves and only the bosses are free. Observer replied that bosses are not free, either; they're prisoners of their addiction to money and power. (Not an exact quote).
Jugging from this post, we just had semantic issuing. Smile

How about this definition...

Freedom:
I'm free when I am able to go, think, act and speak as I please.
I understand that, in defining so, my freedom comes with a price: great responsibility!
Not only am I responsible for the advantages of being free, I am also responsible for the things that go wrong in my life, the society and by extension, the world.
I would consider myself really free if I could find a balance between my freedom, that of my fellow humans and the resources that are needed in obtaining and maintaining such freedom.

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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28-08-2011, 07:43 AM
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
I would think your simple rebuttal is that most bosses are forced to work and go through the ropes as well, the actual number of people with no money concerns is quite small, and anyway the upper class has never been free =p They have always lived constrained to all sorts of rights and rituals. There is a lot less social pressure for the bottom rungs and often while the bottom rungs are ignored and not given much they tend to be more individually free.

But really Zatamon said exactly what needed to be said, freedom is completely a personal choice and what we are fighting for with democracy is autonomy.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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28-08-2011, 07:48 AM (This post was last modified: 28-08-2011 07:54 AM by Peterkin.)
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
@ Observer
I didn't view it as a disagreement, just wanted to enlarge on it a bit - well, actually, i wanted to blame the owners for whatever lack of freedom they might suffer, 'coz it sure wasn't put on them by the miners! And i get so fed up with the privileged whining about their burden.

afterthought, due to Lillith: Yes, the aristocracy has social constraints, but i'd take a dozen of those any day, if the alternative were the kind of economic and police brutality most lower classes have to endure. Besides, the elite has a choice: it's a lot easier to bail from the deck than from the hold.

So that started me thinking on the different kinds of freedom and how we lose them. Rather than derail the other thread, i thought it worth investigating on its own.

I left out love, parental duty, clan loyalty, filial obligation. These are tricky constraints, because they are imposed by nature and also chosen. I mean, we all have the genes that predispose us to these feelings, but we don't all feel them equally and the degree to which we actualize the feeling varies enormously. Societal pressure to fulfill these obligations also varies widely with time and culture. Some of the family obligation might be transferred to the state (as: I don't mind working a couple of extra hours a week to pay the tax that builds the old age homes.)
That would be a limitation on ones freedom initially imprinted by nature, brought out by personal experience, and encouraged and enlarged by the community.
Someone who chooses to free hemself of these shackles would be very lonely, exposed and insecure. A heavy price.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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03-09-2011, 01:30 AM
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
Yes your free......as a citizen you are contracted to the state in many ways (birth certificate, marriage certicate, driving license etc etc) the rules of your "sovereignty" are allways being dictated to you.

In your mind though........the only limitations you have are what you give yourself.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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03-09-2011, 04:32 AM
 
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
(03-09-2011 01:30 AM)bemore Wrote:  In your mind though........the only limitations you have are what you give yourself.

True, but we need to ask: what makes people limit themselves"

There is always a cause -- often many.

Once the symptom is recognized, a good doctor will start thinking of a cure (beyond suppressing the symptom).
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03-09-2011, 11:38 AM
RE: Freedom and Unfreedom
There’s another aspect of freedom I’ve been thinking about.

It’s always impressed me that in the area of artistic creativity, complete freedom is not only not a necessary condition for greatness but might even be inimical to it. I’m not referring to the kinds of constraints imposed by political authority—the Soviet repression of composers and artists, say—which are clearly a blight on creativity, but rather those imposed by artistic forms themselves.

When Bach composed fugues and Shakespeare wrote sonnets, they were both working under severe structural constraints. Baroque fugues have intricate rules of harmony, counterpoint, voice leading, organization; Shakespearean sonnets require exactly 14 lines and certain prescribed metrical and rhyming patterns. Yet within those constraints, each artist produced perfect works of art. No one says, “If only Shakespeare had had another two lines to work with, think what he might have done!”

The history of western classical music shows an interesting progression. By the beginning of the 20th century, the rules of harmony and structure had, depending on your point of view, either been freed up or broken down to the point that anything was possible. But rather than feeling liberated, some composers were stymied: for them, no structure meant no art. So you had Schoenberg re-imposing structure in the form of “12-tone music,” a system that was even more rigid than what it replaced.

On a more mundane level, take cooking. Various groups have food constraints based on religion, tradition, or philosophy. Orthodox Jews don’t eat pork or shellfish or mix meat and dairy; Hindus don’t eat beef; many Indians and Buddhists are vegetarians. Yet within those constraints, each group produces distinctive cuisine that can be as good as any.

As a recent retiree, I’ve been thinking about freedom and structure in my own life. When I was working, I had to be up at a certain time every day, shave, get dressed, be punctual, meet deadlines. Now if I want to I can stay in bed until 3:00. My freedom has been expanded . . . but I’m not sure I’m using my time as well as I thought I would or getting done as much as I had anticipated. I feel the need for more structure in my life.

Structure by definition implies a limitation of choice, or in other words, a restriction of freedom. That’s not always a bad thing—IF that choice is self-chosen rather than forced or coerced . . . which is a big if. Beyond the social contract, I don’t want anyone telling me what I can’t do. But voluntarily choosing to limit one’s choices and restrict one’s own freedom so as to adhere to a self-imposed structure does not inevitably lead to an inferior or less satisfying life. In fact, it can be just the opposite.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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