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Human's Quest for Freedom: Definitions and Dilemmas

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In a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, researchers examined 46 countries. They found that Americans most value freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the right to use the internet. This illustrates the tension between ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’. It is clear from this survey that Americans are more inclined towards “freedom”. Some other views were presented in the same study. There are differences of opinion between generations about freedom. 40% of millennials in the US believe that the government should prevent people from making offensive statements against minority groups. While 27% of Generation X approve of government intervention, only 12% of Silent Generations believe that government should intervene. This shows that what people believe about being “free” is changing. , It was restricted to white, landed cis men. Things are quite different today.

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What is freedom?

Imagine living in the universe of the Truman Show movie. Everyone lives for you. You are truly free, but your life is a TV show watched by billions of people. Would that make you free? Everyone determines their own identity. Everyone himself knows what is expected of his life. It is packed with enough material to avoid life-cycle boredom. What does freedom mean in such a society? What would freedom be worth in such a situation? Or is it necessary if humanity colonizes Mars and distorts its structure and harmony, forcing its members to make hard choices and reconfigure their lives in accordance with what we call freedom? Was it considered an improvement in their life? Is freedom necessarily a blessing? Or consider a person who has just been fired and their employer says, “You are now free to do whatever you want during the daylight hours.” If that’s freedom, what’s so good? Is there any virtue in this newfound freedom, unless the job in question is totally intolerable?

The difficulty in defining freedom or understanding whether it is good or bad is because freedom is often a negative concept. Freedom is a reaction to something, and we can only know what it is in a certain context. When a people suffer daily under an oppressive and unreasonable government, or when a teenager suffers the six boring hours of lectures he has to attend, the meaning of the word freedom is clear and it means free. If tax is levied and we pay it reluctantly, tax exemption will be a form of freedom. If we are prevented from speaking our minds and living our religion by state forces, our right to speak and worship becomes freedom. Situations where there is no obvious persecution and obvious suffering, or where there is no clear context and nothing definite to oppose, are much more difficult. Returning to the small village example, it is not at all clear that a happy population will be free if we destroy the life in which its members are happiest. Or, if we wanted to, we could say that the newly fired are free, but the context doesn’t really justify this conclusion formed employees did not want to lose their income; there is nothing else they want to do instead. They may have a free wish to the demands of a particular job, but it is not at all clear what they are allowed to be free to do. And simply saying that they are free to do anything does not work. 

First, this is clearly wrong. Secondly, it’s probably true that the phrase we are free to do anything is a bogus way of talking about not having the slightest idea what to do. order to establish a government for themselves. The unhappy kid in the classroom wants to run away from school to play football, video games, or ride his bike. These two concepts of freedom, freedom to do something and freedom to do something, have been named as negative freedom and positive freedom. Indeed, it is unthinkable for people to overthrow their government, however unbearable it may be, even if they have no idea what to do in its place. And it is inconceivable that the adolescent would desperately want to get out of school if he had no idea, no matter how uncertain he was about doing something else instead. It leads to the fact that freedom can be thought of not only as freedom from some unwanted imposition, force or rule but also as the freedom to do or have something. 

People seek to get rid of an oppressive government in order to establish a government for themselves. The unhappy kid in the classroom wants to run away from school to play football, video games, or ride his bike. These two concepts of freedom, freedom to do something and freedom to do something, have been named as negative freedom and positive freedom. One always presupposes the other, even if only one is actually stated. Indeed, it is unthinkable for people to overthrow their government, however unbearable it may be, even if they have no idea what to do in its place. And it is inconceivable that the adolescent would desperately want to get out of school if he had no idea, no matter how uncertain he was about doing something else instead. We see that there are so many different definitions of freedom in politics or history. The civil society libertarian – as in the struggle to get rid of racial or political discrimination – emphasizes the negative concept of freedom, but sometimes does not talk about the positive concept. But leaving out the concept of positive freedom too easily leads to the absurdity of people demanding freedom from everything who doesn’t have a positive idea of ?? What do they want that freedom for? And if we only look at negative freedom, independent of the interference of government agencies and other people, it leads us to the absurd conclusion that the freest person is the one who is safely out of range in the middle of the desert. government interference and any restrictions from other people. Of course, we may insist that this person is also free of deprivation, but that is simply to say that he is free to have the harmony necessary for human survival, which for most of us includes human fraternity and an orderly society. Such as food, water, and shelter. The forces we are trying to get rid of are much more obvious to us than our specificity. It’s easy to get caught up in fighting for the alternative, something for which what you’re fighting for is neglected or reduced to a buzzword like freedom, whose content is never thought of. What makes this particularly difficult is that most of us feel that, no matter what we’re fighting against, what we’re usually fighting for is in some sense ourselves, a chance to improve ourselves, a chance to become who we want to be. 

What one counts as oneself is also not always so clear. If by self we mean an isolated individual self, then freedom will tend to be freedom from other people and society, whatever we want to be free to do. Thus, to find oneself, we often think that freedom is achieved by getting away from everything, or by purely negative freedom. If we understand ourselves as social beings whose existence depends on our relationships with other people, then what counts as freedom will necessarily include our relationships with others, and solitary Whoever is will not be free. not in this sense. If we see the self as an illusion in Buddhists, freedom will tend to mean freedom from that illusion and, as a result, freedom to realize that we are one with all interconnected reality that Mahayana Buddhists call ‘Buddha-nature’. If we continue to think of ourselves as essential consciousness, then freedom will tend to mean the development of consciousness – and indeed this is what freedom in our Western tradition most often tends to mean. But even this is very simple because consciousness has many aspects, not all equally in ourselves. For example, suppose we identify ourselves with our feelings about other people, with our social ties, and with our feelings about ourselves as social beings. 

Accordingly, our concept of freedom will be such that we are most free when assuming these roles and participating in these relationships. If we are prevented from performing these roles or being with our friends, we will be less free. When people in love are away from their loved ones, they do not feel free no matter what they do, because it is the only relationship that matters to their self-identity. A traveler in a foreign land may be completely free of any expectation or responsibility or interference from other people, but if he identifies with friendship – and there are no friends around – there is no sense in calling that person free. 

Freedom, in such an understanding, that the self is social, is the freedom to participate in society and to be free from the factors that hinder it. We can call this social freedom. More generally, we can say that freedom depends on self-identity – that is, aspects of one’s self that define and define it. . Consider this alternative view of the self and hence freedom. One thinks of the real self as the rational self. (Plato would be a good example of this.) One acts freely, so whenever one acts logically, after careful thought and deliberation, one does what one decides to do. On the other hand, the same person would accept an action less than free if it was simply a whim or a sudden desire, a burst of emotion, or obedience to the impulses of a friend or authority (that is, assuming that person was less free). has not yet decided that it is reasonable to obey this friend or authority). People with such a rational understanding of themselves will consider action the freest when carefully planned and thought through; The less planning and thinking, the less freedom of action and less expression of one’s true self. This is rational freedom. Yet another example would be a person who most identifies with their emotions. Even if in psychological analysis these actions may be called coercive, and to more rational fellows obedience to emotion is the exact antithesis of freedom, people in love considered themselves the freest when they acted out of love. And those who value their feelings so much will not feel free when they have to suppress their intense anger, but when they ‘let go’ they will feel free. For such people, the expression of feelings – whatever emotion – is freedom; Not being able or allowed to express feelings, even under the guise of respectable “reasonableness,” can seem like a deprivation of liberty. This is emotional freedom. Finally, there is the most surprising example, which Bergmann has discussed at length, based on a very curious character in Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground. The strange hero of this short novel thinks about freedom.

Freedom of the Will

Now, if we look at the reasons for understanding our two key terms, we can really say that we have free will when and to what extent we can or can do other than ourselves – in a strong sense – will soon be made clear. do or do. The intended reference is to the familiar fact that we are all agents throughout our waking lives, although the extent of this agency varies not only from one person to another but also from time to time in one and the same way. individual – whether in sickness or in health, maturity, or old age. As agents, we can and cannot make choices by necessity. Likewise, as perpetrators, in a sense that needs to be briefly clarified, we could or could have always done, other than what we did or did. What makes the use of the words ‘free’ and ‘free will’ misleading here is the logical fact that not all agency is thus and necessarily free agency. The man who receives ‘an offer he can’t refuse’ from his godfather is in a very different situation than the rambunctious mob who gets shot in the back without warning. The latter ceases to live and act at the same time, collapsing into a plethora of his own blood. In that collapse, he is no longer an agent, but a total patient. Compare it to the unfortunate person who, in thirty seconds, is said to have either his signature or his brain on the paper that submitted his thesis: ‘Choose now!’ Although he is far from being a free agent in this process, he still remains an agent. He remains an agent, because while the signing was certainly not of his own free will, he still had an unexplained choice in more fundamental senses, and he could have done something else. Of course, we’re right in the less basic but more common sense of these expressions that people really have no choice or can do nothing but what they’re doing; What we believe they do or can do in more fundamental senses is what they could reasonably have in the absence of alternative courses of action open to them—neither descriptive nor prescriptive interpretations of ‘expectation’. These correct and idiomatic uses, like the philosophical misuse of the terms ‘free’ and ‘free will’, are seriously misleading because they distract our attention from the essentials of the agency.

First, to better understand what these foundations are, we must now turn to the larger section ‘On Power’ of An Essay on Human Understanding. Even when Hume had this chapter on his mind most, even when he wrote his enormous but not always happily influential work in both the Treatise and the first Inquiry, such a thing could be said to be certain without direct evidence of testimony. ‘Necessary Connection Idea’ and ‘Liberty and Necessity’ sections. A critical examination of this seminal chapter in Locke’s Essay, together with an equally critical examination of the results of Hume’s subsequent meditations, would yield two invaluable prizes. First, our study of these classical sources should suffice to show us at the end. We all have the most immediate and inexplicably certain experience: not only of physical (not logical) necessity and (not logical) physical impossibility, but both, of being able, in some cases, to be able to. other than what we do, and in other cases, we are in a position to not act any other way than we do. Logical necessity and logical impossibility—where physical necessity and physical impossibility are always implicitly or explicitly opposite—can, of course, be defined without direct reference to the non-linguistic world: a proposition follows from the other if and only if by logical necessity to reject one. It would be contradicting yourself when claiming the other person; whereas a proposed project or an assumed situation will be rejected as logically impossible if and only if that proposal or assumption is self-contradictory.

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Second, once we have these insights, we must be prepared to accept that creatures who neither enjoy nor suffer from these two opposing kinds of experiences have any corresponding experiences or no way of explaining them to others. concepts. If this claim is indeed true, then it should constitute an overwhelming and clear objection to any universal, physically necessary doctrine of determinism. If it is indeed true, no one can claim that the entire Universe is subject to a universal and inexorable physical necessity without knowing that such a claim cannot be false. For if the ideas of both physical necessity and the ability to do other than do can and can only be obtained by referring to our abundant experience of the two opposite kinds of reality to which these ideas refer; So who other than the most fanatical of behavioral psychologists can continue to insist that even paradigm examples of the latter are hidden cases of the former? Anyone inclined to doubt the first of these two findings, or especially the second, should be compelled to question their own explanation of all the various notions of the elite genre, including the hitherto implicit notion of intellectually indispensable. conditional as opposed to fact. An unrealistic condition is the proposition ‘If this had happened (which it actually didn’t), then this would have happened’. Such propositions are relevant and of great importance, because nomological (propositions that are thought to constitute laws of nature) can only be distinguished from substantive inferences (statements that state without inference about what might happen, but are actually not only). nonsense). a-factual-this-and-not-that) require factual conditionings according to logical truth.

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