43 thoughts on “to what extent are we free?

  1. atheistsmeow says:

    Agreed, we’re not. Free country is only lip service. Yes we are freer than many, but that’s all.


  2. shelldigger says:

    The case the author makes on being properly infomed is quite valid.

    Our freedoms are less than we think. I can travel easily in my country but not as fast as I’d like.

    I can have x-ian baby BBQ like our Divine One, but the coppers would surely put me under the jail. (I don’t know how he has gotten away with it for so long…/jealous)

    I can speak freely on the internet, but anytime I say the words coup, revolution, bomb, or terrorism, I probably get added to another watchlist.

    I could get rich manufacturing methamphetamine, but some jerk would probably knock me off for infringing on his territory.

    I can’t get on a plane and greet a guy named Jack with “Hi Jack”

    Our perceived freedoms all come with limitations. So then how is that free?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Eric Alagan says:

    You know what I’ve always said in my blog posts and comments:

    No matter what the name of the institution, there will always be pharaoh and always be slave, and with snake oil vendors bridging the gap.

    To be “free” is a degree rather than an absolute, I reckon.


  4. Violet says:

    Excerpt from article: “Our choices are free only if our thought is free, and our thought is free only if it is properly informed.”

    That’s a very insightful statement, however, how is one to determine our thought are free? It’s unquantifiable. I don’t think I gained freedom of thought until I became an atheist, but when I was held captive by religion I certainly thought I had “the freedom of truth.” I suspect nearly everyone thinks they have the Real Truth.

    As an american I truly feel I have the freedom of speech, and this I cherish…I don’t get hacked to death in the streets for saying I’m an atheist, though I will be socially shunned. I also have the real freedom and right to bear arms, but I choose not to exercise this freedom and don’t own any guns. In my personal situation, all other freedoms are curtailed by my disease and the fact that I can’t afford to obtain treatment for my disease. Obviously being wealthy would give someone a much better shot at having true freedom in many areas.

    Do I think overall, given the intricacies of my situation, am I truly free? No. A few others with health, wealth, lack of religion, and living in a more progressive country might be closer to absolute freedom, but I don’t think most are.

    Interesting ideas to ponder, Mak. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. tildeb says:

    This idea of what ‘free’ means goes to the heart of the autonomy question/claim. Without some kind of freedom to choose among different options available upon which to act, we cannot be considered autonomous moral agents. In this sense, what you’re saying is we must either be amoral agents or moral automatons. I don’t think this is really what you really believe (the religious tend to get around this problem by appealing to divine authority who has chosen for us).

    So I think the author is exactly right to point out the necessary constraint:

    “My freedom is not measured by the breadth of the options available to me, but by how I am equipped to choose between those options:”

    This understanding is key, I think. The notion of differentiating between options demonstrates at the very least an awareness of options… an awareness that in and of itself I don’t think we’d have if we were not able to consider them at all (had no freedom to choose among them). If we had no freedom of choosing (because the freedom in this sense is supposedly an illusion), then why would be able to ascertain different options? Why wouldn’t we simply act?


    • makagutu says:

      I think there is a false dilemma in your claim that we are either amoral agents or moral automatons. Are we rational actors or do we act according to our desires so that reason is not master but the passions?

      And I don’t buy his claim about being equipped to choose between options. Take the example of coming down from 10th floor. I can take the stairs, the lift/ elevator or can jump. My course of action will depend on whether I wanted to off myself, I am in a hurry or there is no power in the building or I am trying to keep fit. Nothing whatsoever to do with morality.


  6. Well, it didn’t cost anything to acquire me, so I suppose that makes me free.


  7. Well, look at it this way, I used to be worth 6.67 about 3 years ago. Now I’m worth about 5.98. So, maybe if I wait long enough, I’ll eventually be free.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ron says:

    You are free to the extent that you’re capable of acting in concordance with your desires. I submit that more often than not we’re enslaved by our own fears and self-limiting beliefs than by outside forces.


  9. renudepride says:

    I agree with you, O Exalted One! I don’t think any of us are really free. As humans, we are all “too programmed” by our society to conform. As long as that is the case, then none of us are free (at least in my humble opinion). Thanks!


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