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Eun A Jo

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Are we truly free?

"To see what is in front of one's own nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell.

A project called "Creating Freedom" collects various essays, films, and other work of art to discuss the subjects of power, control and freedom. (http://www.creatingfreedom.info/)
From Howard Zinn to Steven Pinker, "Creating Freedom" has consolidated interviews from investigative journalists, historians, psychologists, and more.

The trailer of the film The Lottery of Birth raises the question as to whether we are really free.

Is freedom an absolute, or a relative, condition?
Does freedom truly exist, or is it simply an ideological concept humans created to consolidate the restricted nature of our lives?

Are we truly free?

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    R H 30+

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    Apr 12 2012: I believe we are absolutely free. We choose our destiny. The choice may be life or death, but we choose. If the realms of our life are restrictive, we decide whether to change them or to tolerate them. If we are confronted that the whole village will be slaughtered unless we give up our spouse, we decide. If the gov't says we must give half of our earnings to it in taxes, we decide whether we will or not. If we order a latte for someone with whip or without, we are free to do so. We may FEEL like we have no choice, but that is only the fear of deciding. What if we're wrong? If there is war, hunger, depravity it is because we choose to accept it, choose to tolerate it, choose to decide that it's not our concern or warrants only limited attention. I feel the sooner we face that we are totally free and do choose our destiny, the greater the corrective action will be. But the choice will ultimately be life or death, because that's usually what's at stake when you talk about freedom, in my opinion.
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      Apr 12 2012: Hi R
      I understand what you're saying. But isn't being required to make the choice (in your example of giving up the spouse to save the village or not) inherently a limitation on our freedom?
      If we were truly free, we would have had the freedom NOT to choose.
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        R H 30+

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        Apr 13 2012: Thank you very much for responding with such kindness. These questions are so interesting to me. What are the answers? I believe our ancestors were asking the same questions. So let me clarify my vision further: For me, to be presented with 'a choice', has no bearing on whether or not we are free. To eliminate 'choices' would not determine our status of freedom. I understand what you're saying to mean that if we're forced to make such a choice as the one cited then we are no longer free - a compelling point. But for me, our freedom has not been taken away, it's merely that another human being has forced their despicable will on us and put us in this terrible position to respond.
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          Apr 14 2012: Hi R
          That is fascinating.
          I had never thought of it in such a sense, and it's definitely an eye-opening notion of "choice." I am especially astonished by your saying "to be presented with a choice has no bearing on whether or not we are free." To me, the two are inherently linked, and I had never imagined them apart.
          Thank you for sharing.

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