TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

What is your definition of 'freedom'?

Every now and then we all question our own sense of freedom and what it is to be 'free'. How it is to live in the 'land of the free'. As much as it can sometimes be a little deep to talk about with peers, I thought this would be the best place to propose a discussion on your personal opinion of what it is to be 'free'.

See, a lot of people I've asked define 'freedom' as the opportunity to do what ever you want... I then follow this with asking, 'If everyone did as they wished, you'd then be bound by a constant fear of the actions of others, would you not? Then how 'free' would you feel?'

I simply want to start this conversation not because I believe 'freedom' is a definable concept, but because everyones' opinions of the idea is different and it's interesting to hear those opinions.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Apr 25 2013: Caitlin, I think we will converge towards a common ground of definition of freedom if we can answer this question.
    Are we free to give up freedom?
    • thumb
      Apr 26 2013: Perhaps, it's the only way to become free. This idea is somewhat consistent with my idea of self-control expressed above. It's a self-refuting idea.
    • thumb
      Apr 26 2013: Pabrita and Arkady,
      "Are we free to give up freedom?"

      Part of the definition of freedom is..."the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint or from the power of another".

      This part of the definition includes, "the power of another".

      I also consider will power and self control to be freedoms for me.

      Another part of the definition is..."the quality or state of being exempt or released usu. from something onerous; the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken".

      It appears that freedom is considered a "quality" we have, or choose for ourselves. As well as the freedom from control of others.

      Considering the definitions, I would say that we CAN give up freedom, because if it is a quality in ourselves, it is something that we first need to recognize and believe in. If we do not recognize it, then it does not exist for us.

      We may be restricted by external forces, and we could still have the freedom to choose how we think, feel, act and react to the situation.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.