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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.

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  • Apr 25 2013: Freedom of thought is the only true free will. The rest are restricted by outside influences. Expressing the thought for instance is dependent on society restrictions, freedom of gravity pull restricted by escape velocity,....
    Thought is the only one defying the laws of nature. The speed of thought, for instance is not restricted by the speed of light (speed) limit.
    • Apr 25 2013: that's a very good point. i've been increasingly concerned about the movement lately towards criminalizing fantasy, which is in essence nothing more than thought. many years ago we laughed at the expression "if he jumped off a bridge would you do it too?" because of course we are responsible for our own actions, yet nowadays inciting violence is a crime, and so is hate speech. we are free to think so then we are also free to decide whether to act or not, hence no speech can possibly be a crime.
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        Apr 25 2013: I agree Ben, that we have the right and freedom to think anything we choose. We are then free to decide whether or not to act based on our thought. I believe it is important to be aware of, and evaluate the consequences of our thought, which may manifest into action. When we have accurate information, we make a better choice. If we do not care about, or are not aware of the possible consequences, our choice is still free and the consequences may or may not lead to freedom.
    • Apr 25 2013: I think that thoughts are restricted as well. BUT, if we can consciously choose one or another thought or control thought process then we have as I have already said freedom of choice. But, no matter how you choose you thought and think about it (consciously or unconsciously) you still have the freedom of choice. But in this case, you know less about the freedom of choice. Generally, thoughts control us. Because it's difficult to have power over the thought process. And usually we swim in the river of thoughts unconsciously. But thought itself is restricted by an individual. IMHO
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        Apr 25 2013: Sholpan,
        You say..."Generally, thoughts control us".

        Do thoughts control us? Or do we control our thoughts? Personally, I control my thoughts. I am aware of the freedom and intent to choose my thoughts.

        I agree with you that thought is restricted by an individual. Does that suggest that we DO control our thoughts?
        • Apr 26 2013: i might add that while we control our thoughts, perhaps some of the trouble that occurs in the world is caused when people fail to control their actions?
        • Apr 26 2013: I am glad that you control your thoughts...

          I meant to say, both thoughts control us and we control our thoughts. I just wanted to stress that usually we are not That ''free'' and...can't put it into words...my language capacity can't allow me to say that properly....Yes, thoughts are part of us. But thought itself is not me. BUT, we can choose one or another thought. We have freedom of the will. If 'you' don't choose your thought, thought will stay in 'your' brain and force to think about ''anything''....in this case you less know about the freedom of the will...just less..no more...no less...again it's not ''bad''...
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        Apr 28 2013: Спасибо Sholpan:>)

        I wish I could speak and write Russion and Zazakh as well as you do English:>)

        I THINK I control my thoughts. If I do not do it myself, somebody else might try...LOL:>)

        I agree with your statement that..."... usually we swim in the river of thoughts unconsciously. But thought itself is restricted by an individual".

        So, perhaps it depends on how conscious or unconscious we are of our thoughts? I think/feel that when we are more conscious, mindful and aware, we have more understanding and control of our thoughts. As you say...."we can choose one or another thought"......we choose. I think we are agreeing, and it is a good "thought" to agree on:>)

        Ben,
        I agree...we have freedom of thought. When the thought manifests into actions that are not legal, or violate the rights of others, it is not beneficial to anyone.
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      Apr 25 2013: Titus,
      I agree with you that freedom of thought reflects free will, and we are sometimes restricted by outside influences.

      I do not agree that expressing the thought is dependent on society restrictions, except in some countries and some situations?

      How is thought "defying the laws of nature", as you say?

      I do not understand the connection you are making between the laws of speed of light and speed of thought.

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