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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 27 2013: Freedom is a complex idea which can be broken down into two general camps (sometimes they are called positive and negative freedom, but I dislike those terms because of the connotations they bring).

    For example, in many countries people are forced to pay taxes which funds a public education system. One camp would say that by compelling people to pay taxes for this purpose they are denying citizens the choice of where their money goes which limits their freedom. On the other hand, giving everybody access to education gives them more opportunity in a greater variety of career paths and the knowledge with which to participate in civil society, which therefore increases their freedom.

    I am in the latter camp. I don't believe freedom is about lack of restrictions. I believe freedom is about empowerment. People are free when they have the resources, knowledge and skills to pursue and generate opportunities for themselves and others. An empowered citizen in a lawful society is freer than an uneducated, destitute person who lives in a place free of the restrictions of government.

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