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THOMAS SARAN JON

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To what extent do you personally feel morally free? To what extent do you feel constrained by forces in your past and present life?

In relation to theories of human identity and ethics.

Topics: freedom
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    Jul 26 2013: I doubt if we can or should feel "morally free." Our moral sense is a result of millions of years of clans, tribes, and societies working out - under the pressure of survival - that which makes for peaceable coexistence and group success. The result, at various times, has been laws, religions, and social mores. In some "modern" countries, like the U.S. and western Europe, the last two of those are in the process of dissolving, and the societies are struggling with what will be their moral guidelines in the future.

    In any case, we exist as individuals only as part of a society - that's how we've survived - and we need to accept a degree of moral freedom within constraints by our society, past and present. But in return, the society must allow the right to moral heresy or apostasy; the heretic's light has often brought us forward, though by no means always.
  • Jul 21 2013: I live by the motto of "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you". As long as my action(s) don't hurt other's, I feel morally free. But this motto does constrain a lot of things, admittedly.
  • Jul 21 2013: I'll explain myself in just a few words; "The past has been my tutor and the future will be of my own design, seasoned with the experiences and reasoning of other good people."