One Man Versus Freedom

When a man is free, he has responsibilities. A free man has choices. A free man makes his own decisions. A free man is not bound by external forces. That is, a free man is not bound but by those forces he subjects himself to. But then, he wouldn’t really be free, would he?

Let’s say there are degrees of freedom. No. Scratch that. The makes no sense. When a man is free, a man is free. When a man is not free, he is not free. In a sense, then, it makes more sense to talk of freedom in its absolute form.

Freedom is the state of being completely unrestricted. For man, pure freedom (the state of being completely unrestricted) means thinking, speaking, and acting without any influence. Now, whether such a man exists is unlikely. In fact, it is impossible for a man to live completely free of influences. From birth a man is pushed and pulled by many forces, especially social and physiological.

So, now we see that no man is completely free. In fact, I believe that freedom (in its absolute form) does not exist but conceptually.

Ah, so then it only makes sense to discuss freedom as it exists on a continuum (I’ll make up my mind eventually).

So much as a man is free, so is he responsible. A man is responsible for the words he freely chooses to speak. A man is responsible for the actions he freely chooses to take.

What does it mean to be responsible? To be responsible is to have ownership of thoughts, words, and actions and the consequences thereof.

Now comes the part no one wants to hear.

Consequences are the outcomes of actions. Actions are outcomes of thoughts and feelings. Thoughts and feelings are the matrix of one’s character. This means that so far as we are free to think, speak, and act, we are free to choose who we are. So far as we are free to choose who we are, we are responsible for who we are.

Isn’t it so much easier to place the blame elsewhere?

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4 Comments

  1. I think that’s interesting about not being free because of the multitude of influences on us as we grow. I’ve never thought about freedom in that sense before, but it fits. I usually think of freedom as being able to make a choice between the options currently faced, and then accepting the consequences and making new choices based on the experience gained.

    We can’t choose the consequences that are attached to a specific choice, but if we can foresee the consequences then we can choose our consequences based on what options we choose. Of course, if our initial choice is so heavily influenced by external factors, then I guess we really never are free.

    I guess I’ll have to think about this a bit more, Interesting perspective. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment! I always find that I’ve never thought so much about a topic (regardless of how interested or indebted I am) until I’ve taken the time to try and express my thoughts in writing. Sometimes I’m temporarily turned upside down. I talk about freedom all the time. I’ve never thought of it in the way it ended up coming out in this post. I’m so glad a relative of mine turned me on to blogging. Again, thank you very much for sacrificing your time for my blog.

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      1. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts.

        I feel the same way about writing things out. I can think about something but until I talk about it or write about it I don’t really finalize my thoughts. One time I was discussing a topic with someone and she said my thinking is schizophrenic because I seem to change my mind often during the conversation. I don’t think she knows what schizophrenia is, but I understood what she meant and it’s true, sometimes I change my stance during a discussion because as I hear myself say something, or see what I’ve written it reinforces or refutes what I previously thought. Learning is a constant process and I think processing thoughts into words, verbal or written, is a very important part of that process. Thinking is a rough draft, saying or writing is the revision.

        Anyway, I look forward to finding enough time to come back and engage in more discussions with you.

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  2. The more I think about freedom, the more I believe that freedom is power. Power is freedom. One cannot have power without freedom. Freedom is inherently tied to power. That is, with freedom comes power. Power to make mistakes. Power to overcome. Power to fail. Power to succeed. Power and freedom are bound to each other. As freedom grows, so does power. As power grows, so does freedom. If power is the ability to cause influence, power is the ability to make choices. What is freedom? In its simplest form, freedom is the ability to make choices.

    So, any attempt at restricting/constricting one’s freedoms is also an attempt at restricting/constricting one’s power.

    He who has the ability to decide who has how much power is the one with the most power of all.

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