Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Let Freedom Ring

Why did the early Americans break off from England? What was the reason for abolishing slavery? How did America become entangled in a civil war? Do we go to war for a purpose? Thousands have died throughout history for a higher purpose. All of these things boil down to one thing. Freedom.

We live in a great country. The United States of America is possibly the greatest country that has ever existed on Earth. What has been the number one banner Americans have always held in high esteem? Americans have always fought for freedom. Whether it has been our own freedom, or the freedom of others, we have led the charge throughout the globe in the name of freedom.

What exactly is freedom? You may have a clue as to what freedom means to me if you have been reading my blog these past few months. In my view, freedom has a simple definition. Freedom is the ability for anyone to do whatever they wish, unless it brings harm to another. I would also add that this harm could also take the form of indirect or even inaction.

An obvious example of purposeful harm would be the typical type such as murder, rape, and a variety of other physical abuses. Harm caused by inaction could be letting someone die of starvation when you could hand them a sandwich. Indirect harm can be things such as making illegal drugs. Even though you are not directly selling the drugs, or taking them, you are the cause of the drugs doing harm to others through your involvement in the chain of distribution.

Is my view of freedom too broad? Many seem to think that freedom is only freedom if it follows their belief system, or their laws, or their rules. Freedom, if it is to be true freedom, is the freedom for all, and for everything. To appreciate true freedom is to accept the view of others. If the entire world could be accepting of each others religious beliefs, most of our wars and killing would cease.

If, on the other hand, your religion involves the killing of those who don’t believe as you do, then you’re a disease to others on this planet. You are an infection that needs to be removed. This seems to be in conflict with freedom, unless you remember my definition. Part of that definition is to do no harm. If you are doing harm, then the truly free people have the right to defend themselves.

I’ll end this with a quote from a Star Trek movie. I’m not certain if the quote is from another source, but the message is clear.

“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

The many choose to live in a free society, and are willing to tolerate each others beliefs. The few choose to kill those who do not believe as they do. It’s been said many times many ways…

You’re either with us, or against us. There is no middle road this time.

What do you think? Does my definition of freedom agree with yours? Why or why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment