Why Is Freedom Important Philosophy Essay

1559 words (6 pages) Essay in Philosophy

5/12/16 Philosophy Reference this

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The word freedom refers to the possibility that every person has to make decisions regarding their own lives, yet with certain limitations. We have the ability to choose from a variety of options but in the same time we must not jeopardise the freedom of others. Absolute freedom does not exist because if anyone would be free to do whatever they want then unwittingly the others’ right to freedom will be violated [1] .

Freedom of thought, opinion, creativity and faith are fundamental human rights which are found in the constitutions of numerous acts of international significance. Freedom in this context is not physical, but a spiritual creation, belief, thought and free manifestation [2] .

Freedom of expression is one of the most debated issues in the recent years. The conflicts between civilizations are centred on the issue of the right of individuals to express their views and opinions. It is obvious that when people are allowed to freely express their ideas, their opinions will be various. At that time we must be able to guarantee the coexistence of those opinions. Freedom of expression does not require following the opinion of the people, but we must give everybody the right to expose their ideas. When you know that you can choose then you are free. Freedom of speech does not mean saying anything, but to know that you can afford to say anything.

When fighting does not involve sacrifices, people are willing to go to war. Formal heroes are everywhere, but very few admit it. We believe that we are special amongst others rather than simply recognize that we are humans. It is normal to take advantage of opportunities that arise, but it is equally natural to admit the chances we are offered [3] .

Northern cartoons that offended Muslims worldwide were perfectly justifiable elements in a free society. Their authors had to expect such reactions and to assume them. We must not hide behind some absolute principles and we must accept that it’s all about context and being ready to defend our own subjectivity. Nobody claims understanding, no one asks the followers of a cult to accept denigration, because their consent does not matter. We can ridicule anything without obtaining any approval. We have no reason to beg for a right we already have. In most cases for sure the response will come with violence, a violence that we could ridicule again. We must learn to accept people’s reactions as they are without denying and giving up the principles in which we believe.

If we truly believe in freedom of speech, we must learn to be relaxed. We will be challenged and attacked every time because this is the reality and we must accept it and in the same time enjoy it. We must reject what we do not like and move on, without having limitations over what we are thinking. If we do not agree to a subject, it does not mean that there is no value in it. This is the essence of free speech. Everyone can say what they want because everyone is free to listen or not to listen. The essence of free will is the very existence of which is disputed. Freedom exists because there will be people who will fight to the last breath to support it. We should not give up and simply laugh with honesty and fight on.

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If we want to defend our value system, we must be willing to give up what we already have. It is impossible to win without taking any risks. There is no problem if the risk is refused, but we have to admit that we are wasting the time of those that counted on your help. The weather of snoring democrats passed, today the stake is action. Talk less, do more, and especially learn not to wander in confusing words [4] .

Freedom of expression is the warranty of social progress. However not everybody moves forward. Some of us will be left behind; it is something normal that natural selection continues to operate. We must accept it and stop complaining so much about it. There is nothing worse, nothing that cannot be overcome with a positive thought.

Terrorist attacks will never stop. Terrorists cannot be convinced to stop as easy as free people could be to give up some of their ideas. It is not good to argue when somebody tells us to say something else, because if we truly believe in our message, we will fight for it under any circumstances. We must find solutions to enforce the message, not justifications. The world belongs to winners and we are the only ones who can choose whether or not we want to reach the top. Freedom must be defended only by those willing to fight for it without hypocrisy because otherwise it will transform into a fragile concept. We are free to say anything and if we do it we must accept the consequences, whether they are favourable or not. Freedom of expression is not ultimately about what we want or don’t want to say [5] .

The great semantic diversity of the term freedom led to the acceptance that in fact we are talking about different kinds of freedom and not only about total freedom. Diversity in the types of freedoms can be explained by the complexity of social life, the multiple interrelationships between people. Political freedom is important because it refers to the ability of citizens to participate in decisions of public interest. By this I mean free vote, freedom of political opposition, freedom of political action or local private organizations that offer the possibility of exercising personal and political freedom, and also the right of citizens to inform and be informed by the authorities about political decisions taken and also freedom to criticize the actions of the governing power, in order to determine the change of incorrect decisions [6] .

There are also other important kinds of freedom like economic freedom which refers to the possibility of people to act freely in their double act as producers and consumers or personal freedom that refers to the right of any person to refuse the interference of others (as individuals or representatives of an authority) in their private life or during certain private activities. Thus, a democratic society recognizes and defends freedom.

A new study shows that personal independence and freedom are more important for the welfare of the people, than wealth. Researchers at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, analysed the results of three studies involving more than 420,000 people in 63 countries over a period of 40 years. Their conclusion was: “Money contributes to increased autonomy, but give an extra wellbeing or happiness” (Yahoo News) [7] .

Probably most of us cannot yet fully understand the importance of the fact that we are free to speak, free to express ourselves in a decent manner, free to decide and control aspects which concern us directly. It is said that those who do not understand the value of their freedom are actually prisoners of their own ignorance and inability to act independently according to their own will. Often not all can be free when we or are we not forced to be free.

The next affirmation poses the question if we can speak or not properly about freedom. Because, as Friedman said, “No one can force you to be free. It is none of your business” [8] . Any constrains in this sense actually means a cancellation of freedom. This affirmation inspired original Athenian democracy of the State in order to emphasize the limits of freedom. We are not talking about freedom in the abstract sense because absolute freedom does not exist. However, it could be interesting a step in enlightening the limits to which an individual can freely express himself in terms of social, political, economic.

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To sum up, the only thing nobody can take for us ever by any means is freedom of conscience, mind and will. We have the great freedom to be honest to ourselves and say what we like and what we dislike. Being free does not mean that you have the opportunity to travel abroad. To be free means to live and earn a living as a free and honest person. To be free means to express your opinion and build your future, freedom is the ability to be true to your own ideas and principles. To be free is the most wonderful thing that humanity can afford to give to you.

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