Freedom

This is the main board for discussing philosophy - formal, informal and in between.

Freedom

Postby Adam » Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:35 am

We have a few users here obsessed with power, mental slavery, and the words of dead people. How about we define this mental slavery?

Or better yet, define freedom, and in so doing define its opposite.

A simple question can get us started:
1) Is a man in a cage free, if he has no wish to leave that cage?

It seems to me there are two possible answers:
  • A) No. In which case we determine freedom based on the physical.
  • B) Yes. In which case freedom is in the mind.

No answers itself.

In the case of B, move forward...

However, if "yes", that gives us one more question:
2) Is the man in the cage aware of a world beyond his cage?

If the man is aware of all the world beyond his cage, and yet chooses to remain in his cage, is he:
  • A) Still help captive be fears and such? (which takes us back to 1)
  • B) Free, because he has veiwed all options and made a choice?

In the case of B, he is free.

However, if the man is not aware of the world beynd his cage, that gives rise to a third question:
3) Is ignorance bliss?
  • A) Ignorance of other options means slavery.
  • B) Ignorance of other options does not mean slavery.


Would anyone care to create further logical constructs, or answer the final two questions?
Don't poke me.
User avatar
Adam
 
Posts: 148
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2002 5:58 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Mack » Thu Jan 16, 2003 3:22 am

I define freedom as each individual acting according to their goals and values. This is mutual though, so I cannot say that I am free so I can slaghter you, because that would be violating your freedom.

If this person is thinking freely (not at the point of a gun or some other initiation of force), and they choose to stay in the cage, they are free. It's irrelevant what they know of the rest of the world or universe. It's their own fault if they don't want to explore further.

Ignorance is not slavery. Slavery is non-voluntary. If the person chooses to be ignorant, they are free and not a slave.
"I ask none to live for me, nor do I live for any others."

-- Ayn Rand, Anthem
Mack
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2003 1:27 am

Postby Johan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:09 am

In case 2 B you are still not free:

1. If you have total insight in what choice that is best you have no free will because you will pick the best choice.

alternative:

2. If you have total insight in what is best for you and don't pick the best choice because you want to test if you are free; then you are driven by secondary interest and are still not free from this interest.

3. If you don't have total insight in what choice that is best; you will pick the choice that you think is best, and you are not free from your thoughts about what you think is best.

4. If you want to live you must eat, drink and breath. You have the freedom to not do this; but you are not free from the reasons why you want to stop doing this.

The situation looks deterministic. But lets explore it more:

You have the choice to do whatever you want. What stops you is:

1. Physical limitations. Example: A prison or the surface of the earth. Every physical limitation is subjective (every person have it's own prison). If you can not overcome this right away (now) it's a true physical limitation.

2: Subjective mental limitations. Example: Moral: You can not break your personal moral. If you can you are not having any moral :D )

3: Objective mental limitations. Example: Truth: If you are aware about the truth you can not break it. If you break it to see if you have free will you are not aware about the truth because the truth includes the understanding if you have free will or not.

You can not overcome the above limitations (1, 2 and 3). It seams like the only freedom we have is to act wrong and do what we don't want to do. But then again; why do we want to do this. Any will to do something else then what we think is best is also a part of our calculation and our will because we somehow think it's a good decision.

So we are not getting away from the determinism this way, so:

In what case would we have free will? Only with a totally different logic. The term "free will" is probably not relevant to the universe from the point of traditional logic. The universe only have one will, because it's only one "person". And from this point it express it's creativity. You are the only person that exist; and when you read this and think that this text is written by someone else it's in fact just a signal that comes from another part of your system. The differing is the same as from the effects of multiple personal disorder

3) Is ignorance bliss?

A) Ignorance of other options means slavery.

B) Ignorance of other options does not mean slavery.

Would anyone care to create further logical constructs, or answer the final two questions?


We are all slaves under the circumstances no matter how we look at it, but because we are in fact one this is a good thing. So instead of looking for "free will" it's more relevant to see how the universe organize itself. If this process is "creative" from a human point of view is not relevant because there is nothing to compare this with. The way the univers organize itself is the premiere function, and no matter how much we want to change this it's not possible.

We are puppets holding our own strings, but the puppets can not view the hand.

Johan
User avatar
Johan
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:07 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby JP » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:42 am

Freedom, for me, comes down to choice. The amounts of choices available to one at a given point in time determine how "free" one is. This notion of "choice", I suppose, is as pertinent to one's physicality as it is to one's mentality.

Thus, for the man in the cage, in determining how free he is, we must determine the scope of choice he has available to him. If he has a choice to leave the cage, then - even if he decides to stay - we can only say he is free. Whether he consciously chooses to stay in the cage, or merely remains in the cage to defer his decision, then it amounts to the same thing: he is responsible for his circumstance. If the man is held in the cage against his will, then we may say he lacks freedom in this sense, as he has no choice with regards to his circumstance.

The issue of whether he is aware of the world beyond his cage does not give him a greater scope of choice in this example (he still must decide whether to stay or leave) yet if he is aware of the world beyond his cage, then his decision is more informed, and changes the nature of his choice in some regard. By being more aware of the consequences of his choice (that is, he can now leave his cage with some degree of certainty as to what he will find) he can now anticipate future choices that may result from his first choice: if he does decide to leave, for instance, he may then be aware that doing so will present him with another choice (climbing a tree or going swimming in a pond, say) in which case his initial choice, he understands, can give way to consequential choices. His initial choice, then, is based on his understanding that this first choice will give way to future choices, and his initial decision - where he is aware of the outside world - is based, over a great enough time-period, on a greater scope of choice.

So, for instance, if this man was ignorant of the outside world prior to making his choice, then he has two options:

1) Stay
2) Leave

However, if he is aware of the outside world and the implications this has on his future scope of choice, then he has, effectively more choices (even though the initial choice - of whether to stay or leave - is the same is if he were in a state of ignorance):

1) Stay
2) Leave, then climb a tree
3) Leave, then swim in the pond

And so on. By being aware of the outside world (by possessing knowledge as such) his "decision tree" is greater, and is not just a series of disconnected, dichothemic "yes or no" type choices. If he is more accutely aware of his initial circumstance, then his choice is not merely "leave or stay" but conditional upon his knowledge of the outside world.

Thus the man who is aware of the outside world has a greater scope of choice overall, than the man ignorant of it. The former man, with his choices, we can say is more "free" than the ignorant man, but with that comes a greater sense of responsibility for his choice. The opportunity cost of his choice (that is, the amount of options he forgoes by making his decision) is greater, and he is more responsible for his choice than the man who was not aware of the outside world in the first place. How can the ignorant man, for instance, be held responsible for not choosing to "leave and then climb a tree" when he could have no idea that the initial choice would present him with this second choice?

An objection here could be that, really, the learned man and the ignorant man have the same scope of choice. That is, even if he doesn't know it, the ignorant man still has the choice - if he wishes - to leave the cage and to then choose to climb a tree and he is thus as "free" as the learned man. However, I would argue that freedom is dependant on the scope of choice at a specific point in time. That is, if we were to point to the circumstances that each man found himself in initially (that is, locked in a cage) then the scope of choice available to the ignorant man is still less than that of the other man. Given his overall knowledge of his circumstance, the ignorant man has only two available choices at that point whereas the learned man has - as I outlined before - at least three. Given this, I am of the opinion that knowledge - in both the example given and in real life - can only contribute to the level of freedom one possesses. Does that mean that an ignorant person is then a slave to his circumstance?

Hmmm.... tough to say because it depends on what you mean by "slavery" (god I hate semantics) but insofar as slavery is synonymous lack of choice, then yes, we can say that the ignorant man is - to a degree - a slave to his circumstance. Ignorance can be blissful though, in a sense, because, along with the lack of available choice comes the benefit of not having to make difficult choices and to avoid the worry that follows such a concern. The ignorant man has less choices to make and is less responsible for the choices he does make (lesser scope of choice, smaller opportunity cost etc.) yet this suits him - and a great many other human beings - just fine. To quote myself (in a heavily edited form to make it more relevant):

But then, faced with the full scope of his freedom, man is prepared to sacrifice his choices [by defering them onto someone else] to avoid his responsibility..... man is, for instance, prepared to delegate his choices to his government, prepared to sacrifice some of his freedoms to defer his responsibility onto someone else. Now, when something goes wrong in his life, he no longer needs to blame his own choices, but those of the government to whom he has delegated his responsibility to choose: "I lost my job, I blame the economic mismanagement of the Bush administration". All of a sudden, much of man's choice is out of his hands, yet he feels comfortable with this, for he is no longer responsible for the ills of his society, the world or of his own life. For as long as we can accurately trace the patterns of civilization man has continually used religion and politics as a means of deferring his responsibility to choose.

Perhaps it's a vestigial instinct inherent within everyone of us..... but if history has shown us anything over its millenia of turmoil, it is this: man is scared to be free.


(The above text wa a response to a discussion about the US government sacrificing some civil liberties to enchance domestic security, but sort of branched off into a discussion about what freedom is really about.)

Any thoughts?
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
User avatar
JP
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby JP » Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:02 am

Ah Johan, the old "implications of determinism on our ability to choose freely" debate. :D

I'll address the points you've raised there (which are no doubt important in a discussion of freedom) when I get the chance.
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
User avatar
JP
 
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Postby Johan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:04 am

:D Well the traditional point is all about how we can remove the determinism. But in my case I see creativity in determinism. There is a reason why a good thing is a good thing. If you want the outcome of a situation to be good you are not free to act wrong. The more you know about the situation the better you can act, but you are never free.

The possible aspect of freedom is the ability to go deeper in our calculations; to think deeper, but this only works if the mind is a holistic united field, and the information source is unlimited. Otherwise you will hit bottom how deep you can think at a certain moment, and your freedom is limitated. This is maybe why "meditation is the only way to freedom". But you are still only free to follow the good outcome of your calculation. The result of this is:

You are not free to ignore the good outcome of your calculation, but you are (maybe) free to go deeper in your calculation. What information you found in your calculation is deterministic, but at least you will be able to act better. IF the substance is a united holistic field however the information you will find when you think deeper represent the total substance and therefore the mind have a good chance to overcome determinism but at that point everything is probably a black hole.

Johan
User avatar
Johan
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:07 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Skeptic » Mon Jan 20, 2003 11:03 pm

Is a man in a cage free, if he has no wish to leave that cage?

ahhh, what a wonderful question! Upon pondering this question for a few seconds, I came to the conclusion that it depended upon whether the man was aware of an outside reality. Little did I know, that was your next question. . .
Is the man in the cage aware of a world beyond his cage?

If the man was aware of an outside reality and he continues to resolve to stay in his cage, then I would believe him to be making an informed decision to stay in his cage as it was his desire. The question then being, do the prederminate factors that led him to his "desire" / "decision" to stay in the cage, leave him with a lack of "true" freedom? Determinism.

I think determinism is often misunderstood as the denial of an individual's ability to choose. People always argue against it with an example of a choice they made. (i.e. - I was going to the grocery store but then I chose not to.) Then the determinist will say, "Sure, you made that choice but it was predetermined that you would." This is really just a difference in perspective. Almost any free-will proponent will agree that there was a reason that they made their choice not to go to the grocery store. That reason being the determining factor, hence determinism. The basis behind determism is the law of cause and effect. For every action there is a reaction. If you flip it around you find that every action is the result of a previous predetermining action. Until someone can disprove this, there is no reason to believe otherwise.

How does this apply to the individual's freedom of choice? This is really an issue of identity. I made the choice but who am "I"? "I" am a compilation of factors that I, ultimately, had no control over. I did not make who "I" am, so ultimately I do not hold claim to my choices. For practicality's sake, I identify myself as "I" and I make claim to my choices. This is "Free will", a practical perspective of determinism. Although, "free will" is practical, it is important to remember the nature of determinism. From a deterministic perspective, we are all equal.
Is ignorance bliss?

Another good question. I see ignorance as unfortunate but ultimately inevitable. We will always be ignorant to something due to our limited condition. That is, the condition of being so minute in relation to an infinite existence. In other words, every time we advance our knowledge, we only find that we have more questions and every time we fulfill our desires, we only find more to be desired. Seeing as this condition is inevitable, I find that it is not necessary to spend any time dwelling on our "ultimate ignorance" but it is necessary to be aware of its precedence.

There is then the issue of ignorance due to one's lack of desire to explore or discover. To return to the analogy: if the man in the cage will not step out and explore his reality, in my opinion, he is missing his opportunity to truly live his life. Due to our "ultimate ignorance", we will always be in some sense of a cage. Yet, the desire to live calls us to continue to release ourselves from whatever cage is currently holding us captive. It's not -quite that simple though. Each cage contains a key, if you will. First we must find that key through a series of searching, seeking, and ambitious action. That key represents potential. Once, we have found that key, we then have the ability or choice to open our cage to step into the next cage. Make sense? A little abstract but I think the analogy serves its purpose.

This ultimate desire for advancement is what life is all about. Without it, life becomes mundane, in my opinion. Some might argue that they are happy with their present "cage". In which case, they would be arguing the "ignorance is bliss" sentiment. Either argument is potentially a positive decision. It mostly depends on the ultimate desires of the individual (which are, again, dependent upon genetics). One might have the ultimate desire for stability, in which case they would be most happy with the decision to sit comfortably in their cage. Another might desire enlightenment and understanding moreso than stability, in which case their drive for enlightenment will not allow them to succumb to the barriers of their cage. Still others will find theirselves somewhere in between. I can see potential justification in any of these scenarios.

The only unjustified scenario is in oppression. For example, the man's cage is locked and the key is dangled just outside of his reach by a selfish, more fortunate opponent. Oppression is the ultimate evil. Those of us whom are able should defend the less fortunate against all forms of oppression. Ignorance, by way of oppression, is unjustifiable.
User avatar
Skeptic
(Jason Hill)
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Postby TheIdiot » Mon Jan 27, 2003 2:55 pm

Freedom is an illusion. There is no such thing. We live in a material world which is governed by numerous rules. The rules of physics and nature and protocols etc. Even at the time of birth you are not free. You may have certain advantages and disadvantages, but will ultimately not be free.
TheIdiot
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:54 pm

Postby Johan » Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:22 pm

TheIdiot wrote:Freedom is an illusion. There is no such thing. We live in a material world which is governed by numerous rules. The rules of physics and nature and protocols etc. Even at the time of birth you are not free. You may have certain advantages and disadvantages, but will ultimately not be free.


This is not necessarily true. With a Newton mechanic universe the determinism would be as you mention. Today there are stronger alternatives to such determinism.

I'm still saying that you are not free to act wrong without breaking harmonies, but you have in my model the possebility to go deeper in your calculation and come up with a better decision. Then your decision can be: 1. Deterministic in a way that you only are able to include the information you have collected during your lifetime. 2. Not limited to the information that you have collected during your lifteme because you also get input from the holistic field; collective subconsiousness (This is my main theory, but it's not neccesary to use #2 to break total determinism). I made a little picture to demonstrate:

1. Observer.

2. Information.

3. Holistic field.


The arrow: Demonstrate how the observer achieve freedom by going deeper in the calculation of information. This freedom may be limited to include 1. Information the individual have collected during his lifetime. 2. Information that is stored in the holistic field.
Image

The point is that our calculations are not total deterministic. I'm not arguing against that people have different possibilities. But if you accept this model you can achieve a higher level of freedom by going deeper in the observation of the information that is available.

This model seam to be dualistic in it's metaphysic if we try to put together using old definitions, but this is not my intention. The logic is different. The monistic substance have the attribute "observation", or experience of it's existence and a dynamic field. The dynamic pulse is constant. Matter does not exist in traditional meaning; it's a field. This field expand and collapse. And the dynamics form patterns in this field. What we experiences as particles and subatomic particles are dynamic movements in the holistic field. Light is dynamic movements in this field. Light does not travel from point A to point B it's a wave between these points; a connection in the field. And as I said before: Gravitation is not a force between bodies. The "bodies" have the position because of the dynamic forces in the field. Empty space is not "empty". It only looks empty because the dynamic have left it "open" (here you will find an explanation to the "dark matter").


Johan
Last edited by Johan on Mon Dec 01, 2003 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Johan
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:07 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby TheIdiot » Thu Jan 30, 2003 3:47 pm

I'm sorry Johan, you've totally lost me. I don't follow what you mean at all. :oops: I am a simply person and need to be told things in a much more basic way. I don't really see how determinism can develop. I'm sorry but my understanding of determinism is that it is the notion of cause and effect and i really don't see how you can avoid this and how this can change. I must be dumb, help me.
TheIdiot
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Sep 16, 2002 9:54 pm

Postby Clementine » Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:41 pm

1) Is a man in a cage free, if he has no wish to leave that cage?

It seems to me there are two possible answers:
 A) No. In which case we determine freedom based on the physical.
 B) Yes. In which case freedom is in the mind.



In my view, he is not free. Simple because he doesn’t have an option. You are free when you can choose, you are free when you have unlimited option to choose from.
Anyway, I think you’ve stated something odd there. Stating that the person is free in the mind only because they want to stay in the cage is nonsense. If you know the cage is locked and you can’t come out, you will probably accept the circumstances… you also can put a stop in time and say that this person will never ever change their mind.
You can’t enslave the mind, simply because no one can see what you really think. So actually there is no prison for the mind ever.
2) Is the man in the cage aware of a world beyond his cage?
If the man is aware of all the world beyond his cage, and yet chooses to remain in his cage, is he:
 A) Still help captive be fears and such? (which takes us back to 1)
 B) Free, because he has veiwed all options and made a choice?



He didn’t view all options, he is only aware of them., right.

However, if the man is not aware of the world beynd his cage, that gives rise to a third question:
3) Is ignorance bliss?
 A) Ignorance of other options means slavery.
 B) Ignorance of other options does not mean slavery.



Ignorance makes you less free for you don’t know your options, you don’t know whether you’ve got them or not.

You are only free if you are given options… it’s like having freedom of speech when no one pays any attention to what say…if you know what I mean.
Cle

"Nothing is more seductive for man than his freedom of conscience. But nothing is a greater cause of suffering." Dostoyevsky
User avatar
Clementine
 
Posts: 161
Joined: Thu Nov 28, 2002 6:37 pm
Location: UK

Postby Slappy » Wed Mar 05, 2003 5:50 pm

This is my first post here, I find you all very intelligent, I am only 15 years old but philosophy intrigues me. I have studied the works of a few philosophers, mainly Immanuel Kant, this is an immature explanation of how I see freedom, or mostly how some perceive it.

William Wallace was right, they can’t take our freedom mostly because we don’t have any and never will, because the paradox will never stop. You want freedom? Take it, we have been fighting for it for years and years, to no resort. Freedom costs. It’s kind of a hypocritical philosophy really. We fight for the right to be free. We fight for the right to have a free-market system so we can buy anything you want, whenever you want, from whoever you want.

We fight for the freedom of religious belief, thought mostly we just fight amongst ourselves about that. Sometimes we even travel to the other side of the world to make sure that those less “fortunate” than ourselves can enjoy our special brand of freedom: video games, Coke Pepsi, Jesus, and Taco Bell. You have the right to eat tacos we’ll say, and they’ll smile and say “FINALY!” Some people even have the right to bear arms. Sometimes their kids get in on that right. Sometimes people die for freedom and don’t know it. Funny how freedom works, you die for it.

In the most perfect dream I will be sitting in a nice lawn chair on a high plateau, watching the demise of Western Civilization. I’d buy a super powerful pair of binoculars, so as not to miss anything. I’d have a big cooler full of drinks and beautiful women around, rubbing my feet and shoulders. And I’d get new glasses, because the ones I have now are all scratched up. Better then a super summer blockbuster. No giant lizards, no aliens, no natural disasters. Just us. Swirling towards the bottom of the bowl. I’ll have some tacos and a shirt that says “finally”

The chemical winds will blow through my hair as I monitor the major news networks for the details and endless updates. The field correspondents broadcasting from within the flaming debris, conditioned to remain impervious to the dangers and drama unfolding around them. The Earth bursting into flame. Little ships slipping picturesquely beneath the foaming waves.

Hell hath no fury like a man sitting in a lawn chair watching the end of the world who ran out of tacos…

And then come the missiles. Having spent all my life living in a time of nuclear devices. I say launch them. I’m curious to see what the fuss is about. Where to fire them? I’m open to suggestions. I’ll play Pac-Man and Frogger while A-Bombs blow up around me like so many seagulls fed with Wonder Bread and Draino. I’ll do the Safety Dance, The Electric Dance, the Macarena and maybe me and the girls will even line-dance. I’m gonna laugh maniacally because, what else am I going to do? There will be umbrellas in all the drinks, fireworks without warning labels, hundreds of rare T-bones, a million cigarettes, and plenty of pornography. Cause if you’re going down, go down big.

That’s freedom. Not some word in the dictionary. Not some corrupted thing bent to suit commercial purposes. Limitless freedom. Not Endless slow poison like today, no “tomorrow I’ll go to the gym after work.” Just sought after cancerous treats and spy-like glow-in-the-dark party favors. Naked riders, outrageous costumes, dangerous words blasted through megaphones, outlawed tunes played on outlawed guitars. A silence after a great noise. And then the ringing tone of a last, great chord. That’s Freedom, right? I am Canadian, and have nothing against anybody, you want freedom? Just take it, no war will change it. Wake up to the real world, that being the one within your head, there is no other.

Hopefully I contradicted myself in there somewhere.
Between sleep and awake there is a taco stand called nothing. Can I take your order? Have you seen me? I looked everywhere.
User avatar
Slappy
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Does it matter?

Postby Mentat Monkey » Thu Mar 06, 2003 6:47 pm

:o JESUS CHRIST! WHAT THE HELL WAS *THAT*!?!
Slappy's post started off okay, then, well, WTF?
Slappy, I think you need to repost under the 'Poetic Sociopaths' forum, both you and that little photo of yours which I'm pretty sure is flipping me off. At least Adam was obvious about it... Seriously though, I did like all that, I like nuclear poetry, I like Tacos, it's just that it kinda.. uh..(*head explodes*)

Back to the questions at the start though.. remember those? Yeah, I had to go back and read them again after that too.
Call me simple but I think that if he's locked in then he's not free, if he's not locked in then he is free.

Here is my attempt to explain the 'Freedom' Paradox, keep in mind these are three seperate questions...

Take as granted for all of the questions that the guy's in the cage, the cage is locked and he doesn't want to get out.

1) He knows it's locked. Is he free?
A)Yes. Therefore freedom is in the mind.
B)No. Therefore freedom is having a choice.

2) He is unaware it's locked. Is he free?
A)Yes. Therefore freedom is having a choice.
B)No. Therefore freedom is about potential.

3) He is unaware of the cage. Is he free?
A)Yes. Therefore freedom is is in the mind.
B)No. Therefore freedom is about potential.

That's how I see it anyway. Comments people?
User avatar
Mentat Monkey
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 4:48 pm
Location: Anywhere but here

Postby Slappy » Thu Mar 06, 2003 9:18 pm

I see…Well for the record, I said I was 15, does that picture of an old man look like a 15 year old? I think not, well, I might as well change it for a picture of me, make more sense I guess. Thanks for your eh… comment.
Between sleep and awake there is a taco stand called nothing. Can I take your order? Have you seen me? I looked everywhere.
User avatar
Slappy
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Does it matter?

Postby Slade7 » Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:17 pm

Mentat Monkey, perhaps instead of displaying your confusion of Slappy's post through cheap insults (even resorting to bashing his avatar :roll: ) perhaps you should consider acting like a mature adult and treat him with some respect and compassion, especially considering how new he is. You're relativly new yourself, how would you feel if people reacted to you as you just did? If there is an area of Slappy's post that you feel needs clarification, for god's sake (forgive me for using the lord's name in vain) tell him what areas and in what way. This is a philosophy forum not a flame board.
Slappy, although I defend your right to voice your opinion without being mocked, I must admit I would require a little clarification myself. When you talk of world-wide destruction (armegeddon), I find it difficult to see how that relates to freedom, directly or indirectly.
Welcome Slappy, and I hope you enjoy your visit here.
Last edited by Slade7 on Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
ooohhhkay then Mr. Philosopher man, Mr. I know it all, I'm smarter then Adam.... sure, you're cool now.
jk
User avatar
Slade7
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:34 am
Location: British Columbia

Postby Slade7 » Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:24 pm

Clementine wrote:
In my view, he is not free. Simple because he doesn’t have an option. You are free when you can choose, you are free when you have unlimited option to choose from.


What if a person is only free when they don't HAVE to choose? Perhaps I worded that wrong... what I mean is if someone is able to to perfectly content regardless of what choices they are left with or how many choices they have, then they are free. In which case then freedom is indeed in the mind and the mind alone.
meh.... maybe I should just stick to Mundane Babble lol
ooohhhkay then Mr. Philosopher man, Mr. I know it all, I'm smarter then Adam.... sure, you're cool now.
jk
User avatar
Slade7
 
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:34 am
Location: British Columbia

Postby Skeptic » Thu Mar 06, 2003 11:25 pm

I rather enjoyed your rant Slappy. Although, it was probably more poetic than philosophical, but it definitely has some interesting philosophical overtones. I don't think Mentat Monkey meant to comment negatively on you; he just meant to suggest it was a bit abstract and probably a little over his head.

This is kind of what I get from your speech. Balance of freedom. When you have 6 billion people all struggling for their inherent right to be free, there must be balance or someone is going to get left in the dust (most likely the weakest link). Survival of the fittest works just fine for the "fittest" but who says that the fittest deserves more freedom than the weak? In a perfect world, freedom would not be about being free'er than your neighbor but would be about self control and being unconditionally content. Currently, we see this lack of contentment played out through pointless wars and violence, when all everybody wants is the same thing. Personal contentment! It's like a drug that everyone is striving for, but can never get their hands on.

To tell you the truth, I think that it is all in the mind. There's more to life than a constant outward battle to progress your freedoms. Freedom is truly attained when you can be content with what you got.

Is it possible that the poor, slave man could die with more contentment and happiness than the rich and omnipotent Bill Gates?
Last night as I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky, I thought to myself,
"Where the heck is the ceiling?!"

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
User avatar
Skeptic
(Jason Hill)
 
Posts: 660
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 7:02 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Postby Theoreticality » Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:33 am

Let me start off by saying that I too rather enjoyed Slappy's post. I would also like to point out that this too is my first post here, so bear with me.

I believe that freedom is not dependent (sp?) on anything besides the person. However, I believe that freedom itself is based on a much larger part of a person than their mentality, I believe freedom is determined by the entire <i>self</i> or existenz for those familiar with Jaspers. Anyway, if the self is defined as everything that makes one different from all others, including differences in appearance, thikning, opinions, etc, we can now use this as a foundation to begin our analysis of what freedom is, and use that as a basis to answer the question of whether one is free or not. However (this is where things may become a little unclear and contradictory) the self in itself is actually the greatest oppressor, and keeps us from freedom more than anything else. We make the decisions we make based on our <i>self</i>, our morals, values, beliefs, logic, etc. So then, we are forced to make our decisions based on our <i>self</i> as we know nothing else. I believe that non-exposure to any alternatives is a form of involuntary loss of freedom, or oppression. So then, if our self takes away our freedom, then we must look somewhere else to find freedom. If not the self, then the opposite of the self would be a herd mentality, however, within a herd, there is the presence of one collective self, as all within the herd have chosen to assimilate themselves to the same self. So then, there is no freedom within the herd. Now then, the area where I believe total freedom is found is one that is not normally considered synonomous with freedom. I believe that freedom is found in a state only achievable within nothingness. Theoretically, one could exist in a manner where one was not influenced at all by outside peoples, beliefs, situations, physical conditions, etc, in essence, one could theoretically exist in a totally non-influenced manner. However, within our world this is not possible, so it is, as we know it, a state of nothingness. Within this non-influenced state, the traditional self, which is a culimation of our own ideals based on what we draw from others would not exist, therefore we would not make decisions based on outside influences, nor our own influence, nor outside situations. So then, in this case we would make our decisions based on our self, which would in actuality not be anything, it would therefore be the opposite of a traditional self which is considered something. I call this the Anti-Self (I'm still trying to polish the theory a little, but these are the basics.) So then, the answer to whether one is free or not, is to be answered by looking not at the decision he made, nor why he made it, but what influenced him to make it, if he was influenced by anything it all, then he is not free at all, however if he is influenced by anything at all, including being influenced by trying not to be influenced, then he is not free in making the decision.
"If the meaning of life is not suffering, then it is the most ill-adapted to its place in the universe." -Arthur Schopenhaur
Theoreticality
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:10 am

Postby Johan » Sat Mar 08, 2003 7:10 pm

Hi Theoreticality, and welcome.

I don't have time to write much today, but I will make a quick comment.

Do you say that: Freedom exist when our actions are not influenced at all by patterns outside ourself, like in nihilism?

Is this freedom a good thing then, or is it up to us to create moral systems (and then not follow them because we want to be free)?

Theoretically, one could exist in a manner where one was not influenced at all by outside peoples, beliefs, situations, physical conditions, etc, in essence, one could theoretically exist in a totally non-influenced manner. However, within our world this is not possible, ...


I can't imagine any existing hypothetical world where harmonic relations between it's parts is not the very ground of the world. This is how we survive and how life developes. You can see from my earlier posts that I think that knowledge about how life forms itself is vital when it comes to our actions, and how we should look at freedom.

You also say:

I believe that freedom is found in a state only achievable within nothingness.


I agree with this, even though I don't think it have any use. But you also talk about how freedom can be acheaved in a world with substance, "if you are not influated".

Johan
User avatar
Johan
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:07 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Theoreticality » Sun Mar 09, 2003 7:14 am

In response to your inquiry Johan, I am saying that similar to nihilism, that freedom can only be acheived through the lack of total influence, however I also propose and believe that it goes further than that, in that you are still not free if you influenced by your own self. For the self is everything that makes you you, your morals, values, beliefs, etc as i said before. Therefore, if one is influenced by anything inside of himself, he was <i>forced</i> to make this decision by his own desires. However, I have also made a revelation today, that in making a choice, we are still not free. We may consider ourselves free, in that whatever decision we choose to make is a decision we make entirely on our own, however, in making a choice we are influence by the necessity of making a decision, and are therefore forced to make a decision, thus we oppressed by the influence of the necessity of deciding. I am interested in hearing all theories and any other input anyone has on this new revelation. Thank you Johan, for giving me a question to further expand my thoughts upon.
"If the meaning of life is not suffering, then it is the most ill-adapted to its place in the universe." -Arthur Schopenhaur
Theoreticality
 
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 6:10 am

Postby Mentat Monkey » Sun Mar 09, 2003 7:56 pm

First I would like to apologise to Slappy for what was interpreted as 'flaming', but as Skeptic noted, it was in jest, and I should have put a couple of smilies around the place or something. I did like his work, I think it's just a social communication problem, with everyone coming from different social groups all around the world. Anyone around where I live would have thought I was trying to be funny. 8)

I like what Slade7 was saying about Freedom perhaps being life where every decision has that option to not decide, at least I think that's what he was saying. Maybe he meant freedom is having no motivation, which I think would also be true, but in reality wouldn't leave much room for being happy, but then again freedom doesn't have to bring happiness or contentment does it?.

Would a acceptable definition of freedom be to be able to have you way?
If you try to make something change and it changes then that is a freedom, if it does not change then the freedom belongs to that which opposed you. Or is that getting a bit too general?

In reference to Theoreticality's work, how was freedom defined? He started with..
I believe that freedom is not dependent (sp?) on anything besides the person.

Which really begs for the definition of 'freedom' in that context, as that just doesn't work as I see it. 'not dependent on anything besides the person' except maybe the cage we were all talking about which could limit your freedom considerably, but then again that was still being argued too.
I think the Theoreticality's 'self' should be seperated as the 'independent self' as the Self would include the 'herd self' instead of being it's opposite.
I would like to put to Theoreticality that his 'freedom' should be changed to 'independence'.
As to Theoreticality's last post in reguards to the decision making, as was mentioned above, you have freedom when you can decide not to dicide. And as far as being controlled by your desires, your desires are part of you, they make up part of who you are, but you can still act against your disires. That's what real freedom is, the ability to *create* your own decisions. Well it's part of it anyway.
User avatar
Mentat Monkey
 
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 4:48 pm
Location: Anywhere but here

Postby Johan » Sun Mar 09, 2003 9:17 pm

Mentat Monkey,

That's what real freedom is, the ability to *create* your own decisions.


Can we agree about that this freedom can be both good and bad? Or is it always good when we are able create our own decisions?

The term freedom can be reflected about in many different levels, and I also think that's what we are doing here.

1. There is the metaphysical freedom. In a Newtonian universe there exist no freedom; it's deterministic.

2. Freedom is limited to the information you are aware of.

3. Freedom have moral limitations.

4. Freedom have physical limitations.

The metaphysical substance will in it's turn have influence over #2-3, that will change depending on what #1 is. #4 is quite static, but you can (in some cases) overcome such limitations over time by gaining information.

It's hard for me to find some space where we can talk about that we are free from something else. Life is not about separated units; life exist in the space between the units. In my opinion the mental I does not exist at all, it just exist as a unit because of the communication flow between the different parts of your body. This is the same thing you will find in nature as a whole and the universe as a whole.

I still say that the only freedom we have is to go deeper in our calculations, that way we can interact with other units in a deeper way, and also gain new levels of information. But we are never free from what we will find when we go deeper in the calculations, and the new calculation-level will in it's turn make us interact with new levels of information outside ourselves; both new input and output. We will also never be free from the full range of life's relations that we must interact with. If your body should work it's different organs can not seek independence of each other and seek freedom. Their goal is to optimize the interactivity so the organism as a whole reach new levels of information.

Johan
User avatar
Johan
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 10:07 pm
Location: Sweden

Postby Slappy » Sun Mar 09, 2003 10:37 pm

I thank you for your support and no harm done Mentat Monkey. I know that my post did not make so much sense to all of you, but when I read or write something, the best way for me to understand is to relate it to things that I have experience or thought of. When I, or any of you read it, I am certain that you understand some of it, not because I am explaining everything directly but because of its empirical sense to us. I think that philosophical belief is derived from the experience of the senses and not from reflection or reason alone.

Back on topic: Freedom is a mental condition-a condition of the spirit. All of us are free, if we choose to acknowledge it. To borrow from Rose Wilder Lane, freedom is control of self. The essence of your "self" is your mind, soul, and spirit. We all are always free to change our thoughts, improve our knowledge and understanding, change our attitudes and beliefs-the inner part of each of us. You can be free in a cage, if you chose to be, with no desire to leave, or it can be the opposite. I believe that I am free as a person. I can take a piss outside, drink pop or do anything else that I want to. The problem is irresponsibility and immaturity. If I want to kill your mother I know that I have no right to do so, thus I can think that I am not free because I cannot do what I want. If I go trough with this action, I will be thrown in prison and go mad with anger because I am not “free”. Freedom is completely accessible by everyone as long as it does not affect the freedom of others.

Freedom is in the eye of the beholder.
Between sleep and awake there is a taco stand called nothing. Can I take your order? Have you seen me? I looked everywhere.
User avatar
Slappy
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: Does it matter?

Postby postmodern » Tue May 06, 2003 4:08 pm

no, a man in ignorance is not free. this is because what is is within us all. concepts like 'we', 'us', 'they' etc. and their denotions and connotations and what they lead to are, well, misleading. As the reality is that there is nothing else than what is and it is within "our" and "others" bodies, ignorance of this makes you less free. To not oppress what is is freedom unlimited. It is loving everybody because our bodies are only cages (!) of what is. Being ignorant of this makes you captive of religions, ideologies or whatever concepts humans have created (like "the way to have a nice-looking hair").
I may answer threads that were long ago thought finished. This is because they nevertheless stimulate me to write something. Strange, isn't it? ;) And I write when "I" feel like it.
postmodern
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon May 05, 2003 4:31 pm

Re: Freedom

Postby surreptitious75 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:23 am

Adam wrote:
We have a few users here obsessed with power and mental slavery and the words of dead people . How about we define this mental slavery ?

Or better yet define freedom and in so doing define its opposite

A simple question can get us started :
Is a man in a cage free if he has no wish to leave that cage ?

It seems to me there are two possible answers :
  • A ] No in which case we determine freedom based on the physical
  • B ] Yes in which case freedom is in the mind

If he has no wish to leave the cage because he cannot leave it then he is not free
But if he has no wish to leave it but can still leave it if he wants to then he is free


In the case of B move forward

However if yes that gives us one more question :
Is the man in the cage aware of a world beyond his cage ?

If the man is aware of all the world beyond his cage and yet chooses to remain in his cage is he :
  • A ] Still help captive be fears and such ? [ which takes us back to I ]
  • B ] Free because he has viewed all options and made a choice ?

In the case of B he is free

There is no way that this question can be answered without knowing his specific reason for staying in the cage . He may simply want to remain in
it because that is what he is used to or there may be psychological reasons for him not wanting to leave it . Unless you know it is impossible to say


However if the man is not aware of the world beyond his cage that gives rise to a third question : is ignorance bliss ?
  • A ] Ignorance of other options means slavery
  • B ] Ignorance of other options does not mean slavery

To be a slave means you actually have to know that you are a slave . You can
not be in chains [ physical or mental ] and unaware of the fact that you are

A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
surreptitious75
Philosopher
 
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:48 pm


Return to Philosophy



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users