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There is no such thing as 100 percent freedom

(17 Posts)
Sergio4 Thu 31-May-18 23:51:49

Would you agree?

There is this time narrative that goes around where we in the West look down on other people's cultures and religions. For example, the idea that there is no freedom in Muslim countries.

But what we fail to realize is that we are not 100 percent free ourselves. I will give you some example:

1) we didn't choose our height
2) we didn't choose our looks
3) we didn't choose who we would be our parents
4) Most of us work long hours or have to follow work rules whether that be come in 4 days start at 10am etc...
5) We claim we are freethinkers? But when you think about it that is not really true. This is shown by social conditioning e.g. fairer skin associated attractiveness, tall guys more desirable, skinnier girls are seen as more desirable etc...
6) our clothes are influenced by fashion, religion, culture, society etc... This is what makes us wear a certain type of clothes.
7) Most people go with the majority. No one wants to be social outcast they would rather follow others and not be left out.
8) You are made to believe something depending on the country you live in. For example in the West it is liberal ideas and in other countries it may be different.

There are countless examples. It really is interesting when you think about it.

Vitalogy Fri 01-Jun-18 04:59:44

Yes, I agree.
I think it is possible if you cut yourself off from society which is pretty drastic but not an impossible thing to do. Understandably not many are up for it. smile
The rule about not being able to buy some land and building your own modest dwelling on it makes me sad.
I was reading a while back about some homeowners in Florida being banned from using their own power supply after a hurricane, switching off from the grid. Freedoms are getting more and more eroded.

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Fri 01-Jun-18 05:23:31

This has only just occurred to you? It’s called “society”. How have you missed the billions of books, songs, plays, movies, poems, essays written about this?

Iwasjustabouttosaythat Fri 01-Jun-18 05:26:47

“You’re not a ‘human being’, you’re a human ‘doing’.” wink

Vitalogy Fri 01-Jun-18 05:36:52

Thing is, a lot of people do think we're free.

speakout Fri 01-Jun-18 07:15:23

I didn't think for a second that we are free.

I am surprised that you are surprised OP.

OutwiththeOutCrowd Fri 01-Jun-18 09:01:42

I remember studying this poem by Philip Larkin at school.

The widest prairies have electric fences,
For though old cattle know they must not stray
Young steers are always scenting purer water
Not here but anywhere. Beyond the wires

Leads them to blunder up against the wires
Whose muscle-shredding violence gives no quarter.
Young steers become old cattle from that day,
Electric limits to their widest senses.

I agree with Larkin that the limitations placed upon us externally become more obvious as you get older and experience the boundaries for yourself.

What I find particularly scary is the potential for the invasion of the inner prairie. The mind is surely the last bastion of freedom.

Yet already we have Internet sites that want to slip cookies into our pockets like questionable uncles who are interested in knowing our habits and preferences for their own selfish reasons. Ads pop up tied to our browsing activity and it is as if our thoughts are being tracked.

And proper mind reading is also on the horizon. Recently it has become possible to translate neuronal firings in the brain into words in simple cases. The technology is in its infancy but the accuracy and sophistication of the thoughts that can be tracked will surely grow.

Civilisation and 'progress' free us up from the basic fight for survival but are also the means by which other liberties are curtailed.

WiseOldElfIsNick Fri 01-Jun-18 11:19:07

This is really all about basic survival. In a small tribe or group (of basically all social animals), it's beneficial to fit in because the individuals who fit in and are accepted by the group are far more likely to survive and reproduce than those who don't. So hundreds of millions of years of evolution have crafted us into beings who are predisposed to fit in with the crowd.

specialsubject Fri 01-Jun-18 19:43:34

a few statements of the obvious -

if you are bothered by your height or looks you are either a teenager or a twerp. Fashion is for fools, plenty of us can see that the twisted stance of models is ridiculous.

clothes are for climate protection and not inflicting the unattractive bits of thr body (all cleavages, genitalia, bums) on everyone else.

short people, dark people, fat people all find partners.

work means doing stuff that isnt fun, thats why you get paid. fun is what you do for free, which is why some of us volunteer.

I dont have 100% free choice about my life because I share it with someone. it is called partnership and compromise.

Eolian Fri 01-Jun-18 19:58:18

I don't think all your examples have much to do with freedom, OP. Getting to choose your height would not make you free. The existence of fashion does not mean you aren't free. You are free to accept or reject the dictates of fashion. It's true that it's pretty impossible to avoid being influenced by it at all, but as long as you are aware of that influence, you can turn away from it.

noego Mon 04-Jun-18 16:20:21

Unless you are just and observer of 'all'.

Missymoo100 Wed 13-Jun-18 20:30:27

Most people go with the majority. No one wants to be social outcast they would rather follow others and not be left out

This is true and has lead to people doing horrible things- like witch hunts, persecutions, slavery- all because of group think and a desire to blame others for things wrong in life and we are so easily lead by others.
Too much freedom ultimately leads to loss of freedom. Society must have some commonly held beliefs or it won't hold together.
People will never change- we are still the same now as we ever were, we convince ourselves we are more "civilised", we are not changed- we are he same as we ever were.
What is civilized behaviour anyway?, it certainly cannot co-exist with complete freedom.
Complete freedom, leads to disorder and chaos, it causes vulnerability leading to loss of freedom.
As a Christian- my opinion is that only true freedom comes from god.

Jason118 Wed 13-Jun-18 21:20:36

So how does this true freedom from God manifest itself?

Missymoo100 Thu 14-Jun-18 15:15:43

Well in the book of 1 Samuel you see the ancient Israelites asking for a king- they want the king to fight their battles for them. God says they have rejected him and warns that once they have a king that eventually they will lose freedom- your sons and daughters will be put to work for the rulers, rulers will take your land from you etc..
when we have a cohesive society that believe in "truth" they all function well together, increasing strength of the people. Like a well oiled machine all pulling in the same direction.
When you tell people to do as they please, as moral relativism does- it causes chaos and disorder- the centre cannot hold. It's the opposite of building up a civilization.
Communities don't pull together, they fall apart and are likely to have to turn to the government for help, they become more and more dependant.
The more power we hand over to rulers, the more corrupt they become. The more powerful they are- the less power we have. There comes a point when you have lost freedom. So doing what you want/relativism is good in the short term but eventually leads to anarchy, leading to tyranny as the powers that be take advantage and seize control.
I believe in god, and so I believe in ultimate truth- unchanging, transcendent truth. I'm less easily influenced by the zeitgeist. That's why every communist starts an attack on religion before they seize control. It's why when priests who opposed Hitler were thrown into camps.
Where god isn't, the vultures gather..
That's why Jesus said to think of evil in the powers and principalities of this world.
God states, why do you put your trust in humans?
Jesus was asked by Pontious pilate who authorised his death, right before being crucifixtion- "what is truth?" Jesus didn't reply. That's a very telling statement to me.

Missymoo100 Thu 14-Jun-18 15:26:51

Usually truth and what people want to hear are not the same. We end up with relative truth, "my truth is not your truth"- more lies are told, the more of a mess we end up in.
When truth becomes controversial we're all in trouble.
Christians are aware of the nature of people to indulge in lies and partial truth when it suits them- but it comes back to bite in the end.
Freedom is truth, truth comes from god.

Jason118 Wed 08-Aug-18 20:04:37

Interesting stuff, thanks. Seems that you're advocating a fictitious ruler to replace actual ones and in doing so humanity will suddenly change? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

FloralBunting Wed 08-Aug-18 21:26:03

I like different approaches and theories about this. A favourite is the train. If you uncoupled a train from its carriages, shifted the points so it could run off the end of the track and move without restriction across the bare ground, you wouldn't have a free train, you'd have a pointless stationary metal thing.

Stick it back on the rails, hook a couple of carriages to it and let it run on a well stoked fire, and it will live up to it's full potential.

So freedom isn't really what we sometimes think, freedom to do whatever the heck we like without reference to our surroundings or abilities. It's finding out what we are capable of, what our purpose is, and running with that.

It's not perfect, as analogies go, but I do appreciate that sentiment.

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