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Just What Are Liberty and Freedom?

Updated on September 13, 2017

A Restriction on Freedom

He is now in second grade and he is a nervous Nelly about not getting things just right.
He is now in second grade and he is a nervous Nelly about not getting things just right. | Source

Are Liberty and Freedom Our Duty? You Decide

Let us look at liberty as it is used and perhaps how it should be used. Is freedom the same as liberty or does it constitute something different than liberty? This is a great area for inquiry and thought.

I dare you to look up the definitions with your favorite dictionary and then decide what Liberty and Justice and Freedom mean. I throw in justice there because without justice there is no chance of having the other two within a society.

We also must kind of decide about social liberties and freedoms and personal ones and spiritual ones. The spiritual really does trump the other ones. In that it is all done by ones inner self. You do not need to rely on society to provide for them. In fact the peace that comes from the spiritual one is about distancing oneself from society.

Let us take a quote from a fairly modern day person of interest; “No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.” ~ Alan Watts

We certainly hope you question why this is on this hub. I use it to illustrate that guilt, fear and hollowness of heart are not what is present in liberty and Freedom. We will talk more about Liberty and Freedom as it relates to society. But we pause to peek at what it really means to you and your soul. If you are driven by fear or guilt you are not free.

Now let us look practically. I am free to go to Hawaii. I do not have the money, so I am not at liberty to go. Or is it; I am at liberty to go to Hawaii. I do not have the money, so I do not have the freedom to go.

I like to think of Moses freeing the slaves. After many years they were free to go. We do not say they were at liberty to leave. There must be something in the essence of these words that can guide us to understand the difference. I just cannot believe that this analysis will not yield a deeper understanding of our rights as humans but also wake up our notions of duty and responsibility.

If I am the writer and you are the reader we are stuck with each other in this boat to navigate our own thoughts and how they play out with our spiritual side and our practical social side. I am ready so let us get started in earnest.

I Just Love the Notion of "Freedoms Just Another Word For Nothing Left To Lose"

Enjoying Sunsets Is A Pretty Cool Freedom

Point Loma
Point Loma | Source

We Must Seize Our Liberty

My good friend Charmaine asked a question that led to this hub. https://hubpages.com/politics/answer/284896/do-you-experience-liberty-all-the-time-or-just-right-at-election-time-how-do-you-think-liberty-is#rc_302175

Isn’t that an interesting notion? We experience liberty? Of course we understand that we experience pain, sadness, joy and hunger. Now I do not know or really care about the who or the what or the where but I am lead to understand that nowadays college students do not feel free on campuses. If certain people are allowed to speak their mind other people feel it impinges on their freedom because it does not feel safe. I think I have that right – but for our purpose just take it as a hypothetical so as not to get bogged down in minutiae.

So it would appear that freedom is a feeling. “I am at liberty to speak my mind.” Well I suppose that would be wrong if I didn’t feel safe doing it. Just for a pause, when sailors hit port they are at liberty for a spell. In such case they are not at liberty to hurt others or property. So we could see a case where Bob “feels” he is at liberty to punch Bill but he would be wrong I think.

Doesn’t that mean that feelings in certain circumstances in not at all about a feeling. But then again Joe is in solitary confinement. He gets out to his buddies and gets privileges in the general population. I would assume that while his not free he feels as though he is.

I know a gal who felt tied down in a marriage. She got a divorce. A year later she felt tied down at her job, and with her children. So I think we can feel lack of freedom and liberty. But as her case shows it is not the circumstances but rather her attitude.

Check out the great Clapton/Cream song below. Love can make us feel free maybe.

My wife and I do a lot of praying. It is still kind of mystery to me but it makes us feel free from worry. I suppose with a personal relationship you can just turn over your worries to God. And to be truthful I think in our personal relationship with each other we share our concerns and they lose all the feeling of fear. I wonder if we do not need to share with another in order to be free and at liberty to move on. No I think that is a good and right way but we can do it ourselves also.

I Feel Free

Free To Explore

Children to me are a freedom. I just cannot conceive of them being a burden.
Children to me are a freedom. I just cannot conceive of them being a burden. | Source

Thanks For Freedom Of Expression

One of my favorite guys, Abraham Lincoln said to the effect that obedience of the law is the greatest freedom. I think he was being broad. He was kind of letting it be your choice if you think he means legal law, natural law or God’s law. I think he thought that Justice was when all three meshed.

Assume that I, with malice aforethought and a depraved heart, murdered Mike. The trial goes well and I am acquitted. Free from jail but not free from guilt.

The addict is free and at liberty to take his drugs. Not on your life. You see to be an addict you do not have the freedom from drugs. The drugs imprison you. So for our brother the addict he is not a free man unless he abstains.

I won’t get into a fray on this one but we drop off my son at school and stay for the pledge of allegiance. “Liberty and Justice for all”. Pretty cool I think. My immigrant wife from a communist country nearly cries.

I was lecturing in that same country as they increasing liberties. Or maybe giving more freedom. I had one lecture on the freedom to fail. We must be at liberty to risk. And that liberty means we become unafraid of missing the mark. We innovate, we try new ways. I think it was Edison who said to the effect that he had not faild 2,000 times but found 2,000 ways that did not work. That man was free without fear of failure.

Now, in that I am a preacher man that writes we must address our freedom from our fear of failure in the arts. And in our personal development with the grand spiritual world with God. To me this is fairly easy as I have failed so often at love, failure is assured once I get out of bed. I wonder if I have missed a day in the last month where I did not say “sorry” to my wife.

So to wrap up I think that liberty and freedom do not set well with definitions. Emotions and feelings just are not meant to roll that way. There is no manual or instructions on how to feel. I hope you feel free and at liberty to disagree. And as a man who loves laws, I know that on their own they cannot make us free.

For Some Reason This Song Just Stands For Freedom A Land For Everyone!

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ok you win. Just this last one so people can see nuts in action.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      11 months ago from Australia

      Repent. You are an alleged preacher and lawman?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fine OZZY You have had your piece which is just mean.

      Next one here is deleted. Write a hub yourself.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 

      11 months ago from Australia

      Unless of course people delete fair comments.

      Is a Christian free to mock the disabled? Or to staunchly defend those who do? Yes they are free to do so and lose their souls in the bargain.

      Repent.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perhaps you read this wrong, or didn't. The whole point here was not to make people accept my view but rather to put out there a point of reference and in general ask questions.

      But when I did preach I was blessed to give a sermon and then go to another room meant and did for talking about other's perceptions and ideas and belief.

      As is so often the case those preachers get ousted by the power control elders and priests/ministers.

      So be it, here we have no such restraints. People get to share their opines and question ideas including their own.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      11 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Jesus said there were 'only two' commandments, he also said if we obey them we'll know the truth, and it'll "set us free"

      To me, those are the keys to everything.

      Great hub.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Perhaps our humanity to others is one of the greatest freedoms for the soul. Thank you Nadine.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      12 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Interesting article and my comment would be summed up in one word. UBUNTU

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank for your insights on this issue.

      I am not clear on how our Surgeon General and effects on treatment and acceptance of a SSD work yet but I feel we will soon accept these concepts as a recognizable illness.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      13 months ago from Orlando Florida

      A very interesting a thought provoking article. Freedom must always have some limitations. The question has always been where to draw the line. You use drugs as an example. Freedom should mean being able to do whatever you want to your own body. Yet we have laws limiting that freedom.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Devika. Woody wrote the song during our depression/beginnings of war. It was not released for 10 years as bad timing. Today even Springsteen missed the point suggesting it was lost over the years. He thought he should make it a protest song. Woody would have turned over in his grave. It is a tribute to the human spirit not a condemnation of our failures. It is a dream that applies to the whole world.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      13 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Lots has changed with the'this land is your land'' South Africans are still having that problem.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Yep but with one exception, I can do it for about 20 minutes a day.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      13 months ago from Jamaica

      Yep.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise your comment adds much to the discussion. I am thinking that it was in Plato's Republic where the concept of; For every right there is a corresponding duty, was brought into light.

      I also think that in the comparative religion area from Pagans to Christianity we seem to receive from God and Therefore have a duty to God. "inalienable" rights?

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive there is much to be said about that. But as I have pondered it, by that logic of separation from the material we need to die to be free.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, I do think we need to think about it some more. And I am thinking that as we grow older our thoughts on the matters will change.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      13 months ago from Jamaica

      None of us is free as long as we have money in our pockets

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      13 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great conclusion by which you set us free to continue this discussion, if only in our minds. I like Denise's illustration.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Bill. I hope with some work I can come back to the subject and add more to the fodder.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      13 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Tim thank you for coming by. It did occur that rights are in the equation. But in consideration it seemed those were society made. Like you I am still working on more understanding here.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      13 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      One day, I was teaching a group of high school boys and we were talking about their futures. One boy said that he just wanted to get out of school so he could be free. We talked about it. I told them that just like every coin has two sides, so does freedom. One side is the liberty to do as we want. The other side is the responsibility to keep our actions from encroaching negatively on the lives of others. Until we accept that responsibility, we are not at liberty to be truly free.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Those are words that are used often and as often are twisted to fit the political leanings of individuals....great fodder for thought, my friend.

    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 

      13 months ago from Escondido, CA

      Great article Eric. Good food for thought while considering those two in our spiritual lives. I once looked into freedom, liberty, and a right. I am still digesting it.

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