What is freedom? It's something we all want, well most of us anyway, but do we know what it is? The oxford dictionary gives the following definition of freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think freely. So in other words you can say, do and think whatever you want, but obviously you need to follow the human rights.
The people that live in so called free countries feel that they are slightly more privileged then those living in the “unfree” countries; they can for example marry whoever they choose. But is this so? They look at other culture where fixed marriage from birth is the norm and say that this is wrong. These people need to look at their own life and ask if they can truly marry whoever they like without people in their own community thinking badly of them. Can they marry any race? Any religion? Any gender? Any culture? Will their family disown them if they are homosexual, or feel attracted to some one of a different racial group? Yet these people are brainwashed into believing that they are free and yes the country is free but is the individual free from his own family and community?
Now the power to think freely… That in my opinion would have to include religion. Now obviously no one says that you cannot practise your own religion, but is the freedom of religion you going to your holy place on your holy day and enjoying the social and “spiritual” impact of it or is it you forcing your ideology onto other people? For example teaching children the creation story only, when it might be better to teach them creation and evolution and then when the child gets to his/her age of reason, which varies from person to person, they can make an informed decision on their own.
Like what I said in the beginning your freedom needs to fall into human rights and you cannot destroy someone’s human right because your ideology in your opinion is better than theirs! The only time that someone’s ideology is better than someone’s is when it is backed by solid scientific proof. And scientific proof is not a mad scientist running around publishing his own investigations, it is a mad scientist’s investigations that have been read and peer reviewed and given a 100% thumbs up by all of his peers!
Free speech, this one is a lot harder; as you can very easily offend someone by talking openly and freely. This is why I said freedom needs to be inside the human rights bill. Freedom of speech is not preaching, hatred and genocide or telling people that they are stupid. It is rather being able to tell people what you think of certain issues that are happening in your community and country.
So I guess the questions that we need to ask is: are we truly free? Is it actually possible in modern culture to be truly free?
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