Freedom is a concept based on the power of a person to exercise his or her will. This capacity for personal choice is manifested when a person wants something and bends his or her thoughts and efforts toward its realization. Buddha and the supreme God are examples of people who have achieved absolute freedom. Unfortunately, many people have not yet reached the level of freedom that they desire. Freedom is more complex than the ability to do whatever we want. Without it, anarchy and tyranny can reign. In general, the word freedom is often associated with the concept of Negative liberty. In 1943, Norman Rockwell painted the famous Four Freedoms series, which honored the Four Freedoms of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Although there are many similarities between the positive and negative versions of liberty, there are some differences between the two. Negative theories tend to consider only external obstacles as the constraint to freedom, while positive theories allow for internal factors and purpose. Both theories emphasize the importance of the individual’s perspective on freedom. For example, both positive and negative theories can be valid, though each type can be harmful to freedom. While both types of liberty are important, they differ in the ways they define them.
The first type of freedom is the cosmological freedom Kant discusses in Critique of Pure Reason. It is Kant’s definition of freedom that has been most influential in contemporary philosophy. While he does not discuss the abuse or arbitrariness of freedom, he does address the question of the legitimacy of freedom and its relation to justice. But this does not mean that Kant is against freedom in any sense. Rather, he sees it as an important component of moral law.
Ultimately, freedom means the ability to make choices. Freedom can’t be realized in isolation from other things. Everybody faces constraints in their lives. In fact, the degree of freedom that someone experiences will depend on how they respond to those constraints. Political constraints require individual discipline, and those who are constrained by such systems may not be able to exercise freedom. For example, if a government restricts political freedom, a person’s freedom to demonstrate might be severely limited.
Free speech is an important aspect of freedom. Whether an individual wishes to be free to express themselves or to speak freely, they have the right to do so. And the same goes for free speech. The Oxford dictionary defines freedom as the power to speak, think, and act without restrictions. Further, freedom is defined as the power to express oneself freely without the fear of stigma or judgement. These characteristics of freedom are vital to the wellbeing of an individual, and are inherent in a free society.
After discussing the definitions of freedom, students can present a tableau depicting societies that lack certain freedoms. The other half of the class can then examine the tableau as though it were a museum, looking for any freedoms that were violated. As students present their works, the freedoms of others, as well as our own, can be discussed. Then, students can discuss the freedoms they want to enjoy in their daily lives. If the students are able to come up with a list that includes these three freedoms, they can call it a “free society.”