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Are we ever truly free?

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    I dont think we are truly are a freedom society these days. Some seem to think we are but i feel we are under the illusion of freedom by the government policies and ever growing rules as humans develop and the media on how they portray matters or does not disclose certain details - either way even now some of us would say that we are free so here comes the question - At point are we free and whether there is a distinct possibility of freedom in future?
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    Our 'freedom' is an illusion.
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    No the media controls what we know and how we see things. :-/
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    (Original post by alis-volatpropriis)
    Us westerners arguably do have more freedom in comparison to other countries
    To some extent, I disagree with this.

    Arguably, compared to developing countries and newly industrialised, our social provisions allow greater social mobility and award us freedom in that respect.

    However, I think our culture limits the freedom we can achieve that isn't as prevalent in perhaps less commercialised environments. I think our society and media promulgate certain ideals that direct our behaviour, and it's difficult to divert yourself from these 'society lines'.

    To respond to the original question, I think the time where we experience the most freedom is early adolescence - more independence from one's parents but our responsibilities as young adults haven't properly developed. However, I don't think we are ever entirely free - legal, societal, physical and mental constraints apply at any age. And we're never free from death.

    I'm still holding that maybe I'll get to 65 - financially comfortable, still physically able and discover I was completely wrong about everything at 17, which to be fair, is highly likely.
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    (Original post by chelseafan)
    (...) Or is freedom an illusion?
    Yes, it is! If we are considering that we are living in a civilization, in which anybody is dependent to anyone, we aren't free. All people have to do a share in society, otherwise civilization can't work. And that is the point of the matter why freedom is an illusion. We "sacrificed" our one to keep a civilization. Freedom means to do what ever you want and that is impossible in society, because there are limits everywhere in a certain degree.

    In my opinion true freedom is unlimited. As long as you are not responsible just for yourself and living in a civilization, you won't free!
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    (Original post by Americaniamh)
    To some extent, I disagree with this.

    Arguably, compared to developing countries and newly industrialised, our social provisions allow greater social mobility and award us freedom in that respect.

    However, I think our culture limits the freedom we can achieve that isn't as prevalent in perhaps less commercialised environments. I think our society and media promulgate certain ideals that direct our behaviour, and it's difficult to divert yourself from these 'society lines'.

    To respond to the original question, I think the time where we experience the most freedom is early adolescence - more independence from one's parents but our responsibilities as young adults haven't properly developed. However, I don't think we are ever entirely free - legal, societal, physical and mental constraints apply at any age. And we're never free from death.

    I'm still holding that maybe I'll get to 65 - financially comfortable, still physically able and discover I was completely wrong about everything at 17, which to be fair, is highly likely.
    I agree, but I was talking about in terms of freedom of speech, being able to voice your opinion without the fear of persecution. In the western countries, freedom of speech is much more common.
    But you're right in the sense that our culture and media dictates to people, and encourages them to strive for particular ideals in society. Then again, isn't that a Marxist argument? About the dominant idealogy of the ruling class being transmitted through mass media. Like a "keeping up with the jones" kinda thing?

    I kinda like the fact that we are all born to die. Death just adds to that cyclical effect, without death it would be unusual... And weird
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    (Original post by chelseafan)
    Or are we being controlled by the media? Or is freedom an illusion?
    You are NEVER 100 % FREE. It is ilogical anyway. You are subjected to influences of the social groups you live with/in. Apart from that, you freedom is restricted to the physical laws.

    And even if you can imagine a universe where you don't have to obey physical laws, you are still slave of your freedom and cannot escape it.
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    (Original post by Chronist)
    You are NEVER 100 % FREE. It is ilogical anyway. You are subjected to influences of the social groups you live with/in. Apart from that, you freedom is restricted to the physical laws.

    And even if you can imagine a universe where you don't have to obey physical laws, you are still slave of your freedom and cannot escape it.
    That is an interesting consideration which you have wrote in your comment. Thanks for your point of view!
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    We are all influenced. So in that light, we are not 100% free. But we still should be held responsible for our actions as long as we have volition. Those who mind controlled by covert techniques such as mk ultra lack volition. Tbh you could argue that we are all being mind controlled. This debate will never cease to exist....
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    (Original post by Royale)
    Our 'freedom' is an illusion.
    Like Locke's locked room..
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    Well, what is freedom? If your definition of freedom is not being influenced by newspapers, that's a pretty narrow definition of the concept. Talking about media influences is more of a political than a philosophical discussion.

    If by by freedom, you mean total free will, then no, I don't think it does exist. Living in a society with others ensures that you can't possibly always exist on purely your own terms; you will always have to modify your thoughts and behaviour to interact with others. And therefore you can never really live life completely on your terms, which is at least one definition of being free.
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    We can never know if we're truly free, but in my opinion you'll definitely never be 'free' if you spend your life deliberating over whether or not you are truly free.
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    No, we are subject to our conditioning. We are fed a select stream of information and an established historical narrative. The scope of our discourse is narrowed to fit an agenda. True knowledge is elusive.

    We are not free because we live in a deterministic universe. We are limited by our genes, our upbringing, the values we are instilled with, our environment, the limits of the human condition. There is no such thing as true free will.

    Different forms of pursuing happiness is not tolerated by the authoritarian nature of our governments. We are not allowed or encouraged to explore our own conciousness. The western way of life is severely restricted, focused on commodity fetishism, consumerism and material gain. We are stuck in this constant cycle of always departing but never arriving. Living in the future and the past, but never the now.
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    (Original post by Stefan1991)
    No, we are subject to our conditioning. We are fed a select stream of information and an established historical narrative. The scope of our discourse is narrowed to fit an agenda. True knowledge is elusive.

    We are not free because we live in a deterministic universe. We are limited by our genes, our upbringing, the values we are instilled with, our environment, the limits of the human condition. There is no such thing as true free will.

    Different forms of pursuing happiness is not tolerated by the authoritarian nature of our governments. We are not allowed or encouraged to explore our own conciousness. The western way of life is severely restricted, focused on commodity fetishism, consumerism and material gain. We are stuck in this constant cycle of always departing but never arriving. Living in the future and the past, but never the now.
    Pretty much nailed it
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    Of course my answer cannot philosophically exceed the answer given above, however in response to the statement itself one cannot attain absolute liberty and exemption from constraint. Regardless of the media are lives are controlled by our own sense of decency, moral code, common sense and foresight and a general inhibiting restriction of the scope of our minds, whereby one's notion of freedom is considered tame by another's while at the same time another may consider there choices with regards to being free daring and dashing. Freedom is what you make of it.
    The Lord Hudson
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    nope.. coz society sucks.
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    Just posting to watch the thread.
    I find this debate really interesting and some of the answers have been great so far! Really insightful.
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    (Original post by alis-volatpropriis)
    I agree, but I was talking about in terms of freedom of speech, being able to voice your opinion without the fear of persecution. In the western countries, freedom of speech is much more common.
    But you're right in the sense that our culture and media dictates to people, and encourages them to strive for particular ideals in society. Then again, isn't that a Marxist argument? About the dominant idealogy of the ruling class being transmitted through mass media. Like a "keeping up with the jones" kinda thing?

    I kinda like the fact that we are all born to die. Death just adds to that cyclical effect, without death it would be unusual... And weird
    That is true about strong civil liberties.

    I suppose in a way it is a Marxist argument, but I still think it holds some legitimacy. Many if not most western societies are structured in a progression from education to employment to retirement. This structure strongly inhibits our freedom. We even have an term for an optional time period to break from this progression - a gap year. I'm not sure if it's necessarily the idea of the ruling class this is being transmitted - in fact, many rich people retire quite young I've heard.

    That is true. This is going to seem quite pedantic but Samuel Johnson once commented that death concentrates the mind. It forces us to live narrowly - we have to do what pleases us. I suppose with an infinite lifetime it would be hard to justify doing what we wish to as we would have all of infinity to do it. Nonetheless, we cannot chose not to die and this, I suppose, is the final and absolute constraint on our freedom.

    Sorry if horrible typos - terribly tired!
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    The power of the mass media, social expectations and norms, and the law itself place enormous barriers around our freedom, and we are punished both socially and legally if we break these barriers. (Such as not following trends, or actually breaking the law.)
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    Freedom would mean we would be able to do anything we want. For example, travel the world which we cant do because of boarders. We are a society that justs copies each other because doing otherwise would be seen as 'weird'.

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