View Poll Results: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

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    30 83.33%
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Thread: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

  1. #21
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I'm not so sure that's a universal truth. I think there's a bit of ethnocentrism in believing that ALL humans feel the same most Americans do.
    I agree.

    "Live free" is a rather vague term. Above all most people value freedom from want. This conversation can only occur between people with full bellies.

    But anyone who has traveled will [hopefully] have encountered cultures with very different perspectives. Many cultures value cohesion/harmony of the group above personal ego gratification(freedom). Generally, it is a characteristic that enhances group survival. Exile, the ultimate personal freedom, was not considered a reward.

  2. #22
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    I'm not sure why anyone would want to be under somebody's jackboot, but if they do, they can join a cult. Don't force it on me

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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    I'm not so sure that's a universal truth. I think there's a bit of ethnocentrism in believing that ALL humans feel the same most Americans do.
    Good point.
    I've recently been reading a lot of cultural anthropological stuff- rereading Margaret Mead, etc.
    Children are raised differently in less-developed cultures: talked to less, held and carried more. As a result, they are slower to develop a sense of autonomy, but they are much more compliant than American youngsters.
    This makes sense from a practical perspective, in a third-world culture where actual physical survival depends upon everybody pitching in and doing their part for the common good; in a tribal village in sub-saharan Africa during drought season, there's not much room for iconoclasts, primadonnas, rebellious toddlers, or juvenile delinquents. Everybody has to be part of the community and work together, or the community will not survive.

    So, depending upon what sort of culture one is raised in, plus a lot of environmental factors, the Western idea of "freedom"- ie individuality, autonomy, privacy, etc- might be almost unthinkable, and not at all desirable.
    On the other hand, we in the West might never comprehend the benefits of their way of life. For starters, I would think that they would never be lonely.
    Last edited by 1069; 10-17-09 at 12:41 AM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Freedom is the ability to make choices in accordance with our will. I'm simply wanting to know if most humans desire these circumstances.
    I can think of some 16 year olds who would enthusiastically agree with your statement.
    Most mature to appreciate structure and limitations....and freedom within a structure.

  5. #25
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    Freedom is the ability to make choices in accordance with our will; what rational human being does not possess this desire at their core, even if they content themselves with the status quo?
    I guess if that's how you define it, then yes. Everyone wants to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want. I thought you were asking in a more general sense: do all rational humans desire to live in a free society? In which case the answer would definitely be no. And even among those who do value freedom (in the same sense you define the word), in certain parts of the world other things might take priority over freedom: Stability, protection of traditional values, helping the poor, family, religious purity, democracy, making a lot of money, finding a job, etc.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 10-17-09 at 06:03 AM.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Said no because of the lack of definition.

    to live free is exactly what? To do whatever we want? Then we are all free. To vote.. then again no. To have opinions and voice them, then maybe.. all depends on the definition.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I wouldn't phrase it quite like that, but most of the world's population views "freedom" in very different terms than European-based cultures do, and it may not be a high priority. For example, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela are very happy nations.



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    thats it - i am moving to Saudi Arabia and getting married to a 12 year old hottie.

    what else can they be so happy about there ?

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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    i think the more relevant question is do humans wish their neighbors to be free ? or do they wish to be prison guards ?
    Last edited by NEUROSPORT; 10-17-09 at 10:30 AM.

  9. #29
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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    This is the first really intresting discussion I've come across since I got back from vacation, thanks. A lot of good points made by several people...even people I usually don't agree with on much.

    I think we are born with a will and a desire to act on it. I think if you've spent much time around toddlers this is self-evident.
    Then we start realizing there are things we can't do, and things others will prevent us from doing, and we naturally find this frustrating.

    Some people never get past this stage, of "I wanna!"... sociopaths, and some of the less-mature among the anarchist crowd.

    As we grow up and become more rational, many of us begin to realize there is some value in at least some rules. Driving on one side of the road, for example, instead of whichever side your mood inclines you to, is an example of a good rule or good law. My freedom is enhanced by this rule, because it makes it easier and safer for everyone to get where they are going without getting into an accident.

    So a certain limited amount of structure, and certain types of rules, actually enhance freedom moreso than an absence of all rules.

    I'm in favor of necessary laws/rules that ultimately enhance the freedom of citizens as a whole.

    Where we start running into trouble is when laws become arbitrary, or show favoritism to specific groups, or unnecessary or irrational laws are passed; or prior-constraint laws imposed because someone just might abuse a right.

    The devil is in the details, of course, and perspectives differ.

    Personally, I was always kind of with Ted Nugent: I associated Freedom with God, Guns and Guts.

    I remember being shocked when I first found out that some people literally equated "freedom" with "someone else pays for what I want."
    The ignorance involved in such an attitude is simply incredible.

    Now, "rational" people...hmm...

    I think we might have another definitional problem. I would appear that most Saudi's prefer Sharia to freedom. Are they rational? They think they are. Many of us would disagree.

    I would appear that many Asians are more group-oriented and structure-oriented than most Westerners, and many seem to place a higher value on order than on individual freedom. Is this a rational position? Within the context of their culture, perhaps it is.

    Then, there's the difference between political freedom, economic freedom, and social freedom.
    Political freedom may allow me to do something, but if I lack the resources (money) I may still be unable to do that thing. Leaving aside whose fault it is that I lack the money to do X, what good does political freedom do for the desperately impoverished? Some good perhaps... at least the legal possibility of upward mobility is there, but it might or might not be possible in a practical economic sense.
    There are social constraints as well. While it might be legal for me to do a certain thing, I might not be able to do this thing openly without censure from my neighbors and community. That is, I have the right to do it, but if I exercise that right, my friends and neighbors will shun me and I will be socially isolated.


    It's a more complicated issue than it seems on the surface.


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    Re: Do Rational Humans Desire to Live Free?

    So a certain limited amount of structure, and certain types of rules, actually enhance freedom moreso than an absence of all rules.
    To steal an idea from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, there are two kinds of freedom: freedom from, and freedom to.

    In a society without rules, there is only freedom to: freedom to do whatever we want, to have whatever we are strong and ruthless enough to take.

    In a repressive society, a society with overmany rules, there is not much freedom to, but a lot of freedom from: freedom from violence, freedom from injustice, etc. In other words, protections.

    I think most people want a good balance.

    Actually, I suspect that deep down in their hearts, most people would love to have both types of freedom: freedom to do whatever they wanted, and also freedom from being victimized by others who are doing whatever they want.
    Obviously, though, one cannot have both in a fair and equitable society, one where every individual is granted the same rights.
    One must choose, or find a balance.
    I think to a large extent, in our society, the affluent enjoy a lot of both types of freedom, at the expense of the poor, who get little of either.
    It's probably that way in every society, though.

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