The Many Faces Of Freedom In America. Refers To The Definitions Of William C. Havard, Edmund Burke, Robert S. Ross, And William J. Murray

1759 words - 7 pages

There are a multitude of varying perceptions regarding the concept of freedom. Whether the freedom of the individual, of our nation, or of the human race--there is a constant state of conflicting emotions in our country which date back to the colonial days. Just as the new settlers struggled to identify and actuate their ideas of freedom, so do Americans today. Nothing has stricken more personal chords throughout history than the struggle and debate over differing ideologies of freedom. Furthermore, history shows that these debates led to wars which spanned the globe and in which millions of lives were sacrificed for freedoms' cause.As I delved into this complex arena of discussion, I found this ongoing debate internalize within me as I discovered the intensely personal nature of the topic. Many questions arose: How do I, personally, view freedom? Are Americans governed by restrictions of freedoms for the sake of the whole or does the government grant freedoms for the sake of the few? Did our Founding Fathers subscribe to an ideology of freedom that persists today? Or has our centrally controlled government converted our ancestors guidelines of freedom to hold more power over the people? How do opposing views on the allocations of liberties affect the stability of our country as a free society? These are all questions which face many Americans today but I took my research to an even further level of contemplation--the freedom of the human race. This philosophical view brought even more in depth questions such as: Are we as humans capable of handling complete and ultimate freedom? Do we need some sort of guidelines and laws to sustain us as a race? And most importantly, are people ultimately afraid of true freedom? Following is my exploration into these questions.William C. Havard very basically defines freedom as "the ability to make choices and to carry them out". He states that freedom and liberty are virtually synonymous. In order to have complete freedom, people must have no restrictions on how they think, speak, or act. People are responsible for realizing what choices they have and must have the license to act on those choices. Ultimately, to be free, people must not be controlled by anyone else. Yet, Havard states that "no organized society can actually provide all these conditions at all times". Here en lies the core of this continual paradox of freedom."Liberty, too, must be limited in order to be possessed" expressed Edmund Burke. These limitations Burke spoke of ascribes the idea that in order to have a free society, there must be laws. In a legal perspective, as long as society does not impose unreasonable boundaries, people are free. It is, therefore, society's responsibility to protect the people's rights ("liberties, powers, and privileges"). Havard continues: "A free society tries to distribute the conditions of freedom equally among the people". In building this free society, America's Founding Fathers devised a democratic system...

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