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What is freedom? Do I think I am Free?

What is freedom? Do I think I am Free? Why or why not?

Freedom. It is a term that has mostly been used in historical context to insinuate the coming out of bondage. In my view, freedom supersedes coming out of a particular form of oppression. It entails being free in every way possible. Freedom is the power to act or express oneself or think without any form of restraints. It is the ability to do whatever one desires without being subject to limitation. Freedom is not only of the physical body, but is also of the mind and speech. A free person thinks and does whatever he wants whenever he wants.

Are we free? Am I free? I would easily give a direct answer to the question. Definitely not. I am not free be it physically, emotionally or mentally

Physical freedom comes when there is no restraint on what one can do. Every nation has laws and legislations which are intended to regulate, if not limit, what people can do. Indeed while most statutes will recognize the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens (among others the freedom of movement, speech, protest and assembly), it still evident that I do not enjoy complete freedom. All of these freedoms have limitations. The limitations have been set either to enhance peace and order, or to ensure harmony amongst citizens but the bottom-line is that I am not free to do what I want. Freedo entails doing anything I feel like as long as I am okay with it and not even legislations or the government should restrain me.What is freedom? Do I think I am Free?

Indeed a fair critic would be that it is only reasonable if our freedoms are limited if they are repugnant to justice and morality. Or simply, if they interfere with the freedom of others. But again, this calls for the question, what is morality? Who defines it? And am I bound by the definition given? If the society defines what is moral, then I do not have the freedom of conscience to discern right from wrong. For instance, if legislations provide that my freedom of speech is only limited to non-defamatory sentiments, then it means I am no longer free to make statements which are considered defamatory by the lawmakers. It kills the whole basis of freedom.What is freedom? Do I think I am Free?

As for mental or psychological freedom, I can talk of it from two rationales: legal and moral restraints. From a moral standpoint, people are allowed to reason only with the set social norms and moral standards of a community. If your line of thinking or ideologies differ with what has been accepted as the social norm, then I am likely to be considered an outcast and discriminated. It happens most often with people who proclaim to be pro-LGBT. From a legal standpoint, our laws indeed uphold the freedom of free will including the freedom of conscience and expression. Yet these very laws still limit how far one can go with their freedom of free will.  As a matter of fact, the abuse of this freedom of conscience has been evident in recent debates which have seen moves to delimit free will by introducing mandatory voting. Several countries have adopted this legislation whereby it is a crime to vote and citizens must vote, whether they are willing or not. I can easily conclude that most of the legislations we have, are coercive and whether you like it or not, you have to abide with them. Those who do not, end up being convicted. And this contradicts the whole basis of being free.