"Freedom" Definition essay

Essay by ankitandgeghamHigh School, 11th gradeA+, October 2008

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Ask anyone, and they will tell you that they want to be free. However, when asked to define what freedom means, people usually have a difficult time coming up with a concrete definition. The common answer of “freedom means doing whatever I want, whenever I want” generates many conflicting questions. What if one’s “free” actions are harmful to others? Should he then still have the freedom to keep acting that way? Freedom is too abstract of an idea to be defined accurately and precisely. The notion that someone c an be unequivocally free is absurd. Most of the time, one person’s freedom is another person’s restriction.

Many great minds have tried to define freedom. Astrophysicist Andrew Galambos once said that “Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full control over his property.” I take that to mean that since one’s body is his own property, he is free to do with it whatever he wants.

So if he decides to smoke or take drugs, it should be his full right to do so, unless, that is, he does it around others without their consent. Likewise, driving recklessly, hence endangering his life, should be his natural born right as well. However, that brings in the questions of ownership of the roads themselves, and the consideration of other individuals on the road at the time of his driving. Considering the implications of one’s actions case by case certainly puts great limitations on an individual’s “freedom” based on the idea of property rights.

The government is a hindrance to freedom, sometimes more often than necessary. In Turkey, the question of freedom touches on religious, hence deeply personal issues. In recent attempts to westernize the country, the government has been trying to liberate women by persuading them to takeMelkonyan 2off...