Freedom: How Far Should It Go?

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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Freedom and Responsibility Freedom: How far should it go? Before I answer this question, I must examine a few premises concerning freedom.

First of all, it must be understood that with freedom comes responsibility. With freedom of speech comes the responsibility not to use language that might be offensive to others. With freedom of choice comes the responsibility to choose what is right.

The lack of responsibility is what causes the loss of freedom. This has become a way of life, even among small children. When a child watches a TV show that he knows he shouldn't be watching, there follows a just punishment, which is most often the loss of TV for a certain period of time.

Imagine a world without freedom, and without responsibility. This is like a world of robots, programmed to do something, whether or not they like it. It is impossible for these robots to stray from their duty, because they have no free will.

Thus, they grow up lacking certain skills. Decision-making and critical thinking are two prominent skills, which have been proven useful in the real world, yet would be non-existent in this imaginary world.

Now, imagine a world with freedom, but without the responsibilities. This world is too free; there are no boundaries. Anything that is humanly possible can, and most likely will, be done. This includes theft, drug dealing, murder, and various other crimes. This fantasy world has no laws or limitations, and, as a result, no ethics or morality.

To answer the question "How far should freedom go?" I say it should go only as far as the responsibilities that come with it. The world is useless without freedom, yet freedom is terrible without responsibilities. Those who have shown the capability to handle the responsibility ought to be given more...