Americans take pride in their individual freedoms above safety. We as Americans have fought for our freedom since the building of our great nation. In the past, the people of America took pride in their freedom as a nation and a group of people. During the time, safety was an irrelevant issue. However, as time progressed to what we consider a contemporary society; safety became a co-existing factor in the systematic balance. Constant threats and dreadful attacks have been made by people because they were considered to have “too much freedom”.Safety in our everyday lives did not become prompted until people have taken drastic measures to ensure their freedom. Drastic measures have been taken by people because “too much” freedom was placed into the hands of the people. The correlation of freedom and safety now lingers onto a thin delicate balance that can be toppled when there is too much of freedom or safety. In today’s contemporary society, people not only want freedom, but they also feel the need for safety in their everyday lives. H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) wrote, “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.
” His statement over the topic may have been true for the time, but in today’s society, matters have changed dramatically in that safety and freedom are needed. The topic of freedom and safety has been constantly debated. In order to fully understand the situation, definitions must be provided. Freedom is defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint”. In other words, freedom is a power that is passed down to the people from the local and national government. On the other hand, safety is defined “as the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury.”
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Interestingly enough, these definitions overlap. Ambiguity and confusion seem to be interwoven in this case. These definitions are an underline proof that the average man desires both freedom and safety. No matter how the question is phrased, the same pragmatic, convoluted response should be given. Freedom and safety are relative to each other, usually tipping back and forth like a seesaw. The balance between each virtue is rather delicate, but always negotiable, depending on the influence of events at home or even internationally.
Freedom is the benchmark of the American value system. As long as Americans remain to place importance on freedom, it will endure. Safety is equally significant, but often manipulated. Most Americans seem to be rather susceptible when it comes to the safety of the nation state and will usually agree with legislation that will "make us safer". To this discussion, there are usually two opposing sides. The sides in this situation are people who stay faithful to pure freedom and people who are aficionados of safety.
Some people have belief that freedom is the only thing that matters and that freedom should be the prioritized factor across the nation. On the other hand, there are people who believe that safety is more important. On both sides, however, there is always an argument involved with gun control. Recently, there has been an uncontrollable force that has swept across America and that is the use of guns for mass murdering. The Sandy Hook incident left people traumatized. During this issue, people who stand true in safety want nothing less than the ban of wielding arms. "...
the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence.... " (Sandy Hook quotes). At the same time, those for freedom still want to be able to wield arms even though such tragic events have occurred. Even though there is a constant heated debate over the topic of freedom verses safety, there always has to be a fine line that defines both freedom and safety. With the latest shooting tragedy in Colorado, gun control is undoubtedly on everyone's mind. People who have a stance with "pro-gun" seem to cite freedom, liberty and the 2nd amendment while talking about their right to carry guns.
And people who are "anti-gun" might cite the safety and well-being of the general public, as criminals and people with mental disorders will not have such easy access to weapons that kill. People who say that freedom and safety have no correlations, and that safety is more important than freedom or freedom is more important that safety, have not considered it’s daily applications. In society today, people demand both freedom and safety. While more and more Americans demand freedom to do things as they please, they want the feeling of protection and safety.
Safety is needed when more freedom is given. An example of this lies in our homes. As children have later curfews as they grow older, their parents demand for more of their own protection for their children. Ultimately, curfews are reasonable guidelines and should be followed. It is important to maintain respect for your parents and the rules they set throughout your adolescent years. “While it may seem unfair or unreasonable at the time, you will eventually realize how beneficial such rules were and will thank your parents for looking out for your well-being. ” (Why Curfews Should Be Enforced).
This correlation is evidence that with more freedom, people need more safety to keep them in check and to keep people in line. Freedom in this case cannot exist without the need for safety and safety is not necessary if there is no freedom. Freedom and safety are desired by everyone. However, unlike popular belief, they cannot be separated. Like a well-balanced formula, freedom and safety intertwine in a well-defined system. In this contemporary society, freedom is important for the liberties of the people; however, safety is important for the security of the people. Both freedom and safety are important factors for people today.
Boundaries of Freedom
The human rights of an individual play a very important role in his or her everyday life. The right to life, liberty, property, and freedom of speech are just some of the human rights that an individual is entitled to. He or she should have these inalienable rights for the very reason that he or she is a human being and he or she needs these in order to live a life with decency and dignity. Nevertheless, the freedom and rights that people have sometimes tends to conflict with the rights of others.
This is due to the fact that individuals have different interests that sometimes overlap or create disagreement among people. As a result, the exercise of an individual’s freedom and human rights also has its limitations. The boundaries of freedom are observable in time of national crisis as well as in the government’s operation to give secure its citizens from harmful threats. In time of national crisis, the security of the citizens of a particular country is greatly challenged.
This is also the instance by which the government needs to exercise more than ever their authority to safeguard the rights and protect its citizens. Due to this, the boundaries in the freedom of people are most observable. In most countries especially in democratic ones, the government acquires its authority because the people entrusted them to uphold and protect their rights. In this sense, the government has the responsibility to lead and protect the people. The decisions and actions that they need to do in time of national crisis entails that it should be for the good of the greater number of people (Semonche, 2002).
If the practice of an individual’s right will jeopardize the welfare of many people then the government have to do the necessary action to address this issue including preventing the individual to practice such right. Simply put, the limitation of an individual’s freedom is seen when he or she infringe upon the rights of another. During instances when the security of the people are threatened like in terrorist attacks, the government should do the possible means necessary in order to combat those violent perpetrators.
However, the government should be mindful that they should not infringe upon the freedom and personal rights of the people. They should see to it that in times of operations or war, the innocent bystanders should not be involved. They have to make sure that there should be very minimal numbers of civilian casualties (Semonche, 2002). Moreover, the government should know their limitations. The government should always keep in mind that in every operation that they will make the greater good for the majority of the people should be implemented.
Lastly, before entering into any armed combat they should be sure that it is a just war wherein the result is greater than damage it will inflict while in the state of war. Reference Semonche, J. (2002). Constitutional Rights in Times of National Crisis: An Historical Perspective. Retrieve February 24, 2009, from http://www. ibiblio. org/semche/history/civlib. html. http://www. ibiblio. org/semche/history/civlib. html http://www. un. org/News/Press/docs/2004/gashc3793. doc. htm http://www. campus-watch. org/article/id/891
Human Rights and Present Human Freedom
Freedom is a concept that refers to many aspects of human life. I believe that is defined as the ability that people have to do or not something, and do it in a way or another. I also believe that is possible to understand freedom as that state in which a man is not being imprisoned or enslaved by another; it is a concept that refers to all aspects related to independence. This concept is something that has made us think in many ways, because many times, the do what we want, can take us to the wrong path, which may end up making us lose it.
Since the beginning of man to the present human freedom has played an important role in it but not the way we wanted to remember. A great example was Egypt; there existed on the banks of the Nile an extreme amount of slaves that contributed to the creation of the same. What I mean is that human freedom has been leaving a mark very strong throughout man's existence but erroneously because it is not characterized by the excess of it, on the contrary, is characterized by its absence.
Slavery is not a story of the past, it is true that it was practiced more frequently in it but even in our times can be found slaves, this slavery can be accepted or not, for the slave. There are several types of freedom, among which are the freedom of expression, that is based in that every human being has the right to free speech, this is a right that I believe that we are only ones can make it count because we are responsible to find ways of how we want to express.
Also, freedom of opinion that says that we live in a democratic world so we have the right to give our opinions, regardless of whether it is our view and we are free to make it known; freedom of worship which is based on that we all come from a family with religious beliefs that we learn from childhood, and society teaches us that there are many more religions that we have to accept equally, and that each individual has the freedom to choose and defend their beliefs.
The freedom of choice each individual has to choose freely what they want without having anything to stop them doing that and the latest, freedom of decision which states that each person is the only responsible who can decide what does or does not do with his life.
As Charles Evans Hughes said, “When we lose the right to be different, we lose the privilege to be free”. Freedom is an instrument double-edged, means to do what you want, while not against human nature; to regulate this freedom there are laws, which are the rules from the order is born so no one has more freedom than other, and nobody thinks that their freedom is more valuable than another. It is double-edged because this is the same trap that should not escape, and being a runaway freedom means being taken prisoner in bondage, there is his trap, care freedom makes us all prisoners of the slavery of be free, but this brings us the ability to think, speak, hear and do it without fear of being penalized, punished or exterminated.
Any other slavery, don´t. I believe that freedom in general is the lack of limitation for action. This has been present for years in the world, where it has been very important. From my point of view, the greatest attribute of being free is that we always have the decision last us. We can decide and be free to do what we want or what we want it or not oblige.
Definition Essay- Mental Freedom It has been said that the mind is a powerful instrument and whatever the mind perceives, the body can achieve. Although these statements are used very often, the power that the mind holds is still underestimated in my opinion. Mental freedom means being able to express the constructive qualities of the mind easily and more understandably. These qualities include self-expression, analysis, responsibility, patience, etc. Though physical freedom is important, one should also remember that this physical liberty is almost insignificant without being mentally free.
It is through this mental freedom that one can be able to have an open mind and be able to reach their highest potential. Also, being able to enlighten others and move forward as a community. However, this freedom is often overlooked because of the mindset of an individual, community or society on a whole. It is also not easily seen unless being contrasted by the term ‘mental slavery’ which is more commonly spoken about in society. The word mental means ‘of or relating to the mind’ and slavery means to be in a state of subjection.
Slavery is also synonymous to the word bondage and emphasizes the idea of being controlled. Therefore, the phrase ‘mental slavery’ implies one’s thoughts being controlled by someone else and being forced to think the way that person does and not being able to express one’s personal train of thought. Being mentally enslaved is dangerous because it leads a person to eventually having a lack of individuality and readily accepting and believing what is told to them. In extreme cases, it may even lead to self-hate.
When a person has this state of mind, it proposes many problems because it gives way to this person letting go of their culture, traditions, or heritage, and these are the qualities that allow society to be as diverse as it should be. One can almost say that mental bondage destroys a person psychologically because they begin to lack, or no longer possess, originality. Having that lack of originality may be self-restricting as this is a quality that helps one to reach their highest potential.
As the prolific and popular American writer, James F. Cooper, once said, “All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that, which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity. ” Therefore, being mentally enslaved, or lacking that mental freedom, inhibits growth and causes one to create a mental prison for themselves, thus leaving no room for independence.
Having that lack of independence may cause a person to be subjected to any kind of power from a majority, not necessarily because they hold the most legitimate viewpoints, but because they seem to be the strongest group. Henry David Thoreau, an American writer and philosopher best known for his attacks on American social institutions, believed firmly in the importance of independence, individuality and self-reliance.
Thoreau spent a night in jail refusing to pay taxes in protestant of the Mexican War and disconnected himself from the American government ideologically to indicate his refusal of participation in their institutions. This was Thoreau’s mental freedom from the government’s view of slavery during the 1800’s and he was able to state this on paper when he wrote his essay Civil Disobedience which showed his objections against the actions of the government. Thoreau’s essay spoke about transcendentalism, a philosophy that shows the importance of mental freedom.
This philosophy rejects the idea that knowledge can be fully derived from observations of the physical world or through the experiences of others, but rather through the individual examining how they came to know things. This idea targets the individual analyzing their own thought-process and focusing on their own connections and experiences which can only exist through intuition and feeling, and not through the information or thoughts others try to feed them.
According to this philosophy, through mental freedom, one should be able to gain self-reliance and individuality which is critical for people to find truths within themselves and live their lives through reason and not based solely on the opinions of others. Another famous writer whose work demonstrates the importance of mental freedom is Fredrick Douglass. However, in this case, Douglass was not only mentally enslaved but also physically a slave. In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, An American Slave, he tells his story of being born a slave and the struggle it took to really know what hat meant. As he gets older, he is taught an important lesson, the power of literacy, after his master forces his wife to stop teaching a young Douglass how to read. Fredrick Douglass then determines to continue his education by befriending white children and learning how to read and write from them. This is the point in his life where he realizes one can only be kept in slavery as long as they are in ignorance. Douglass then becomes mentally emancipated from the idea of him having to be someone’s slave and destines that he would no longer have someone control him.
In the future, he is able to buy his physical freedom from his slave master and become a famous antislavery writer that tells his story about how he broke away from bondage and helps others still caught in its trap. From the story of Fredrick Douglass, one can see that just his refusal to accept himself as a slave and not be limited to what his masters wanted of him, he was able to reach his full potential and also enrich the lives of others who need to gain mental liberty. Also, his mental freedom led to his physical freedom.
Through the experiences of Thoreau, Douglass and other daily examples in society, such as inner city teens limiting themselves by not going to college because they see it pointless if they are not as privileged as other children with well-paying jobs and careers, one can see how important it is to be mentally free and not create psychological prisons for oneself. Mental freedom means showcasing and expressing individuality and building up motivation and confidence within that individual.
It also means exhausting the possibilities of restricting oneself to a point that someone else thought they should not pass and enlightening others on their way to exceeding those restrictions. An enslaved mind is like a blind person; they only know the world through the opinions of others around them, but unless that blind person decides to help themselves, or that person decided to be mentally free, then can they have their personal experiences that give way to a higher potential in life.
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