* Freedom Is Not License * ---greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
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SpinTech: January 12, 2000
Freedom Is Not License
by Steve Farrell
Freedom and license are not synonyms. Parents know better.
Too many of them have had the unfortunate dilemma of dealing with the "I am free to do as I please" child, who routinely, or upon occasion, exercises that egocentric proclamation to reckless extremes. These parents witness that the widely accepted notion that freedom and moral responsibility are somehow disconnected is at best a delusion instilled by miseducation not experience, and at worse a diabolical lie.
The pain they feel, the shipwrecked lives they labor to pick up and reassemble, the incessant pleadings to stubborn short-sighted children, and the endless nights spent sobbing upon their knees, all testify to parents that unrestrained freedom is not freedom at all, but quite often a terrible, miserable slavery.
Every act has a natural consequence. Experience, that cruel schoolmaster teaches us that. But it is not as if this idea is lacking in proponents.
The voice of religion warns: "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap."
The voice of science seconds: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."
And even the man-on-the-street echoes: "What goes around comes around."
Experience, God, the scientist, and the streetwise, understand this common sense law. Call it the Law of the Harvest, the Law of Physics, the law of the street, or if you will, the boomerang effect, it is dreadfully real that actions for good or evil will bring results which either enlarge or limit one's freedom.
Sexual 'freedom', when thought through, provides a clear cut confirmation of this truth. For instance, the modern doctors of humanism, socialism, and new ageism, proclaim to our youth that pre-marital sex is a healthy, happy, and satisfying activity.
No doubt, it is seems satisfying for the few moments it lasts.
But the choice to be sexually active as a teenager is not the liberating, is not the isn't-that-sweet lifestyle, that the social engineers and social scientists say that it is.
Early, non-marital sex reaps natural consequences: Loss of virginity, damaged or lost church affiliation, guilt, limitations on spousal selection (men exploit sexually active women, but are reticent to marry them), social disease, pregnancy, adoption, abortion (with the even greater moral dilemma of considering killing one's own), early marriage or single motherhood, increased risk for poverty, divorce (with its unpleasant, sometimes unrelenting custody and parenting battles), abuse, and possible enslavement to government welfare programs. The stories are familiar.
Especially, this is so for the female. The male too experiences some of the same, but worse yet, he often flees to the next victim, and the cycle begins again.
For young ladies abandoned to motherhood, even when she is a tough, resilient female, who takes her lumps, transforms her life, bravely bares her child, and wisely go to college to improve her lot, the question must be asked of her, "Are you now free?"
Her answer, most likely will be a resounding "No!". For when the school day is over, and the social and dating ritual begins, she is rightly so, home with the baby, loving, feeding, cuddling, lullabying, and diaper changing. She may be working a job too.
Her social life is non-existent, her chance of finding a worthy young man, dimmed. Her study time, if she hasn't the luxury of affording a sitter (few do), is checkered and challenged. Her life, terribly lonely and stress-filled.
There are exceptions -- but few.
Unrestrained freedom exacts a heavy cost.
Others suffer too: parents in a variety of ways, younger brothers and sisters by example, friends who naively believe that this single parenthood looks like fun, and unrelated citizens who are forcibly taxed to pay for an assortment of social repair programs.
Beyond this, the precedent of extending "safety-net" catches on, and every other mistake ridden person on the block, joins in with the plea: "If the government can take care of him or her, then why not me?"
But there is at least one other cost, it is the cost of those whose exercise in 'liberty', leads them to become bitter rather than better.
There is a little known but documented story of a well known boy and his family, who converted to Christianity. Of that conversion, the changed young man wrote a precious and powerful testimony to the world concerning his new found faith. It had transformed him and his parents, which transformation brought him great joy and purpose in life.
Then something happened. He went to college! Isn't that always the case? It was there, that he, like so many others, decided it was time to spread his wings and assert his new found 'freedom'. He could have done so in a positive manner, but he did not. He choice was to commit adultery with a married woman.
At that point, rather than express regret and redress the mistake, he exulted in his liberty!
He decided his previous religious liberation was a form of physical and emotional slavery. He began to pursue a course to denounce the religion of his parents, his former faith of Judaism, and every other religious faith.
He set his hand against God, denounced God as a hoax, and as an addendum, abolished all "eternal truths." Included in his list were: "Freedom, Justice, etc., ... all religion ... [and] all morality." Man, he said, was the only God, and for that matter, only a few select men. Truth became relative, the family and private property, were two other chief targets for eradication.
He put all this down on paper. He founded a revolution based on these principles. This revolution, first spawned by the self justification of the 'liberty' he had found by violating the law of chastity with a married woman, was the starting point of the most horrific adventure in mass murder, slavery, and poverty, in the history of the world.
Thats right, the boy's name was Karl Marx, the philosophy he founded, Communism. You see, freedom without moral responsibility, never really is an exercise in liberty at all.
-- snooze button (email@example.com), January 23, 2000
Moral resposibility means different things to
different people. Some would say that it is
your moral responsibility to take up arms, go
to another country and kill people for the good
of your own country. Some would say it is moral to
turn in your neighbors when they commit a crime.
Some would deny the right of people to choose
a particular sexual-orientated lifestyle because
it is immoral.
Karl Marx was not trying to create an immoral world
but was trying to look for solutions to injustices
of unbridled capitalism.
-- spider (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2000.
great thought-provoking (the best kind, I think) post. Thank you
-- cin (email@example.com), January 23, 2000.
Just so we know who we're reading here:
"Steve Farrell is a Ph.D. candidate in Constitutional Law at "classics" oriented George Wythe College. He received his bachelors through the University of the State of New York. Previously, Steve served for approximately 11 years in the United States Air Force as an Air Force Communications Security manager, where he ran a small office, and was responsible for aircrew training. Simultaneously, Steve spent eight years in seasonal sales, door to door and in malls, marketing family entertainment products, and "on days off" worked as a substitute teacher for the local school districts. He still puts in some time at the schools.
As a youngster he played high school, college, and semipro baseball, both as a player and a coach. But his passion since the age of 19 has been a rigorous self education in religion, politics, and eventually writing. The process continues.
Besides Steve's work for Right Magazine, he writes a weekly column for the Las Vegas based "True Review," produces Constitutional essays and study guides for American Youth University, and has had several recent columns appear in World Net Daily and the USA Journal Online. Politically, Steve serves on several national committees for the United States Independent American Party, and as a chapter leader for the John Birch Society. He is the happily married father of 7 children. Steve and his wife Jeanette reside in Henderson, Nevada."
-- panjandrum (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2000.
Offered without comment.
-- panjandrum (email@example.com), January 23, 2000.
I am 28 years old. I started having sex when I was in high school, at the age of sixteen or seventeen. I had sex on and off through high school and college. I am living with my fiance, we're getting married on Valentine's Day of this year. We've lived together for the last three years or so.
I have always used condoms and birth control pills, and consequently have never gotten pregnant nor had any social disease. I graduated from high school with a 3.5 GPA, got a couple of scholarships to a good state school, and graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science, Cum Laude. I have never regretted having sex, I have never been troubled with it, and really consider it extraneous to my educational and career success. The men and women I know in my age group have had similar experiences and are similarly unneurotic about sex. I'm sure the author quoted above would call us the exception, but as far as I can see, we're a silent majority.
-- Ruth (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 23, 2000.
Freedom IS License. The assertion to the contrary is made by authoritarians of both left and right, who want to ration freedom to acts that only THEY approve of.
With kids -- "hey kid -- get your ass home by 10:00 and do your homework, otherwise we're turning you over to the county or the church orphanage." If the kid doesn't like it, tough titties -- "Shape up or ship out."
-- A (A@AisA.com), January 23, 2000.