Friday, December 15, 2006

Some thoughts on freedom

The greatest revolutions in human history have all had one over-riding objective in mind: freedom. Of expression. Of religion. Freedom from tyranny or injustice.

Personal freedom is something many of us take for granted. Others dream and scheme and protest because freedom's been denied them. Is there anything left to be said about freedom?

Actually, yes. Today on Thinking With Somebody Else's Head, we'll take a crack at discussing freedom in a new way.

Dante Alighieri, like all of humanity's greatest artists, had a number of things to say on the subject. He weighed in rather definitively, actually, with his observations that mankind is at its best when it's most free.

Adam Smith believed that if you just left people to do whatever they wanted they would rather miraculously do beneficial things.

That all sounds pretty conclusive.

But Shakespeare was a little more cautious: the wise man knows himself to be a fool, he cautioned.

And the great fathers of psychopathology in the twentieth century saw some murky stuff down in our psyches that gave them pause as well before declaring that human beings always do what's right when they have the freedom.

Is it possible that this much sought after condition called freedom hasn't been considered as much as it should have?

Let's find out. Join us for the discussion.

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