What are the advantages and disadvantages of freedom?

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There are two essential points to consider when thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of freedom. The first is that freedom is a continuum, not an absolute. If you think about the degree of freedom enjoyed by all the people in the world, you will come up with a spectrum which has, for instance, a wealthy and unattached American or European at one end of it, and a prisoner in a North Korean gulag at the other. Neither of these individuals, however, is completely free or completely unfree; and it may not be obvious where on the line you should draw the division between freedom and unfreedom.

The second point is that, in a society, the freedom of one individual may result in the unfreedom of another. If I am free to hold loud parties that last all night, my next-door neighbor is not free to sleep. Freedom, therefore, becomes a problem when it is burdensome to another.

The question, therefore, is really this: how much freedom is the optimum amount? We can probably agree that the ideal is much closer to the free than to the unfree end of the spectrum. We would rather be the wealthy American than the North Korean prisoner. Many wealthy Americans, however, voluntarily take steps which will obviously limit their freedom, such as starting a family or running for office. The optimum amount of freedom, therefore, obviously differs somewhat with individual tastes.

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The advantage of freedom is that you make your own destiny. As long as you don't interfere with anyone else's freedom or safety, you can do what you want. The disadvantage is that you don't have anyone helping you or providing for you.
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I really enjoy the personal freedoms that I have in this country.  It allows me to make choices about the direction of my life, where I will work, when I will travel, there are any number of freedoms that we use each day without even realizing it most times.

On the other hand, some people do not use their freedom wisely.  We have the freedom to self destruct, to drink ourselves to death, or to drive recklessly, or commit other crimes with the loose reins that we have.

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I agree, wonderful question. The obvious advantages to freedom is that every citizen becomes apart of the government system.  It also allows citizens to become individuals, and gives them a sense of ownership in their country.  The disadvantages is that many people might take advantage of their freedom and use it to hurt others through hate speech or even violent protest.

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Excellent question!  I am reminded of the quote in Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility," or something like that.

With freedom comes great responsibility.  You can't run into a crowded theatre and yell, "FIRE!"  You can, however, speak out against the leadership of the country without the threat of the chopping block.

We are free to do what we want, when we want within reason.  What we want to do can not include breaking the law. 

We also have certain limits put on us by the government for the safety of the community as a whole.  We can drive freely once we've obtained a license, but we can not run traffic lights or stop signs, and we should not speed as these violations put others at risk.

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