Friday, September 08, 2006

What does "freedom" really mean?

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
- Graham Greene, novelist and journalist (1904-1991)

It's an awkward way of delivering the message, but the wisdom is within.

If a society has freedom of thought, there will always be those who consider the thoughts of some to be heretical. Departure from the "accepted" way of thinking is usually considered to be heretical by some, perhaps genius or original by others.

This kind of heresy is where ordinary citizens decry the words of one person or a group. If a government does the same thing (usually resulting in imprisonment or worse), there is no freedom of thought. At least no freedom of speech.

Is it possible, then, to have freedom of thought without freedom of speech?

More than one philosopher has claimed that freedom itself means freedom of thought. That means that everyone who believes that he or she has freedom of thought, with or without freedom of speech accompanying it, is "free."

No man can imprison my mind, even if they incarcerate my body.

Within prisons in the western world today, it is possible to use the internet and television to do the same kind of research and learning that anyone can do on the outside. Prisoners can use their minds to explore the world, the extent of recent research on any subject, even the depths of the human mind as easily as a free man. Perhaps more freely than the free man who considers himself to be too busy or too important to take time with matters that will not earn him more money.

If this thought line has confused you, then you are thinking. That is the objective.

What does "freedom" really mean? Who is a "free man?"

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to show each mind how to be truly free.
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