Do you even liberty bro?
"You're guilty of a great sin, Mr. Rearden, much guiltier than they tell you, but not in the way they preach. The worst guilt is to accept an undeserved guilt - and that is what you have been doing all your life. . . . Your own moral code - the one you lived by, but never stated, acknowledged or defended - was the code that preserves man's existence. If you were punished for it, what was the nature of those who punished you? Yours was the code of life. What, then, is theirs? . . .
"Mr. Rearden," said Francisco, his voice solemnly calm, "if you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of this strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders - what would you tell him to do?"
"I . . . don't know. What . . . could he do? What would you tell him?"
Please allow me to tell some information about myself which you may have seen in my profile. I'm a Chinese and I believe in Buddha. The most important thing you have to know is that I'm a English beginner and I stay at this website just for learning English. So, at the first I saw this challenge from you, I wanted to decline, because I even didn't get your point and I would be sniped by you definitely. But your name changed my mind and made me understand your point a little bit.
In short, to have accepted your challenge is only for expressing out my ideas of liberty and libertarian, meanwhile learning something from you. I hope that won't let you feel down.
As the dictionary says, If someone is libertarian or has libertarian attitudes, they believe in or support the idea that people should be free to think and behave in the way that they want. Liberty is the freedom to live your life in the way that you want, without interference from other people or the authorities.
Buddha ever said that if you want to get wisdom, you must get rid of trouble from earthliness. Therefore monks choose to live far away from city and in a remote place. For the similar reason, if you want to get pure liberty, you must do the same thing like a monk. As long as you live with people in the society, you cannot "be free to think and behave in the way you want" all the time. We will be pinned down here and there, whatever our thoughts or behaviors.
In my mind, the world in your brain is just like a map and everybody has a different map which is different from the real world map. Because we born different, experience different, so we react different. The thing is how you could know which part of your map was created by yourself, which was piled in by others. Maybe you havn't realized that we are hypnotised by everything and everyone around you everyday! The hypnosis process is not able to be rejected. We believe we are free mind, but the fact is that even the last word you said might be forced by somebodyelse. Think about why you couldn't control your temper when you yelled at your wife last time, why you've bought a beautiful product even if you found it useless at the timeyou back home. Have you got this experience--When you stay in a elevator waiting for the 20th floor's door, you start to hum a song unconsciously. You think that's your will?
We live in a huge box, we want to flee, even though you get away from it, you will find you are in another huger box again.
We just live in this big net. We affect others and be affected by others, that's the way we are.
So, liberty? No way!
Thank you Brucewang!
Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state-and nothing else.
A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone's orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone's opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument. (An example and symbol of this attitude is Galileo.)
It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds-from the intransigent innovators-that all of mankind's knowledge and achievements have come. (See The Fountainhead.) It is to such minds that mankind owes its survival. (See Atlas Shrugged.)
Do not be misled . . . by an old collectivist trick which goes like this: there is no absolute freedom anyway, since you are not free to murder; society limits your freedom when it does not permit you to kill; therefore, society holds the right to limit your freedom in any manner it sees fit; therefore, drop the delusion of freedom-freedom is whatever society decides it is.
It is not society, nor any social right, that forbids you to kill-but the inalienable individual right of another man to live. This is not a “compromise” between two rights-but a line of division that preserves both rights untouched. The division is not derived from an edict of society-but from your own inalienable individual right. The definition of this limit is not set arbitrarily by society-but is implicit in the definition of your own right.
Within the sphere of your own rights, your freedom is absolute.
I totally agree that "Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man's mind". However, a rational mind will work under compulsion as well as under freedom, even better sometimes. Think about the scientists of German in world war II, who even built a flying saucer. You have gave an example of Galileo. Yes, Galileo had demonstrated heliocentric theory under the control of pontiff and theism! What is the "grasp of reality " for Galileo at that time when he would be punished to die if he didnt quit his new discovery? Two things in his mind: 1. The earth goes around the sun;2. If I say out 1 again, I will die for sure. At last, he made a right choice which just had proved he was a normal person not like Bruno(I admire Bruno and his spirit very much, no offense at all). Galileo had got so much achievement not because of the freedom he owned, just because he is cleverer than others and the conditions he had freely(learning condition, education from his loving-music father, datas from Descartes, ect ).
When I was a little boy, the "old collectivist trick" you refered to was very popular. But we were only told that: "there is no absolute freedom anyway, since you are not free to murder." I really don't know where the other part comes from. Anyway, I don't see anything wrong in it. Imagine there is no this limit around us, what will happen? People will try to kill and struggle to be a king definitely. They won't because of other's right??? No kidding, my fantast. Individual's right just comes along with the progress of society, which means we had no individual right at the earliest time when mankind appeared. Think about our ancestor ape, they even kill eachother. My opponent says "It is not society, nor any social right, that forbids you to kill-but the inalienable individual right of another man to live. " and " The definition of this limit is not set arbitrarily by society-but is implicit in the definition of your own right." Individual right is derived from individual right of another man. It's so contradictory.
My opponent has refered to rational mind. That's very good. Maybe you got a rational mind, but not everyone does. I mean if a naked Angelina Jolie was standing before you, could you hold not to erect....
"Intellectual freedom cannot exist without political freedom; political freedom cannot exist without economic freedom; a free mind and a free market are corollaries." This is really like an old chinese slogan at the cultural revolution period. I don't see any logic in it.
Everybody is a part of a whole. We affect eachother, connect eachother and restrict eachother just like a cell in a body. If you find one cell who goes away from its position, two possibility: he's died or he's cancerous.
Individualism is the idea that the individual's life belongs to him and that he has an inalienable right to live it as he sees fit, to act on his own judgment, to keep and use the product of his effort, and to pursue the values of his choosing. It's the idea that the individual is sovereign, an end in himself, and the fundamental unit of moral concern. This is the ideal that the American Founders set forth and sought to establish when they drafted the Declaration and the Constitution and created a country in which the individual's rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness were to be recognized and protected.
Collectivism is the idea that the individual's life belongs not to him but to the group or society of which he is merely a part, that he has no rights, and that he must sacrifice his values and goals for the group's “greater good.” According to collectivism, the group or society is the basic unit of moral concern, and the individual is of value only insofar as he serves the group. As one advocate of this idea puts it: “Man has no rights except those which society permits him to enjoy. From the day of his birth until the day of his death society allows him to enjoy certain so-called rights and deprives him of others; not . . . because society desires especially to favor or oppress the individual, but because its own preservation, welfare, and happiness are the prime considerations.”
Individualism or collectivism-which of these ideas is correct? Which has the facts on its side?
Individualism does, and we can see this at every level of philosophic inquiry: from metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerned with the fundamental nature of reality; to epistemology, the branch concerned with the nature and means of knowledge; to ethics, the branch concerned with the nature of value and proper human action; to politics, the branch concerned with a proper social system.
When we look out at the world and see people, we see separate, distinct individuals. The individuals may be in groups (say, on a soccer team or in a business venture), but the indivisible beings we see are individual people. Each has his own body, his own mind, his own life. Groups, insofar as they exist, are nothing more than individuals who have come together to interact for some purpose. This is an observable fact about the way the world is. It is not a matter of personal opinion or social convention, and it is not rationally debatable. It is a perceptual-level, metaphysically given fact. Things are what they are; human beings are individuals.
A beautiful statement of the metaphysical fact of individualism was provided by former slave Frederick Douglass in a letter he wrote to his ex-“master” Thomas Auld after escaping bondage in Maryland and fleeing to New York. “I have often thought I should like to explain to you the grounds upon which I have justified myself in running away from you,” wrote Douglass. “I am almost ashamed to do so now, for by this time you may have discovered them yourself. I will, however, glance at them.” You see, said Douglass,
"I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. God created both, and made us separate beings. I am not by nature bound to you, or you to me. Nature does not make your existence depend upon me, or mine to depend upon yours. I cannot walk upon your legs, or you upon mine. I cannot breathe for you, or you for me; I must breathe for myself, and you for yourself. We are distinct persons, and are each equally provided with faculties necessary to our individual existence. In leaving you, I took nothing but what belonged to me, and in no way lessened your means for obtaining an honest living. Your faculties remained yours, and mine became useful to their rightful owner."
Although one could quibble with the notion that “God” creates people, Douglass's basic metaphysical point is clearly sound. Human beings are by nature distinct, separate beings, each with his own body and his own faculties necessary to his own existence. Human beings are not in any way metaphysically attached or dependent on one another; each must use his own mind and direct his own body; no one else can do either for him. People are individuals. “I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons.”
The individual is metaphysically real; he exists in and of himself; he is the basic unit of human life. Groups or collectives of people-whether families, partnerships, communities, or societies-are not metaphysically real; they do not exist in and of themselves; they are not fundamental units of human life. Rather, they are some number of individuals. This is perceptually self-evident. We can see that it is true.
Who says otherwise? Collectivists do. John Dewey, a father of pragmatism and modern “liberalism,” explains the collectivist notion as follows:
"Society in its unified and structural character is the fact of the case; the non-social individual is an abstraction arrived at by imagining what man would be if all his human qualities were taken away. Society, as a real whole, is the normal order, and the mass as an aggregate of isolated units is the fiction."
According to collectivism, the group or society is metaphysically real-and the individual is a mere abstraction, a fiction.
This, of course, is ridiculous, but there you have it. On the metaphysics of collectivism, you and I (and Mr. Douglass) are fictional, and we become real only insofar as we somehow interrelate with society.
Back to freedom, Ayn Rand says that "a 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context." She also says that "if one upholds freedom, one must uphold man's individual rights; if one upholds man's individual rights, one must uphold his right to his own life, to his own liberty, to the pursuit of his own happiness-which means: one must uphold a political system that guarantees and protects these rights-which means: the politico-economic system of capitalism."
I have tried so hard to know the man called John Dewey on Baidu and Google. Obviously, this "a father of modern liberalism" was agreeing collectivism in the early of 20th century. He was merely opposed to dictatorship which he thought would suppress the freedoms and personalities of the majority. I dare to say that the nub of his "new individualism" is just something between individualism and collectivism.
In round 3, you have given so much metaphysical reasoning. In some respects, the process of your reasoning is right, for it's visible or eyeable. For eaxmple:
"I am myself; you are yourself; we are two distinct persons, equal persons. What you are, I am. You are a man, and so am I. " Sounds really incontrovertible.
But sometimes, things don't go that easy. If we always consider things this way, we could have been still staying at Newton's time of mechanics. Fortunately, we have found that the substance you are seeing may not be the form you think in your eyes. Like electron, it can be a "wave", not a solid particle. One thing I really want to reference is that two electrons may be in a "entangled state", which means they will affect one another whatever how far they depart from the other one. I assume this might be the origin of human society.
In the end, I'd like to say whatever the debate, the freedom in our mind may be alike. The difference is that yours is inclined to absolute individualism and mine is inclined to absolute collectivism, however we both do not go to the extreme of the balance.
Thank you, my firend, thanks for your invitation to this debate.