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Thanks for signing on. I’m Bob Carkhuff, and this is Freedomblog.com.
The theme for today is Defining Freedom. For Freedom-Lovers and Freedom-Builders, this means Freedom is thinking.
Thomas Jefferson said: “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
Freedom is the most precious of all human experiences. Religions require it. Politicians espouse it. The media represents it. Protestors “assemble” for it. And advocates “petition” for it. Yet no one has defined “it” in today’s terms. What is the 21st Century definition of freedom? And why is it so important today?
Our Founding Fathers who blessed us with our First Amendment Freedoms failed to empower us with behavioral definitions. Defining freedom only as “the absence of prohibitions,” they never defined the presence of positive behaviors. Even Thomas Jefferson, who defined the price of protection, could not define the values of expression.
No one in history has given us an affirmative definition of freedom: how is it that we are to behave in the absence of restraint?
Webster defines freedom in the negative: “The exemption from slavery, servitude, confinement, or constraint.” Modern Americans, in particular, think of “The Underground Railway” of Pre-Civil War as the defining moment of freedom: runaway slaves following “The Freedom Road” north.
But what if the blacks came to a crossroads on a cloudy night when they had no stars or instructions to guide them? Were they free to choose? Moreover, were they free to make enlightened and freeing choices? These are the essential questions of freedom. No choices are as profound as thos e made by the runaway slaves! Yet we must ask: Were they truly free choices?
Throughout history, thinking and freedom have been inextricably bound together: the more we think, the more free we are; the less we think, the more unfree we are.
First, we expand our possibilities by thinking. Then, we narrow to the preferred possibility.
Put another way, thinking generates possibilities. Freeing narrows the possibilities to the preferred way of meeting our personal values and the requirements being imposed upon us.
It is the mission of freedomblog.com to provide a voice for thinking people, and to define freedom operationally in terms of its “infinite brainpower” and its “infinite transfers” to real-life circumstances.
In short-hand terms, freedom is “unfettered thinking!” Thinking occupies and expands the space created by the absence of prohibitions. It is the quality of thinking that affirmatively defines freedoms.
With due respect to Jefferson, we would like to propose a modification of his admonition: “The price of freedom is continuous thinking.”
Signing off for Freedomblog, this is Bob Carkhuff.
Remember, We the People… our Freedom is defined by thinking.
We invite your comments. Send to Bob at Freedomblog.com.
“May the road rise to meet you,
And the wind be at your back.”