Sunday, February 11, 2007

Freedom & Fairness

I've been cruising the net looking for some quotes to use for my online classes.

This one rather struck my fancy: "You can't be free in a fair society." (no decent attribution given...but I found it HERE.)

That led me to thinking more about the concepts of freedom and of fairness.

I've always been of the opinion that life in not fair. Fair is a place you go to ride the rides that Beckett loves, eat junk food and pet goats. Fair in terms of justice is simply not something that I expect to occur in this fallen world.

Is it something to strive for? Oh sure. But it's a futile endeavor to achieve true "fairness" in most settings in my opinion. I'm more concerned with how we each choose to respond to the many unjustices that feel so utterly inevitable to me. There may be pockets of fairness here and there, sweet islands of justice in an otherwise very unfair world. But my experience has been that those are more the exception than the rule.

Then there is the whole concept of freedom. What is freedom? I know what freedom ISN'T, but I'm not sure I can clearly articulate what it IS. It's not being able to do what you want when you want (at least not in my opinion). To me, being free means being able to choose which set of responsibilities and consequences best fit my values and interests. No matter what I choose there will be restrictions and limitations of one sort or another. But being allowed and able to pursue the path of restrictions and responsibilities that I have the greatest affinity for is how I see freedom.

Which freedoms or "rights" it makes sense to sacrifice in effort to preserve/protect personal or national security is an issue that is increasingly complicated in this crazy world.

What freedoms are most important to you? What do you think is fair?

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