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Is there a difference between liberty and freedom?

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8 replies to this topic

#1
aynfan

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I tend to think of Liberty as universal, indivisible, and freedom as somethng that can be limited and/or enumerated. The difference is philosophical, not etymological or symantic or am I wrong?
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#2
MisterSwig

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I tend to think of Liberty as universal, indivisible, and freedom as somethng that can be limited and/or enumerated.  The difference is philosophical, not etymological or symantic or am I wrong?

Essentially, I think these two terms can be used for the same exact concepts.

However, a case might be made for a certain distinction. My dictionary claims that "freedom" is the more general term, while "liberty" applies to free choice.

"Freedom" might be used to describe a non-human condition, such as the freedom a bird has to fly through the air. "Liberty", it seems, is mostly used in human political contexts. "Give me liberty, or give me death."
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#3
AwakeAndFree

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From Merriam-Webster:

FREEDOM

1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care> d : EASE, FACILITY <spoke the language with freedom> e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom> f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>
2 a : a political right b : FRANCHISE, PRIVILEGE
synonyms FREEDOM, LIBERTY, LICENSE mean the power or condition of acting without compulsion. FREEDOM has a broad range of application from total absence of restraint to merely a sense of not being unduly hampered or frustrated <freedom of the press>. LIBERTY suggests release from former restraint or compulsion <the released prisoner had difficulty adjusting to his new liberty>. LICENSE implies freedom specially granted or conceded and may connote an abuse of freedom <freedom without responsibility may degenerate into license>.


At: http://www.m-w.com/c...eedom&x=10&y=20
"For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead…" - Thomas Jefferson

#4
y_feldblum

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Liberty, freedom, etc, are states that people have a right to, but don't always have.
> Those who deny [Aristotle’s] first principle should be flogged or burned until they admit that it is not the same thing to be burned and not burned, or whipped and not whipped. - Ibn Sina (Avicenna), Metaphysics
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#5
source

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By definition, freedom is absence of compulsion.

Liberty is a term used mainly by politicians and I don't know exactly what they mean by it, but often it has nothing to do with absence of compulsion.
"It is easy in the world to live after the world's oppinion; it easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
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#6
DavidOdden

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By definition, freedom is absence of compulsion.

Liberty is a term used mainly by politicians and I don't know exactly what they mean by it, but often it has nothing to do with absence of compulsion.

Since politicians speak of freedom from hunger (welfare), freedom of education (state supported education), freedom of expression (governmentally subsidised outlets for art) and freedom to take a vacation in a national part (more taxpayer subsidies), I think politicians use "freedom" to mean "coersively supported entitlement"). And of course there is freedom from sexual harassment, freedom from fear of being gunned down (aka gun control). Lord save me from all these freedoms.

I don't think you'll find "liberty" used in the same kinds of extreme concept-twisting perversions. But more to the point, the meanings of "freedom" and "liberty" are not to be determined by the propaganda-mongers who inform us that freedom is slavery. Freedom and liberty refer to the same thing, and differ only in their etymological source.

Dave Odden


#7
aynfan

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Clearly no one of you believes there is a difference between these words; that Liberty is the absence of force and can not be parsed.
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#8
Amanda

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Yes there is!Liberty is what you have when you have freedom to do something! Not vice versa!Freedom is a state of existence, and within that state resides liberty. Liberty also connotes an understandingof how you came to have it which lends itself to the responsibility of preserving it for posterity and extendingto others at all times. It does not beg you to enforce your liberty over that of another liberty which is enjoyed, simultaneously or similarly in time thereto, by another.Liberty is anarchy when practiced only without regard for rational outcomes which deny the liberty of and to anotherin word, act or omission to act when preservation of liberty for self and another prescribes it!

#9
aequalsa

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Since politicians speak of freedom from hunger (welfare), freedom of education (state supported education), freedom of expression (governmentally subsidised outlets for art) and freedom to take a vacation in a national part (more taxpayer subsidies), I think politicians use "freedom" to mean "coersively supported entitlement"). And of course there is freedom from sexual harassment, freedom from fear of being gunned down (aka gun control). Lord save me from all these freedoms.

So, according to them, freedom means free, as in "I like free stuff, cause that means its free and you don't gotta pay for it," right?

TANSTAAFL
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
...or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly;
who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings;
but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause,
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.-Teddy


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