Is freedom more important than life?

Joab

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"Live free or die" is on New Hampshire's license plates. The Revolutionary war found many who were willing to risk and sometimes lose their lives for freedom. Americans weren't really enslaved back than, but we weren't exactly free either. Is it better to die than lose your freedoms? And how many freedoms would you be willing to lose before you say no more, enough, I'm willing to fight for my freedoms at the risk of my life, live free or die! All opinions appreciated.
 

5-0 Kenpo

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I believe it is, but if you don't mind, I'd like to ask a related question:

If you can readily flee to another country, is it better to do that then to die for your freedoms inside of your own?
 

Tez3

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Old English proverb....Fine words butter no parsnips.
 

Chris Parker

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Hi,

If I may, I'd like to offer an alternative interpretation. To me, the concept of "live free or die" contains not just a battlecry of defiance, but a philosophy to be undertaken in all points of your life.

Essentially (and I apologise if I don't quite get this across clearly), the idea of "living free" implies an ethic of unrestricted thought and ability to enable your ideals into reality. By not hemming yourself in with various conditioning and limitations, you are free to explore all that your potential can allow, however, by allowing others to encroach on your decision-making and personal beliefs, you "die" internally, whether intellectually (by limiting your personal education, expecting others to spoon-feed you information and delegating to them to make your decisions), or spiritually (not just in regard to religion, but the small death of the soul as the light and life is smothered and snuffed out by the blankets of repressing external personalities). In this sense, the idea of "live free or die" is not a call to arms against any who threaten our percieved liberties, but the deaths of the souls, the arts, the intellect and spirit of a community and society as it becomes more and more anaesthetised by it's members shrinking away from individuality. This is the biggest problem with the politically-correct idea, in that it robs a mind of it's freedom to be itself. The recent case of young Miss California, and the responce to her story is just one example.

But, to get back to the original idea of this thread, yes, you should be certainly prepared to fight for your freedoms, otherwise you really will never respect or value them for what you have. And having the courage to flee to protect the freedoms of yourself and your loved ones is another expression of the same.

Oh, by the way, the above interpretation relies rather heavily on the person in question having clearly defined ethics and morals; without them, you are a sociopath who has no true freedom anyway, simply a removal of social limits. That is a very different thing.
 

Ken Morgan

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"Live free or die" is on New Hampshire's license plates. The Revolutionary war found many who were willing to risk and sometimes lose their lives for freedom. Americans weren't really enslaved back than, but we weren't exactly free either. Is it better to die than lose your freedoms? And how many freedoms would you be willing to lose before you say no more, enough, I'm willing to fight for my freedoms at the risk of my life, live free or die! All opinions appreciated.


Well the Americans were probably as free as anyone living in Britain or her emerging empire at that time, the ruling elite treated everyone not from their class equally like dog poop.

It gets back to the old pie chart we learned in University, how much of you freedom are you willing to give up to form a society? Everyone may have a different level of tolerance.

While Im sure IMO China is yet to be free, if the government stayed out of your everyday life, it might feel free to the average person.

The question comes down to, what is your definition of freedom? What do you wish to accomplish with it?

Most of us piss our freedom away. People die for the right to vote, while in the West voter turnout is at an all time low. What do normal people do? Work, school, a few vacations, exercise and other mundane stuff, living in a less free society would not necessarily infringe on that.
 

Bruno@MT

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'Live free or die' does not have to be an immediate choice.
You can live unfree AND work on the freedom part at the same time.
And if you have to make a choice at one specific moment in time to either live free or die, then choosing to live un-free might be preferable because it allows you to regroup and fight another day.

To imply that there are only 2 choices is to argue that the only colors are black and white. Living free or dying are 2 extremes. It doesn't mean that if you can't do one, you have to choose the other. You can also choose a middle ground while doing everything you can to strive for your preferred choice.

The French resistance is a good example of this:
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/french_resistance.htm
They basically had to choose between giving in or having the entire adult population massacred. By the reasoning of some, that would have been the preferred choice. But by giving in, the 'people' had that chance to organize the French resistance and play a vital role in the European theatre.
 

MBuzzy

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I think that what gets in the way here is the point that people have been hitting on. It depends on the definition of freedom. Freedom is VERY relative. I know many people who think that they are not free now (in America). I know people who think that society as a whole in the US has too many freedoms. I've been reading a lot of propaganda that seems to say that very shortly we won't be free any more.

It is very hard to say what you are willing to die for. Personally, I'm willing to die for the ideals of my country. I think that we've got a pretty good thing going here, I trust the government, and I will die to protect the collective ideals of that system.

But I'm talking about protecting freedom from other countries - I don't think that our own government poses a risk as a threat to our freedom. In other words, I am more likely to die on foreign shores protecting freedom than on domestic. I think that is a distinction that needs to be made. As Tez said, plenty of people will say it in theory, but when it comes down to it, things change quite a bit.
 

girlbug2

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I think to some people, freedom is definitely more precious than to others. You can see it in their smaller, everyday choices. There are people who would definitely choose security over freedom; yet they benefit from the sacrifices of those who put freedom first. It seems spectacularly unfair.
 

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The ability to react to different situations quickly and intelligently is an important component to sustaining natural life. If freedom is restricted then less options are available to the individual. Since freedom is a component of life, technically I don't think it is more important than life. Practically, it is very high on the list.

I think. Maybe.
 

Bill Mattocks

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"Live free or die" is on New Hampshire's license plates. The Revolutionary war found many who were willing to risk and sometimes lose their lives for freedom. Americans weren't really enslaved back than, but we weren't exactly free either. Is it better to die than lose your freedoms? And how many freedoms would you be willing to lose before you say no more, enough, I'm willing to fight for my freedoms at the risk of my life, live free or die! All opinions appreciated.

Life is more important than freedom
. Let me explain.

There can be life without freedom. There cannot be freedom without life.

I treasure my freedom and would of course fight to retain it. However, I would not throw my life away foolishly if I could not retain my freedom. While there is life, freedom is a possibility. When life is ended, freedom is moot.

There was once a man who was condemned to death. He asked the king not for clemency, but for one year's stay of execution. In return, he promised to teach the king's horse to fly. The king granted his request, with the strict proviso that if he failed to teach the king's horse to fly, he would be put to death at the end of the year's time.

A friend saw the man in the prison courtyard, whispering in the horse's ear and exhorting it to fly. The horse, of course, was not flying.

He told his friend that he was crazy to have made such a promise. "Surely," he said, "in a year, you will still not have taught the horse to fly, and the king will have you put to death."

"Ah," the man said, "but many things can happen in the course of a year. The king could die, and it is tradition to grant pardon to criminals when that happens. The government could fall. The kingdom could be invaded. I could find a way to escape from prison. And who knows, the damned horse might learn to fly."

While there is life, there is hope. Freedom can be lost and regained. But not by the dead.
 

harlan

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As to the original question, my initial flippant reaction would be, 'my freedom is more important than your life'. But seriously, it depends. If push come to shove, I think of the sacrifices of those that came before and what freedoms I can live without, and weigh it carefully.

What is life without liberty?

"We are fighting...for freedom...which no honest man gives up but with life itself.'
 

LuckyKBoxer

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I recently threw my old DMX cd in the car and was listening to one of my favorite songs... "Let me Fly"
It cracked me up how much the lyrics remind me of our situation in the US today with the whole Obamanation going full force atm.
Personally I have my limits. When those limits are crossed I feel sorry for those trying to deny me.

Freedom is not more important to me then my families and loved ones lives.
But my freedom and my family and friends freedoms are more important then my life short term, and definitely more important then anyones life who is trying to take my freedoms away.

that might be a pretty strong way to put it, but I can live with that.
 

Xue Sheng

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I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
Mahatma Gandhi

Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.
Mahatma Gandhi, 1931
 
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