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  • There's an advantage to living in a free country: you're protected against the abuses of such people

    It seems to me that in a truly free country, they would be free to abuse you ...
    • Well, no, that would put my safety at risk, and thus go against freedom. I did mean free, not wild!


      -- Robin Berjon []

      • But ... you're restricting the freedom of others! Fascist! (Hey, if you can call me postmodern, I can call you fascist. ;-)
        • No I'm not... a place to live in is a fundamental right, which is logically placed above the right to property. Besides, they are middle-men that pay the real owner even when I'm late, and are insured against people like me that go through a few hard months. The definition of freedom that all kids learn by heart in primary schools here is (roughly) "one's freedom extends to the point where someone else's freedom starts". I always thought that that left a lot of room for floating boundaries and interpreta


          -- Robin Berjon []

          • Eh, I'm just screwing around ... I certainly didn't mean that you are a fascist, and I don't support a system that allows what I noted is "truly free."

            It was a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States who said, "the right to throw your fist ends where my nose begins." However, I maintain that while this philosophy is a good one, and I share it*, that it is not representative of true freedom, but rather of the limits we must place on freedom in order to protect those fundamental rights and establi
            • by darobin (1316) on 2002.05.21 8:48 (#8629) Homepage Journal

              A few notes in a free form way (I've got a terrible headache preventing me from putting two concepts properly one after the other):

              I get the feeling that you think a lot of room for intepretation is a good thing; perhaps you don't, but I certainly don't.

              Certainly not. The law should be legislative, not jurisprudential. Otherwise you end up with decisions taken by judges that should have been taken by the elected representants of the people. The law ought to leave no room for interpretation.

              However I do think that the initial sentence leaves much space (that's why there are other laws ;). Take this simple example: I live in someone else's flat, which I rent. If one month I do not pay this rent, how is the matter settled? Either I keep occupying the flat without paying and thus restrict the liberty of the owner by depriving her of her property, or I'm kicked out, which restricts my liberty by depriving me of a place to live in. Which is more important in this case is not given in that sentence, yet required to legiferate. Many countries differ in their choices on such matters, which would tend to point me to the fact that there is room for interpretation. Otherwise you'd be living in a perfect system such as for example that of France (j/k ;).

              you've apparently been treating rights and freedom as the same thing

              Nope, at least not so simply, not in an equating manner. What I do consider is that there are prerequisistes to freedom, ie that it is not a given. That is, it is different from free will. Such prerequisites include (but are not limited to) health, education, a place to live, idle time to think, etc.

              If I lived under the constant threat that someone might kick me out of my flat at his or her whim's content, I would not consider myself free. I would in a way and to a degree be enslaved to that person. That's why there's a law that states clearly that I have three months to pay rent before they are allowed to start bothering me, and that they cannot throw me out before eighteen months of procedure or in winter. It ensures that no one has freedom-depriving power over me.


              -- Robin Berjon []

              • I think your simple example is wrongly put into the context of dueling liberties, but rather has to do with dueling rights. You have a right -- not a liberty -- to have a place to live. You have the liberty to live where you wish (according to your means), but the right to have a place to live at all. I do think you are conflating the two.

                And no, you would not be "free" if we say only that he could kick you out at his whim, but if we are going to go that far and say that people can act as the please reg