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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 []

          • by pudge (1) on 2002.05.21 8:00 (#8626) Homepage Journal
            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 establish justice. I don't think that the right to not be punched in the nose is "liberty" or "freedom." It's the right to security, not the right to liberty. Freedom itself is just one right we have -- the most important one, IMO -- and it is measured against other rights, such as the right of other people to be secure.

            As it says in the Declaration of Independence, we have the inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Various "rights" (including the right to liberty itself) do not equate to "liberty," but often are asserted in spite of liberty, though not at the expense of it, since we can only ensure liberty by limiting it in some ways, most notably those ways in which we might abridge the liberty of others.

            In other words, you've apparently been treating rights and freedom as the same thing, and I disagree.

            *As a side note, I don't think this does leave room for much interpretation or floating boundary. Sure, you can have people make claims like "when you say abortion is murder it goes against my right to pursue happiness," but most of us know intuitively that such claims are nonsense. It's much like the anti-obscenity laws, where people claim that it could leave people wide open to unfair treatment, but few practical examples may be found. However, 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. :-)
            • 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.


              -- 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