Front Page Forums Liberty What is liberty?

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    A working definition of liberty for this forum:

    The freedom to communicate and take action without fear of prosecution by the government, within limits: It must be legal and ethical, and it must not violate someone else’s rights.

    We have a lot of liberties that are easy to overlook: to find employment that is suitable for us, to start a business, to meet with friends, to drive on roads, to visit and enjoy parks, and many more.

    Liberties may be temporarily or permanently constrained by consensus such as passing a law or enacting regulation, or changing conditions in the environment. For example, a city may limit the speed at which vehicles may travel on some roads. People no longer have the liberty to drive at any speed they want on those roads — driving at a speed in excess of the posted limit may result in a fine or arrest. For another example, people may visit the beach but when the waves are dangerous the local authority may restrict beach access to protect people who may not realize the danger.

    In general, people in a “free” society have more liberties in quantity and extent than people in an authoritarian society. However, there is no clearly defined threshold between free and oppressed. To remain free, the people must always be vigilant and resist attempts to reduce or remove their liberties and, wherever possible, strive to expand their liberties. A continuous effort must be made towards being a free society in order to remain a free society and possibly become even more free.

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