Thursday, 6 February 2020

Freedom Of Thought!!

       Freedom of thought is a fundamental human right unimpeded by coercion or force of any kind. Or it should be, but this freedom is always under attack, words are a means of expressing that right of freedom of thought, but words are attacked and attempts made to remove certain words, political correctness, is one such attack, we lose words at our peril, words lost are a diminishing of the ability to express that "freedom of thought". Be very wary of those who tell you certain words are bad and should not be used.

       The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, which states that thought is inherently embedded in language, would support the claim that an effort to limit the use of words of language is actually a form of restricting freedom of thought.[citation needed] This was explored in George Orwell's novel 1984, with the idea of Newspeak, a stripped-down form of the English language alleged to lack the capacity for metaphor and limiting expression of original ideas.
      From Lucas Swaine Freedom of Thought as a Basic Liberty
      Freedom of thought has been lauded in political theory and celebrated in human rights discourse. But what kind of freedom is it? I propose that freedom of thought deserves status as a basic liberty, given the significance of thought to human life, the fundamental importance of freedom of thought in establishing and sustaining crucial rights and freedoms, and the value of being able to develop and experience one’s thoughts without undue influence from others. 
The usual words of calm wisdom from Not Buying Anything:

        Cars can be freedom machines in a way, I admit, and I have had my share of incredible moments blasting across the face of the Earth in a variety of internal combustion conveyances. But those days have been over for Linda and I since we began voluntarily limiting how much we used our vehicle. We made this decision as the rest of the world was speeding around a blind corner and on into the 2000s.
        Since then we been driving less and less and less. Overall, we have found it has not had a noticeable negative effect on our quality of life. That is because cars are sold as freedom machines, but they can only provide freedom of movement. What is the use of having an unlimited freedom to move, if we don't also have the unlimited freedom to think?
       Socrates knew that we cannot find ourselves without first thinking for ourselves. Without this freedom, we are lost.

So, do we have the freedom to think in our societies?

        Freedom of thought is the freedom to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of coercion or force to think differently.

That does not describe the world I know.

      Our freedom of expression has always been limited through censorship, arrests, book burning, and pervasive propaganda. This has destroyed any semblance of freedom of thought that we may feel we still have left.
      Educator John Dewey, himself a deep thinker, thought a lot about freedom of movement vs freedom to think, and this is what he said,

     "The only freedom that is of enduring importance is the freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and of judgment, exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worthwhile.
       The commonest mistake made about freedom is, I think, to identify it with freedom of movement, or, with the external or physical side of activity."
         While we have driven around our cultural obsession with cars and freedom of movement, we have found our grey matter has been thrown in the slammer. We didn't notice because we have been stuck in traffic.
In recent years I have been willing to give up a large part of my freedom of movement. However, I will not compromise my freedom to think for myself, something on which all other freedoms are based.
        You can't be yourself if you can't think for yourself. And if you can't be yourself, you can't be free.

Freedom of thought wins.

         The time I used to spend driving and being mobile, I now spend blasting around the infinite space between my ears. I would like this to continue, unimpeded by outside forces.
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