The miscellaneous writings of Mark Bridgeman

Are we really free?

Yes, you are.

You have the full freedom to do anything you want right now, even to kill someone else if you want to.

What you don’t have is freedom from consequences. That’s what people talk about when they say that they want freedom. They really mean that they’d like to do something without consequences. To have yin without yang, or light without shade.

This is obviously impossible as after all should you kill someone, other people will be very upset and will either try to kill you or get someone with authority to put you away for a very long time or even execute you.

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. This cannot be avoided. It’s a fundamental law of the universe and applies across all social strata as it does across physics.

There’s always a cost. Now manmade laws vary by degree and from place to place, some states are repressive and penalties are harsh for the most minor of infractions, other states are lenient and more compassionate, but none of them can actually take your freedom away, all they can do is threaten you or bully you into behaving well, like a good, model citizen, or attempt to apply a penalty should you do something they do not like.

But you’ll always have the choice to do something that they don’t mind or something that they’d rather you didn’t do, and this makes you free.

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