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THE MANY USES OF THE WORD "FREEDOM" PDF Print E-mail
Theological - Special Topics
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:22

 

The Many uses of "Freedom"

“With the advent of WWII, the dominant abstract word was "Freedom" and many were harkening once again for the Declaration of Independence and its cry for Freedom. in 1941, FDR preached the "Four Freedoms" (of speech, of worship and from want and from fear) and politicians spoke of "Free Europe", freedom-loving Nations and the "Free World". There was even a “Freedom Train" traveling the Country with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, papers by Alexander Hamilton and the Gettysburg Address, as well as the Documents of surrender signed by Germany and Japan.

WWII was followed by the Cold War and the language of Freedom was again employed to arouse the Nation. This War was to free captive Europe form Communist slavery, to free China from the Maoists. The cold war was fought for cultural freedom, the free market and free enterprise and ultimately, for a free world! Freedom, Capitalism and Democracy were all bound together.

It was not long before the concept of "Freedom" was transformed into "Rights"- social rights and economic rights- rights for protection from poverty and rights for security in old age and against unemployment now; Rights for decent housing and medical care. Eventually, there was the demand for Civil Rights for African Americans. There were demands for the Rights of Women, Children, the Unborn, Gays, Native Americans, Prisoners as well as welfare rights and rights of privacy, of expression, of Education and Protection and, fittingly, the right to die [Euthanasia]

Reference: Contested Truths by Daniel Rodgers

 

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:26
 
WHAT IS FREEDOM or LIBERTY PDF Print E-mail
Theological - Special Topics
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:15

 

The word is almost always connected with other words or concepts that describe the American Political System or Democracy. And its origins are commonly said to be in Ancient Athens or in Rome. The usual History of the subject is totally secular. But, Stanton Evans has written, "Such 'Democracy' is not what we are looking for here. We are concerned with Models of Liberty and that is not what ancient Greece or in Imperial or Republican Rome provide. That is because the concept of personal and social Freedom for all its Citizens is unknown and impossible in Nations which are controlled by an all-powerful King, Dictator or Regime which, by definition, must deny it. Freedom requires a government that is limited to prevent it from becoming oppressive."

Evans goes on to insist that the Principles of both personal freedom and the concept of the limited State were known in Medieval Europe. There we find the beginnings of *representative institutions, *popular sovereignty, *social contract, *elected Rulers, *limited Powers and *Government under Law.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:16
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MISUNDERSTANDING OF FREE WILL AND BEING HUMAN PDF Print E-mail
Theological - General Revelation
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:04

Many hold that freedom of will, also defined as freedom of choice, is what makes us human beings. It is this that makes us "Persons" and the degree to which we are denied free will or choice is the degree to which we are less human or demeaned as persons. Is this true? Is it Biblical?

What makes us Persons and gives us our true value as humans is the fact we image God. We are made is His image and as such represent Him in the world. 1 Cor 11:7 a man ...is the image and glory of God ...cf James 3:9, Psalm 8

“Man” (male & female) is created to be as God is- Rational, Creative, Moral and Communal. These are the standout characteristics of God drawn from the Genesis

A. Rational- God created the heavens and the earth. He created order out of chaos. He formed the unformed and filled the empty. Doing all this, God demonstrated great mental ability: analyzing, reasoning, problem solving, planning.

B. Creative- God, the Creator, is artistic. He uses imagination, shapes, forms, colors, materials, sound and motion. We are like God when we do likewise. He created us to be artists, loving and using shapes, materials, lights, colors as well as movement and sound. We are to value and cultivate the arts and the works of our hands, just as God does.

C. Moral- God is revealed as righteous with an abhorrence of sin in later chapters of Genesis. This, too, is the original basis for the traditional definition of the Image. God has created all human beings with a sense of moral-oughtness. Morality is part of the human DNA. It is called “Natural Law” and Paul describes it in Rom 1:32 and 2:15. Thus God can hold even non-Christian individuals and nations accountable for their moral decisions and behavior.

 

D. Communal- The second chapter of Genesis reveals that God is concerned with communicating with human beings, as well as human beings themselves communicating and having companionship with themselves. He does not want Adam to be alone. (The first thing mentioned in the Bible that is “not good”.)

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 16:11
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THE MYTH OF FREE-WILL PDF Print E-mail
Theological - Special Topics
Written by Calvin Fox   
Thursday, 31 December 2015 15:57

 

“Free Will” and the Need for Government

Free Will is defined as “The ability to make choices without causal influences, free of determinants: ‘I will choose or do what ever I want- nothing determines or causes my choice or behavior or makes me choose one thing, or do one thing, rather than another.’” Note this is also a defintion of personal "Freedom" or "Liberty". Free Will defined this way does not exist, neither does complete Freedom. There must be restraint and reinforcement in the Community to get people to chose or to do "the right thing" for the "common good".

However strongly we desire to be independent, the reality is we are part of a community or group of some kind, from birth. Many outside influences impact our lives about which we had no choice whatsoever. We accept that. Did you choose to be born? To your mother? As an only child or the middle child? In the year and month when it happened? Did you choose your gender? Your physical features? Your race? Nationality?

Decisions we may think we made freely, have actually been influenced, caused or determined by something or someone. Did you freely choose to go to college? Or to not go? Without anyone or anything influencing you? Did you choose to marry? The person you married? When you married? Without any one influencing you? Did your age influence your decision? Your family situation? Your hormones or emotions? The list could go on and on.

Did you ever make a mistake? Do something foolish or stupid? Was that a free choice? Was your choice not to not do those things a free choice? Was there something or someone influencing you either way? Did you choose to sin uninfleunced by anthing, anyone? Every time? Why did you not choose to not sin? Did ignorance ever influence your decisions? Selfishness? Laziness? Anger? Fear? Lust? The Weather?

 

We do have a will. We do make choices and are responsible for them and for their consequences. But our will is always under the influence of something. There are many determinants of all our decisions. Have you ever made any decision that has truly been free from influence of some kind? The answer must be “No”.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 December 2015 15:57
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