Freedom is a concept which most of us are familiar with. But what is freedom really? Is freedom important for us in our everyday life?
"What does freedom mean to you?"
Most think of freedom as something positive and as a fundamentally important value. It is difficult to find one definition that everyone will agree on. The Norwegian philosopher Lars Fredrik Svendsen believes that a minimum definition can be: “Freedom is the opportunity people have to choose one direction in life rather than another”. Freedom is thus closely connected to having choices, where we can choose what we want to think, say and do, whom we want to be together with and the direction we want to take in our lives. In a free society freedom must be mutual. If I want others to respect my freedom, I must respect the freedom of others. This means that freedom is based on responsibility. Freedom cannot be so broad that it restricts the freedom of others. The individual’s right to freedom is protected in the Declaration of Human Rights.
(English translation: John Anthony)