Liberty Must Be Limited in Order to Be Enjoyed Essay

Outline:

  • The wrong idea of early days that the majority of people could not be free
  • The need for discipline and law
  • We must control our thoughts
  • Bad habit of sinning and repenting

In early days, it was thought that large sections of the population could not be free. The Vaish in ancient India, the serfs under the feudal system in England, and similar classes were born to serve nobles and landowners. But the nobles were not exempted from service, for they had duties and obligations to the king. In some cases, the European king owed service to an emperor, and the emperor possibly had to regard the wishes of the pope. The pope was strictly attached to the laws of God, so no man is free.

How could we have a school or a factory in which the pupils or the workers are entirely free? Can we say that a man may come into his work or stay away, just as he likes? Can we say that a schoolboy may enter his class in time or late, according to his pleasure? Certainly not. It would mean a breakdown of all organized institution. Man lives in a society, a community. He is not solitary. When men are gathered together, there must be discipline. If a number of men are on some work they will get together and elect a captain or a leader, and will submit to him. In a sense they are giving up some of their freedom, because there will be disputes and disagreements. In society, we have to submit to the government and we elect our leader. There must be law, and it must be enforced.

An English writer, Mill, was a great supporter of freedom for the įndividual. He was an enemy of State Control. He found it difficult to settle such questions as “Should a man be at liberty to drink liquor or is the State justified in prohibiting it”? Mill decided that a man who wants to drink should be allowed to drink, provided that there is nothing in his acts that is a trouble or annoyance to others. In other words, a man can do what he likes, with his own body and mind but must not trespass on the rights and claims of others. All will not agree with this but may feel that the duty of a good government is to consider the weakness of the poor man, and to prevent him from getting liquor.

We must not give loose reins to our feelings. We must master our thoughts. No man who is at the mercy of his moods is a free man. We must bring reason to bear upon our action. Our actions must be governed and controlled by Reason.

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We must not give full license to our passions. The slave to passion is ever desiring but never attaining. Passion promises much to its worshippers, but like the will another wisp on the mountain; it ever eludes the eager hands. He would know liberty must put a limitation to his passions.

The slave to feelings and passions is ever sinning and repenting. He acts today and repents tomorrow. He, who sins and repents, acts and regrets, is not a wise or free man, but is held in bondage. The wise and free, acting from reason, thought and judgment, do not repent. They need not to repent. They know that their actions were according to their highest judgment and after their holiest convictions. They know that regretting is an utter waste of time and energy. It can never alter one jot of the past or undo what is done. Therefore the liberated man is strong, calm and just. He is governed in all things and under all circumstances by the light of reason.

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