Life vs Freedom


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General Geoff
June 8, 2007, 02:44 PM
I'm in a debate with this decidedly anti-gun person, and I think it has boiled down to this question; Is life more important than freedom?

I say no, it is not; for without freedom, life is not worth living. What do you guys think?


(I know it's not technically gun related, but this is a broader topic of discussion upon which the gun argument, and indeed, this country, is based).

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Leif Runenritzer
June 8, 2007, 02:49 PM
Lives are always ending and beginning, but freedom is not so persistant, and must be upheld.

EDIT: It's missing something. It's like i'm saying that life is cheap, which i'm not.

Kacerdias
June 8, 2007, 02:55 PM
I think this is best summed up by the quote which inspired the New Hampshire state motto:

"Live free or die; Death is not the worst of evils." - General John Stark, July 31, 1809

I say Freedom - it takes lives to get and keep it.

Henry Bowman
June 8, 2007, 03:03 PM
I'd say the prospect of freedom is worth living for. Otherwise, as soon as one is captured or enslaved, suicide would be the logical course.

MrRezister
June 8, 2007, 03:24 PM
On the other hand, it's much easier to fight toward freedom if you're not dead. And my suicide does nothing whatsoever for those who survive.

Neo-Luddite
June 8, 2007, 03:24 PM
from 'Catch-22' (film)

American USAAF Officer (Art Garfunkel): "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees".

The Old (Italian) Man: "Ah, you have it backwards".

------


When it becomes a very cerebral and heady debate, the meat hook nature of our biological underpinings has the best answers to offer. The very meaning of freedom is always mutable. The nature of survival and adaptation is not.

Is freedom worth dying for? In the balance, sometimes a lot easier of a question to answer.

Titan6
June 8, 2007, 03:37 PM
In a nut shell - The sheep don't care about freedom. They would rather have the sheep dog there to protect them and tell them what to do.

JesseL
June 8, 2007, 03:51 PM
”Prefiero morir de pie que vivir siempre arrodillado!

Translation:
It's better to die upon your feet than to live upon your knees!

Living without freedom isn't truly living at all. What meaning does your life have when you don't have the freedom to make life's choices? As a slave the most you can hope for is whatever base pleasures your master allows you.

Neo-Luddite
June 8, 2007, 03:55 PM
:)It's always better in Latin than in the vulgate--Thanks!!

jselvy
June 8, 2007, 04:02 PM
Life without freedom and fundamental human rights is mere existence.
Our ability to to see this simple fact is what elevates the human race above mere herd animals, unfortunately it is not reliable.

Jefferson

JesseL
June 8, 2007, 04:16 PM
Is freedom worth dying for? In the balance, sometimes a lot easier of a question to answer.

Dying rarely accomplishes much. Now if the question was "Is freedom worth risking death in fighting for?", I know my answer.

nezumi
June 8, 2007, 04:24 PM
I would rather have my life than my own freedom. I'd rather have my children's freedom than my life.

Oleg Volk
June 8, 2007, 04:24 PM
Freedom and long life tend to go together, as do slavery and short, miserable life.

freakazoid
June 8, 2007, 04:33 PM
Hmm.... which quote shall I use out of my quote list.... This one seems good,

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Thomas Jefferson, to Archibald Stuart, 1791

Freedom over life for me, :)

eric_t12
June 8, 2007, 04:36 PM
A dangerous freedom is always better than a safe dictatorship.

So freedomis my choice. for ^^this^^ and other reasons.

JerryM
June 8, 2007, 07:56 PM
We fight wars, and millions die to protect our freedoms. However, everything is not worth dying for. It is not worth dying for to be able to shout fire in a crowded theater.

It is fashionable to quote, " I disagree, but would fight to the death for his right to ..."
I would not fight for someone's right to burn the flag, or to wear vulgar words on their shirts, or to place porno on a billboard.

Jerry

1911Tuner
June 8, 2007, 08:47 PM
Easy to exclaim: "Give me liberty or give me death." until the noose tightens around our neck and the hangman offers us a last smoke. Might be one of those things to work out a commitment to in advance.

It seems that the older we are, the less idealistic we become, and the more realistic. Easier to consider dying for the cause when our lives are growing to a close than when they're just beginning. This isn't to say that young people who are highly motivated are incapable of that commitment. Just that it's an easier choice for the older folk. The 60 year-old feels that the end of his life is close, and thinks: "What the hell...I've had a pretty good run. Why not stand and fight." ...while the 20 year-old dwells on the women he hasn't loved...the rum he hasn't drunk...the fast cars he hasn't driven...and the sunsets that he hasn't seen, and may never see if he stands fast. Life, or the prospect of life...is more precious to the young man than the old man...when all he has to do in order to see and do all those things is surrender.

But, historically...young men bleed in the wars that old men start. It should probably be the other way around...but somehow, I just can't see many of our senior senators in flak vests and carrying M-60s into a killing zone.

That said...Fighting and dying in the name of liberty is as much for the next generation as for the present one. The legacy that we leave our children and our grandchildren does more to define our honor and our resolve than that which we create for ourselves. Thank God that we still have a good number of strong, young lions who are willing. The question still looms..."Are we?"

The assault on our freedoms and our liberties won't come in a sudden rush. It comes a nibble at a time, until we look up one day...and they've taken us without firing a shot...or at least not many shots. So...How do we determine exactly when it's time to take a hard stand? How many Wacos and Ruby Ridges? One man or one small contigent...or even one large one...won't stop anything. Isolated incidents are considered to be no more than small, unimportant rebellious uprisings. Those get squashed quickly and easily.

How long can your small band of merry men stand against the 82nd Airborne or the 7th Marines?

Reminds me of a famous quote:

"We must hang together, or we will surely hang separately."

freakazoid
June 8, 2007, 09:03 PM
hile the 20 year-old dwells on the women he hasn't loved...the rum he hasn't drunk...the fast cars he hasn't driven...and the sunsets that he hasn't seen, and may never see if he stands fast.

Ack, stop making me think of all that, your making me depressed now, lol :P.

But everything you said seems to be true. What must happen, how much must be taken away before enough becomes enough?

1911Tuner
June 8, 2007, 09:08 PM
What must happen, how much must be taken away before enough becomes enough?

Exactly..and how do we know? There won't be a whistle to signal that it's begun. Oh, wait! That's right! It's already begun.

1911Tuner
June 8, 2007, 09:08 PM
What must happen, how much must be taken away before enough becomes enough?

Exactly..and how do we know? There won't be a whistle to signal that it's begun. Oh, wait! That's right. It's already begun.

RevolvingCylinder
June 8, 2007, 09:26 PM
The 60 year-old feels that the end of his life is close, and thinks: "What the hell...I've had a pretty good run. Why not stand and fight." ...while the 20 year-old dwells on the women he hasn't loved...the rum he hasn't drunk...the fast cars he hasn't driven...and the sunsets that he hasn't seen, and may never see if he stands fast. Life, or the prospect of life...is more precious to the young man than the old man...when all he has to do in order to see and do all those things is surrender.

But, historically...young men bleed in the wars that old men start. It should probably be the other way around...but somehow, I just can't see many of our senior senators in flak vests and carrying M-60s into a killing zone.
Exactly. The older guy had the opportunity to start a family and the young guy is the only one to risk his bloodline. I find it rather ironic when I hear a few well-to-do able-bodied men say that they won't even consider doing their part because they have a family but it's fine and dandy to send the young guys to risk their lives even though they never had the opportunity.

Justin
June 8, 2007, 09:31 PM
The phrase you're looking for is "False Dichotomy."

Veprman
June 8, 2007, 09:31 PM
I have though of this a lot. Im 22. I dont know if fighteing or dieing for freedom is worth it. Is it better to live a long life as a slave than to die for something that you won't be alive to enjoy? Without freedom I could still most likly be happy. I really dont know what to do or what id do. I honestly dont even know if we have a chance of winning any kind of uprising. As for what a preivios poster said about the 82 and the marines. The answer would be not long. Sure a bunch of them would probably die in the process but you would loose. Even if you managed to kill an entire squad and take their m249s you still get taken out eventually. But hopefully there will be a lot of those 82 airbourn and Marine troops standing there with you aganst their trator comrads.

freakazoid
June 8, 2007, 09:44 PM
have though of this a lot. Im 22. I dont know if fighteing or dieing for freedom is worth it. Is it better to live a long life as a slave than to die for something that you won't be alive to enjoy? Without freedom I could still most likly be happy. I really dont know what to do or what id do. I honestly dont even know if we have a chance of winning any kind of uprising. As for what a preivios poster said about the 82 and the marines. The answer would be not long. Sure a bunch of them would probably die in the process but you would loose. Even if you managed to kill an entire squad and take their m249s you still get taken out eventually. But hopefully there will be a lot of those 82 airbourn and Marine troops standing there with you aganst their trator comrads.

I'll be 22 in July, :D, and I believe that fighting and dieing for freedom is very much worth it. Even if it was a small uprising that got quickly crushed, it would be worth it. Just look at the American Revolution. I would rather die on my feet than to sell out my ideals and live on my knees.

But I am just a crazy anarchist so what does it matter what I think, :P rofl

TallPine
June 8, 2007, 09:46 PM
Saoras no bąs! ;)


somehow, I just can't see many of our senior senators in flak vests and carrying M-60s into a killing zone
Hey, give me one of those electric scooters and I'm good to go :)

theleveloftime
June 8, 2007, 09:58 PM
This is very simple: I can't be enslaved, ever. Chains, iron bars, laws simply can't enslave a freeman. My mind will always be free, always. I will never surrender, never. Even if all the tools to resist are taken from me I will still resist. Freedom is always worth it. You don't have to get yourself killed to prove it. You may lose your physical freedom from time to time but in your mind and soul you can always be free. You certainly can choose to die before being deprived of your freedom but unless you really have to, I suggest you wait to fight another day.

obxned
June 8, 2007, 11:37 PM
You couldn't live like that!

ConstitutionCowboy
June 8, 2007, 11:39 PM
Well, I can think of many situations I've lived under where I felt death would be better. Rather than turning belly up, I did something about the situation(s) I was in. Fortunately, those situations didn't require insurrection or rebellion; just divorce. But it did teach me that there can be no happiness or peace in simply being married(analogous to living and being governed for the sake of discussion). I had to find the right recipe for marriage(life) that would allow me happiness, and peace, and discovered something new that I had never thought possible in a marriage ... Freedom!

That marriage with the right recipe is analogous to life under the Constitution. It allows us happiness, a maintainable measure of peace, and freedom! No other form of governance compares. It has taken me far too many years to come to this epiphany, but it is never to late - or too soon - for any of us to realize what our true love is, its worth, and that such things are never to be surrendered to those who would take without right.

It is, therefore, ageless. It isn't necessarily that an older person might feel, "Hey, my life is near the end so I'll go ahead and take the stand for posterity", and it isn't necessarily the young man feeling it's something he has a simple duty to do, though both might be the situation in many cases. It's more that it is the right thing to do. Freedom is worth it.

Woody

Oh yes, and buy those arms you've always wanted and a goodly stock of ammo. The time may come that all we'll have is how we've prepared ourselves today. B.E. Wood

Biker
June 8, 2007, 11:59 PM
I have a Tat on my right shoulder that reads:

"You Can't Enslave A Free Man
You Can Only Kill Him"

I am a Free Man and I believe this to be true.

Biker

Skibane
June 9, 2007, 12:02 AM
Without freedom I could still most likly be happy.

Livestock and family pets seem quite content without freedom.

Some folks seem happiest without their freedom, and tend to divest themselves of it at every opportunity.

Perhaps it's a genetic trait.

James T Thomas
June 9, 2007, 12:04 AM
"Give me liberty, or give me death!" P.Henry

I agree.

Mannix
June 9, 2007, 12:30 AM
The usual road to slavery is that first they take away your guns, then they take away your property, then last of all they tell you to shut up and say you are enjoying it.

#2 seems about half done, #1 is getting there, and #3 is just beginning.

Tomcat47
June 9, 2007, 01:05 AM
William Wallace was transported to London and tried for treason and the execution of civilians and prisoners at Westminster Hall where he was crowned with a garland of oak to suggest that he was the king of outlaws. He responded to the treason charge, "I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject."

This was for Freedom cause!

He Was 29 maybe 35 (birth year has been disputed)

God was all about freedom..........
Lucifer was all about control, greed, honor and glory to himself........

If we do not subject our self to God, which tyrant will we kneel to?

It is Freedoms way...Or it is the way of Tyranny.

wideym
June 9, 2007, 01:31 AM
The real question is not whether you would die for your freedom, but would you kill for your freedom? Do you kill the slave master, even if he is kind and only has your best interests at heart, knowing that you will be branded a murderer, or insane. Wouldn't knowing that your children and their legacy would look at you as colaborators or at least victims of their slavery, hopeful that the next slave master will be as kind and gentle as the last or the next is better? Nat Turner was a slave who fought back against the slave masters. He and his cohorts lost and the result was draconian laws against slaves not slavery itself. You must not be willing to accept slavery rather than hardship or death, if only for future generations.

thexrayboy
June 9, 2007, 01:36 AM
"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne 1624


When we are free the bell is a signal, a cue to act, a reason to be. When we are not free, the bell is just a noise. Freedom is the ability to choose to answer or ignore the bell. If we are told to ignore it or forced to answer it we are not free. Which condition is preferable is a personal choice. I prefer living to existing.

High Planes Drifter
June 9, 2007, 02:11 AM
I would choose liberty over life as a slave. I would die for my own liberty rather than live a slave or have my children live as slaves.

Caimlas
June 9, 2007, 04:57 AM
Is life more important than freedom?

I see this two ways.

On one hand, when it comes down to a personal decision of action vs. inaction, it really depends on the individual. The same would apply (potentially in reverse!) in a self-defense situation: is your life more important than either the other person's freedom, or regrettably, your own freedom from internal torment later on in your life over having killed another? For some, that's a non-starter - they don't want to even think about it, and would rather "risk it".

Yes, I realize this could be deemed as an argument of "moral relativity". But the meaning of the word "freedom" isn't absolute. What is freedom to one person might be slavery to others. Freedom might be having no responsibilities, no concerns, no oppression, no needs unfilled - it all depends on the person and their mindset. So, in reality, the argument is deeper than just "freedom or life?"

Christians believe (if they take the modern interpretation of the Pauline doctrine to heart) that a life of sin is one worth not living - that it is, literally, slavery to sin. Some Muslims believe that it is a sin for women to be treated as men, and for them to expose any part of their body. Some people believe that those sins are, themselves, liberating, and that the dogmas that encourage the restriction of those sins to be slavery.

Until we get that email from God telling us which is what, the only thing we can do is act honestly based on our conscience, and what we think is the right thing to do.

For some, that choice is to accept life, and for others it is to chose freedom (using the likely intended meaning of both for this argument). Different people are capable of different degrees of strength, and we all come into situations with different impressions of what things are. When it comes down to it, you can't force a person to accept your version of freedom - to deny their own cultural upbringing (they've got to ask themselves to do that, after an analysis - and that's not something you're going to force someone to do). Yes, you've got to argue for your point of view and attempt to reinforce the culture

This is kind of a difficult question to answer, because it can be rephrased in a number of different ways, given a person's perspective. Consider:
- Life or freedom?
- Selfish or selfless?
- selfless or selfish?
- preserve or protect?
- promiscuous or pious?
- wait, what? - they're not mutually exclusive?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter, sorta. They're a bit discombobulated, but hopefully I've conveyed my feelings well enough to impart a new idea in someone's mind.

Caimlas
June 9, 2007, 05:08 AM
Some folks seem happiest without their freedom, and tend to divest themselves of it at every opportunity.

Perhaps it's a genetic trait.

That's possible, and I'd argue probable, but with the caveat that it's probably largely cultural as well. Culture takes a very, very long time to die - as evidenced by the fact that modern culture still has many characteristics of ancient Hebrew, Roman, and Indian cultures (all of which were, at one time in one way or another, culturally dominant in the ancestral cultures of the West).

Personally, the "genetic" angle appears to be quite evident in my family. My parents came drastically different stock - my mom, Dutch/Irish/Nordic/German (warriors or those who have fought off slavery quite often throughout history), and my dad Sicilian/English (largely slaves or subjects throughout history - or at least, in the case of the English, in recent times). I'm much more like my mom's side of the family, both physically and mentally (much bigger on rights, philosophy, and independence) and my siblings like my father's side (more respecting of authority, mostly happy as a part of the system, etc.).

antarti
June 9, 2007, 11:11 AM
The older guy had the opportunity to start a family and the young guy is the only one to risk his bloodline
I find that odd... ANY ambivalence I had fled with the appearance of children.

Want to mess with me? I might just take it and keep my mush shut.

Want to enslave my kids? Different story altogether. I won't live long enough for the kids to curse me one day for having done nothing.

svtruth
June 9, 2007, 11:45 AM
Handgunner, this month (July/August) has an interesting article by Jeff Snyder that touches on this.
He concludes that civil disobedience of the Thoreau sort is more effective at preserving liberty than violence. He cites Timothy McVeigh as an example.
Great thread.

stevelyn
June 9, 2007, 12:10 PM
Without freedom, life isn't worth living.

ubik380
June 9, 2007, 12:40 PM
Before the "Civil War", about 10% of the population was 100% enslaved (had their labor expropriated by force).

Now, almost 100% of the population is 50% enslaved. Our chains are more comfortable.

But most of us don't see it that way. Instead, it's "just the way things are". You have to "be realistic".

How bad does it have to get until...?

jselvy
June 9, 2007, 12:51 PM
That is always the operative question isn't it.

Jefferson

yokel
June 9, 2007, 01:00 PM
How bad does it have to get until...?

You mean until making an Alamo-like last stand against the forces of dependence and subjection?:confused:

SoCalShooter
June 9, 2007, 01:47 PM
I am with you on it, freedom is worth defending even at the cost of life. I think that was the one of the original ideas of this country.

Titan6
June 9, 2007, 02:38 PM
Snyder's theroy is not new. It is quite rare when a conflict resolves and there is more freedom than before the conflict started.

deguello
June 10, 2007, 12:51 AM
It just so happens that I was reading last night about when the Spaniards first came to the 'New World'. Good timing I guess. Anyway, when they started enslaving everybody it caused some resentment and eventually led to revolt. When the revolt was pretty much totally ineffective (and this is the part that was news to me) there was an extremely high rate of suicide. If you're trying to figure out which is more important, freedom or life, I think that gives you a pretty good hint.
All the quotes people have posted also reminded me of another quote from the movie 'Open Range'. Thet're talking in the bar, the guy says he didn't want to risk losing his sons, and Costner says "Some things gnaw at a man worse than dying."
There's one other thing you have to remember though. Freedom is a terrible burden, not everybody is up to it. There will always be people who would just rather be taken care of.

ConstitutionCowboy
June 10, 2007, 01:18 PM
There's one other thing you have to remember though. Freedom is a terrible burden, not everybody is up to it. There will always be people who would just rather be taken care of.

Being taken care of is one thing, and I wouldn't put in the same category as being enslaved. Being taken care of is more akin to being the slave master than the slave!

Be careful who you choose to stand behind and support. If you are unwilling to take care of yourself, you must take what comes along. I've yet to see a flock of sheep, no matter how well cared for and tended, that doesn't get fleeced from time to time and eventually end up on the dinner table. Not many sheep die a natural death.

Woody

Look at your rights and freedoms as what would be required to survive and be free as if there were no government. Governments come and go, but your rights live on. If you wish to survive government, you must protect with jealous resolve all the powers that come with your rights - especially with the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Without the power of those arms, you will perish with that government - or at its hand. B.E. Wood

jselvy
June 10, 2007, 01:22 PM
It could be argued that mutton IS a natural death for sheep.

Jefferson

coelacanth
June 12, 2007, 05:20 AM
I don't have it tattooed on my arm but I'm an American - its in my DNA.

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