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I posted this on another forum and it caused quite a debate about the current affairs of our country. Hopefully we can keep this civilized.

So if you ultimately had to pick between Freedom or Security, which would you choose?
 

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I would definitely choose Freedom. The more "secure" the government tries to make us, the less and less free we become. If they can take away one freedom in the name of "security", then what is to stop them from taking away whatever freedoms they want?
The problem with freedom though is that the more freedom you have the more responsible you need to be and accountible you need to be held. You can't merely have just freedom without some security because people aren't always responsible and don't want to be held accountible. With nothing but freedom the ruthless would quickly overtake the meek and then the meek would do what the ruthless want so they can be "secure". Nazi Germany was secure (except for the Jews) but they sure weren't free.
To truly live in a free society people need to learn to take care of themselves and to take responsibility for their own actions. They can't just stand around and expect somebody to come by and protect them. The government should keep us secure by protecting the freedoms we are entitled to as humans and by punishing anyone who would try to take those freedoms from us. There need to be checks and balances put in place though so that no one person or group can decide the fate of our freedoms. The more we let the government keep us "secure" by limiting what we can and can't do, the further away we come from a free society.
So given the two extremes I would choose just freedom so that way I know without a doubt how secure I really am. Like the saying goes: "Freedom isn't free."
 

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Freedom, no doubt.
 

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Freedom all the way!
 

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Poundry. What's the point of freedom if you don't feel free? Is it really freedom if you don't feel safe or secure?
 

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To simply answer the question... Freedom.

This is a very vague way of looking at it. I bet in light of recent world events, the 9/11 attacks, the Iraq war, etc, that most people equate security to national security, and the fear of losing freedoms in the name of trying to keep our nation secure from terrorist attack.

Our freedoms are whatever we define them to be. Generally, we think of Bill of rights freedoms. Freedom of Speech, right to not testify against yourself, trial by jury, privacy, etc. If those freedoms get curtailed, they would generally be curtailed by the government. At that point, our security concern as individuals might be for security against our government. The people of Nazi Germany lived in fear of the SS, or recently the people of Iraq against Hussein and his forces. Those people had few freedoms, and their immediate threat was their own government. So they certainly needed security from their government. Where am I going with this? It is exactly our freedoms that help protect us from government abuse (granted those were extreme examples). So in affect, having the freedoms we do is a form of security in itself. Chosing security over freedoms may just change the threat a people would need security from.
 

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Freedom is the foundation of our constitution. Security always undermines freedoms. To much security, and your left with no freedom at all.
 

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dls6774 said:
Wasn't it one of our founding fathers that said anyone who would give up some freedom for security deserved neither freedom nor security? Or words to that effect?
"Those who would trade freedom for security, deserve neither."

Benjamin Franklin
 

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Just wondering, was there an actual poll or where you just looking for the general tide in the responses.

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to have it "Freedom vs. Fear". When you have a free society, that has earned that freedom, there follows a certain level of maturity that courage is a by-product of.

A ship is never built to stay in the harbor. Neither are we supposed to be free from germs, terrorism, or risks of any sort. These things, whether you believe they are divinely influenced or not, all shape and "mature" our relatively young nation.

"Security" in itself, is really a mirage - if you really look at it you are never as secure as you think. We just put this out of our minds - working in tall buildings or relying on faith that the guy on his way to work never crosses the center line into your lane - just leaving the house is leaving the little blanket of "security".

My short(er) answer is, of course, freedom. Security and the purported methods of achieving it for the cost of freedom is really just an attempt to "rule by fear."

How do you convince someone they need security? You convince them they have something to fear. Whether that risk/fear is real is arbitrary - if you can convince them to give up a bit of freedom for this "added security", you have the opportunity to chip at the bedrock of everything our forefathers have fought for. This goes for convincing everyone of the threat of terrorism, or the impurity and contamination of a particular race.

More to come as I consider it.
 

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solsticeman said:
How do you convince someone they need security? You convince them they have something to fear. Whether that risk/fear is real is arbitrary - if you can convince them to give up a bit of freedom for this "added security", you have the opportunity to chip at the bedrock of everything our forefathers have fought for. This goes for convincing everyone of the threat of terrorism, or the impurity and contamination of a particular race.

Precisely! Go to far, and you have NATZ Germany all over again.
 

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Freedom all the way. Except when it infringes on the greater good of the people as a whole. Remember this lesson from high school civics, you have freedom of speech in almost all venues, but you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater when there is none. You can't spout obscenities left and right when society as a whole has decided it is not in our best interests. We don't live in a totally free society, we have rules and laws and rules of law and laws on rules. We have parking fines, speeding violations, handgun laws. Too much freedom would be anarchy. But the opposite of freedom is not security it is slavery. Security is a requirement whether you are free or imprisoned. Police or police state. That's the choice. And maybe the choice isn't freedom, but "liberty", which from our founding fathers writings implies a moral obligation on the one being liberated to look out for the downtrodden and oppressed and lift them up.

Follow this link to Patrick Henry's entire famous liberty speech http://libertyonline.hypermall.com/henry-liberty.html
and the last paragraph I have posted here:
Patrick Henry said:
It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Read the whole text when you get a chance, it is amazing and could be juxtaposed into today's worl happenings.
 

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PAS22 said:
Precisely! Go to far, and you have NATZ Germany all over again.
Furthermore, where is the "edge"? When have you gone too far? When have you gone from "defending the homeland (fatherland?)", to a police state? Can anyone define it?

Is it when one person is detained for 18 months without charges, then let go?

Is it when this happens to 30 people?

Or when it happens to someone we know?

Or do we look the other way, and wait for when it happens to someone we love - or even ourselves. I think the last bit is like closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

Very rarely, do any of the "freedoms" given away ever return. Freedom and rights are PRECIOUS COMMODITIES, not to be given away. They are more precious than virginity ;).
 

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The Romans waged war on their neighbors on the pretense of security. Attack them, becasue they might some day attack you. Sound familiar? Of course, we all know what eventually happened to the Empire.
 

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PAS22 said:
The Romans waged war on their neighbors on the pretense of security. Attack them, becasue they might some day attack you. Sound familiar? Of course, we all know what eventually happened to the Empire.
I'll run you off the road first because you look like you want to run me off the road. :brentil:
 

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How about "freedom" where it relates to yourself, "constraint" where your actions of "freedom" "infringe" on others? Seems like common sense, but maybe not...

Like, we're all "free" to smoke cigarettes. But when you light up next to me and I'm a non-smoker, you're infringing on my space with your potentially dangerous smoke. I'm free to urinate, but not to urinate in public on your car tire.

This seems simple enough, (engineers love rules), but it gets sticky because of the definition of "others". Is a fetus an "other"?

I may not infringe on your freedoms, but what about situations where it's your life or mine?

I do find it funny that people think animals and children have "rights". "Rights" are only possible when there is "responsibility". We do have a responsibility to "respect" children and animals, but they are not responsible enough to have true "rights".
 

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solsticeman said:
I do find it funny that people think animals and children have "rights". "Rights" are only possible when there is "responsibility". We do have a responsibility to "respect" children and animals, but they are not responsible enough to have true "rights".
That reminds me of first class in driver's ed. Driving is not a right it's a privilege, that can be as easily granted as it can be taken away.
 

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For most things in life, my personal belief is that any belief taken to the extreme becomes fanaticism, and fanaticism usually doesn't yield good results.

I personally strive for a balance in all things, and this extends to my beliefs regarding Freedom vs. Security. Rather than bore you with my personal beliefs and experiences, I will give you these words written by our (us Americans at least) founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
For me, this talks about the need to balance the pursuit of freedoms with the security of government, which is and should be a continually ongoing process. This is why the US Constitution was written as it was, to enable us as a country to change our government as needed.

For those concerned about the loss of Freedom in the world today, I ask what you as a citizen of (insert Country here) has done to change things.
 
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