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Freedom - Research Paper Example

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The extent of individual freedom and development of society is intrinsically linked to advancing knowledge and development of state. Indeed, the diversity of knowledge in myriad field has been a major driver that has contributed to transformation of the world…
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Freedom
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Freedom

The constitutional imperatives of the government are crucial mechanisms which may restrict personal freedom of individuals. They not only uphold law and order but also ensure development of societies across the world. Thus, absolute freedom for individuals is not possible. What is freedom? Meaning of freedom differs from place to place but can be broadly described as absolute right of individuals to control their lives and live in whichever way they want. People often expect that in a free State, one should have absolute freedom of expression vis-a-vis his/her behavior, speech and actions. In country like America, freedom of individuals has become more controversial and probably more intensely contested because of the diverse society and history of racial discrimination. Many a times, drugs, suicides, euthanasia etc. are construed as individual decisions and government restrictions are hotly contested. The interpretation of freedom, therefore, needs to be further explored for the wider welfare of people. Patterson (1991) asserts that in contemporary times, freedom ‘stands unchallenged as supreme value in Western world’ (ix). It is explicit by its very connotation and needs to be experienced. Most importantly, he has differentiated freedom in three distinct parameters: personal, sovereign; and civic. Personal freedom is described as doing what one pleases without restrictions from government or anyone but within the broader precincts of ethical consideration. Sovereign freedom broadly enforces restriction on personal freedom for individuals’ own socio-economic benefits. The civic freedom defines guidelines and rights of individuals within society and conforms to prescribed community or group. This is interesting because it also shows that personal freedom or absolute freedom is not possible, as it is often constrained by politics and religiosity of region and place. Social structure and individual’s rights Social construction is a distributed network of human relationships that is inherently linked with its environment. The role of religion, culture and value system within the wider perspective of individuals’ life is a hugely critical factor. It not only promotes guidelines for peaceful social interaction, but it also defines individual’s rights and limitation of his/ her freedom to act as he/she pleases. The informal social control, exerted by various social paradigms of the system within which individuals co-exist, become strong tenets of restrictions on personal freedom of the people. At the same time, the social identities of individuals within the society also require modicum of social conduct that define and limit the extent freedom that individuals can enjoy. Within a family, parents or elderly behave in manner that serves as model for the younger generations. The same is true of children who have to follow certain rules which conform to the value system of the family. Hence, individual’s right within the defined social structure is governed by many social imperatives. Law and individual’s right to freedom The law is an integral part of social structure and is primarily defined as a set of rules promulgated by the sovereign body to maintain law and order. Locke (1690) claims that State was created with the exclusive purpose of protecting the citizens’ ... Read More
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