Wednesday, July 19, 2006

On Freedom

Blosser quotes Pannenberg:

"The prevailing idea of freedom in our societies today, of course, is the idea that each person has the right to do as he pleases. Freedom is not connected to any notion of the good as constitutive of freedom itself. Because of the incompleteness of human existence in history, any idea of freedom involves the risk of abuse. But it does make a very big difference whether the distinction between the use and abuse of freedom is observed. When it is observed, it is possible to challenge the equation of freedom with license. The ambiguity built into the modern idea of freedom helps us understand secular culture's ambivalence when it comes to values in general, and our cultural nervousness about affirming the contents and standards by which the culture itself is defined. With respect to values and cultural traditions, as with truth claims, a consumerist attitude prevails. Each chooses according to his preferences or perceived needs. The disengagement of the idea of freedom from an idea of the true and the good is the great weakness of secularist societies."

There's a great deal more on that post--surveying from Aristotle through Locke.

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