September 20, 2011

On Freedom

Collected in the RSS feed, almost back-to-back: Link here:
Cicero, De Officiis 1.20.69-70 (tr. Walter Miller):
But there have been many and still are many who, while pursuing that calm of soul of which I speak, have withdrawn from civic duty and taken refuge in retirement. Among such have been found the most famous and by far the foremost philosophers and certain other earnest, thoughtful men who could not endure the conduct of either the people or their leaders; some of them, too, lived in the country and found their pleasure in the management of their private estates. Such men have had the same aims as kings—to suffer no want, to be subject to no authority, to enjoy their liberty, that is, in its essence, to live just as they please.
Link here:
One morning, I got a letter from my wonderful aunt, a secular humanist who runs a nonprofit and dedicates her entire life to helping women leave situations of slavery. While I love and admire and appreciate her dearly, it is worth noting that she is in no way what I would consider a practicing Christian.

Her letter began: "My dear, I woke up this morning and felt I should write to you about freedom. It is an issue I have thought about for many long years. And what I have realized is this: My freedom ends where another's begins..."

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