Rhetoric is described as language that is not honest, sincere, or meaningful.
Your definition of Rhetoric is limited. Webster defines rhetoric
I would not call it meaningless
rhetoric. Rhetoric is primarily defined as persuasive speaking. The purpose that a specific person has to try
to persuade someone is where the insincerity comes in.
I am French. French has no word that equates to freedom or free will as understood by the English. This makes freedom and land of the free pure
rhetorical statements and basically a dishonest statement. These terms are ideas or a reality that are impossible to have.
First: Just because your language doesn't have a direct translation, doesn't make the intent of the speaker false. Every language in the world has
words that don't translate. This doesn't "make the statements" anything, it leads to you misunderstanding the intent of the speaker.
Second: I think dishonest is an extreme interpretation. It is not intended to mislead
or trick anyone into anything.
Our founders were looking to enjoy more freedom than they had previously, and to communicate that freedom and liberty were important.
Freedom and free will then just becomes something that I would name as liberty. Liberty is described as permission especially to go freely
within specified limits. That says to me that we are only free to follow the rules of society and those in power.
That being the case, is land of the free a true and meaningful expression?
How can "Liberty" be defined without "Freedom". Your definition says "permission...to go freely
within specified limits.
Would it be more accurate to say land of liberty to follow the rules?
Following the rules does not exercise freedom or liberty, quite the opposite. Even the most oppressed of people have liberty: the freedom to act
within the rules, they simply have more restrictive rules. The "Freedom" comes as a description of how limiting the rules are. Freedom is part of
liberty. So "land of the free" would imply that our application of liberty has more freedom than most.
Our founding fathers mentioned liberty as well as freedom, often using them interchangeably. Keep in mind how much of the general populous was
uneducated or illiterate at the time the phrase was crafted.
I'm in the medical field. I often have to use imprecise or improper words with my patients to explain something because the precise/proper words are
meaningless jargon to them (unless they are in the same specialty I am). Even other medical professionals with a higher education than mine don't
understand some of the words in my field's lexicon. So I compromise to best convey meaning
to my audience. Would you call me liar?
Land of the free is a descriptive statement, not an absolute one. If you require the absolute exercise of the definition of freedom then, no, it does
not exist. Either does Honesty, beauty, oppression, safety, happiness, or any other word that describes a force. But to imply dishonesty: the intent
to defraud or deceive, based on the philosophical point that absolute freedom doesn't exist is flawed. You are saying: "No one is absolutely free so
you are trying to deceive me!"
To try to convey any point so it can not be misunderstood by anyone is impossible. To try to inspire others while doing so is doubly impossible.
Would you suggest the national anthem be written by lawyers rather than artists, so we can be sure not to potentially mislead anyone? (as I try to
imagine that song)
Free will is defined as freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.
Free will translates to being your own master and not having your will hampered by any outside influence not of your choosing.
Does any law or divine command negate free will, freedom of choice and the notion of a ---- Land of the free?
Any law that speaks against what I want, hampers my free will. However as a human being, I can make the choice to break the law, exercise my free
will, and suffer the consequences.
If I were to disassemble your words to the same extent that you have in your post:
Gravity negates my freedom to fly.
Mortality negates my freedom to live.
My lack of ability to convey meaning directly from my mind to another's (bypassing language) negates my freedom to express myself fully.
are a poor form of communication.
The listener/receiver has an obligation to try to discern the thought/understanding the speaker was trying to convey.
To intentionally misunderstand, or "twist the words" is also dishonest.
Having said all this, I do not believe we are upholding the priciples of freedom and liberty that founded our country, but that's a different
edit on 6-5-2012 by iferget because: (no reason given)