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The land of the free. Fact or meaningless rhetoric?

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posted on May, 6 2012 @ 10:51 AM
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The land of the free. Fact or meaningless rhetoric?

Rhetoric is described as language that is not honest, sincere, or meaningful.

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.

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?

Would it be more accurate to say land of liberty to follow the rules?

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?

Regards
DL




posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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You bring up a very interesting idea. Here in the United States, the words "Freedom" and "Free" are used very casually to describe our life here, but I don't think people really think of understand what true freedom means.

I remember my father, who was an immigrant from Serbia, tell me that he was so thrilled to come to the United States because of all the talk about being free and having freedom, only to get here and learn that it is not so free after all. He said there are signs everywhere which told him what he couldn't do, and all kinds of laws and taxes, and he was confused, because the movies he saw from Hollywood showed something different.

I think what the US means as "Free", means the ability to travel as one wants without having to show papers (although that is now changing), free to choose your own line of work, and free to worship as you like. Freedom of Speech, the Right to Bear Arms, The Right to Peaceably Assemble, the Right to Be Free From Unreasonable Search and Seizure, and The Right Not to Incriminate Ourselves have been infringed upon, soon to disappear and only become a distant memory.

"Freedom" is political rhetoric, a lot of hot air, and the term used more frequently by blow-hard politicians now that there is a lot less of it



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:14 AM
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When the brave were replaced by the politically correct the free were enslaved.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by Greatest I am

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.


Just because your language does not have a word for a concept does not mean that a concept does not exist. This is an arrogant statement and absurdly illogical. There are many French words that have no English translation. It does not mean that the concept that they frame does not exist.

However, let's take that as a given for your argument that the definitions within a specific language define a concept for the speaker of that language as an intellectual exercise.



Originally posted by Greatest I am
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.


In the English language the first definition (which is understood to be the dominant meaning) of liberty means something else.

lib·er·ty noun ˈli-bər-tē
plural lib·er·ties
Definition of LIBERTY
1: the quality or state of being free: a : the power to do as one pleases b : freedom from physical restraint c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges.

Because you are specifying the qualitative difference between "rhetoric" and "truth" as the definition within a given language (i.e. because you have no word for "freedom" in French it does not exist for you because you are French), then by your own givens for this qualifier liberty, and freedom in the english language is not rhetoric, it is truth, at least for English speakers, which it seems you speak rather well I might add.


Originally posted by Greatest I am

That being the case, is land of the free a true and meaningful expression?


Yes, by your own qualifer, because the definition in English only mentions "limits" in the second definition which is not the dominant, primary definition, and is also qualified as subjective.


Originally posted by Greatest I am
Would it be more accurate to say land of liberty to follow the rules?


No. Please see above English definition.

Also, any slave has the "freedom to follow the rules".


Originally posted by Greatest I am
"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?


I do not have the authority to speak of divine command, that is above my pay grade. I do not believe that there are or have been many human beings that could (although many have claimed to, but I digress.) I can not discern where divine command or destiny starts and my free will ends; however, I will say...

Absolute freedom is anarchy, yet any law hampers freedom, and yet again without laws and social order there can be no freedom. Absolute freedom does not exist. Nor does absolute anything.

Balancing free will, freedom, liberty, and all of those related concepts with security, and social order is a long standing struggle of human existence. In fact, it is the primary defining factor of any culture of civilization. This is our eternal struggle that manifests within every culture, society, and languages used within them.

In short, the ideas of "freedom" and "liberty" can certainly be used as rhetoric, but the ideas themselves are not rhetoric. Defining an abstract idea as "truth" or "rhetoric" based upon one aspect of a definition within a specific language, based upon the speaker of that language is myopic, and untrue.
edit on 6-5-2012 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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Honestly... If you ignore the tv, avoid public transportation and air travel...

I still feel pretty free.

My day to day life honestly, hasn't changed, post 911 and pre 911 patriot act, my actual functioning day to day life really hasn't...

What has changed is my BELIEF in freedom has changed, I don't know if we ever had it, and if all this Land of the Free, home of the brave is just part of the Gilded cage.

Debt is not freedom, wage slavery is not either.

I think because of the Internet all that has happened is now we are aware of the bars imposed upon us.
edit on 6-5-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:34 AM
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reply to post by Greatest I am
 


I had a conversation with an American (from Las Vegas) who was working for me, who was quite loud, brash, boastful and patriotic as Americans can get, he was a great salesman but always boasting of the USA's power, freedom and success. Our offices are in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Manila) and he was one that loved the nightlife, although engaged to a Filipino woman he loved to play around with ladies of the night regularly, especially in Thailand and Philippines.

Anyway, one day over drinks we discussed freedom and why Americans seem to think they enjoy more freedom than others? After discussing life in America, Europe and Asia, I had him quite stumped as he had to agree that life in Asia (especially Thailand - Land of the Free) enjoyed much more freedom than life in the USA or Europe!

For example in Vegas his nightlife activities would be greatly curtailed by police stings and arrests for using paid for sex partners. Yes gambling is legal in USA (Thailand it is not but Philippines and Singapore it is), drinking alcohol is available everywhere outside Islamic countries, so how much more freedom did he really enjoy? Freedom of speech is enjoyed in Europe and most of Asia (China and North Korea accepted) up to a point (USA the same, its really an illusion).

So in the end the only different freedom he could cite was the right to bare arms, so there you have it folks! It's all about guns.

edit on 6/5/12 by Hongkongphooey because: (no reason given)
edit on 6/5/12 by Hongkongphooey because: typo



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by Hongkongphooey
 


I remember when I was in canada a while back, there was a story on the news there about the hearing of a man who was going to go to jail because of his Anti-semetic remarks...

That is one thing we still have no matter how much people say we don't Freedom of speech, I know I can say pretty much anything and I wont be thrown in jail...

I can criticize the government, the president personally and I still wont get in trouble.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 


You would think so, wouldn't you? Look up some of the people investigated and arrested under your 'Patriot Act' law, it would show you that freedom of speech is no longer a right you enjoy if certain people/powers take exception to what what you say!

That said, the UK enjoys the same rights. However, if the US arrested people for anti-semitsm there would be only a few posters left here on ATS LOL


That said, I do not believe that someone should have the right to target or pick on somebody because of their race, colour or religion! Everyone should be accountable for their views and eduction should be the priority not imprisonment. We are all human, even Jews!



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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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. define dishonesty
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?

Regards
DL

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.

Wordsare 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 post.
edit on 6-5-2012 by iferget because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by Greatest I am
 


Comparatively speaking, yes... the US is (or at least, was) the land of the free. Of course, that term was coined in a song written during the War of 1812. And while it stuck around because, comparatively, it was a good fit, there is always a case for arguing against it because it is all based on one's view or opinion of a given subject.

Like most everything else political, there is no firmness except in the individual viewpoint so... when rhetorically speaking, the land of the free to one person may be a hated pit in hell to another.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 12:49 PM
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reply to post by DarthMuerte
 


I wouldn't venture as far as to peg PC as the cause of anything.

The problem lies deeper than the usual reasons that people will cite (partisan conflicts, religious beliefs, etc).



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 01:59 PM
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Originally posted by FissionSurplus
You bring up a very interesting idea. Here in the United States, the words "Freedom" and "Free" are used very casually to describe our life here, but I don't think people really think of understand what true freedom means.

I remember my father, who was an immigrant from Serbia, tell me that he was so thrilled to come to the United States because of all the talk about being free and having freedom, only to get here and learn that it is not so free after all. He said there are signs everywhere which told him what he couldn't do, and all kinds of laws and taxes, and he was confused, because the movies he saw from Hollywood showed something different.

I think what the US means as "Free", means the ability to travel as one wants without having to show papers (although that is now changing), free to choose your own line of work, and free to worship as you like. Freedom of Speech, the Right to Bear Arms, The Right to Peaceably Assemble, the Right to Be Free From Unreasonable Search and Seizure, and The Right Not to Incriminate Ourselves have been infringed upon, soon to disappear and only become a distant memory.

"Freedom" is political rhetoric, a lot of hot air, and the term used more frequently by blow-hard politicians now that there is a lot less of it


I basically agree.

"travel as one wants without having to show papers (although that is now changing),"

Could you expand on this please?

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:01 PM
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Originally posted by DarthMuerte
When the brave were replaced by the politically correct the free were enslaved.


Way before that I think.

Most countries including the U. S have been oligarchies for many years now.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:13 PM
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Originally posted by redhorse
[

Absolute freedom is anarchy, yet any law hampers freedom, and yet again without laws and social order there can be no freedom. Absolute freedom does not exist. Nor does absolute anything.

]


Snipped for brevity.

I do work on English and I think you for your kudos on mine.

Yours was a well thought out and put post and I do not think we have much to argue.

I agree with this above and to me, it looks like you made my case.

You say freedom as an absolute does not exist and I agree and that is why I say that the U. S cannot be the land of freedom or the free. You are only free to follow the rules. That is why I would call it the land of liberty as that term means free to follow the rules.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
Honestly... If you ignore the tv, avoid public transportation and air travel...

I still feel pretty free.

My day to day life honestly, hasn't changed, post 911 and pre 911 patriot act, my actual functioning day to day life really hasn't...

What has changed is my BELIEF in freedom has changed, I don't know if we ever had it, and if all this Land of the Free, home of the brave is just part of the Gilded cage.

Debt is not freedom, wage slavery is not either.

I think because of the Internet all that has happened is now we are aware of the bars imposed upon us.
edit on 6-5-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)


No argument.
It is hard to say how much true freedom can be had in an oligarchy and that is what has ruled the U. S for many years if not since it's conception.

Those in power need fear the net because it is making people smarter in spike of governments and religions that try to keep the general population dumb.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by Hongkongphooey


So in the end the only different freedom he could cite was the right to bare arms, so there you have it folks! It's all about guns.
]


Yes. The U. S. is quite into that right.

In a way, I do not blame them given the mindset that they have been sold or talked into.

After all, the so called free world of the West, has used them for quite a while as the spearhead of democracy. Never mind that the West is mostly made up of oligarchies.

If I thought of myself as the police of the world, I would want to be armed as well.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
reply to post by Hongkongphooey
 


I remember when I was in canada a while back, there was a story on the news there about the hearing of a man who was going to go to jail because of his Anti-semetic remarks...

That is one thing we still have no matter how much people say we don't Freedom of speech, I know I can say pretty much anything and I wont be thrown in jail...

I can criticize the government, the president personally and I still wont get in trouble.



True but that is a far cry from hate speech or spouting lies.

It also depends on where and when you say whatever you want to say. Your government has restricted free speech in some instances.

What is the name of that weird ass church that is restricted from preaching near the funerals of your soldiers? Sorry I have forgotten their name.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by Greatest I am
 


The last group of free people who had real freedom and liberty in North America were the native Americans. This freedom ended once Europeans and there descendants took there land and destroyed there culture.

The Declaration of Independence claims: "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."

However this did not include Women, Blacks, Native Americans, or Orientals.

The Constitution states:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Is this just a bunch of propaganda? The Native Americans were slaughtered there culture destroyer and they were lied too, the Blacks were still enslaved and Women still didn't have the right to vote or to have equal rights.

The United States History includes genocide, ethnic cleansing, institutionalized racism, concentration camps, McCarthyism, prohibition and Imperialistic expansion. The Untied States also has a history of toppling free elected governments supporting despotic dictators

Lincoln took dictatorship powers during the civil war, this was from a president that only won 37% of the votes he jailed journalist who dissented and suspended habeas corpus. He directed the Northern General's to destroy and punish the Southern states for Seceding from the Union. He freed the slaves then left them out in the weather without any type of assistance or any type of way to better themselves.

The Constitution is a great document, unfortunately those with certain ideologies twist what it says, or offers interpretations??? The Constitution does not guarantee freedoms but limits government from infringing on peoples rights, but when its open to interpretation that's were we do and have run into problems.



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:28 PM
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iferget

I define dishonesty as when politicians use rhetoric to not answer question with the truth. Like when they say that efforts are ongoing in areas where funding has been drastically cut. That is quite often.

As to artistic liberty, you have a point. Unfortunately most U.S. citizens believe what is said without thinking about it. That is how so many are foolishly thinking that their oligarchy is not just that.

Regards
DL



posted on May, 6 2012 @ 03:33 PM
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freedom more or less means freedom from a class or caste system

you are free to move up the ladder if you have the will and the skill

you don't have to be born into the right family per se

there is no such thing as pure freedom, even cavemen had a sense of justice I'm sure

mankind never could do whatever he wanted with no consequences, at any time in any culture





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