Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Liberty v. Security

What is liberty to you? What is security to you? At what price are we willing to sacrifice liberties for ourselves and others in order to promote security? What instances in the history of the UNited States or in the world have we sacrificed liberty for the assurance of security?

Make sure to react to one another's comments. I miss you guys and need you to rise to the challenge of me not being able to be there. Hopefully, I will be back tomorrow if Emma gets better.

78 Comments:

Blogger BenH said...

To me, Liberty is freedom from limitations or control. Security is freedom from danger or harm.

As Ben Franklin said, "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security." However, today's society very readily gives up liberty in exchange for what they beleive to be security.

Just look at the USA PATRIOT act. It gives the government hugely expanded abilities to watch us. They can do things that they never could before.

And sometimes they even do things that they can't now. Such as the warrantless wiretaps. Those were illegal privacy violations, but many felt them justified because they were supposedly in the interest of national security.

I think that today our society is more willing to sacrifice liberty than ever.

Tue May 01, 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger adamb said...

I have mixed views about this topic. It depends on what we are getting security from. I do not think that the United States as of now is sacrificing liberty for the right reasons. As Ben said, the Patriot Act gives the government huge control, but it really does not make us any safer. But if we were in a war that directly threatened us through armed force, I would be much more willing to sacrifce my liberty for security, but right now, the sacrifice for security is not worth it because the Patriot Act doesn't really help enough with national security to cost us some of our freedom..

Tue May 01, 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger adamb said...

Also, liberty is the freedom to feel however you like and to say what ever you like.

Tue May 01, 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger EmilyH said...

I agree with what benh said- liberty is freedom from limitations or control and security is protection from physical or financial harm. I feel that to some extent liberty can be sacrificed in order to ensure our security, but if liberty is being sacrificed in preparation of a false threat or imagined security threat then it should be stopped.

Tue May 01, 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger connord said...

well, liberty to me has to be the freedom of speech above everything else. I think being able to say and do whatever you want without being restrained. If you are able to speak out against the government in a meaningful way then it is liberty. At the moment protesters are not allowed into the premises of Geore Bush's speechs...

Tue May 01, 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger annes said...

Ben- what are you doing blogging before your class time. You are really breaking the rules! However, I am glad you put up the comment by Big Ben. I was going to put it on there as a comment when Emma went down for a nap, but you beat me to it.

Regardless of the Patriot Act, don't we all want to be safe and protected? But are willing to let others protect us (i.e. the government) or should we all turn into Branch Dividians with an arsonal in our basement and not let others try and protect our liberties?

I am not saying either is perfect, but like Big Ben said, if we give up, ..."an essential liberty for temporary security", do we really only "deserve neither liberty or security". Can't there be a compromise in there somewhere?

Tue May 01, 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger paigen said...

Liberty to me is being able to do what I want so long as it doesn't hurt others. I think security is being protected from things that could hurt you. As Ben has already said, the US Patriot Act took away some of your freedom for the protection of national security. I am willing to sacrifice some of my freedom, if it is needed to keep myself and others safe. Although, I guess all of your freedom could be taken away to keep everyone safe, there should be some limits as to what you can do.

In regards to Adam's comment on the Patriot Act, I think it does make us safer though, if there ever was a phone conversation about a terrorist attack, we would know that much sooner. And does it really affect people like us who aren't terrorists?

Tue May 01, 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger KathrynT said...

To me, liberty is the freedom to do as I chose and to have rights. Security is the protection given to me to ensure liberty and safety. It is ironic to sacrifice liberty for security, because security should protect liberty. However, in some ways we do sacrifice liberty for security, because we do not want, for example, terrorists to come and bomb airplanes and threaten our country. So, in order to do that, we may violate someone's personal space and property and privacy.

Tue May 01, 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Kjerstinl said...

To tell the truth, I'm not really sure what liberty and truth are to me. When I think about it, I don't really know what liberty is. I guess to me it is more of the idea of freedom, to say what I want to say and such. I know it's kind of vague, but I've really never taken the time to think about it. Security is kind of the same situation. I never really thought about this but I have a general idea. I think that security is more of how our country keeps the people safe and how the country makes sure that people don't worry about international problems. The only problem is that there should be more security inside our country from one another. I feel that there might be more fear from those around you than those in a different country.
To tell the truth, I really don't know if people sacrifice liberties to promote security because I don't know much about the world right now. I know that in airports and stuff, people have given up the right to just walk into a plane without being checked for weapons and such due to security. I can't really remember otherwise where people sacrifice liberty for security.

Tue May 01, 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger joshb said...

Obviously, when talking about liberty and security at the same time the patriot act is the first thing that comes to mind. Personally, I do not mind the Patriot act and I do not think that anybody should care. The patriot act is designed to help prevent terrorist activities inside the US. So why are people complaining when it keeps our country safe. Call screening only takes place in suspected terrorist situations, and even if someone was listening to a private conversation, the people who were talking would never know. Maybe right now, the patriot act may not be doing much for our country, but we as the public do not know anything compared to what the government does. We know what the media wants to tell us and nothing else.

Tue May 01, 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger kimmy c. said...

liberty is the ability to do things in our country that some people in others can't experience because of their controlling government. Security is the limitation of certain freedoms in order to protect and save people. In the case of the United States, we will sacrifice our liberties for any big threat. Once instance that happened in the United States was when 9-11 occured. National Security went up extremely and freedoms on planes went down a fair amount. We sacrificed the freedom of bringing certain items on planes, as well as getting heavily searced before boarding the plane, in order to have better security. Another example was the red scare, in which the nation was going to chaos in order to rid ourselves of the communism that was in the united states.

Tue May 01, 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger tanal said...

I agree with what both Emily and Ben said, in that liberty is freedom with limitations and security is protection. I think that here in the United States we heve both security and liberty balanced. I think that in a time of need we should be willing to sacrifice liberty to promote more security in our country. If we don't have security in our country then there is a possibility that we could lose our liberty, so I think it is important to sacrifice some liberty in order to get security.

Tue May 01, 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger alexd said...

As emily and ben said liberty is freedom from limitations or control and security is protection from physical or finacial harm, I think that it security can not go so far that it infrenges on the rights of loyal tax payers.

Tue May 01, 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger DeclanH said...

I agree with ben. I think liberty is freedom from control, while security is peace of mind and a sense of safety. People are very willing to sacrifice liberties (especially other people's) in order to maintain their own security. I know it has been referred to multiple times now, but the Patriot Act is a perfect example. I think the only reason anyone would be ok with the Patriot Act is because it supposedly gives us the assurance of security, which is an important thing. Because without having security to defend it, liberty doesn't seem as good.

Tue May 01, 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger SarahEChurchill said...

Liberty to me is being able to speak my mind, and live independently. I have the liberty to go to school of my own free will, buy clothes, etc. Security is things like the police, camera surveillance, security systems, the National Guard, and other things. Most of these only come at the price of people paying taxes for their salary (I think...?), but some of these things limit liberty in order to keep us safe. For instance, we have the liberty of privacy (In my view), but sometimes we must give that up in order to keep us safe, like camera surveillance.
I think that we should only sacrifice liberty if a threat has become to big for normal security to hold back. If the threat is large, security should increase. If it is small, we should watch for signs that it will become greater.

Tue May 01, 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger *AlexxM_* said...

I think that freedom is essentially what Ben already said, with the exception that freedom is essentially what we think it is. I think that freedom is relevant only to the believers. To each their own.

What Ben said about security is also what I believe. And no, I'm not just copying him. We just think along generally the same lines. What he found that Ben Franklin said is really true and relevant in the US today, with the wire tapping and the email reading and the other things that Homeland Security does in the intrest of it's namesake.

Well that's just my thoughts.


HPDH 7/21/07!

Tue May 01, 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger elyseh said...

To me liberty is freedom, and freedom causes security, which is safety. You feel safe when you have freedom and can say, do, and think what you want. The only liberties we really sacrifice for security are the liberties like we have to follow others instructions we can't just do what we want and we have to obey certain things for like airport security. Unlike adam i think that some of our sacrifice of liberties is worth it because it makes us feel more secure. The Vietnam war is an example of sacrificed liberty for assurance of security because soldiers were drafted and they couldn't choose if they wanted to go to war or not, but they were fighting for our country(security).

Tue May 01, 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger briang said...

To me, liberty is the freedom from despotic government control. It is the ability to be independent and to have freedoms. Security, to me, is like what Ben said, the freedom from harm, danger or risk.

In today's world, especially here in America, we are very willing to sacrifice liberties for our own security. But, it is strange that we would sacrifice our liberties for security because security should protect our liberties. One instance in the United States was the attack on 9/11 and airport security. We may sacrifice some of our personal liberties and privacy in order to allow airlines to keep us secure during flights. Airport security has become much stricter in the last couple of years, and some of our liberties are paying the price for it.

Tue May 01, 08:53:00 AM  
Blogger adrianag said...

Well, I guess the obvious example of sacrificing liberty would be the Japanese internment.(Wow, what a coincidence, we're reading a book about it now.) However, only some people were sacrificing liberty at that time. An example now when everyone is sacrificing would be the USA PATRIOT Act. I can't think of any example in history in which liberty has been worth sacrificing. In most cases, security itself doesn't get better--people just think it does. I guess that might help give a sense of security. A false one, yes, but it keeps the people happy. I think I have heard of some other examples of losing freedom in the name of liberty, but of course, I can't think of them at the moment. Weren't there some rights that were suspended during the Civil War? I think I remember something about allowing people to be arrested without knowing the charges. There was also some injustice during the red scare, but again, this was only directed at some people, not everyone.

Hope Emma gets better soon.

Tue May 01, 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger chelseah said...

To me, liberty is freedom and the right to be free. Its the right to all the freedoms that the United States and the Constitution guarantee. Security is feeling safe while feeling free at the same time. Its feeling protected too.

I think that it varies between people of what price we are willing to pay. Some people would to anything to feel safe, while others would much rather have their liberites and freedoms.

Well, in the Japanese American Internment camps, we felt somewhat threatened by them, and therefore took action to control them for our safety. Even though they were American citizens we chose to get rid of and sacrifice their rights for our own feeling of securtiy.

Tue May 01, 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger saram said...

Like everyone else has basically said, I think liberty is limited freedom and security is the freedom from harm and danger. I agree with Tana when she said that we have a pretty good balance in the United States. In a time of need we are all pretty willing to sacrifice some liberty to ensure our security is safe. After all, without security, there really is no way to make sure that our liberty is safe.

Tue May 01, 08:56:00 AM  
Blogger Hannah J said...

To be completely honest, I'm not 100% sure what iberty and security are to me. I guess I haven't ever thought about it that much. Now that I am thinking about it however, I suppose security is just feeling safe no matter where you are. When I go to bed at night, I can't sleep unless I have my dog Phoebe sleeping on my pillow. I don't really understand why because I'm pretty sure there is nothing she could do to protect me from anything...she's only four pounds =]. But I still feel safe with her there.

Tue May 01, 08:58:00 AM  
Blogger christas said...

To me, liberty is juat having basic freedoms that we have in the United States- freedom of religion, freedom of speech,and rights deserved by everyone, like the right to vote. Liberty is connected to security in that liberty is freedom from fear. People should not have to be afraid of being persecuted for their ethnicity, race, or life status. My definition of security, like Ben's, is being protected from danger or harm.

I think that we are willing to sacrifice liberties when we ourselves are affected. The United States is able to look at a dictator in Africa and say, "So-in-so is so terrible! He is taking away the liberty of the people!", but when we feel threatened, we feel that we can take away liberty in an instant just to insure security. An example of this is in Farewell to Manzanar. I haven't read the book, but I know that it is about the Japanese internment camps in the United States. The camps were set up because Americans were paranoid that all Japanese were spies and wanting revenge for the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Because of our fear, Japanese people were treated like animals and denied liberty when they were forced from their homes to live in small shacks in internment camps.

I also agree with Mrs. Smith that there has to be some compromise. I appreciate the fact that the government is trying to protect the country from those who would like to do harm, but at the same time, they might be denying simple liberties for security. You can't have one good thing without some bad things that come along with it.

Tue May 01, 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger endsleye said...

To me, liberty is having the freedom of all your rights and freedom with out limintations. Liberty is protected to us under the Constitution and we have proof in the Liberty Bell. Security is the feeling of being safe without worry and concern. I think people throw away their liberties for security because i know that i would much rather be secure then have all my liberties. We have sacrificed many liberties in the history of the United States when we have been threatned by war or terriorsts. We even sacrafice liberty for ourselves by maybe not going outside past midnight because there is a lot of violence in your area.

Tue May 01, 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger shaunam said...

To me, liberty is freedom, and the right to exersize your freedoms such as freedom of speech, press, assembly etc.I also agree with BenH's definition. Security to me is being protected from physical and financial harm. I think that if it is 100% necessary to give up our freedom for security, then we should. But we should never have to give up our freedoms for a false alarm or something that doesn't really effect the citizens.
We were talking about this in history recently, and during the Cold War Red Scare era, people were taken away from a majority of their freedoms such as freedom of speech. Since everyone thought everyone else was communist, no one felt safe.

Tue May 01, 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger jessb said...

Liberty to me is freedom of speech and self-expression. Without that, a person can't be themselves.
Security is the government, the gvt. creates a safe environment for all of us.

Tue May 01, 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Phillips said...

I think that humans don't truly want freedoms become with freedom comes responsibility, and people are lazy. Also, people want to be secure more than they want freedom, because than someone else is doing the work for them. So, People will sacrifice,if you can call it that, their freedoms, among other things, for security and no work.

Tue May 01, 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger annes said...

What are you guys willing to sacrifice for the sake of security?

Tue May 01, 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger christas said...

Sorry, I just realized I made a mistake- the Japanese were put in the internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, not the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Sorry about that.

Tue May 01, 09:25:00 AM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

I would consider liberty to be the freedom I could exercise if I lived in an anarchy. I also know that anarchy obviously doesn't work. I would say that living in the United States we have that liberty BUT there are consequences for exercising certain of these liberties. I think the system works because I feel that I can do what I want while knowing that certain actions would be a bad idea because of punishment. I could very well yell fire in a crowded theater when there was none if I wanted to. There is nothing stopping me until after I have done it. It is within my liberties to do something like that. After the fact, however, the written consequences are brought into effect and that's when I get in trouble. Not for what I could do but for what I have done. I would say that I feel safe and secure knowing that people are punished for their actions. I am against any laws that prohibit actions or ownership but I support laws detailing punishments for doing certain things. People have the liberty to do most things and only certain things deserve a punishment. Otherwise people can do whatever they want. The less laws the better as long as society maintains control. Security to me, is control.



(P.S. I don't know if that made any sense but it works in my head. So just ask me if you don't get what I'm trying to say.)

Tue May 01, 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger TomR said...

Liberty is the lack of security. A society with absolute liberty (anarchy) is one with very little security as well. Similarly, a totalitarian dictatorship can provide security (well, except from the government, but that's a whole 'nother kettle of fish), but must restrict liberties in order to do so. You see, entrusting humans with liberties often causes them to make inadequate decisions that restrict their own security or that of others, such as when Winston went off cavorting with his gal pal and lost all security by expending his liberty.

John Locke--I disagree with your comment that certain rights are inalienable. I think liberties are something to be earned, because far too many people use them to do something foolish.

Tue May 01, 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Lane C. said...

Just to add something. I also think that just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. In essence you should govern what you do for yourself and if you don't THEN you suffer the consequences.

Tue May 01, 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Madisonm said...

I feel that liberty is the entitlement to one's own opinions; being able to believe in what you think is right and being able to say your opinions, as well. I think it is also the ability to receive basic rights. It is being able to have a feeling of respect from your fellow country members about what you believe; your shouldn't feel outcasted or discriminated against because of your feelings.

I think that security could be looked at as more of a feeling--you feel secure when you feel safe and comfortable. I think it is harder to give security because it is different for all people--some people feel more comfortable than others in certain sittuations.

I havent ever really given thought to what I would sacrafice for security; whether it were my own personal freedom or if it were the security of my country. I know that currently, the wire tapping of the government for 'security' purposes is not always neccessary but I can see why some might think that it would be an increase in security. I feel that I do not understand the sittuation well enough to have a strong opinion over it, but I know that it is currently a major issue concerning security. I dont know what I would have to sacrafice for my own security, however. I dont know what that would consist of.

Tue May 01, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger erinl said...

Liberty to me is being able to get up in the morning and know what I have a chance to do anything that I want. That anything is possible, and people are allowed to work hard to get where they want. I do think that the government protects our freedom and liberty as citizens of this country.

Tue May 01, 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

Nice comment tom. I like your response to Locke. I was just about to say that your explanation of the trade off between liberty and security is just like the Social Contract. It reminds specifically of Hobbes, I believe, who said that we essentially must be willing to sacrifice all of our liberties if we ever want real security.

Tue May 01, 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger maria k said...

In Meyer's class, we have a project where we get to interview veterens from the wars in the mid-20th century. Every single one of the interviews I have heard stresses how lucky we are to have freedom and a secure gov't.

Ben, I like your quote from Ben Franklin. Good find, it pretty much sums up the question. I agree with Franklin, I think that freedom is more important than security.

However, we definitely sacrificed freedom for security during the Japanese-American Internment camps. It was easy for the gov't (white citizens)to condemn a different race, but I don't think they ever would have condemned themselves. I think that America has shown that personally we would not sacrifice freedom for security, but have no problem doing that to other people.

Tue May 01, 12:38:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

Maria: Just for the sake of conversation, say we were to have no security whatsoever. Our lives could end at any second. Yet we had total freedom. (i.e. the state of nature) If we were to die due to lack of security, would we not have no freedom? We are dead, after all. What does freedom mean to a dead man?

Tue May 01, 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger maddyg said...

To me, liberty is being able to act how you want, but those actions still have consequences. Also, I think that security is being able to use your liberty with confidence and being able to know that no one can take it away from you. Pretty much every war that we have fought, especially in an effort to defend ourselves, it has been for security. Our security still has the ability to be taken away because nothing is for sure and it seems like there is always a threat, such as terrorists or even political parties in our own country.

Tue May 01, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger karib said...

To me, liberty is the ability to be who I want to be and do what I want to do (within reason of course). Like Hannah J., I havent really thought about what it actually means to me. I guess I take for granted that I can drive to swim practice and eat at Qdoba without getting blown up by a suicide bomber and my life is farely carefree. I guess that is also the definition of security. I also agree with Tom's disagreement of John Locke's philosophy that people automatically deserve rights. I do agree that people do automatically deserve the same opportunities that everyone else does (even though that doesn't happen in the real world). I think the line between liberty and security is more of a gray blur than a line and it is different for everyone. That's why it is so challenging to find the right balance.

Tue May 01, 12:40:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Liberty is being able to be free of slavery, talking restrictions, totalitarian government control, freedom of expression, etc. A county with liberty and justice for all allows its citizens to express their opinions publicly without being arrested, etc. etc. etc.... etc. Basically, people can do what they want as long as it doesn't threaten the country or the people and it is reasonable. The reasonability of it, I guess, depends on the government's opinion and that is what laws are for, but liberty is when the laws aren't a chokehold for the people.

Security is being safe from foreign and/or internal threats without feeling like you're being largely constrained or watched. Unlike 1984. In a secure state, people may be sent to prison for threatening acts, etc., but not unduly punished for petty crimes.

That's my take on it.

Tue May 01, 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Shelby B. said...

I agree with Shauna, to me liberty is freedom. Security is that feeling of protection no matter what it may be. I am willing to support those who go to war, but would not like to go my self, unless I was the last hope then I would go, but I would be of great support to those that go to war. As a country I think we are willing to go to whatever extreme is needed to win, because if we do not we may loose our liberty and security and I do not think we are ready to loose that. In Vietnam I think we went to one of our most extremes in history and we were willing to give up many things to keep our freedom and liberty, by trying to keep Vietnam from turning Communist. We gave up many lives so that there would not be another communsit country even though they ended up being half communist.

Tue May 01, 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger lauraf said...

Liberty to me is the ability to have freedoms to the point that won't harm me or other people. Security, at times, can be argued to interrupt that freedom/liberty in America, but it is in place so that people, not only in the US but throughout the world, don't take advantage of our freedoms. For example, we all have probably experienced the increased security as a response to the 9/11 attacks. I don't think that this present security intrudes our liberties because it is in place to protect the country and citizens. Also, an important liberty for me is that of religion, and the freedom to believe whatever you want. Having faith in any religion should not be a cause for government, groups, or anyone to have an opportunity to persecute others.

Tue May 01, 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger Laurab said...

To me, liberty is being able to practice free speech, religion, and thought. In many places, they do not have that freedom, and want to take it away from countries that do. In doing so, they sometimes violate our security.
America must sacrifice its liberty for the price of security, too. In World War II, America put Japanese Americans into internment camps, basing the reason on the fact that the people were of Japanese descent. America said that it wanted to make sure that it was protected, not paying mind to the fact that they were depriving the Japanese Americans their promised "God given" liberties granted upon entering America.

Tue May 01, 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

Something I would like to ask: Are security and liberty mutually exclusive? That is, the more security, the less liberty and vice versa? Or is there such an arrangement where we can have both, and they benefit each other?

Tue May 01, 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Ben: while I think that freedom is of higher priority than security, there needs to be at least some security, otherwise as you said, we could be dead and freedom would be worthless. So I think that freedom and security go hand-in-hand, but freedom, as I said, is definitely of higher priority. After all, what does security matter if we're not allowed to do anything while being safe? Security is all about being able to be free and safe at the same time, so if security takes away our freedom, totalitarian restrictions start to form and freedom is lost at the price of security. I guess the question for people with different opinions is what matters more: freedom or security?

Tue May 01, 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger sarahc said...

Ben said what I wanted to say with the Patriot Act.
I think that liberty is what the Bill of Rights allows us to do. Security is being able to excercise those rights without fear. So, some would say that by these definitions, the Patriot Act is really taking away liberties and also taking away the freedom of free speech at the same time. While it is supposed to protect us from terrorists, it also makes people afriad to speak there mind because the government will suspect them of being a terrorist.
On dictoinary.com, it says, that liberty is "freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice." It uses a bunch of definitions to basically say that security is the freedom from low-confidence, or, in other words, self-confidence. The Patriot Act is controlling our speech on the phone and internet, a direct violation of our liberty, and is making people have low-confidence in our government, because some see this as a desperate move on the government's part (because it is very hard to tap into everyone's phone lines and catch everything they say 24-7), and they are making people have low-confidence on what they can say. People are starting to doubt everyone and anylize what everyone says. In other words, the Patriot Act is starting to create the red scare all over again.

Tue May 01, 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger zachf said...

Liberty is freedom without limitations that allow us as a society to function well while being able to express ourselves. Security is the being fearless of something that might impact our nation negatively. To feel secure we need to know that we as a people are doing the best we can to make our country a safe place to live.

People in our society are willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom in this country even if that means going to some place and fighting for it. Like Ben said about the warrantless wiretaps, if some feel it was in the best interest of the nation to prevent us from being harmed.

Tue May 01, 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

For the most part I agree, Dan. I would say that we must first establish a platform of security on which we can build freedom. However, freedom helps give worth to the life we have attained through security. They are both important values. You need security for freedom, and you need freedom to make security worth it. Like everything, the two are a careful balancing act.

Tue May 01, 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

I believe that some of our liberties can be restricted, however, basic rights should not be violated. Some of the basic rights include: the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the rest of our Constitutional Rights. This includes, in my opinion, the right to live in the United States. I know that the government has limited and sometimes banned this right to cretin groups of people, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese Internment (as we will read about), and to some extent those of the Muslim religion after 9/11.

While I can see the point of taking away some of our liberties, we should never forgo the basic rights that our founding fathers fought for during the American Revolution of the late 1700s. If we did, we the People of the United States, would make the efforts of our fore fathers virtually useless, WE the people, whom they fought and died for.

Tue May 01, 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger emilya said...

Liberty is free agency... the agency to choose what you want, from what you believe. Security is simply feeling safe. I think in few cases we are willing to sacrifice our liberties for ourselves in order to promote security. I believe most people go about and be free to do what they want with a possibility that something may happen to them (loss of security). Yet we still risk it and take our liberties for granted even when it mey not be totally safe.

Tue May 01, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger rsinn_butnotfire said...

i think that liberty is the ability to find that you can do whatever you want, you wake up in the morning and find that your actions and thoughts are free. While security is knowing that you liberty is free. I think that humans are people that will do almost anything to better there situation, and will sacrafice other people's liberties in order to better themselves. Sometimes though, people will put their liberty on the line in order to gain their security in knowing that they are free people.

During civil rights movements, i think that the african american people had free control over their thoughts and actions, but they did not have the security in knowing that they had free actions, they had liberty without security. The african american people put their liberty on the line in order to gain their security.

Tue May 01, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger zachf said...

A question I have: Should the government be allowed to limit one person's liberty for the well being of another's?

Tue May 01, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Ben (again): yes, I would agree that they are mutually exclusive, to some extent. For example, if we had no laws we would be totally "free" but would have to worry about threats from within our own country. On the flip side, security usually means giving up freedom, especially in the 21st century, because there are so many people out there that for some reason want to harm us. If they are in our country, that means we have to hurt ourselves to get rid of them.

In some cases, though, they aren't mutually exclusive. Take, for example, a perfect utopian society that actually functions the way it is supposed to. If no one in the world had the intention to harm the U.S. or any other country, the people could be free to do what they wanted because there would be no threat while at the same time being secure. But this will likely never happen.

So in the context of today, yes, they are mutually exclusive.

Tue May 01, 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

I like Ben’s definition of security and liberty.

I personally think there is fine balance. You cannot get too far into a person's life without violating privacy, but privacy does have to be violated sometimes in order to solve crimes.

One historical example of liberty vs. security is the McCarthy hearings. Joseph McCarthy ruined the lives of many suspected communists in the name of security.

Personally, I am willing to sacrifice my privacy for a background check.

Tell Emma I hope she feels better.

Tue May 01, 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger hannahs said...

To me, liberty is summed up in the first amendment. To have to the freedom of speech, religion, freedom of the press, petition the government, and the freedom to assemble are the most crucial liberties. Security, is feeling safe and secure with my country and surroundings. I think that we are willing to sacrifice a significant amount of liberties to insure our security, especially when it involves the liberty of other cultures and races. One of the most embarrassing instances in history where the U.S. has sacrificed other people's liberty was the internment of Japanese Americans. Also, during the Red Scare, the American people sacrificed some of their liberties to stop the spread of Communism in America.

Endsleye- I disagree that liberty is freedom without limitations. As Tomr said, complete liberty of the people is anarchy. A society needs limitations and laws to function because humans cannot live under anarchy permanently.

Phillips- I also think that people want their freedom, but they don’t want others to have the same freedoms. For example, a nation with the freedom of speech means that everyone is allowed to say what they want. Some people like this freedom only when they agree with what is being said. Also, I think that you are right about people valuing security over freedom. During the Red Scare, America was close to tearing itself apart in search of Communists. I think that paranoia spreads quickly when people feel insecure, and in America, we are willing to sacrifice freedoms to feel secure again.

Tue May 01, 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger kenna_d said...

Liberty to me is like what Ben said, it is freedom from being controlled, also I think that liberties are a person's rights. Security is safety, and safety is freedom from being controlled by fear. I'm really not sure what liberties I would be willing to give up for security. Some things the U.S. has given up in order to have security during war are soldiers lives and certain goods. People also give a little of themselves when they sacrafice things to help troops, and ending of wars.

Tue May 01, 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Ben (yet again): I agree that they are both important values and that you need one to have the other, but in today's society, it is very unlikely that people will have sufficient security and still be able to have a reasonable amount of freedom. I guess that once we figure out a way to have freedom and security at the same time then society will probably be more enjoyable for everyone.

Tue May 01, 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger lindsey c said...

To me, liberty is the freedom to speak what you want. Liberty is the ability to worship whatever religion you see fit. Liberty is the opportunity to protest. Liberty is all of these things, and more. Liberty cannot be defined in general, it has to be defined by one person; yourself. When you know what liberty is to you, then you have that rein to do what you want. However, with liberty comes responsibility. You have to know that with that freedom, there are still consequences and you need to know how far you are willing to go before breaking the rules.
Security is more general than that. Security is the feeling that you are safe. Not only that, but also knowing that you are happy with what is going on. Like if you go to new neighborhood that’s locked down every night at 10; no one in and no one out. You would probably be safer than most, but you would not be secure. You would not have that feeling of serenity when you go out because you know that just as soon as you leave, you have to go right back. So, to me, security is not only feel safe, but being content with your surrounding and yourself.
You have to be willing to sacrifice certain liberties to be secure, but to what extent. I would not be willing to give up my right to privacy or my right to free speech, but when I think about it, I don’t know what I would be willing to give up. I know it’s selfish, but I really can’t think of many thinks that aren’t material to give up. What it really comes down to is if it were a life or death situation, would you be willing to give up anything?
Lastly, in the United States, I think that there have been many times when we had to give our liberties in order to remain secure. Take civil rights for instance. During the Montgomery bus Boycott, blacks gave up their right t ride in the bus so that way they could ride wherever they wanted. Americans have fought to be more secure; ands in the process have temporarily and permanently lost privileges that were just “luxuries

Tue May 01, 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger TomR said...

This debate often turns paradoxical. Let's look at gun control. Yes, we have the right to own guns, but the primary reason why we would need them would be to protect ourselves from other people who have guns. On the off-chance of being assaulted by a maniac wielding a soup ladle, you can always defend yourself some other way.

Sometimes certain freedoms are only given to use to provide security from the very same freedom.

Tue May 01, 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

A good question, Zach. I would say usually, and point to utilitarianism as my justification.

If person A is going to die, I think it would be fair to take away a certain amount of person B's liberty to save them.

In fact, don't we do similar things already? We take away the liberty of people by putting them in jail, under the justification that it is to protect others.

Tue May 01, 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

To Benh, in reply to his quetion:

I believe that freedom and security bounce off of eachoter, like two magnets with the same poles toward eachoter, to wit, they can come close to working together, however, they cannot completely work together, and we cannot have all of both at the same time. (Maximum security and maximum freedoms). One of them has to give, and generally, in times of fear, freeoms tend to give.

Tue May 01, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Tom: so would you say that if the freedom to own a gun was taken away then we would have more security by limiting the threat? I agree that certain freedoms are to provide security for the same freedom, but I think that when you give someone the freedom to own something dangerous like a gun, it opens up more opportunities to threaten security and by doing so limits the security a bit. Did that make sense?

Tue May 01, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

Tom: An excellent point. To me, the argument for increased guns runs on circular logic. If no had been allowed to have them in the first place, it would be better. But I do also see how an armed populous would have been important in early American society.

However, if I was attacked a ladle-wielding maniac, I would probably have to fight back with an egg beater. Those tongs can be nasty.

Tue May 01, 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger TomR said...

Dan, that's exactly what I'm saying. Having a freedom to be secure to protect yourself from the same freedom is potentially dangerous, as well as worth a hefty fine from the Department of Redundancy Department.

Tue May 01, 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Ben: so if person A was going to die, would it be fair to take away a certain amount of the liberties of persons B C D E F G H I J K and L's liberty? I think this situation is more like today. While everyone is threatened in the US, it is unlikely that we will all be killed at the same time so we all need to sacrifice to save everyone. If only a few people are potentially in danger, then why limit the freedom of the whole million-some people in the country?

Tue May 01, 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

I second tom. No guns, no need to protect themselves from guns.

Tue May 01, 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger emilya said...

I do not know if anyone has said this or not, but a good example of giving up freedom for security is the holocaust. A major example of this is Anne Frank and her family. They went into hiding and gave up their whole life just for their security. They would rather live in a small, crammed up place, than living in a dangerous world...

Tue May 01, 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

That is an interesting question, Dan. I think that it depends on what you value more: the life of one, or the freedom of many. Some may say that life is the most important thing ever, and that we should do it. Others might say that liberty makes life worth it. I would say that in general, the sacrifice of everyones liberty is not worth the life of one man.

Tue May 01, 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Tom: Ha ha that's a good one! OK, now I get your point. I agree with you that it is pointless to give ourselves freedom to protect ourselves from freedom. Why not eliminate the whole freedom? I am quite sure that it is not absolutely necessary for every American citizen to own a gun. By eliminating a small freedom that wouldn't put all that large of restrictions on the people, it would be strengthening security a bit, which is what we want.

Tue May 01, 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Mphair said...

In response to Zachf's question (Should the government be allowed to limit one person's liberty for the well being of another's?)

I think, personally, that it depends on where the majority of the people lie. Decisons like that should be made based off of the majority. If only one or two people take a gun to a work place, be it a school, office, or such, then start shooting people who DON'T bring weapons to the place, then laws should be inforced to prevent people bringing a gun/weapon to such a place.

Tue May 01, 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

For all those that came back to comment again, I have to thank you for not blogging and running.

Tue May 01, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger AnnaD said...

Good one, Tom!

Liberty, to me, is most applicable in the sense of capitalism. In capitalistic countries, citizens are given enough freedom to create their own livelihoods and to work for their own advancement. Citizens, however, are still expected to hold allegiance to their country and to be willing to give up certain liberties in order to preserve their country’s security. Without the country’s security, the citizen is expected to understand, he would not have any freedoms. In essence, a person is giving up a few freedoms to prevent the loss of all.

I’m not sure to what extent I would give up freedoms. It depends on the freedoms that they want to take away. For example, I personally wouldn’t be too concerned if my phone conversations, emails or texts were read or listened to. Frankly, why would it be a bad thing if I never said anything “incriminating”? Of course, I can understand how this “invasion of privacy” could be very threatening and unacceptable, but I personally would not care. I think this stems from the fact that I never say anything over any of these that I wouldn’t want to be heard or read.

If I was asked to live in an internment camp, like in the book, I would definitely refuse. I suppose it all depends on the severity of the loss of freedom.

To sum it up, without security, liberty dies. And in this sense, I would be willing to give up certain liberties in order to keep from losing them all.

Tue May 01, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger HarryPotterFreak(danh) said...

Ben: I would tend to agree with you on that one. It is in a way like either being injured for life with pain or dying. Most people would probably choose the dying option. The choice for the people is would they rather just die and get it over with or live a life of restriction and/or torment? I know the analogy is a bit extreme in the context, but it was the best I could think of. If it was up to the people, I say kill the one man so the others can live free lives!

Tue May 01, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

In response to Ben's question:

Liberty and Security do not have to be mutually exclusive but extreme security and extreme liberty are. If these two ideas were taken to the extremes, we would have a world either completely free or completely controlled.

Tue May 01, 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger BenH said...

Dan: Those sacrifices have been made before, in even greater quantities. Think of all those who died in various revolutions (willingly, that is) so that others could live in free societies.

Tue May 01, 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger AnnaD said...

Hahahaha! Apparently the link I used for my previous avatar picture was only a temporary link... So I changed it. Sorry about that!

Tue May 01, 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger _annaw_ said...

Wow, guys.

It took me a while to read all of your posts...

Anyway, Liberty? I believe that liberty is the freedom to choose what rules and leaders your country features. Security is going to bed at night feeling safe and comfortable.

It's true that we make many sacrafices of our liberty for security, but there is still a large amount of liberty out there. The recent Patriot act is a fierce example of this. Because of it, I feel much safer at home. I am not really unhappy about the less liberty we recieved because it doesn't really matter to them that Tom is dating Sally. If anyhting is really important to me, I will talk to whomever in person.

Tue May 01, 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Aylar said...

Ok my most sincere apologies for the late post my blogger was simply not funtioning. I think that I have resolved the issue however we'll see. Ok well Liberty, this means that people have the right to be free and choose their leaders. Security is ensuring that there will always e a safe place to lie your head at night and never having fear about your safty.

Wed May 02, 12:49:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home