Freedom from versus to

Too much of our notions around freedom and liberty is rather confused. We think that freedom is the lack of constraints but we forget that constraints are a source of freedom as well. By working within rules, we are free to play the games we enjoy. This is because the freedom of one entity can clash with the freedom of another entity. Complete freedom of speech cannot really co-exist with freedom from being offended. And so there is a balance we need to navigate. Freedom exists even when there are constraints.

Thinking about freedoms in a binary way where we either have or do not have freedom is naive. Because being biological, and physical, we are constrained in many ways physically and by natural laws. Does that mean we lack freedoms? If so, then what is the point of pursuing any freedoms at all since we are ultimately constrained.

And then comes the question of where are we on the spectrum of freedom when the option set increases. When you can choose from 10 products rather than 5, does your freedom to choose increase? In fact, one could argue it decreases because now there are more options screaming at you and crowding our your attention. In fact you might be more confused and waste more time to arrive at your choice than before.

So next time before you evoke the notion of freedom, consider what you are referring to.