Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The end of freedom
I am shackled hand and foot spread eagle on the floor of my cell. I ask my jailer everyday to set me free. Finally he compassionately sets me free.
For days I am exhilarated with the ability to freely pace about my cell. After a few weeks I begin to beg my jailer to set me free. After weeks he, being a compassionate man, sets me free from my cell.
For days I am exhilarated at the freedom to wonder about and speak with other inmates. After several weeks I begin to beg my jailer to free me and finally he relents and releases me from jail. I am overwhelmed with the sense of freedom until I, overcome with hunger and basic needs, seek some work so as to feed myself.
I find a job working on an assembly line and am exhilarated at the new found freedom. After a year I begin to seek other less strenuous and repetitive assembly line work. I wish to free myself from this robotic work I do everyday.
What is the ‘telos’ (ultimate end) of this series of ever persistent desire for freedom? Is hunger for freedom similar to hunger for food, never satiated? I don’t think so. I think the search for freedom can culminate in an ultimate and satisfying end.
Freedom, I suspect, is a search for self-determination. When we feel that we are master of our domain, when we are free to determine who we are and what we need to be our self we will have reached that ‘telos’ of freedom. I suspect this end is as unique as a finger print, it is an act of creation and can be made conscious to me only by me.
I think each of us must learn for our self what we need to secure freedom’s ‘telos’. Probably most of us find only a degree of freedom, but if we never stop looking we may continue finding more of it.

Found this at the xkcd forum, author coberst. Your thoughts?

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