Freedom and commitment-

Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 05:56 pm
If a person had a desire to commit to something, a particular project that takes up a large part of their life, or even bigger a particular way of life, there is a feeling that such a commitment reduces that persons freedom.

And yet, once someone has been committed to a project or way of life for some time, say a couple of years or more, then their sense of freedom seems to balance itself in some way.

There seems to be some difficulty in sustaining one’s sense of freedom, whilst at the same time wanting to commit to some particular project or way of life, which appears to restrict one’s freedom towards life.

It feels like a dilemma of sorts-does one commit, or does one remain free?

or, can freedom be sustained, despite comitting to a particular path in life?
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Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 08:05 pm
@existential potential,
The word "commitment" can have some ominous undertones, perhaps because it is often associated with phrases like "being commited to an asylum" or "committing a crime". Both might indicate a loss of control. But commitment in the sense you seem to be referring to need not bring that sense of danger with it.

Commitment, in the sense of self-investment in a project, represents nothing but a connected cluster of decisions. In that way, it represents not a negation of freedom, but an exercise of it. Although it might seem safer, the tendency to dither and concern oneself solely with the basic concerns necessary for survival seems as unsatisfactory as making a mistaken commitment. The old cliche of "even choosing not to make a choice, etc. etc..."

And of course, the word "commitment" need not signal an inexorable movement. The nature of the project will determine the qualities of the commitment, and some thresholds cannot be uncrossed. But that being said, there are few projects that do not allow one to revise one's opinion and make new choices, diverge from the project at hand.

The discomfort associated with a new commitment seems to me less a symptom of the loss of freedom, and more a sense of uncertainty regarding the value of one's choices and one's capacity to live with them.
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Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 08:57 pm
@existential potential,
In many ways having a choice is freedom. But making a choice can be restricting freedom. But only if you make the wrong choice.

Perhaps the issue is that sometimes you get more than you bargained for. Or that sometimes what you think you commit yourself to may turn out to be something other than what you thought it would be. A happily married man would not think in terms of his marriage limiting his freedom. Such thoughts belong to those who are miserable with whatever they are committed to, in which case it is a matter of making wrong choices for themselves.
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Reply Wed 3 Nov, 2010 09:43 pm
What exactly do you mean by "sense of freedom"........freewill? Freewill has already been proven to not exist. So what are we talking about here really? Illusions of freedom? Self trickery at best.....?
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 09:04 am
Freewill has already been proven to not exist.

I had this discussion in another thread as well. Saying that free will does not exist is a category mistake.
What is free will? It is not an object or an entity. It is an idea, a certain way of connecting relations of human perception.
If you say that free will is not a meaningful way to describe these relations I agree. But since you cannot say about an idea that it doesn't exist, you cannot say that free will doesn't exist. Nor can you say that it exists. It is simply not a meaningful string of words, and if it seems that it is, that is because you are confusing meaning with existence, as it seems to me.
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2010 10:22 am
@existential potential,
Per se you are right in lessend freedom when commiting to a great project, but usually pay, personal experience, and added CV should be the benefit, if aforementioned things isn't there, then it's good waste of time.

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Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 05:43 pm
You seem like your reading into things too much and are merely stringing your own thoughts together to support your own conclusions.......but that's just what it SEEMS to me......who knows really.
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 06:34 pm
Yes, I am stringing my thoughts togehter, and they form the conclusion. The question is if I have reasoned correctly, but I think it comes down to how you define "to exist" and then what that word can and cannot meaningfully refer to according to it's definition.
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