Two Sides of the Same Coin

Freedom and Responsibility. You cannot truly have one without the other.

When I was in graduate school, I read an analysis of freedom by Isaiah Berlin that examined freedom from positive and negative sides. You can be free to do or free from. It was an extension of an old debate between John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Am I freer independent from everyone or freer when in a community I choose?

But Víktor Frankl (Man’s Search for Meaning–if you have not read it, then read it next) talks of freedom and responsibility. You cannot be truly free if you are not at the same time living responsibly.

“In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.”

Sometimes I think that we forget about the responsibility part.

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