chains on our choices,
true freedom is misleading
determined by wants –
think about it. when you had the ‘freedom’ to choose your drink choice, it wasn’t really freedom at all. your choice was determined by your innate desire for sprite. you didn’t choose to like sprite. you just liked it.
so, you see, the term freedom that you use is actually quite misleading. this ‘freedom’ is being controlled by your obedience to a desire.
that is, true freedom does exist.
to act freely – to be truly free – is to act out of your own will. that means adhering to your own laws that you give yourself, not to determinations given outside of you. this means, you choose the end itself. this is what distinguishes humans between soccer balls.
true autonomy is when you treat yourself and other humans with dignity. with moral worth. by moral worth, this consists of the intent of the action. you do the right thing because it is right, not for an outer motive. it is not good enough to return dollar bills because you are afraid the person looking for the dollar bill might miss their meal due to lack of money. you must return the dollar bill because it is a moral duty – you may lack inclination to help, but you do it only to fulfill your duty. that is what is considered moral worth. your action must not be fulfilled for pleasure; it must be fulfilled because you recognize the duty to help someone and because it is the right thing to do.
so, in a sense, answering to duty and acting independently of outside factors are the exactly same. despite the fact that you are “answering to a law” when “answering to duty”, you are answering to your law. not an outside force or an unconscious desire already chosen for you – chocolate ice cream. you are acting according to a law you chose.
reason defines us
true justice and true freedom
aka the author is trying to make sense of Immanuel Kant’s philosophy of morality and justice. if you are interested in this, read Justice: What’s the Right Thing To Do? by Michael J. Sandel. it’s interesting if you are interested in political philosophy. which i am not but it’s fun to think about the intricacies of society. but my head is spinning. that is why i wrote this. because i got confused. so this helped me immensely in understanding immanuel kant.
author’s tip: if you are ever confused about something you have read or have seen or have done, write it out.