Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Questions of Freedom

I've got the freedom idea in my head again. I need to dig up my old intro to philosophy book from Harvard. The professor who taught the class (and wrote the book, one of the nice things about taking a class at Harvard) was a solid Christian believer. It was a wild experience.

I was thinking about a section on an american view of freedom. How did our mason-deist founding fathers think about it? How did they shape our view of it?
Which makes me wonder. When did Freedom become such a huge cultural value for persons in the first place? My stab in the dark would be the enlightenment because I don't remember it being huge in the midieval period and certainly not in the early church days. And yet it must have carried some value because it was a value in and of itself to Paul who states, "it is for freedom he has set us free." As if the value is in the thing itself.

It features prominently in the exodus theology of Israel, but not for individuals so much as for the people as a whole. But in the case of Israel the suggestion that Israel should be liberated so that she can do what she wants is laughable. It also strikes me as strange the idea that Israel should be liberated for her own sake at all although it could very well be.

So weird. I'm in love with ideas. But I am such a pragmatist. So it's easy for me to say something silly like, "God wouldn't liberate Israel for her own sake." and yet I do believe that it is better for people to have jobs than not. It is better for people to be free than to be slaves. it is better for people to have food than go hungry. I'm going to bed now.

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