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Chapter 16 – Freedom

“As with other important ideas, freedom has not had the same meaning in every historical context.” (Janaro & Altusher, p. 428)

If you were to go ahead and take a look through the history books, you would notice that this is quite true. It is also true enough for me to agree with it. Back in the days of places such as ancient Greece, and ancient Rome, freedom was pretty rare and only belonged to the men. In religion, there is a question of whether we act on our own will or if everything that occurs in our lives is a part of a destiny God created for us. If someone were to ask me, I would say this depends on what you believe. Today, you can find cases of the government heavily restricting the freedom of its people, but it is not as common of a sight as it used to be, which is definitely a good thing.

“The two major competing economic ideologies of the twentieth century were communism and capitalism.” (Janaro & Altshuler, p. 433)

This would happen to be quite the true statement. Yes, there were other ideologies going around during that time, like socialism, but quite frankly, anyone who knew about what was going on during the time will realize that Capitalism and Communism were by far the two biggest. Capitalism and Communism are ideologies that are total opposites. With Capitalism, what you get is tons and tons of freedom, and it leads to people being able to build huge empires. The downside is the huge gap between the rich and the poor that builds up. With Communism, everyone is the same and gap between the poor and the rich is smaller. The downside would be a huge lack of freedom. An argument I have heard for why Communism is fine is that it can work under the right leader, which I agree with. But how about we be honest here…there are very few people you can trust with that kind of power over a nation under that kind of economic ideology, and it is not hard to find proof.

“According to Skinner, freedom is simply the effort to escape from the unpleasant consequences of certain actions.” (Janaro & Altshuler, p. 436)

I will admit that this was a puzzling statement for me to read at first, but once I gave it another read, it started to make sense to me. Someone who desires freedom wants to escape something unpleasant. For example, a person being stuck in a job that is considered “dead-end”. This person will want freedom from this dreadful occupation that will not get them much of anywhere. Another example could be someone wanting to vote against a notion because they would never be able to handle what would happen if said notion was passed. When the concept of freedom is thought in this way, you can really begin to understand what it is on a deeper level.


To conclude, this chapter will give the reader an exceptionally strong look into what freedom happens to be all about. Whether someone happens to be new to this topic or not, knowledge will be gained if someone gives it a read.


Janaro, R. P., & Altshuler, T. C. (2017). The Art of Being Human: The Humanities as a Technique for Living. Boston, MA: Pearson

Picture of Broken Chain: (IWNaturalHealth Blog (2020).

Picture of Symbols: (BunTalk Blog (2012).

Picture of Bird Cage: (EthicalLeader Blog (2020).


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