Illusions of Freedom
Examples of Illusions of Freedom:
Debt: I’m free to purchase the item I want even if I can’t afford it. But I’m now enslaved to the Debtor until I can pay off what I owe.
Sin: I’m free to reject the one true God and His ways. In reality, we cut ourselves off from the only possible source of life and truth and everlasting happiness. We also cut ourselves off from the only possible foundation for metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. And, we are not free to enjoy God and experience relational knowledge of Him.
Irrational Mysticism: I’m free to follow my impulses and desires and connect with God “whoever I PERCEIVE Him to be,” and I’m free from any authoritative source telling me objective truth about God. But I’m not free to know God in truth—as He has revealed Himself in the Bible—nor am I free from the chains of error and deception.
Selfishness as an illusion of freedom: You think you are free, but really you are just a slave to your lusts and what the culture has trained you to lust after. Here’s a pretty interesting song and video showing how Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness really only provides an illusion of freedom, instead it leads to enslavement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHU5H5CZEdA
Sexual Freedom: Free to have sexual intercourse with whoever I want, whenever I want without anyone telling me what I should or should not do. Illusion of freedom (free to experience pleasures I want) but enslaving: enslaved to your sexual lusts and impulses are not free to enjoy the intimacy found in a committed monogamous relationship, nor are you free from the emotional pain you experience or cause on others when you pursue multiple partners.
Naturalism: Free from myths or religious or supernatural superstitions. Promises freedom, but actually enslaves: a naturalist is not free to believe in God or anything that is not physical, nor is he free to believe in the reality of love, justice, objective morality—these are all myths, mere chemical reactions in the brain of an advanced ape trying to survive. By rejecting God, everything is a myth; the naturalist is not even free to know when his senses are communicating truth or whether everything is a big illusion.
Solipsism: Is a person more or less free is they deny that it is possible to know whether the things which my eyes see are real or an illusion? Perhaps the illusion is that this freeing: free to doubt everything! But such a person is not free to doubt his doubts and he is not free to know anything is reality: not a single a fact or object is knowable.
Scientism: Is a person more or less free when they say it is impossible to know anything expect that which is proven by empirical scientific investigation? Granted, he may be free from unbridled superstitions, but he is enslaved to the physical world. He is not free to acquire knowledge through TESTIMONY. Thus he or she can never really know if “I love you” is communicating something true about reality; they are less not knowing whether anyone actually loves them in all of existence.
Free-thinkers: Ironically, those who claim to be “free-thinkers” (by that they usually mean atheistic, naturalistic understanding of reality) have the least freedom of thought. They are not free to know any metaphysical truth, they are not free to know God, they are not free to know objective moral truths.
2 replies on “Illusions of Freedom”
Really good post Tom.