- NOTE: I first posted the following as a Facebook note.
Freedom is a concept that can only be understood by human beings who are endowed by nature with reason and conscience. What separates humans from other species is their ability or faculty to think rationally and to transform percepts into concepts. Humans know and understand that there are existential abstract concepts like reason, love, respect, freedom, rights, philosophy, justice, compassion, etc. Because of man’s ability to discover things and to understand reality, he knows that the laws of gravity and thermodynamics exist.
Animals do not have the conceptual ability to understand that other living species have freedom and rights. In fact, many animals are metaphysical enemies (meaning: they need to kill and hunt other animals to survive, and we call it the process of food chain).
Humans are by nature omnivores.They eat plants and animals to survive. However,they cannot eat their fellow humans. What forbids them from hunting and killing their fellow humans for food or for whatever reason is not society or established laws but their rights to exist. Such laws merely recognize man’s rights and nature. Thus, a right is both a moral and legal mechanism that preserves the freedoms of men untouched and unharmed. And if men believed they had an absolute right enslave and kill others, then, then those others are also entitled to the same “alleged” right, including the right to defend themselves. Such a savage, tribal mentality only belongs to a non-human society.
Freedom thus demands that men must be free from state or government force/compulsion. And since we’re not perceptual animals who live by mere intuition and by perpetually adjusting to nature, we need a government to survive and to be civilized. Again, our NATURE demands that such an entity (state or government) must have well-defined, delimited roles in order to protect our existential rights and freedoms.
That is, HUMAN BEING = BEING HUMAN…
Read a related blog titled Rights vs. Entitlements.