Liberty & Community

Does individual liberty threaten community? Some think that it does. As philosophy professor James Otteson explains, some worry that individual liberty undermines moral community, while others worry that it neglects those most vulnerable in a community, such as the poor. But Otteson cautions against thinking this way, for several reasons. As he explains, to take away individual liberty is to take away freedom of association, which interferes not only with autonomy, but with the actual creation of robust and meaningful communities.  While freedom of association means that some people will make choices we don’t like, and that some communities will decline over time, it also allows for the creation of new and different communities which evolve as their members freely choose to be a part of them.

2 Comments

  1. Matt Wavle

    It’s a trade-off between individual liberties and a community preference.  James Otteson speaks for me as well, when he says that we should not give up human freedom or freedom of association for the sake of the collective.

    http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/2/13/affirmative-action-raps-at-the-door-of-american-homes.html  Here’s an article showing just how far the State has gone, wanting to map us all by race, and perform some sort of racial equality mix to "fix" what they think is wrong people exercising their right of voluntary association.
  2. Brian Phillips

    People must be free to freely associate and to do business with whom they choose.  When government forces association it does nothing but cause animosity. 

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