Freedom must come with constraints and responsibilities

Michael Keane (Victoria)

After reading the Supporter’s Forum letter “Population control moves into second gear” by Peter Baker (1 June), I felt compelled to respond to his definition of freedom.

Mr Baker states: “To me, freedom is when you are free to do as you wish as long as you hurt no-one in the process.”

I believe a large number of people in the community would define freedom in the same manner as Mr Baker.

Underpinning this definition is a relativist viewpoint that denies reality and knowledge and from this perspective everything is subjective rather than absolute: that there is no right or wrong — simply what an individual determines is most appropriate in a particular situation, ie “if I believe something is right then it is right”.

This viewpoint has led to the corruption of history and science, as well as community fragmentation, and loss of a shared Australian identity and values.

Religious people use their belief in God and faith to differentiate between good and evil and right and wrong, and apart from the religious dimension, there is natural law to which non-believers also subscribe. In natural law, some actions, such as murder, are intrinsically simply right or wrong.

But true freedom comes with constraints and responsibilities. People are not free to do as they wish and act in an immoral way merely because nobody will be hurt. In fact, immorality hurts the person involved even if acting alone.

A1 does not necessarily support all views expressed in our Supporters’ Forum, but we do uphold and value the right of people to hold their own views and for these views to be considered and debated in the community