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    • #647


      This morning I was listening to the radio, when there was a little discussion going on about the Olympic Games in China. Someone mentioned that there is a huge fundamental difference between the Chinese and the Western world. The Chinese do not agree that \"freedom\" is the greatest thing for mankind, but \"harmony\". And because they think so, it means that \"freedom\" sometimes has to give in, for the cause of harmony…

      Made me think actually… What is more important to me? Harmony? Or freedom? Hmmm…

    • #22155


      Define both words first before ensuing conversation, please.

    • #22156



      1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
      2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
      3. the power to determine action without restraint.
      4. political or national independence.
      5. personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
      6. exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually fol. by from): freedom from fear.
      7. the absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
      8. ease or facility of movement or action: to enjoy the freedom of living in the country.
      9. frankness of manner or speech.
      10. general exemption or immunity: freedom from taxation.
      11. the absence of ceremony or reserve.
      12. a liberty taken.
      13. a particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation: freedom to levy taxes.
      14. civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government.
      15. the right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
      16. the right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will: to have the freedom of a friend’s library.
      17. Philosophy. the power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without; autonomy; self-determination.


      1. agreement; accord; harmonious relations.
      2. a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.
      3. Music.
      a. any simultaneous combination of tones.
      b. the simultaneous combination of tones, esp. when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm.
      c. the science of the structure, relations, and practical combination of chords.

      (copied from )

    • #22157


      gees-so why not combine freedom with harmony to live happily ever after?
      Because that would make too much sense!

    • #22158

      i think with freedom you have more responsability, but that is a good thing. i think we can be harmonious in freedom, if we all take responsiablity for our own actions, which doesn’t always happen, but there is the hope of it, and i think hope is very important. i don’t think you can be harmonious if you are told what to do and when to do it, and if you don’t we will beat you with a stick.

      \"the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint\"

      i would say that is the start of harmony, not being under a governments thumb.

      don’t know if that makes sense, but there it is.

    • #22159

      Im a Cult Hero

      I’ll take freedom any day of the week, because I think any harmony would be only superficial, or totally forced (much like it is imo in China).

    • #22160


      Freedom, but in harmony. You are free to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s freedom.

    • #22161

      yes marcella, i think you hit it right on the nose.

    • #22162


      Freedom, but in harmony. You are free to do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else’s freedom.[/quote:2t7g5thu]

      that reminds me of John Locke and John Stuart Mill.

    • #22163


      I think freedom can produce harmony. I.E. if you have two chemicals that naturally want to be together, but you isolate them, there is this tension, or unhappiness if you will. But once the two are allowed together, you get this state of harmony, where the two chemicals are finally together, usually producing a harmonius new chemical.

      Also, freedom can deny harmony. Like if a conductor just let his orchestra play whatever notes they wanted, the piece would sound like shit. But if freedom is denied, and everyone is \"forced\" to play notes together as one man/woman envisions, the end result is harmony. Pleasing to the ears.

      So, those are two examples of how freedom can be both a positive and negative thing, with respect to harmony.

      Now, applied to humans? I can see China’s point. The basis principle of communism: you are told what to do, for the betterment of the nation. But, China is so LARGE, they will never make everyone happy. Some people will accept their role, some will not. Some will eventually rebel.

      There will always be that balance, and it only takes one or two people to start a rebellion or revolution or apocolypse. I see them as constantly revolving and evolving, never stable.

    • #22164


      My latest thoughts about this.

      In a philosophical sense, I can imagine why people would think that harmony goes above freedom. Individual freedom implies being selfish, selfishness ruins a lot of things around us. The harmony concept however, might think first of the benefits for the whole group of people, and then within a certain harmony, people can have individual freedoms. I’m not saying they do the harmony concept right in China, because I don’t think so. Just a philosophical thought I’m expressing.

    • #22165


      Freedom is only real to a point. You are governed by the laws of nature. The government can seize your house at any time. The government could lock you up if it wanted to. You have free will to do what you please, but your actions always have consequences, and sometimes you have to live with the bad consequences of your \"freedom.\" Freedom doesn’t always mean that you are happy in life.

      There are good things, \"Freedom of expression\" \"Freedom of Religion\" (and even \"Freedom Fries\" when American’s hate the French)

      But I think trying to live in harmony with one another has greater results than always trying to ‘do your own thing’

    • #22166


      this last statement by della brings up a good point. are humans so evolved that we have decided that living in groups is more beneficial to our survival?

      or, as an alternate, are those that do not exist within a group better off? it’s two extremes.


    • #22167


      i think it is more beneficial to live in groups

      – cheaper living expenses, easier acsess to everything etc

    • #22168


      Agreed – you can also share things – like skills or items (lawn-mowers etc). An example is neighbourhoods or villages that live as a community group and share things like this, they live there because they want to contribute to the community, but also it doesn’t clash with their individual freedoms.

      Like this one: (pretty impressive)

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