Freedom. A noun; generally meaning the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action. Janis Joplin said, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” but it’s really not that at all. Our actions are always constrained by physical laws – gravity will always pull between centers of mass and friction will always impede sliding. We appreciate those constraints because we use them – the book didn’t slide off the fender of the car because of the friction induced by the pull of gravity. The necessity of meeting our physical needs limits our choices and guides our actions. I can’t choose to walk across the bottom of the lake because I can’t breath (air tanks might change that but that’s a different choice).
It’s the absence of coercion in choosing or acting that most of us see as “freedom”. And that’s where we start to hit the rub. We live in a society of many individual and many rules. Most rules are intended to “protect the rights” of someone. Generally those rules accomplish that by abridging the rights of others. No you are not free to play loud music after midnight. No you are not free to park on this street. No you can’t [ fill in the blank ]. So “freedom” can be sometimes fickle. It seems like the more civilized we get the less free we become. Unless you are one of the Stepford wives.