Freedom - Ave Maria Press

Explained by the Simpson Family…
Freedom is the power, rooted in reason and
will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and
so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own
Having freedom means that we are
responsible for our actions. Every
action we choose, further,
determines our character.
Arguments against Freedom
Determinists hold that every event, action and
decision inevitably results from something
independent of the human will.
Psychological Factors
Rationalization – devising self-serving
excuses for behavior
“He who excuses himself
accuses himself.”
Gabriel Meurier
Further Definition of Freedom…
External Freedom includes
freedom from factors outside
ourselves that threaten or
destroy our power to exercise
Internal Freedom includes
freedom from interior factors
that limit choice.
Harsh Government
Limits to Freedom
The modern world often defines “freedom” as “doing
whatever one wants”.
This kind of “freedom” is more precisely defined as “license”
(text) or “freedom of indifference” (Pinckaers).
“True freedom elevates humans; it never demeans.”
“This mentality has created such an
emphasis on the freedom of choice that the
fundamental right to life itself of innocent
human beings has been assaulted and
denied. It is a gross distortion of the
exercise of freedom to attack other human
beings and the values God’s law seeks to
protect…” pg 84
True freedom is not license. License is
unbridled, excessive, undisciplined freedom
that abuses true liberty.
By deviating from the
moral law man violates
his own freedom,
becomes imprisoned
within himself, disrupts
neighborly fellowship,
and rebels against
divine truth.
True freedom liberates us to develop our
God-given talents in a responsible way
so we can live our lives for others and
for God.
True freedom serves what is
good, just and true.
“Every person possesses
basic moral inclinations
and a primal moral sense
that no corruption due to
sin can completely
destroy…” Pinckaers
Pinckaers’ Clarification
Freedom of Indifference/ License
Freedom of Excellence/ True Freedom
The power to choose between
The power to act freely with
excellence and perfection
Does not recognize inclination
towards good
Resides in the will
Recognizes inclination towards good
Is entire from the first moment
Develops through education and
Has no need for virtue
Virtue and habit are essential
Synonymous with self-assertion
Open to the common good
Moral law, Natural law and any
form of legality is seen as
constrictive to freedom
Resides in the reason and the will
If the law is founded on the true
and good, it creates a structure
to enhance freedom
To every degree that our choices are voluntary,
we are responsible for our actions.
“Imputable” is another word for
“Culpability” is another word for
Remember those things that can
lessen or nullify culpability???
In other words, the world’s definition
of “freedom” isn’t really True
Freedom at all…It is simply the
license to make choices that will
eventually enslave us to our fallen
True Freedom pays attention to the
laws written in our nature and those
revealed by God. Making choices
that follow those laws, then, helps us
to live the life God wants us to live to
our fullest potential.