From a possible legalization of the sale of human organs in Argentina or even a possible compulsory experimental vaccination, issues continue to be added to the debate that are not only related to bioethics but also to the most elementary philosophical and moral debate on freedom.
According to Rothbard, the individual freedom that characterizes Western civilization implies that if we are free, we are responsible.
Historically, free spirits have well understood the responsibility that their free choice entails: the wandering knight (who remains a knight even without obeying a feudal lord), the gaucho in the immense Pampas who, despite feeling like a deity, chooses the devotional humility of Faith, the pilgrim in times of crusades who risked his life before the infidels or even the homeless (either for a feeling of guilt or to hate the world in which they live, they choose to take charge of his own choice).
Regarding this last example, it is indeed true that many homeless people suffer from mental illness and, as happens with criminals, we cannot attribute these life choices to just a “lack of integration” as the anti-psychiatry movement maintains, which in several decades, it has managed to make a mockery of our judicial system, and to leave the mentally ill to their fate, since this movement considers them only as unintegrated people and not as citizens in need of help in the face of a declining health system.
This type of reductionist philosophies that not only do not conceive the human being as a bio-psycho-social being, do not allow themselves to see the possibility of a spiritual center in the human person and since the French Revolution onwards have had as their axis a misunderstood freedom, a freedom understood only as rebellion.
Inner freedom from a Christian perspective implies seeking virtue, because whoever seeks virtue even if they make him a slave is free and whoever chooses what is bad even if he is an emperor remains a slave, not of another human being but of all the vices that he embraces in his life.
Take for example the case of forgiveness: forgiveness is not mere sentimentality, an emotion that tells us “I have forgiven”, but a free will approach in which the person chooses to forgive as a first step. Theologically speaking, only those who have forgiven leave the door open to God.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla (doctor, wife and mother) used to say that one cannot love without suffering and suffer without loving, of course this does not mean that in every expression of love there is masochism but rather that whoever loves someone always has to have the free disposition to suffer if necessary.
One is free to offer pain to God, free to direct love to one’s neighbor so that love returns to God, or free to direct selfishly that love to oneself or other disordered forms of love.
Again, from a Christian perspective, freedom is not rebellion but a positive option for the good, an option that is beautifully exemplified in the Blessed Virgin Mary freely accepting to engender the Messiah in Her womb and on the contrary we see freedom misunderstood in the rebellious angels, Adam and Eve, the construction of the Tower of Babel and Sodom and Gomorrah.
For a few years now the Church has chosen to talk about everything except sin.
Sin even if it seems like a “liberation” is the greatest possible slavery, in fact there is no true peace in a conscience that has knowledge of sin and the truth is that the one who chooses sin chooses a path of escalation, one sin leads to another and a more serious one that not only leads to the death of the soul but often to physical death (gluttony leads to deadly pathologies, lust leads to venereal diseases, anger brings with it the crimes of vendettas, etc.) and the earthly and spiritual death of others.
Perhaps the best known archetype of freedom, loved by all, including atheists, is Saint Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis of Assisi (born Giovanni di Pietro di Bernardone) summed up a superior freedom in his way of life:
Can he be humiliated who humiliates himself freely?
Can he who despises material goods be bought?
Can he who lives in the truth be blackmailed?
Can someone who understands that earthly life is temporary and illusory be frightened by a death threat?
Accepting to live in truth is accepting to live (as much as the truth of sin hurts) to live in love, since truth, goodness, beauty and justice are interdependent
(God could not be good and unjust at the same time, or loving and lying at the same time, etc.).
Truth and freedom also go hand in hand, and that same truth is written makes us free, it will not necessarily make us happy.
As a society and as individuals we should ask ourselves, has the life we chose brought us closer to God or further away from Him? and if not, we should hopefully respond with a phrase well exemplified by another Capuchin Franciscan Italian saint who well understood the spirit of Saint Francis “if you have built badly, destroy and build again”.
The gift of inner freedom is the most beautiful that God could give us, greater than any earthly father can give us and that includes the freedom to distance ourselves from Him for all eternity no matter how much it weighs on Him.
We have the freedom to forgive, to accept the crosses, to accept God, to reorient our lives… it is invaluable to be still on time.
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