Date and Time; 25th August, ’13 Sunday 14:00-16:00 Place: IDEAL English Conversation School in ITAMI-city Participants; 8 (male: 6 female: 2 ) Theme; What is Freedom?
We held an extra version of the MUKONO-SO philosophy café in English. We had 3 English and 5 Japanese people. I would like to thank everyone for participating. Both English and Japanese were spoken and the facilitator translated to all members.
Here are some of the many opinions and thoughts shared in the group.
◆ Freedom of the Individual and Society
○-People living in modern society don’t have freedom. Individuals are controlled and manipulated by the authorities and powers. Mass-media such as the press and Internet are useful tools of control. Under these circumstances in modern society this could be classed as not having freedom.
○-We must be careful when countries advocate freedom. What does this mean? A few countries advocate Freedom! But often it is liberty not freedom. The word liberty comes from maritime wording. Liberty means permission given to a captain when his ship needs to be docked at a port. Thus liberty is given by the powers instead of obtained by people themselves.
○-If people believe they are free, they can be free. But in society our freedom seems to be diminishing. Also there are clear pressures when we talk about the FUKUSHIMA nuclear power disaster. It seems we can’t discuss about this problem freely. Some people say “Don’t say anything further on this matter” This is frustrating for people who want to discuss the situation openly. Not being able to be open takes away our freedom.
○-The opposite image of modern society, is living in the wilderness. In that case are we free? Or is life without a government chaos and a dangerous struggle for ourselves? -There are reasons for Laws and rules, for example the speed limit on traffic is to prevent traffic accidents. So laws and rules are perhaps for our protection even though we feel our freedom is being taken away.
◆ Absolute value and relative value of freedom.
○-For some people having a physical disability may give them a sense of not being free. There are different values on what freedom is.
◆ Decision making and freedom
○-Rapidly our world is becoming standardized. People came to Japan hundreds of years ago, they were very confused. But that was old Japan. Now not only Japan, but France, England and other countries also have been standardized, we put on the same cloths and live in the same living style. Japan has lost its originality but England, France and many other counties have also lost much of their uniqueness. -Now a days we can go anywhere on the earth we want to, and live anywhere we want to. Every individual is able to decide as he wishes, that is freedom.
○-When children are growing up, parents put them in a frame-work, to control them for protection and safety. All adults grew up the same way, but that frame-work has been kept long after the children grow up into adults. When our children grow up we should remove the frame-work provided, and give them freedom.
>>>>>>>>>>>>> Note: This time materialized because of the kind cooperation of Mr. Joseph Carroll who has an interest in philosophy café. He is running an English conversation school in ITAMI city, and lent us his working space.