“free” is actually an impossible term.What do I do if I am ‘free’? I do what I want. What I want is to a large extent predetermined: What do I need? (Food, air, relationships, …), what did life make of me? (Mother, engineer, alcoholic, bad cook,…), where did my thoughts take me? Etc.
I am an agnostic with atheistic impacts.This is “my” “free” “decision”. But decision is not really a good word for it. I couldn’t believe if I wanted to. I didn’t grow up/educate like that. So not my thing? In a way, because when I think about whether there is a God, I always come to the same conclusion: we cannot know. So, in a way, I have no choice, no freedom, because I am who I am.
Can we change?You could write books about the question. We see people changing, but maybe they do so primarily in response to what they are experiencing. In response, it just feels like an action. When someone starts to engage with the homeless – does he do so because they couldn’t resist the idea? Because he wants to feel good, which in turn his upbringing pretends to him?
Ultimately, we cannot get out of our heads.When is the statement that one is not free, so it makes sense? Probably most likely, if what you want is restricted by external things. In a way, that is always the case. I would like to work with my bare torso sometimes in the heat, which as a teacher is simply not in it.
We must also bear in mind that our freedom ends where the other ends.My landlord climbs on the roof because there are problems with the sweeping week. He probably wants to be free of stress with neighbors and other tenants. Admittedly, I would be free to clean if I thought it was dirty. Different standards. But, of course, compromises are made if you want to have your peace of mind. This component of freedom from restriction and freedom to act is justifiably a key element of Kant’s ideas on the subject.
When can we usefully say that you are free?Freedom is obviously always restricted. By myself and by what others want.
I would say that freedom is not an absolute concept, as dead or alive.It is a relative term like light and dark. And for that I would rather call it a feeling, less as a state.Because it’s something extremely subjective! One is subject to many restrictions, but feels free, because he feelshardly restricted in this corset for himself personally.Another might feel extremely cramped in the situation.
Tl;dr: So I would say that you are free if you do not feel very limited in your way of life.For one, freedom is so easier to obtain, for the other it is harder, because each person is different and can choose from his own ideas, habits, etc. not be free. That is illogical, because then you would not be yourself.
I have probably scrambled through several philosophers and then seasoned the whole thing with my perspective.I can’t name a source, but Kant obviously plays a role.