Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Yesterday in my Catholic Jurisprudence class, we discussed Cardinal Dulles' essay "Truth as the Ground of Freedom" (in Catholic Perspectives on American Law). During the discussion, I suggested that the concept of "freedom from" authority is illusory because all freedom is exercised "for" some good as directed by a criteria external to freedom itself. I might, for example, choose to act according to my understanding of the moral law and to act in such a way that I develop habits that make it easier for me to so act. Or, I might act according to the dictates of my passions (or the strongest passion at the moment). In both cases, I am placing myself under some authority - either the authority of the moral law or the authority of my strongest passion - and exercising my freedom "for" some good, whether it be the good dictated by the moral law or the good achieved in satisfying that passion.
What do you think? Am I missing something in my analysis? Comments are open.