In an interesting post at My Greek Odyssey Stavros tries to compare our concept of freedom with that of the ancient Greeks, arguing that we seem today in the West to understand freedom as unrelated with morals.
In America, freedom has taken on the form of a religion. Our freedom, is unlike the freedom that the Greeks called “eleftheria, ” that is, freedom from being tyranized, enslaved or being violated. To many Americans, freedom merely means choosing for oneself based on personal desires without respect to moral obligations. In a nation that has few communal standards other than freedom, diversity and choice, increasingly, anything goes. Many young Greeks today who decry what they consider to be an outmoded Orthodox Church often look back on their ancient forbearers as some kind of secular role models. Religion, in fact, was part and parcel, of every aspect of Athenian society. It’s importance as an essential element of Athenian democracy is contrary to the notion of the separation of Church and State which seems to be a guiding principle, these days in the US and Europe.
According to a visitor’s comment to that post, if we are to relate freedom and politics with morals in our multicultural environment, we should rather find and respect some universal values, instead of the values of a specific religion – and this while still keeping personal choice as the ultimate value:
Religious values must inform our politics, as must responsibilities and not just rights. But if we are limited to one religion, we exclude many of our fellow citizens. And if we allow one religion to inform our politics then should we not allow others? I wonder whether we do not have to follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s lead in seeking values which are universal, which derive from our humanity not our religion, where our religion is a private motivation not a public strapline. The decision whether or not to abort a child is a decision which rests with our own morality – nobody denies that. What the law does is to allow us the freedom to choose. There is no freedom in a world where there is no choice.
As you can see, these few lines above, of both the blog post and the comment, open a series of most important subjects anyone interested should think about.
Next part of this post: Multiculturalism is ignorance and ugliness