Liberty is defined very specifically but it still leaves a lot of room. I think the best definition of liberty is simply ‘the right to choose’. Many people confuse this with freedom but liberty is the right and freedom is the result. Freedom is what you get when you are acting in your right to choose and this distinction must be very carefully made. The problem with blurring this distinction is that you can begin to look at liberty as a license to do as you please in the name of freedom but you are not given the right to do as you please you are given the right to choose for yourself what is best.
Once again this right is as Emerson says as inalienable as the right to life. This means that human being do not define this because some would give themselves liberty to choose and take it away from others. This is the essence of any form of tyranny that one sees that they have the right to liberty and choice but others do not. This is what makes the abortion debate so hard for many in this country because the right to liberty and the right to life are both inalienable. Does the baby’s right to life supersede the right of a woman to choose. I am not going to get into the particulars of this debate at this time but what right to life people do need to understand is that the right to liberty must be defended as vehemently as the right to life and when you are holding force over a woman’s head to make her give birth there is something morally wrong with that action as well.
This debate does illustrate how rights can clash and that when they do the more proper course of action is to weigh things very heavily. It is when rights are in seeming conflict that we must pay even more attention to the issue to make sure we come up with a decision that in the best way possible defends and uphold al the rights in question.
In the case of liberty, there is another issue involved which is at what point does a person have the right to choose? This becomes a very real problem when it comes to parenting issues, issue involving someone who has lost their mental ability to choose or do not have any choice in the matter or issue facing them. At this point, the right to liberty often means a responsibility of another to make certain choices for them because of these problems. The issue for me and the book of Rabyd is this that we should always ere on the side of liberty for the specific individual and let them make the choice of when to give their choices to others. Once again just as much soul-searching must be done when considering the right to liberty as the right to life.