The writer, Allan Bloom, says that many Americans believe that freedom is absolute (a value which never changes). It does seem as though Americans will sacrifice many other values in the name of, or for the cause of freedom. What are some of the results of the U.S. high value on freedom? Can you give examples of good and bad results?
How does your native country balance freedom and other values? Some examples of other values are national or personal security, financial security, safety, order, choice of religion, choice of political system. Other values are protection from temptations like pornography, gambling, alcohol or drugs. If you could design the laws of a country, how would you balance freedom and other values? How would you decrease freedom and how would you increase freedom? How would society change?
What do you think is the right approach to freedom of speech? For example, should children be free to swear in the classroom? If not, how would you control their behavaior? Should newspapers be free to print words that attack the leader of a country, or certain ethnic groups? Why or why not?
After the attacks on the World Trade Center, some men were asked to get off of airplanes. The pilot was afraid because their names were similar to those of the recent hijackers. The men plan to sue the airline for discrimination based on their ethnic background. If you were the judge, what would you consider important in deciding a case like this?
When you were a teenager, did you value freedom? Did you look forward to a time when you would be an adult, making decisions for yourself and taking care of yourself? Explain. What did/do you value most as a child, as a teenager, as an adult?
If someone wishes to voluntarily sell themselves as a slave, should they be allowed to do it? Why or why not?
How would you interpret and apply the following statement, written by a Christian writer 2000 years ago?
“You were called to freedom, brothers; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Gal. 5:13