Safety versus Freedom

6 June 2017

The issue over safety versus freedom has existed for ages, as portrayed by Thomas Jefferson’s quote during his presidency “The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors. ” In todays society one might say they would prefer to be free rather than safe, but most people would agree that the importance of safety exceeds the value of freedom, as evidenced by a mother’s instinct to keep their child free from harm, government laws, and terrorism.

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Although freedom has lways been argued for, is it more important than our own personal safety? Opposing views claim that freedom is valued more highly than safety. Of course people enjoy having freedom because it gives them an opportunity to express themselves, however when people are able to express themselves freely, problems can arise. For example, African American slaves would nearly do anything to their power Just to obtain freedom. In this case freedom was more important to them personally than safety would have been.

It is obvious that slaves valued their freedom more than heir safety, because with freedom slaves could often buy their own property and live as they please. When we think about being free we also need to consider the importance of freedom. With the issue of freedom versus safety, we need to take into consideration the amount of people who value one more than the other. Of course this could include a mother’s instinct to keep her child safe from danger. A quote by an American essayist and social critic, H. C. Mencken states “The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe. He is clearly valuing safety over reedom and this is incorporated into the idea that a mother would want her child to be safe rather than free. It was once said by Charles M. Hayes that “safety first is safety always. ” This quote represents mother’s feelings toward their children. In addition to a mothers instinct to keep their child safe, is the example of contemporary government laws. It is against the law to text and drive, yet some people continue to do it. When people text while they are driving they not only put themselves in danger, but also people around them.

It can take someone’s life in a split second. This is the reason the government established a new law banning all individuals (in most states) from texting and driving. In todays society the cell phone is a large priority to most individuals. By glancing around it is almost certain that you will see someone using their cell phone. It is understood that people want to contact friends and relatives but they should do so without putting themselves in danger. After all, safety is a number one priority. Terrorism has greatly shaped the way America is governed now and how it is seen.

Throughout the years safety has been hreatened numerous times, and large efforts were taken that sacrificed a great deal of freedom. Before the attack on 9/1 1 safety was not taken into consideration as thoroughly as it is today. After the attack, everyone in the United States feared for their lives and futures, and security in the United States increased drastically. At the time of this event all people could think about was their safety, not their freedom. That tragic day has shaped the generation today.

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