How far does individual freedom reach?

The costs of prohibition are great, but can people be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves?

  • Classical liberals favor democracy because it operates as a ruling of the people by the people, rather than rule by someone else.
  • This lends itself to the concept of negative freedom, or freedom from being compelled by the state or other authority to do something. So Daniel Jacobson, professor of philosophy at University of Michigan, raises the question: Do we have absolute sovereignty over our bodies?
  • The crucial point for liberalism is that liberty ought to be the default. It shouldn't be easy to justify compulsion.
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The art of walking: How this everyday act can bring you inner peace

Here's how to exercise your curiosity and truly experience the world.

  • "[T]oday, most people are sitting on their arses in a chair looking at the screen to discover and explore the world," says Norwegian explorer Erling Kagge. "And that's a huge misunderstanding. You're missing out on some of the greatest things in life."
  • There is an inner silence to be found through walking, says Kagge. You exercise your curiosity and the movement of your body, which are two ancient and important things for Homo sapiens.
  • Some people experience silence through meditation, mindfulness, or yoga. But Kagge emphasizes that you don't need any formal techniques. If you are interested in finding inner silence, you can create it anywhere, just by walking.
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How to survive social distancing according to science

Social distancing won't be easy, but science shows us how to make it more manageable.

  • Social distancing asks us to repress our evolutionary desire for human contact and interaction.
  • Experts worry long periods of the practice will have unforeseen consequences on our mental health.
  • We look at seven ways to help us mitigate social distancing's harmful effects.
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Perfectionism wastes everyone’s time. Here’s how.

The goal should be satisfaction, not perfection—why good enough is good enough.

  • According to business psychologist and consultant Melanie Katzman, being a maximizer, or someone who seeks and over works in pursuit of perfection, is a waste of time, energy, and resources.
  • Completion and perfection are often not synonymous, and it is possible to continue tweaking something long after it is done.
  • A desire to demonstrate expertise can overcomplicate the work and muddle the message. To avoid this pitfall, Katzman encourages clients to stop in the middle of a project and reassess.
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How does the rule of law promote a free society?

In classical liberal philosophy, individual pursuit of happiness is made possible by a framework of law.

  • The rule of law as a principle has a philosophical history before it was popularized by classical liberalism, which can be traced back to Greek philosopher Aristotle.
  • The classical liberal conception of laws draws upon this pre-history but differs slightly. Yes, the end goal is the common good, however "goodness" varies by individual.
  • In this way of thinking, instead of telling us what will make us happy, law serves as the framework that allows us to pursue our own unique happiness.
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