Difference Between Liberty and Freedom
Liberty vs Freedom
There are too many words in the English language. In fact, two or more words may mean the same thing, and one can be used in place of the other. Sometimes it can get confusing, and people find it hard to decide which word to use as in the case of the words “freedom” and “liberty”.
“Liberty” is defined as “the right and the power to believe, act, and express oneself as one chooses, of being free from restriction, and having the freedom of choice. It is the condition of having the power to act and speak without restraints.”
Liberty is the condition wherein individuals behave according to their will and govern themselves, taking responsibility for their actions and behaviors. Having liberty does not necessarily mean going against ethics and moral values. It is classified into: positive liberty wherein individuals act on their own will without being influenced by social restrictions and taboos, and negative liberty wherein individuals act without being influenced or coerced by other people.
The word “liberty” comes from the Latin word “libertatem” which means “freedom” or “condition of a freeman.” It came into the English language through the Old French word “liberte” which means “freedom.”
“Freedom,” on the other hand, is defined as “the state of being free to enjoy political, social, and civil liberties. It is the power to decide one’s actions, and the state of being free from restraints or confinement. It is synonymous to the words liberty, privilege, deliverance, and independence.”
It is also referred to as “free will.” The ability of each individual to make choices that are free from coercion or restriction. Even if an individual has free will or freedom, he is still bound to conform to religious and ethical doctrines because he is accountable for all his actions.
Freedom is enjoyed by all individuals except those who are in prison. People who have been coerced into doing something because they have conflicting ideas about it, although it is what they themselves desired to do, are also said to have exercised their freedom.
The word “freedom” comes from the Old English word “freodom” which means “state of free will, charter, or deliverance.” It in turn came from the Indo-European word “priyos” which means “dear” or “one’s own.” The word “freedom” is more concrete than the word “liberty” which is more associated with the notion of liberty in connection with the state. Freedom usually pertains to a person’s choices in everything that he does.
1. “Liberty” is the power to act and express oneself according to one’s will while “freedom” is the power to decide one’s actions.
2. “Freedom” is a more concrete concept than “liberty” which is more associated with an individual’s connection with the state rather than with other individuals and circumstances.
3. “Liberty” comes from the Latin word “libertatem” which means “condition of a freeman” while “freedom” comes from the English word “freodom” which means “state of free will.”
4. Although an individual has freedom or liberty, he must still conform to what is morally right and ethical.
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