Safety versus Freedom

Topics: Security, Slavery in the United States, United States Pages: 2 (701 words) Published: December 18, 2013
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 today’s 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. Although freedom has always 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 their 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 freedom 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...
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