The Absolute Necessity of Faith In Freedom

Let's say you sit down, grab your AppleTV or Amazon Fire TV remote, and turn on your favorite program.

Do you know the exact details on how everything 'just happens' when you press those buttons on the remote? 

Most likely not. 

People with the technical knowledge can surely explain it to you. Do you have a few years to spare? 

They can get into the nitty-gritty of the science and physics involved. But you most likely have no interest in being put to sleep with such tedious minutia. You just want to hit the buttons, and when you hit them you have faith that everything will work.

But what if you didn't have that faith?

What if you insisted on knowing every single detail of how it works before pressing those buttons? 

Even worse, what if you were afraid to press the buttons unless you understood every fine detail? What if you feared that the remote would explode in your hands by pressing the buttons? Or what if you were afraid that the TV would melt into a molten liquid?

But you're not afraid. You know it works; you have no idea how it works, but you have faith that it will.

Part of being an individual human being is having limited knowledge. That's our nature. Omniscience is not for us. We cannot, and will not, know everything there is to know. We have to have faith in order to live.

No matter how smart we think we are, no matter how brilliant our Moms or professors said that we are, we each know very, very little. 

We may know much more than most people in a specific field, but we cannot know it all, and when we step out of that field, we place our faith in the specialized knowledge of others.

I can't explain to you the details of exactly how a car can get me from A to B. I can't explain how the lights come on when I flip the switch. I can't explain how a pencil is made, or how Chik-fil-A always has enough chicken to supply the lines of cars that wrap around their building all day long.

I do know that, because of the division of labor and specialization, all of these things just work. And in my perpetual ignorance, I'm able to enjoy all of it!

In all of these fields, I know that others can explain the details to me, but our time on this Earth is short. There isn't enough time for everyone to explain everything.

Here's the beauty of living in a world filled with largely ignorant individuals with specialized knowledge: While others will specialize for me, I specialize for them.

I (and people much smarter than me in my field) can explain why the ideas of freedom and liberty are far superior to busybody bureaucrats and authoritarian governments. 

We can explain why government hurts, rather than helps, when it intervenes and tries to regulate something as infinitely complex as human life and civilization. We can explain why governments can't 're-make' society, or 're-make' other countries, or 're-make' human nature.

I may not know the intricate laws of physics, but I can explain the economic laws that busybody bureaucrats are always trying to break, and always fail to break.

Politicians may claim that they will break the laws of supply and demand, but they won't. They may claim that they can give stuff away for "free," but they can't.

Again, because time is limited, people don't necessarily want to hear the explanations on why all of this is so. 

It's only when the pain of government intervention becomes overwhelming that the demand for the ideas of freedom and liberty increases rapidly.

When the bureaucrat has his boot on your throat, and your nose grinding in the dirt, the ideas of freedom (all of a sudden) become very attractive.

The bottom line is this: Every aspect of living is based on faith.

That includes a faith in the ideas of freedom.

Let's say we were to live in a perfectly free, peaceful and libertarian society, which is most unlikely since freedom naturally includes the freedom to choose tyranny...

So let's go with this instead...

Let's say we were to live in a society where the ideas of freedom dominate....In that environment, most people would be operating on faith in freedom. 

They would know that freedom works (just like they know the AppleTV remote works) but they wouldn't necessarily be able to explain exactly how it works, in every detail. 

Others, who have the knowledge, would certainly be able to explain why freedom works, but most people wouldn't be able to. They have their own areas of specialization. There's not enough time. So they will operate on faith that freedom works.

And freedom does, without a doubt, work.
 
 
Apple TV Remote by Paul Hudson is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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