Monday, October 02, 2006

On that thing that Benjamin Franklin said, y'know, whatever that was

Okay, so actually, they're not entirely sure it was Ben Franklin, but they think it was, and it sure sounds a lot like him: "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

That quote has been thrown around so much in the past couple of years that I'm close to sick of hearing it, and I have no interest in debating it right now. But it does make a nice headline for today's essay question. Working from the premise that liberty and safety may, in fact, be mutually exclusive, which one would you take?

1. If you knew you absolutely had to pick one or the other, which would you choose, and why?
2. Working on a continuum from 1, which is completely free but in constant mortal peril, to 10, which is guaranteed safety but spending the rest of your life in an appropriately vented Ziploc bag, where would you fall, and why?
3. What factors (political, environmental, personal, interpersonal, etc.) might influence your decision?

Your answers go in comments below. Please type or write in blue or black ink. Fill in all bubbles completely. Do not discuss your question with the person next to you. And as always, death is not an option.

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