Is man free to kill another – free to kill himself or have himself killed? Is man free to seek the death of others as well as free to ask others to have himself killed? Does man give life to himself and is therefore free to ask others to take it away from him? Or after giving life to another, is the giver free to take it away from its recipient thereafter? Setting aside Theology: Are people free to kill themselves, kill one another, kill whosoever? These are pertinent questions that come to mind when killing has become a matter of fact in the Philippine scene, when killing becomes but a matter of numbers.
These are times and the age when people become more and more vocal and insistent, more and more conscious and demanding of their human freedom to do practically anything, practically anyway. Freedom is openly and repeatedly invoked when these or those individuals want something done, desire this or that objective to be achieved—thus gathering as many followers as possible to second or support what they want as “Freemen”. Thus comes the question about the nature and implications, the meaning and suppositions of human freedom, i.e., the Philosophy of Human Freedom.
The intelligence to know or to ignore plus the will to act or abstain from acting – all these equal human freedom. This means that when human intelligence is dysfunctional for one reason or another, permanently or but temporally, this makes human will likewise inoperative. Such is the sequence presumed in functional human freedom – not the other way around, viz., it is definitely not first an inoperative will making a dysfunctional human intelligence. Rather, a human person enjoys freedom only when the same knows what is right or wrong, good or bad, what is proper or improper and accordingly acts thereon or otherwise chooses to do.
A human person has freedom to choose according to what the latter’s human knowledge knows plus what his human will wants. By the way, doing something wrong, vicious, barbarous and the like is not merely the exercise but actually the abuse of human freedom as affirmed by reason and confirmed by ethics. To do evil is the abuse of freedom whereas such is license – not freedom. The truth of the matter is that – unless proven insane – murders, thieves and all evil-doers are not exercising but simply doing their freedom and are thus living maliciously or licentiously, not freely. The members of humanity who indulge in such misdeeds precisely by misuse or abuse of their freedom are the scourge of humanity from the very emergence of the first two human beings in the world who abused their respective freedom and thus became the original authors of evil in the world.
When one already knows what to do and does not do it or already knows what should be done but still does it – such is the simple and clear option of abusing one’s freedom. But not knowing what to do and yet still does it, or already knowing what is to be done and yet does not do it, this too is an abuse of one’s freedom. In other words, freedom is definitely a great human attribute which when abused – precisely by doing what must not be done or by not doing what must be done – becomes a big human liability. And so it is that to kill is not freedom but license – not unless it is for self-defense.