First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Freedom Essay
“I want to be able to do what I want, when I want.
” This is a common answer people give when asked what freedom means to them. If you ask anyone, whoever you ask will say they want to be free, but when asked to define what freedom means; they can’t give an exact definition. If someone says that freedom is having the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want, then would it be right for someone to use his or her free actions to hurt someone else? Should they still have the freedom to do that?Since some people’s free actions might morally differ from others, you can’t put an exact definition on what it means to be free because the meaning itself is too abstract. Astrophysicists Andrew Galambos believes that freedom is the societal condition that occurs when individuals have control over their own property. Galambos is saying that ones body (property) is theirs and they’re free to do what they want with it.
So, if someone wants to take drugs, they should be able to do take them because it’s their body and their choices.The only time someone shouldn’t be free to take drugs is if they’re doing it around other people without their approval. The same could go for driving recklessly.
If someone wants to endanger their own life, they should have the given right to do so. Although, they would have to consider that they don’t own the roads and there will be other people driving on them. Once you take that into consideration it overrides the fact that it’s your body and you can do what you want with it.Based on the idea of property right, considering the implications of ones actions case by case can put great limitations an individual’s freedom. If you go off just the definition given by Andrew Galambos, it’s not surprising that most people believe that freedom is having the ability to do whatever you want whenever you want.
However, that’s not the case. The government has restrictions on what you can and can’t do in public, or at all. For example, it’s against the law to drive recklessly because you are endangering other people on the road.Everyone is free to be on the road, but there’s laws requiring you to drive certain speed limits because no single person owns the road. Freedom is too abstract to define accurately and precisely because when you think about it, ones freedom is another person’s restriction. Galambos gave a definition of Individual freedom. There are other types of freedoms that are protected under the United States Constitution.
One of these is the freedom of speech, which is protected under the First Amendment. The First Amendment allows people to speak their opinions in a public forum even though the majority may find it offensive.The Supreme Court protects three types of freedom of speech: pure, symbolic, and speech plus conduct. Pure speech is the most basic kind of speech protected under the first Amendment. This speech covers words that are written in texts such as magazine, newspapers, movies, Internet, and much more.
Pure speech is very important. The First Amendment restricts the government from regulating anything based on it’s content. For example, a state could not pass a law banning books that contain ways of how to break into banks.This is also true for public speeches that may be offensive or hateful. An example of this would be when the Ku Klux Klan would hold rallies. During the rallies Klansmen would shout horrible things about African Americans and Jewish people, but they were able to say it because of having the freedom of speech. Although, later in 1990, laws were designed to prevent hate crimes. The second type of free speech is symbolic speech.
Symbolic speech is when you use your own actions to send a message. For example, in the case of Tinker Vs.Des Moines Independent Community School District, the Supreme Court had said that students who decided to wear black armbands protesting the Vietnam War were practicing their right of free speech. The third type of free speech is speech plus conduct. This is very similar to symbolic speech so it makes it hard to differentiate between the two. An example of speech plus conduct would be the case of United States Vs.
O’Brien. This was when Vietnam War opponents burned their draft cardocuments they needed to carry in preparation for being called into military services.Even though they were practicing free speech, the Supreme Court said the government could pass laws banning the burning of draft cards. Another freedom granted by the First Amendment is the freedom of religion. This is the idea that all people are free to practice and follow their own faith, or no faith at all, without governmental interference. An example of this would the 1992 cause of R. A Vs. St.
Paul. R. A was a teenager in St. Paul, and he along with other teenagers had made and burned a cross on the lawn of a black family across the street.
R. A had been charged with disorderly conduct under the St. Paul Bias Motivated Crime Ordinance, which prohibits the displaying of symbols, objects, graffiti, etc.
The statue was not too broad and unallowably content based, so the Minnesota Supreme Court said it did not violate the First Amendment because the statue was limited to “fighting words,” which are not constitutionally protected anyway. It’s difficult to define freedom because the word itself is too abstract. The Constitution protects the freedoms for all United States citizens.The First Amendment protects two freedoms in particular: freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Freedom of speech is when an individual is able to make a statement in a public forum that may be hateful or offend others. There three different types of freedom of speech that are protected under the First Amendment: pure speech, symbolic speech, and speech plus conduct.
Pure speech is through written words like magazines and newspapers where as symbolic speech and speech plus conduct is when someone’s actions portray a message.The difference between symbolic speech and speech plus conduct is that speech plus conduct is done with a course of conduct. The freedom of religion is having the right to freely follow and practice whatever religion you please without the government getting involved or pushing a certain religion on you. Astrophysicist Andrew Galambos said that ones freedom is the societal condition where an individual has the ability to control their own property. In other words, freedom is having the ability to make your own decisions with your body.
Although what Galambos doesn’t mention is that when making your decisions you have to take other people and their individual freedoms into consideration as well. Like I mentioned earlier, you could drive recklessly because you have the given right to endanger your own body, but there’s other people on the road and you don’t have the right to endanger their life. Even though you have the right to do something, someone else has the free right to do what he or she wants as well. Sometimes ones freedom is another person’s restriction and that’s what makes freedom such a difficult word to define precisely.