Rafed English

The government’s imposition of limitations is against the demand of freedom

Adopted from the book : "Freedom; The Unstated Facts and Points" by : "Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi"

No government has the right to set penalties and impose limitations on the people because in doing so, out of fear of the penalties, and on account of the pressure put on them, the people will not commit any violation. However, if there were no penalties and limitations, they could have freely done whatever they like, whether it is good or bad.


The problem with the above argument is that it stands on the principle of absolute freedom. They have discussed some preliminary points of this principle and on the basis of which they imagine that in this world man must be totally free and no limit and pressure should be imposed upon him. No one is supposed to compel him to do a certain action and to hinder him doing a certain action. Without doubt, this principle is illogical and for any person with intellect and common sense, it is wrong and unacceptable.

No man has absolute, limitless and unrestricted freedom in that he can do whatever he likes, and no law would restrain him. (Here, what we mean by law is not the moral and rationally independent laws, which have no guarantor of their execution. Rather, it refers to the legal laws in their general sense, whose execution is guaranteed and backed up by the government.)

There must be laws and regulations, and the people must be urged to observe the laws and regulations. If a person violated them, he must be dealt with accordingly. If a person usurped the rights of people, he must be urged to grant them their rights. There must be traffic and driving rules, and the violators who sometimes are responsible for the death of many people, must be penalized and fined.

Apart from the fact that the existence of laws and regulations and their acceptance by all people everywhere throughout history bear witness to the fact that absolute freedom—that no one has the right to exert pressure on others, impose limit on them and to deny them some of their freedoms—is unacceptable and wrong. In practice, no one has ever been obliged to it. Acceptance of the principle of absolute freedom means denial of civility and acceptance of the savagery and law of the jungle.

If man is really a civil creature, he must have a social system. Individuals must respect the rights of others. There must be laws and regulations. Penal laws must be taken into consideration for the violators.

The government must guarantee the execution of the laws. In reality, the notion of absolute freedom and this claim that no one is supposed to exert pressure on people to do or not to do a certain act, is a denial of the necessity of the existence of government and is undertaking that the government should cease to exist because the government, ruling system and executive power basically take form in the context of the existence of social laws and regulations and their duty is to guarantee and implement laws.

Certainly, such an idea and thinking is inconsistent with law abidance, civil society, civilization, and the need to observe the laws. The foundation of human civilization is the acceptance of responsibility and the acknowledgment of a power whose concern is to implement laws in the society, and certainly, along its performance of responsibility, the government will also exert pressure on the people.

The government’s duty is that in case of necessity, by exerting pressure and forceful and powerful actions, it has to urge the lawbreakers to abide by the regulations and to penalize the violators. If mere reminders and admonitions will suffice, then it is enough for the government to act as a teacher and instructor, and not as a ruling authority.

The duty of the preachers, teachers and trainers is only to admonish and remind the people to observe social morality and human etiquettes. They have no executive leverage for following their admonitions and reminders, and it is essentially not their duty to urge the people to observe human dignities.

But it is the government’s duty to impose the law to the people even by force and threat and to deal with the violators accordingly. It has to fine the violator, and in case he tries to escape from the ambit of law, he has to be pursued and apprehended, and for him it has to implement the laws and regulations.

Therefore, the existence of government and executive power is the basis that man does not possess absolute freedom. Absolute freedom is inadmissible and inharmonious with civilization, humanity and social life.

It makes no difference whether the government is the executor of civil laws, which have been codified based on the demands of people, or the government is the executor of the divine laws.

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