Revolutionists, visionaries, prophets and progressives are always using terms such as "freedom" and "truth." People like the word "freedom," and the entire concept that word seems to envelop. The idea behind it is one that gives way to what every human yearns for and needs - a sense of themselves. This comes in a paradoxical form, encompassing both individuality and belonging in the same instant. All across the planet, people spend huge chunks of their lives trying to fit into some mold, while spending even larger amounts of time trying to prove what is unique about them. This is the vicious circle of humankind.
It is actually funny the historical context in which the word "freedom" is often found. The people who talk of freedom the most have been the leaders of movements. A movement by definition is something of a group activity. No one can ever decide exactly what is more important – freedom or belonging. The best solution is for the individual to exist as a functioning part of a larger group. Individuality never thrives without some shape of boundaries. People need to be validated in their choices; they want to feel purposeful and accepted. (To some extents, the reason we are here…) Above all, they want the certainty that their individuality is of a proper sort, and that their choices are "good." Humans do not want to believe in or be a part of anything that has a chance of being fundamentally untrue.
This demand for certainty, combined with ideals of freedom, individuality and purpose is the crux of many an issue. An obvious example of these human qualities is the great evolution debate. Everyone has an opinion on human origin. Who doesn't want to know where we have come from? We have memories to keep track of our own pasts, and historical records laying around to give as something to put stock in as to the past before our own. We deem these to be true and certain, for lack of any better options. The unknown is what happened in the past that occurred before "history," and humanity is a demandingly curious species. We want to know.
At present there are two theories afloat in the Western World that seem to be doing the best job of satisfying our curiosity. (We all know these: it's Evolution vs. Creationism.) Most people want certainty in one form (Darwin) or the other (the Bible). This is true, which is why most believe believe fairly strongly in one of these theories. There are two huge problems with this. The first is how little evidence there is in support of either theory. The second is the obvious ways these theories are completely at odds with one another. They can't both be true, at least not without some substantial compromising. But we are a stubborn species as well. If we can find something that we like enough to feel satisfied believing in, we are none too willing to compromise it.
The existence of the two schools of thought also satiates man's need to feel free. Theoretically, no one has anything in the way of them choosing to believe in whatever they want. The only thing a man has that cannot be controlled by another against his will is his mind. But with so many advocates and door prizes for believing one way or the other, a degree of our objectivity is taken away. Most of us are not smart enough, or motivated enough to create our own watertight theory on human origin. It is easier to go with one that is already so nicely mapped out. We have some amount of choice, so we are happy. And besides, humans want to belong. There are already large amounts of people on both sides of the fence. And the more other people there are believing in something, the more certain we can feel of its truth. Humans feel comfortable picking a side, and in this case we have enough back up to feel comfortable and justified in deciding that they are right.
When someone believes they are right they really Believe in whatever it may be. Everyone likes this ability to have strong conclusions and to feel certain about having them. Pointing out the problems with both sides of this debate picks away at the foundations of our comfort and stability. Perhaps the third option are the people sitting on top of the fence who are suggesting that we admit to uncertainty, and accept it, and believe in not believing. This is not easy for most people. If the fence dividing the theories were to be examined for structural stability, it would be found that it is a very shaky fence due to the large numbers of people clamoring around at either side of it. Very few people would actually be found clinging to the top of the fence. These "fence-people" have their freedom, and their individuality, but they are lacking their certainty. Agnostic evolutionists is what I think they call themselves. Very few people are comfortable enough to remain on the fence.