Front Page Titles (by Subject) III: The Ambiguities of Liberty - Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
Also in the Library:
III: The Ambiguities of Liberty - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, October/December 1978, vol. 1, No. 4 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
About Liberty Fund:
This work is copyrighted by the Institute for Humane Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, and is put online with their permission.
Fair use statement:
The Ambiguities of Liberty
Throughout the history of political philosophy, the concept of liberty or freedom has provoked a bewildering and often contradictory range of interpretations. To appreciate how liberty has historically meant a complete spectrum of opinions ranging from the illiberal, totalitarian, and closed society to the liberal, democratic, and even anarchistic society, one has only to list the names of Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, St. Augustine, Aquinas, Hobbes, Locke, Rouseau, Jefferson, Godwin, Hegel, Stirner, Mill, Marx, and Isaiah Berlin. Sorting out the major distinct meanings in the labyrinth of liberty, Mortimer Adler required two thick volumes to do justice to The Idea of Freedom. Some philosophers, such as John Gray of Oxford, believe that liberty may be “ineradicably disputable” and possess an essentially “contestable” character [see Gray's “On Liberty, Liberalism and Essential Contestability,” British Journal of Political Science 8 (1978): 385–402]. Liberty is a value-laden term since its meaning depends upon which rival conception of man and society one endorses. Defining liberalism, Maurice Cranston reflects the ambiguous nature of liberty: “By definition, a liberal is a man who believes in liberty, but because different men at different times have meant different things by liberty, ‘liberalism’ is correspondingly ambiguous.” (In Paul Edwards, ed. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Collier-Macmillan: New York, 1972, Vol. 4, p. 478).
Some of the ambiguities of liberty are partially clarified by following Adler's distinctions: (1) freedom as “self-perfection” or exemption from the slavery to our internal passions and vices; (2) freedom as “self-realization” or exemption from the slavery to external circumstances (e.g., coercive laws, duress); (3) freedom as “self-determination” or the psychological and moral ability to freely choose an alternative (as opposed to determinism); and (4) “political freedom” or the ability of citizens to participate in making laws.
The following summaries reflect the ambiguities and debates revolving around liberty as well as attempts to clarify various distinctions and moral evaluations of this centrally important concept.
“The Concept of Freedom in Berlin and Others: An Attempt at Clarification.” The Journal of Value Inquiry 10 (Winter 1976): 279–285.
We need to clarify the ambiguous and nettlesome concept of freedom in social and political philosophy.
In particular, we need to criticize the traditional distinction between positive and negative freedom found in the works of Isaiah Berlin, Maurice Cranston, H.J. McCloskey, Erich Fromm, and John Rawls.
Loenen argues that there are indeed two concepts of freedom but that the traditional terminology of ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ freedom is infelicitous and even misleading. Moreover, the traditional terminology is unhelpful in treating substantive issues such as the value, justification, and the proper scope of freedom. A more helpful distinction would be freedom as “not being interfered with from without” from freedom as “not being determined from without.”
Particularly misleading is Isaiah Berlin's use of the traditional terminology. Berlin's view that ‘positive’ freedom means “being one's own master” (and, through ambiguity, this becomes “being master of oneself”) plagues the concept of positive freedom with a perplexing and perhaps indefensible distinction between two ‘selves’.
Another flaw in the traditional terminology is that ‘negative’ freedom as ‘the absence of restraints’ conjures up for some the image of a free person inactive or passive. This ambiguity thereby leads some to overlook the important ‘positive aspect’ of ‘negative’ freedom: its connection with activity and choice, that is, with freedom to do things.
Following Hayek and others, Loenen defines the central question for substantive social and political philosophy as not whether the individual is interfered with in some ‘absolute’ sense, but whether he is to live in a free society, one that assures him of some “inviolable ‘area’” of choice and action. If the author is correct, traditional definitions of ‘negative’ freedom will be of little use in this debate.
Loenen further argues that freedom as noninterference has intrinsic value, but he judges that this value is fully revealed only by the specifications of freedom (e.g., freedom of the press). A succinct, accurate, and felicitous terminology for distinctions among kinds of freedom remains to be devised.
Rehabilitating Mill's “Harm Principle”
“A Reformulation of the Harm Principle.” Political Theory 6 (May 1978): 233–246.
John Stuart Mill's famous “harm principle” enunciated in On Liberty (1859) states that we can justify government restraint over an individual's freedom only to prevent harm to others: That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. Mill's harm principle was attacked, beginning with Justice Fitzjames Stephen, on the grounds that we can devise no clear distinction between actions which harm and actions which do not harm others. Do not most human actions affect others. Do not most human actions affect others to some degree? We can, however, resurrect and rehabilitate the harm principle by providing it with an adequate theory. Such a theory would differentiate self-regarding activities (which would be immune to government interference) from those actions which do harm others.
We can reformulate the harm principle once we realize a vital distinction. Although almost all actions affect others, not all actions harm others. The revised formulation would then read as follows: “Prohibitations are legitimate if and only if, necessarily, token actions of the type described in the prohibition cause harm to others.” For example, the prohibition of theft would be legitimate if harm means the invasion of an individual's interest. Legislators must simply provide a list of actions which fall under this principle. For example, in the case of pollution, the law might set standards for clean air so that government would enforce prohibition against the burning of coal only if noxious emissions exceeded a legally defined threshold.
“Psychological Studies of Experienced Freedom.” Revised version of a paper delivered at the Southern Society for Philosophy and Psychology, Orlando, Florida, March 1978.
The personal experience of freedom, whether or not it is illusory, is important to study. This is because political ideology often rests on judgments of human nature's capacity to be free. These judgments, in turn, often rest on subjective experiences of freedom or “experienced freedom.” The following report details some psychological studies of perceived freedom.
In all, 69 university students responded to a questionnaire assessing the circumstances under which they experienced feelings of personal freedom. Perceptions of personal freedom were most likely to be reported when one experienced a “release from noxious stimulation” or where there was an “exercise of skilled behavior.” Perceived freedom was least likely to be reported (among the categories studied) when there was a “recognition of limits” or “active decision making.”
The participants were permitted to generate their own “opposites” to the word “free.” Some 170 “opposites” were reported. The most frequent type of “opposites” referred to “prevention from without” (e.g., restricted stifled, trapped). “Opposites” referring to “diffuse unpleasant affect” (e.g., emotions such as anxiety, boredom, and being overwhelmed) and “conflict and indecision” were also frequently mentioned.
Westcott briefly discusses the potential problem of such a knowledge (i.e., the circumstances under which people feel free) being exploited for political purposes. Reference is made to Skinner's (1972) observation that the most dangerous type of despot is the one whose subjects feel free. The author suggests that making public what can be known about the experience of freedom may help to limit that danger.
Criticisms of such topics as that of “experienced freedom” in social psychology repeat standard arguments:
That experimental methodology applied to complex processes relies on precision of operations and measurement, lacks conceptual analysis, limits behavioral options, and in so doing produces data results which have appropriate statistical properties, but which do violence to the natural phenomena they are meant to represent.
These methodological criticisms may not be fatal to studying human freedom in its subjective aspect as personally perceived freedom. Psychological studies of this topic could also gain insights by interdisciplinary contact “with the conceptual analysis of freedom within theories of social philosophy, political philosophy, theories of ethics, and justice.”
Do Offers Coerce Freedom?
“Threats and Offers.” The Personalist 52 (October 1977): 382–384.
Can offers ever be coercive and thus limit freedom? The author makes an affirmative case by examining the various ways in which Smith might communicate something to Jones to get Jones to do act A: (1) I (Smith) make your (Jones) present situation worse unless you do A; (2) I will prevent your present situation from improving unless you do A; (3) Your present situation will become worse; and (4) Your present situation won't become better (without my doing anything) unless you do A in order to get me to help it improve.
Of these four motivations, (1) and (2) seem to be the threats, whereas (3) and (4) are apparently offers. The distinction depends upon whether a deliberate act of Smith's makes things worse or fails to improve them. However, it can be argued that (3) and (4) are threats if Smith has an obligation either to prevent Jones's situation from deteriorating or to help that situation to improve.
Given this foundation, Benditt argues that some offers can be coercive. In particular, where Smith takes advantage of the fact that Jones's alternatives are all repugnant by making a somewhat less repugnant offer, Smith might be said to “coerce” Jones and limit Jones's freedom.
The Danger of “Dangerousness”
“Dangerousness: A Paradigm for Exploring Some Issues in Law and Psychology.” American Psychologist 33 (1978): 224–238.
In the United States, thousands of people each year suffer the loss of their liberty because they are judged to be “dangerous” to themselves or to others. Dangerous behavior is defined as “acts that are characterized by the application of or the overt threat of force and that are likely to result in injury.” Judgments of the dangerousness of an individual are important to the criminal justice and mental health systems in a variety of areas: decisions concerning bail, sentencing, parole, competence to stand trial, emergency and involuntary commitment, and release from mental hospitals. The author observes: “Despite the very serious consequences that can follow for individuals officially designated dangerous, it is astonishing to note the frequent absence of clear and specific definitions and criteria in laws pertaining to the commitment and release of the mentally ill and of persons handled via 'sexual psychopath’ laws and related statutes.” Recent law suits have led to more precise definitions and stricter decision rules.
The use of dangerousness as a criterion for incarceration assumes someone's ability to make accurate predictions about the future occurrence of such behavior. However, a convincing body of literature makes clear the difficulties involved in predicting events with very low base rates. The author indicates, however, that these predictions “are accompanied by rather high rates of ‘false positive’ errors; that is, the great majority of the persons predicted as likely to engage in future violent behavior will not display such behavior.” Despite the possibility of such errors, social and political pressures are often brought to bear to incarcerate potentially dangerous persons on the presumption of “better safe than sorry.” The author notes that while the mentally ill have been targets for preventive detention, other sources of demonstrated dangerousness do not provoke comparable concerns (e.g., repeating drunken drivers).
In citing the work of Dershowitz, the author states that:
almost all organized societies appear to have employed some mechanism such as preventive confinement for the purpose of incapacitating persons who are perceived to be dangerous but who cannot be convicted for a past offense... The more a society circumscribes the formal criminal process with very tight safeguards that make criminal convictions difficult, the greater the likelihood that many dangerous persons will manage to benefit from these safeguards.
In American society, legal procedures delegated as “civil” are used to achieve greater leeway in the uses of preventive confinement. “By resorting to legal word games and verbal gymnastics, that which we would not and could not do to persons convicted of serious crimes and judged to be deserving of punishment, we manage to do quite readily to those designated as the recipients of our benevolence.”
Freedom, Motivation, and Government Programs
“Managing Motivation to Expand Human Freedom.” American Psychologist 33 (1978): 201–210.
Many fear that a knowledge of human motivation might serve to exploit others by manipulating them to do something they would not otherwise want to do. But McClelland observes that any psychologist “who has spent a lot of time trying to help motivate people is much more impressed by how difficult it is to produce any behavioral changes at all, let alone manipulate people without their consent.” “Increasing knowledge of motivation does not increase the possibility of manipulation, because that knowledge has to be shared by the person to be influenced, in order for change to take place. And giving away your technical information makes it possible for the person to refuse to do what you think he or she should do. Precise technical knowledge permits change, prevents manipulation, and therefore promotes human betterment.”
Much of the reason for the failure of the large government social programs to remedy social ills arises from the strong “power orientation” of some individuals. Their need to do something moves them to establish large, impressive programs to deal with any social problem that falls within their purview. Doing something impressive may be more important than doing something effective. McClelland observes: “They don't want to ‘do better’; they want to ‘have impact’.... We have had power oriented people setting impossible goals that they have attempted to reach by powerful though inappropriated means.”
The author describes his personal experience with two technical assistance programs in India. One was based on the premise that “most people want to help themselves and will take the initiative to improve their lot if they are just given the knowledge, experience, and tools with which to do so.” This program was largely a failure. The other more specific program was based on a substantial body of previous research and was designed to facilitiate achievement motivation among small businessmen in the hope it would improve their entrepreneurial capabilities. This program was far more successful and led to increasing levels of employment. Such modest remedies for social improvement, however, are “difficult to follow because the power brokers in politics and the media want big problems with big effects immediately.”
Freedom vs. Determinism
“Compatibilism.” Mind 87 (July 1978): 421–428.
Is a deterministic account of human action compatible with human freedom? A theory known as compatibilism (or soft determinism) denies that determinism must mean a person's lack of freedom or ability to act otherwise than he does.
The compatibilist grants that prior conditions causally determine human action. However, not all of those considerations are relevant in deciding whether a person has the ability to act otherwise. As G.E. Moore argued, a person's behavior is partly determined by what he wills. If a person wills differently, he can act differently. The compatibilist must, accordingly, explain our ability to will or choose. The best strategy for the compatibilist to show the compatibility of freedom and determinism is to focus on deliberate action. If the determinist can explain how a person could deliberately act otherwise than how he in fact did, he would explain the most important kind of freedom.
Deliberate freedom of action appears possible from the following analysis. A person is said to do x “freely” if, although doing x, he is also able to do something else, namely y. In this case he would be able to do y if: (1) there is something z such that, were he to will z, he would do y; and (2) there is some physically possible situation in which he would know y is the best alternative and, with this knowledge, he would do z.
This analysis means that a person would be free to regulate what he values or desires by a program of self-training. We can clarify this. There was some time prior to time t when the person was able to bring about his having at time t different values and desires. He thus could have willed differently at time t because it would bring about more of what he valued.
Negative vs. Positive Freedom
“Is There ‘Economic Freedom’?” Journal of Social Philosophy 9 (1978): 17–19.
Does there exist such a phenomenon as “economic freedom”? The issue is not whether any given country has political institutions in which the law neither controls nor forbids economic activities. In Gould's view, economic freedom poses the question of whether those lacking in economic power enjoy freedom at all.
Gould argues that historically when the citizens' major concern was to gain the power to participate in political organization, they rightly emphasized the notion of freedom as Isaiah Berlin characterized it. In his Two Concepts of Liberty (Oxford, 1958) Berlin defined “negative freedom” as the absence of coercion from others. But history has so progressed that in many countries the scarcity of negative freedom is no longer the main problem. Instead what concerns many today is the scarcity of a more positive freedom, economic freedom, in the sense of having the power (which the poor generally lack) to take actions that are desirable. Some would argue that there may be a justified concern with establishing institutions for purposes of securing the economic freedom that people lack—to provide everyone with the power to take desirable actions.
Smith and Utilitarian Economic Freedom
“Adam Smith and Natural Liberty.” Political Studies (UK), 25 (1977): 523–534.
Adam Smith grounds the system of natural liberty analyzed in The Wealth of Nations in a utilitarian moral theory. This utilitarian strain generates the reasons Smith used to justify departures from the laissez-faire principle. In Smith's system of natural liberty, a market economy is a mechanism whose inputs include man's natural (normal) desire to get the best return for his labor, capital, and land. The market's outputs (consumable products) are maximized when our choices as to how to deploy our economic resources are not thwarted by laws attempting to influence those choices. Natural liberty deployes resources “naturally” because the economic advantages of different courses of action are unaffected by laws designed to redirect labor and capital. This does not mean unaffected by all laws, since security and justice require a legal framework which affects the profitability of many types of economic behavior, but Smith believed that these laws are compatible with natural liberty.
The Wealth of Nations presents the system of natural liberty as instrumentally valuable for material progress and hence, as a utilitarian device. Smith emphatically denies that the economic agent acts out of utilitarian considerations beyond his own benefit. However, Smith's overall evaluation of the economic system depends on how far it maximizes human satisfactions—as God intends that it should—a position which may be called contemplative utilitarianism.
The standard of natural justice (which ideally determines the positive law of a country) is determined by sympathetic spectators' reactions to acts which cause resentment among men. Smith claims that such immediate moral sentiments tend to establish and maintain natural liberty prior to any consideration of its utility, so that justice does not originate in men's utilitarian calculations. However, he also believes that justice is a prerequisite for any society.
If Smith allows that the ultimate justification of justice—and thus of economic liberty—is essentially utilitarian, and if he assumes that an intelligent and impartial spectator can appreciate the social benefits of restraining injustice, why does he refrain from overtly endorsing a utilitarian approach to morality and politics? The reason that Smith's utilitarianism is contemplative and never practical lies in his sociological conservatism. Smith believed that effective law must reflect the judgments of the ordinary citizen, who does not appreciate long-term consequences. Smith retreated from the direct practical application of utilitarianism because no scheme which relies on the citizen or the politician acting consciously on utilitarian principles has any hope of success.
Smith's contemplative utilitarianism, coupled with his sociological conservatism, restricts legal and political reforms to those which are in harmony with the citizen's immediate moral sentiments. This, and the instrumental rather than an intrinsic character of Smith's liberalism, appear in his theory of political obligation and are supported by his natural theology.
Locke, Freedom, and Tacit Consent
“Consent.” Political Studies (UK), 26 (March 1978): 65–77.
Various logical difficulties plague the definition of consent in terms of granting a right to act. To avoid such difficulties we need to define consent in terms of its intended effects upon the recipients of an act of consent. J.L. Austin termed this meaning of consent its perlocutionary force. Perlocutionary analysis holds that a person's “consent” can obligate him to perform actions which he may not want to perform. This same analysis of consent makes coherent Locke's account of political obligation in terms of tacit consent.
What, then, is consent? On this analysis, consent is a special case of promising, distinctive in its passive character. Consent to an agreement is a kind of promise. It is intelligible in terms of the intended perlocutionary effect; it induces people to rely upon future actions that one has consented to perform in an agreement. By consenting to an action I intentionally induce another to rely upon my noninterference in his performance of some action.
We may define tacit consent within this expectations model of consent. A speaker induces expectations or reliance on a hearer. The speaker undertakes either not to interfere with some future action of the hearer or to begin a course of action which the hearer has previously proposed.
This same concept of consent helps in reconstructing Locke's argument for political obligation. Locke's reconstructed argument runs as follows. To enjoy one's natural rights securely, one must rely upon other people to make a contract to relinquish their rights to personally enforce contract violations. The fact that we are securely enjoying our property seems to show that other people have consented to form a political association. Unless we knew and relied on this, we would not be able to enjoy our possessions. By relying on others to give up their personal right of enforcement we are thereby inducing them to rely upon our nonenforcement of our own rights. The others would not subject themselves to judicial restraint in the enforcement of their rights if we insisted on remaining in a state of nature. This satisfies the conditions stipulated for tacit consent: an agent acts in a manner that can induce others to rely upon his future acting without the agent intending such reliance.
This analysis is not Locke's actual line of argument in the Second Treatise, but it arguably is a natural extension from his own underdeveloped account of tacit consent and political obligation. The perlocutionary interpretation of consent, in allowing for the ascription of consensual obligations to people without their intentions, makes a case for political obligation resting upon their “consent.” This analysis, however, does not of itself establish the superiority of a consensual theory of political obligation over any other rival account.
“Not to be Coerced.” Studies (Spring/Summer 1978): 28–39.
From the beginning the founding fathers of the United States saw the principle of religious freedom not merely as a political norm but also as a duty enjoined by Christian belief. Jefferson observed that the mind of man was free to make its own judgments. Thus freedom came from God, man's creator. Hence Christians were obliged to respect freedom.
Separation of Church and State was enshrined in the Constitution in order to protect the right to religious freedom. Congress was to make no law which would intrude upon the citizens' religious beliefs because each citizen had a right not to be coerced and the State simply had no function in the matter of belief.
Whereas the Americans defined the limits beyond which the State could not go without infringing fundamental rights, the revolutionary French interpreted these rights so much in terms of political ideology that they distorted the understanding of freedom in Europe for generations and consequently led to the doctrine of state supremacy.
Despite the antagonism of the revolutionaries to the Church, the Church leaders initially took care not to close off the possibility of reconciliation with the new French regime. Why, in view of attitudes such as this, the Papacy became such an implacable opponent to liberalism during most of the nineteenth century is not clear. Rome could see the revolution only in its European and anticlerical form.
The American experience made no impact on the leaders of the Church. Neither did the example set in Ireland by Daniel O'Connell who said that the right of every man to freedom of conscience was “equally the right of a Protestant in Italy or Spain as of a Catholic in Ireland.” But the liberal Catholics of Europe (such as Montalembert, Lammenais, Lacordaire, Ventura, Rosmini and Ketteler) did draw inspiration from O'Connell and sought to analyze liberal principles.
The concept of freedom motivating these liberal Catholics closely resembled that of the Americans. But Pope Pius IX condemned them, going so far as to brand Catholic liberalism as “a compact between justice and iniquity, more dangerous than a declared enemy.” By contrast, Pope John XXIII included freedom with the great virtues when he spoke of “truth, justice, charity and freedom.” And for the Second Vatican Council the right to religious freedom “has its foundation, not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.”
Freedom, Existentialism, and Innocent Victims
“Freedom as Supreme Value: The Ethics of Sartre and de Beauvoir.” Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 50 (1976): 60–71.
To speak of existentialist ethics as an ethics of freedom raises a number of difficulties. In fact, Sartre has not written the work on ethics which he promised at the end of Being and Nothingness. Further, some object to the very possibility of an existentialist ethics based on Sartre's ontology. Sartre's views of man and of the nature of value would seem to provide no foundation for the development of an ethics.
Anderson, however, argues that we can formulate the general structure of Sartre's ethics. The Sartrean ontology can give rise to an ethical system if we borrow from Simone de Beauvoir's book The Ethics of Ambiguity. De Beauvoir seeks to establish the value of freedom by invoking three of Sartre's notions: (1) human interdependence, (2) equality, and (3) consistency. In Anderson's analysis de Beauvoir develops these three notions as follows:
Anderson argues that Sartrean ethics formulates a meaningful ethical position for those who proclaim the death of God and of all objective values. It seriously attempts to reply to Dostoevsky's challenge “If God is dead, everything is permitted.” However, several problems still remain to be solved in this ethical view. In the existentialist ethics of Sartre and de Beauvoir: “any action designed to promote freedom and the advancement of others to equality with oneself is good, any action to restrict this is evil.” In practical terms the choice of freedom for all, however, “will often mean that the freedom of some must be restricted in order to promote the freedom of the greatest number.” In addition Anderson comments:
Sartre and de Beauvoir are willing at times to condone even the suppression of freedom of the innocent in order to enhance the freedom of the majority.... even actions they generally condemn are considered to be justified in particular circumstances if they lead to greater freedom for the greater number. In the final analysis their support of Marxism, and more recently of the Third World nations, is based upon their conviction that these are at present humanity's best hope for achieving the general liberation of mankind, a liberation which they believe will ultimately come about only in a communistic classless society.
Does Censorship Harm Freedom?
“Pornography, Sex, and Censorship.” Social Theory and Practice 4 (1977): 183–209.
Arguments in favor of restricting freedom through censorship reflect certain attitudes about sex that many reject. Thus, judgments about pornography will depend on people's different attitudes toward sex. By carefully examining some of the major anti-pornography arguments, the author seeks to establish this point.
An examination of this emotional issue demands close reasoning to deal with the arguments of those opposed to pornography. One observation favoring freedom against censorship is: “...people who want the stimulation of erotic materials, who feel freer in expressing themselves through the influence of sexy art, who do not want an environment in which sex cannot be appreciated through explicit literature and art, will hardly be impressed with the manner in which the censor protects their privacy.” The author also turns around an argument favored by pro-censorship advocates: “...if being a remote cause of harms is a prima facie ground for censoring literature, then we have some evidence that the conservative arguments ought [themselves] to be censored. This is not a view I advocate.”
The crucial argument against censorship is based on its jeopardy to freedom: “The...important issue turns on the fact that a great many people like and enjoy pornography, and want it as part of their lives, either for its enjoyment, or for more serious psychological purposes. This fact means that censorship is an interference with the freedom and self-determination of a great many people, and it is on this ground that the conservative harm argument must ultimately be rejected.” Two general objections weaken the case for censoring pornography: (1) Pornography is not distinguishable from other reading materials in producing direct harms of one kind or another; it may, in fact, offset other materials which are more likely to have these effects; and (2) The alleged indirect harms of pornography—those produced through the influence of altered attitudes and beliefs—are highly unlikely. Furthermore, a society which values freedom will not allow such alleged harms to become the basis of suppression without strong evidence of probable causal connections. A free society will seek to counter such remote putative influences by non-coercive means.