— 264 —
To be determined by our own judgment is no restraint to Liberty.       §48. This is so far from being a restraint or diminution of
Freedom, that it is the very improvement and benefit of it: ’tis not an
Abridgment, ’tis the end and use of our Liberty; and the farther we
are removed from such a determination, the nearer we are to Misery
and Slavery. A perfect Indifferency in the Mind, not determinable by
its last judgment of the Good or Evil, that is thought to attend its
Choice, would be so far from being an advantage and excellency of
any intellectual Nature, that it would be as great an imperfection,
as the want of Indifferency to act, or not to act, till determined by
the Will, would be an imperfection on the other side. A Man is at
liberty to lift up his Hand to his Head, or let it rest quiet: He is
perfectly indifferent in either; and it would be an imperfection
in him, if he wanted that Power, if he were deprived of that In-
differency. But it would be as great an imperfection, if he had the
same indifferency, whether he would prefer the lifting up his Hand,
or its remaining in rest, when it would save his Head or Eyes from a
blow he sees coming: ’tis as much a perfection, that desire or the power of
Preferring should be determined by Good, as that the power of Acting
should be determined by the Will, and the certainer such determina-
tion is, the greater is the perfection. Nay were we determined by
any thing but the last result of our own Minds, judging of the good
or evil of any action, we were not free, the very end of our Freedom
being, that we might attain the good we chuse. And therefore every
Man is put under a necessity by his constitution, as an intelligent
Being, to be determined in willing by his own Thought and Judg-
ment, what is best for him to do: else he would be under the
determination of some other than himself, which is want of Liberty.
— 265 —
And to deny, that a Man’s will, in every determination, follows his
own Judgment, is to say, that a Man wills and acts for an end that
he would not have at the time that he wills and acts for it. For if
he prefers it in his present Thoughts before any other, ’tis plain he
then thinks better of it, and would have it before any other, unless
he can have, and not have it; will and not will it at the same time;
a Contradiction too manifest to be admitted.
Locke Hum II, 21, §48, pp. 264-265