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A constant determination to a pursuit of happiness no abridgment of Liberty.       §50. But to give a right view of this mistaken part of Liberty,
let me ask, Would any one be a Changeling, because he is less
determined, by wise Considerations, than a wise Man? Is it worth
the Name of Freedom to be at liberty to play the Fool, and draw
Shame and Misery upon a Man’s self? If to break loose from the
conduct of Reason, and to want that restraint of Examination and
Judgment, which keeps us from chusing or doing the worse, be
Liberty, true Liberty, mad Men and Fools are the only Freemen:
But yet, I think, no Body would chuse to be mad for the sake of
such Liberty, but he that is mad already. The constant desire of
Happiness, and the constraint it puts upon us to act for it, no Body,
I think, accounts an abridgment of Liberty, or at least an abridg-
ment of Liberty to be complain’d of. God Almighty himself is under
the necessity of being happy; and the more any intelligent Being is
so, the nearer is its approach to infinite perfection and happiness.
That in this state of Ignorance we short-sighted Creatures might
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not mistake true felicity, we are endowed with a power to suspend
any particular desire, and keep it from determining the will, and
engaging us in action. This is standing still, where we are not
sufficiently assured of the way: Examination is consulting a guide.
The determination of the will upon enquiry is following the direction
of that Guide: And he that has a power to act, or not to act according
as such determination directs, is a free Agent; such determination
abridges not that Power wherein Liberty consists. He that has his
Chains knocked off, and the Prison-doors set open to him, is
perfectly at liberty, because he may either go or stay, as he best likes;
though his preference be determined to stay, by the darkness of the
Night, or illness of the Weather, or want of other Lodging. He
ceases not to be free; though the desire of some convenience to be
had there, absolutely determines his preference, and makes him
stay in his Prison.
Locke Hum II, 21, §50, pp. 265-266