The Cost of Personal Freedom Essay

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The most dangerous enemy to truth and freedom amongst us is the compact majority

Inscribed on the front of every American coin is a Latin phrase: E
Pluribus Unum. It means: From many, one, and it has come to represent the unity of America. Unity is an idyllic image; cheerful people, living together, sharing resources and ideas. Another trait associated with America is diversity, a concept which, it seems, should threaten unity. America has remained peaceful when compared with many other nations, perhaps due to the fact that most lifestyles are acceptable, but it does mean that America has more trouble acting cohesively than many nations. Several times throughout our history, for example, the
President has agreed to a treaty,
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For example, Hester's act of adultery would be seen as normal in Boston today, but at the time, it was considered a mortal sin. Assuming the word of God to be eternal and unchanging, as the Puritans thought, the magnitude of the sin of adultery has not changed. This comparison shows that, unfortunately, public opinion can play a greater role than morality in determining a person's fate.

Because they had been oppressed in their native England, the Puritans were an ironic oppressive society. They migrated to the New World with a dream of starting a colony based upon their personal religious beliefs. It would seem that because they had been persecuted for their unusual beliefs that they would be religiously tolerant, but in fact, the opposite was true. The Puritans wanted to maintain religious and ethical purity in their colony, and therefore were very harsh with those who broke their rules. Dissenters were seen as a threat to the church, as they believed that corruption in the Anglican Church had caused it to be terminally amoral. Though in the vast religious minority worldwide, the Puritans wished to completely separate themselves from dissenters, which explains why the standard punishment for adultery was hanging.

In addition, the will of the masses often distorts or even utterly eliminates truth. In The Scarlet Letter, for example, Reverend
Dimmesdale was so

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