: McSpotlight: Surely this rests on the idea that you always act on your opinion?; there is a great deal of difference between having an opinion and acting on that opinion; you may believe, say, that gravity doesn't exist; but even the most diehard non-believer in gravity will think twice about jumping out of an aeroplane...
: To use a slightly more mundane example, suppose your best friend is cheating on their husband/wife; this is wrong in your opinion, but if you value their friendship more than you value correcting your friend's perceived wrongdoing, then you will do nothing.
But having an opinion and acting and being influenced by the opinion is surely a normal human respond. The person who does not jimp off the plane because he knows he will die, and by not jumping up has indeed being influenced by his or her opinions. The only reason that the man does not report his friend is because he is fearful of the punishment - that their friendship will be broken. Thus, being influenced by your own opinion is normal but that opinion might be restricted by rules. So, freedom cannot totally exist if freedom of the expression of certain opinions ( I am still using the word EXPRESSION widely).
My question is simple, what if there were insufficient rules ( which is the case in most countries that consider themselves freely democratic) to hold people's opinion to opinion that does not influence others. The policeman who is a racist can even ( subconsiously) act against other races. I believe it is surely impossible for freedom of certain opinions to exist and to strive for equality.
McSpotlight: Perhaps a bit of clarification on your part as to what you mean by 'freedom' would be a good idea?
After all, limiting the 'freedom' of someone to kill you is restricting somebody else's freedom to restrict your freedom; the 'freedom' aimed for by most people is not total freedom, but the maximum freedom that can be shared by all.