Propositions 67-73, Freedom

Proposition 67. A free man thinks of death least of all things; and his wisdom is a meditation not of death but of life. Proof: A free man is one who lives under the guidance of reason, who is not led by fear (4.63), but who directly desires that which is good (4.63. Coroll.), in other words (4.24), who strives to act, to live, and to preserve his being on the basis of seeking his own true advantage;   Proposition 68. If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil. Proof: I call free him who is led solely by reason. Note: The hypothesis of this Proposition from 4.4 is false and inconceivable, except as we look solely to the nature of man, or rather to God; not in so far as the latter is infinite, but only in so far as he is the cause of man's existence.   Proposition 69. The virtue of a free man is seen to be as great, when it declines dangers, as when it overcomes them. Proof: Emotion can only be checked or removed by an emotion contrary to itself, and possessing more power in restraining emotion (4.7). Corollary: The free man is as courageous in timely retreat as in combat; or, Note: What courage (animositas) is, and what I mean thereby, I explained in 3.59. note.   Proposition 70. The free man, who lives among the ignorant, strives, as far as he can, to avoid receiving favours from them. Proof: Everyone judges what is good according to his disposition (3.39. note). Note: I say, as far as he can.   Proposition 71. Only free men are thoroughly grateful one to another. Proof: Only free men are thoroughly useful one to another, and associated among themselves by the closest necessity of friendship (4.35., and Coroll. 1), only such men endeavour, with mutual zeal of love, to confer benefits on each other (4.37.), and, therefore, only they are thoroughly grateful one to another. Q.E.D. Note: The goodwill, which men who are led by blind desire have for one another, is generally a bargaining or enticement, rather than pure goodwill.   Proposition 72. The free man never acts fraudulently, but always in good faith. Proof: If it be asked: What should a man's conduct be in a case where he could by breaking faith free himself from the danger of present death?   Proposition 73. The man, who is guided by reason, is more free in a State, where he lives under a general system of law, than in solitude, where he is independent. Proof: The man, who is guided by reason, does not obey through fear (4.63). Note: These and similar observations, which we have made on man's true freedom, may be referred to strength, that is, to courage and nobility of character (3.59. note).