Whether the man is free to pick these apples can be discovered.
Whether the man is a thief can be discovered.
And someone with a telos of freedom would concern themselves with discovering the truth in the case.
Apparently, Zippy Catholic thinks this is an unholy ghost of modernity, which is very nearly as tragic as blaming Vatican II on the Holy Spirit proper.
One of the ways that folks keep falling into the mind trap of liberalism is through failure to grasp that liberalism is specifically and concretely a political doctrine: a basic understanding or view about the right exercise of authority. Liberalism makes freedom into a purpose, final cause, or telos of political action, that is, of the exercise of authority. Discussion of freedom as something other than final cause of political action is a change of subject: it is a squirrel, a red herring. Liberalism is freedom as a purpose or final cause of political acts.
Zippy intuitively moved from freedom to political freedom in the comment section. There is a similar distinction between law and political law. Again, whether the man picking fruit is engaging in an act he was free to do, or whether he was a thief can be discovered. It also follows that if he is a thief, he is depriving someone else of their freedom- i.e. in stealing, one deprives an owner of the use of his property. But political law is arbitrary and is most often contrary to law. The ultimate benefactor of political law is the bureaucrat, who can now use whatever pretext he wants to distribute the property owner's goods to others.
I called this what it truly is- sin. Not merely sin in the sense of the example, but also in the sense of liberalism as used by bureaucrats- it is misuse of government. You can judge the case appropriately, and discover the law, or you sin. If you a completely secular here, well, you also engage in criminality, though sin is the more useful term here- a leader who consistently fails to appropriately administer justice is most certainly missing the mark.
Many reactionaries appear quite happy with handing their imagined future leader a 'political freedom' to improperly administer justice. This is problematic, both from the view that we want to arrive at good governance, rather than the same bad governance in a different garment, and in terms of rehabilitating the public away from the leftist morality. It did not end well for Pinochet. I assume we want something that lasts, and for those who fight the good fight to have a chance at a decent retirement, and twilight years in on the porch with a cigar, watching grandchildren play.