John Mill-Utilitarianism Essay

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In On Liberty, Mill theorizes the Principle of Liberty, in which he states that mankind has no right to prevent any other man from committing an action unless it is to prevent them from causing harm to others. Society cannot reject an individual’s conduct just because the majority of people find it offensive. However, this doesn’t mean that society can’t enforce certain constraints on people’s conduct through the law. This restriction of actions that impede upon the well being of others is necessary in order to protect an individual’s fundamental rights and basic moral liberties. With this being said, society only has the right to restrict behavior on the basis of justice, and not because society deems it to be immoral. Within the Principle of Liberty, Mill also claims that it is not acceptable for society to put restrictions on an individual’s conduct, for reasons that they feel would be in the best interest of that person. The majority only has the right to develop laws that confine the conduct of individuals with the purpose of protecting the basic rights of others; otherwise they would be obstructing that person’s right to individuality. Mill believes that everyone is entitled to certain moral rights that cannot be denied. Every member of society is entitled to rights of security of his person and property, as well as basic liberties such as freedom of opinion and the right to live his life as he so chooses. Each person is also guaranteed certain freedoms that are seen as unconditional, that allow that individual to fulfill those basic liberties. These freedoms of conscience, self thought, and association all contribute to one’s own individuality, which Mill sees as the key to success within any society. Without these basic freedoms, people could give into the conformities of society which would in turn lead to the death of individuality. This is the worst

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