Essay Free Speech Is A Fundamental Freedom

1434 Words Oct 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Free speech is a fundamental freedom that is essential to the overall well-being of society. Looking at countries that guarantee free speech for most individuals and comparing the state of well-being of residents to those that do not guarantee free speech, it is recognizable that having free speech is important. For example, the overall well-being of Canadian residents is greater than the overall well-being of North Korean residents and we have free speech while North Koreans do not. In his famous work On Liberty, John Stuart Mill states that “[i]f all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind” (Mill 18). I will argue why I believe Mill’s theory is applicable to today’s society after looking at Mill’s conclusive justification why all individuals should have free speech. Mill examines the dangers of censorship but also argues that an individual’s actions must be restricted if they are to harm society. Mill believes that individuals should be free to speak, act, and associate in any way they would like. If individuals are not allowed to do so, the overall well-being of society declines which is not the goal of a utilitarian’s society. In a utilitarian state, the greatest amount of good is sought after for the greatest number of people. To justify his point, Mill explains three situations where speech is censored and discusses the ramifications.…

Related Documents