Freedom Of Speech In John Stuart Mill's On Liberty

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Mills argues, “[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.” His justification of this is the belief that the loss of diversity in thought amongst society would deprive them of enrichment in knowledge. Mill believes freedom of speech should only be limited when harming others. In his famous corn dealer example (2002, pp. 46-47) he explains that individuals should be permitted to say as they wish without any restrictions as long as they do not harm others however, taking offence is understandable. Mill makes several assumptions regarding the ability of society to rationally understand the difference of harmful and offensive. There is a grey area when it comes to differentiating what is considered to be practising one’s freedom of speech or being offensive to those around them. Since there is no concrete definition on what can be considered to be ‘freedom of speech’, John Stuart Mill, author of On Liberty focuses on prohibiting the government from limiting freedom of speech and allowing citizens to have no limitations on their speech under the exception of harming others. …show more content…
Society should have no restrictions for freedom of speech with exceptions of alienating a demographic race, religion, belief etc. or proposing violent confrontations, derogatory language or other means of offensive attacks to another individual or group of individuals. If any of these conditions are failed to be met, the government should intervene as opposed to his idea of society taking law in their hands for various reasons which equate to the benefit of society as a

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