Freedom Of Thought, Speech, And Expression In John Stuart Mill's On Liberty

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If one does not give truth a chance to prevail over falsehood, good to triumph over evil, or intelligence to overcome ignorance, then how does one know that they up hold a morally righteous position in society? John Stuart Mill, the author of “On Liberty” argues that freedom of thought, speech, and expression should be absolute no matter how immoral one’s opinion may seem. Mill states “If all of 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, 11) Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and has the right to express it. Even if everyone in the entire world disagrees with one person, they are no more justified …show more content…
Mill on the other hand says that morality is ultimately based upon utility which is the ideology that an action is right only if it benefits the majority. Mill argues that to deny the concept of moral truths is to claim that there are no facts about whether an action contributes to the general happiness of society or not. We now have to turn this concept over to the freedom of thought, speech, and expression and ask, in order to satisfy and promote general happiness or happiness for the majority would this require us to censor a view point? Mill believes that the freedom of speech will enable us to discover the truth better then censorship but this would only work if people take turns at speaking and listen respectfully to each other. In most cases this does not occur and perhaps giving a platform for people to voice their immoral ideologies goes against utility so it could provide us grounds for censorship. However, Mill points out “Given how often people, even great thinkers, get things wrong, how is that humanity has achieved the large degree of rational opinions and conduct? It can only be because over time, false opinions give way to true ones.” (Mill, 21-22) False opinions have to be publicly shown that they are false so that no one continues to believe in them, because if the opinions faults are not shown publicly and are just supressed then they will smoulder into the narrow minds of

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