John Stuart Mill And John Locke Essay

1161 Words Nov 22nd, 2016 5 Pages
Throughout history philosophers have argued over every topic one could imagine however one of the most explored topics is the rights of citizens. What must those who enter a society under their free will give up to be an active member? Is the government allowed to ask you to give up some of your rights for the betterment of society? Questions such as these and countless more have been answered and debated by philosophers for years. Some of the most prominent arguments have been made by John Stuart Mill and John Locke. While both are strong about their stances their opinions differ.
In John Stuart Mill’s second chapter of On Liberty he presents one overarching conclusion, that any censorship of expression of opinion must be completely prevented. In order to build up to this conclusion Mill must build a strong argument. He begins by stating that an attempt to censor one’s opinion would be “robbing the human race” thus prevent prosperity and the advancement of intellect. In addition, said censorship prevents personal growth, if one is censored and their opinion is the correct one then “they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth” while if they are wrong they will lose the ability to see truth in a “clearer perception and livelier impression of truth”. No matter the circumstance, censorship of opinion will ultimately cause harm.
Mills argument faces some important objections, one of which being an objection to his statement that “silencers are assuming…

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