Analysis Of John Stuart Mill Freedom Of Speech

Satisfactory Essays
In the essay written by John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, the topic of freedom of speech is discussed. First off I’d like to discuss how free speech is considered to be an advantage of living in North America and many other countries as well. But is it really? The government technically cannot put any restrictions on speech, because they can’t physically restrain people from saying something. The only thing that the government can do is invoke punishments and consequences for people who say things that the government does not want to be said for whatever reason. So is having free speech really an advantage? Maybe what we mean is that we have free speech without punishment. Or maybe we have free speech with very minimal limits. But should there be limits on speech in the first place?
This is a point that Mill argues in the essay. Mill believes that consequences should only be put forth if what someone is saying is directly harming the rights of another person. This brought Mill to the point of questioning what is harm considered to be? Does directly harming someone mean that it is physical harm? Or can mental and emotional harm be included in direct harm? Its all a matter of opinion as what harm is considered to be.
Opinions are another thing that Mill discusses when discussing the freedom of speech. Some people in certain societies may be punished for having a different opinion then the rest of their society. But we don’t know for sure what the truth really is, so is that fair? Mill says that opinions held by a community as a whole need to be contested against, because if nobody says any different than that opinion, eventually the belief is lost and becomes meaningless. I agree with Mill on this, because like he said, if we don’t...

... middle of paper ...

...ort intervention in this case because it is certain that he will get hurt if he does not leave the building because I wrecking ball will be coming through it at some point in the day to demolish it.

To conclude, complete freedom of speech in a society is not possible, and we must compare how much we value it in comparison to other important ideals we have such as privacy and security. I agreeing with Mill believe that the harm principle provides sufficient reason to place some limits on free speech, only when is prevents physical direct harm to someone’s rights. As discussed it is a “slippery slope” when deciding where to put limits on speech. It is going to come to a point where censorship takes place on limiting speech. Any small changes that we may make now in regards to these limitations, could and most likely will have drastic consequences in the future.