One might easily be able to review Mill’s writing, and suggest that his concepts are comparable to contemporary views of the overwhelming majority. He discusses “liberty,” which is an idea reflected and supported in many doctrines. Although Mill believes in toleration as a concept, and suggests that individuals should be allowed to think freely, he doesn’t believe that all beliefs and ways of life should be tolerated. He solidified the idea that there should be interference to neither freedom of thought nor speech. However, he emphasizes an impracticality associated with the “no speech interference.” Mill’s refuting the idea that humans can say anything they wish, namely because in doing so, would undoubtedly cause madness and quarrels. This idea reflects a concept similar to the Bill of Rights, a document that guarantees basic rights and freedoms to all Americans. However, it’s ones responsibility to avoid making statements that are offensive or threatening. As there’s always exclusions to rules, there’s an exclusion to this exact principle. The whole point Mill is trying to make is that although we can exercise our basic rig...
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...erty is that offense itself isn’t harm. Harm deals with the actual physical injury and bodily harm of an individual. However, violating property and taking away someone’s freedom isn’t a physical injury, but harm nonetheless in a theoretical sense.
In John Stuart Mill’s defense of toleration, it’s not impossible to make objective assessments of people’s beliefs and ways of life. He believes that some ways of life really are better than others and that we shouldn’t tolerate every way of life, especially if those ways involve mutilating societal values. He utilizes the system of utilitarianism to solidify his concepts. His idea of optimal happiness intertwines with his belief of respecting people’s views and ways of life. However, he believes it’s foolish to tolerate every view. Individuals have the duty to respect others, even if they make “objective assessments.”
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