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Pornography - Essay Example

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However, when an individual’s action causes or is believed to cause harm unto others, then his absolute freedom ends. His right to total independence ends where the right of others to the same kind of liberty begins. The very moment an individual crosses the line that separates him from others, he loses his absolute liberty and must now comply with the rules and regulations imposed by society so that that all persons with liberty and freedom of thought and action may co-exist peacefully. These rules that prohibit certain actions or compel an individual to conduct himself within the prescribed manner are created not to interfere and diminish his liberties but to ensure that an individual, in the exercise of his liberties, does not cause harm unto others. Aptly, the principle of self-protection shall only be applicable to matters which involve the society and the individual. Society may only forbid or coerce an individual if the reason is to prevent him from harming others and nothing else. II. Mill cites other reasons to remonstrate, or reason, with someone that do not justify com­pelling him. What are these? Under the principle of self-protection, the one and only reason to compel and control an individual against his will is to prevent him from causing harm unto others. ...
These rules, according to John Stuart Mill are reasons to remonstrate an individual but do not justify compulsion. At most, other may only argue, persuade or plead with him to heed their advice but in no way shall he be compelled and coerced to obey. By the same breath, compelling a person to give up his absolute liberty over his own self on the argument that it is the right thing for him to do is also unjustified and does not merit obedience. Neither does an individual’s own happiness nor his own well-being serve as valid grounds that justify compulsion. Society may not impose its opinion on very subjective matters such as happiness and comfort upon an individual and in the process infringe upon his right to absolute liberty insofar as his own life is concerned. The key phrase here, therefore, is harm to others. For as long as a person does not and is not going to harm others, then the most that others can do is remonstrate with him but can never justifiably compel him. III. Are there any positive actions that benefit others that Mill thinks the state can at least sometimes compel us to do? The general rule is that a person may only be restrained or compelled for the sole purpose of preventing him from committing harm unto others. However, this rule is not absolute. John Stuart Mill recognizes some exception to the principle of self-protection. These exceptions exist on the basis that a person’s failure or refusal to act when it is his duty to do so may also be the cause of harm unto others. Actually, we can also take it as just a restatement of the general rule. To prevent harm and to benefit others in society, a person may be compelled to do certain acts even if it is against his will. ...Show more
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Summary

I. What is the principle that Mill asserts and which area of life is it supposed to govern? John Stuart Mill expressly declares in his essay that he is asserting on the principle of self-preservation as the one and only reason for disturbing the peace and liberty of another…
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