preview

Free Speech In John Stuart Mill's On Liberty

Decent Essays
Within Canada, free speech was not included in the “Canadian Bill Of Rights” until later in the 20th century (Government Of Canada); it wasn’t fully acknowledged then and this relates to the great ideas of John Stuart Mill. In On Liberty, Mill explicitly states the importance of the freedom of speech, thought and lastly to hold an opinion. Mill also goes further to discuss the limitations of actions that may emerge from these opinions. Moreover, with these major points, he says that people should not coerce someone’s opinion either through their government or on their own (Mill 14). Mill has given some important points that relate to real life situations improve society and cultivate individuality of people. These points include…show more content…
He explains that it robs “the human race, posterity as well as the existing generation” (Mill 24). The idea is very important because he does not say that all opinions are valid but it means that every opinion has the tendency to be true. The word used to describe us, the society is “fallible” (Mill 15), meaning we have no right to judge people for what they think because anyone can make a mistake and no one is perfect. The society is faulty and no one should have the right to shut down someone’s opinions because they feel it is wrong or cause it’s not as mainstream as others. In addition to that Mill explains that in cases where there are differing opinions, if a person cannot prove objections then the person does not fully understand his opinion. This leads to the debate of opinions. Mill explains that people learn more when their opinions are challenged. In the TVO’s The Agenda episode, Mark Steyn’s book “America Alone” was classified as stereotypical and rude to the Muslims. The Muslims that came forward with their views were an example of Mill’s theory. If they could challenge Mark Steyn and he could respond shows that he thoroughly understands his opinion and it is not considered a “dead dogma”. Mill states, “if it is not fully, frequently, and fearlessly discussed it will be held as a dead dogma not a
Get Access