John Stuart Mill's Harm Principle Essay

978 Words 4 Pages
John Stuart Mill discusses the conception of liberty in many ways. I’d like to focus of his ideas of the harm principle and a touch a little on his thoughts about the freedom of action. The harm principle and freedom on action are just two subtopics of Mill’s extensive thoughts about the conception on liberty. Not only do I plan to discuss and explain each of these parts on the conception of liberty, but I also plan to discuss my thoughts and feelings. I have a few disagreements with Mill on the harm principle; they will be stated and explained. My thoughts and feelings on Mill vary but I’d like to share my negative opinion towards the principle and hope to put it in a different perspective.
The harm principle was published in Mill’s work
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The government’s main duty according to the Harm Principle is to keep society functional and civil.
My main disagreement with Mill’s Harm Principle is that indirect harm does not apply. Mill writes, “In many cases, an individual, in pursuing a legitimate object, necessarily and therefore legitimately causes pain or loss to others, or intercepts a good which they had a reasonable hope of obtaining (1009).” Who is he to say that while pursuing an object pain or loss is necessary at all? The definition of necessary, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is absolutely essential or needed to achieve a certain result or affect. I do not think that in any way it would be necessary to cause harm while trying to achieve a goal. There are so many ways to go about to achieve a goal without causing harm to someone. However, if for example, you and a coworker are in position for a promotion, you are both fighting against each other for the position, you receive the promotion and unintentionally hurt the other worker, and this harm caused does not put you at fault. If you did something evil or something that would purposely cause the individual to not get the promotion this is intentional and you should be placed at fault. In summary Mill believes that consequential harm will not apply to the harm principle; however I believe that the circumstances of the situation are very important in be able to consider whether or
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