The Tyranny Of The Prevailing Opinion And Feeling

Decent Essays
The existence of “the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling” (Mill 4) also constrains an individual’s personal liberty. In On Liberty, Mill wrote that “the mass do not now take their opinions from “the mass do not now take their opinions from dignitaries in Church or State, from ostensible leaders, or from books. Their thinking is done for them by men much like themselves” (63). Mill believed that the majority in the society tends to impose their own ideas and practices onto other people. This will eventually cause the minority opinion to be completely omitted and silenced. Moreover, the majority is not guaranteed to be correct, and could not be falsified as result of no open discussion or debate. This lack of discussion could only fetter and hinder the development and the formation of character. Mill wrote “However unwilling a person who has a strong opinion may admit the possibility that his opinion may be false, he ought to be moved by the consideration that, however true it may be, if it is not fully, frequently discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma, not a living” (34). In a society where dead dogmas are prevalent, no individuals can obtain complete freedom. This is because no one will have the courage to challenge and circulate new and original ideas that can help them achieve liberty. The members of the society will live in a world where no one will construct new ideas, and no one will discover and spread the ultimate truths. Instead, the people will cling
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