Saturday, July 27, 2019

JS MILL ON LIBERTY ASSIGNMENT Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

JS MILL ON LIBERTY ASSIGNMENT - Essay Example That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right.† (Mill, Pg. 18) Suicide is a personal decision that does not physically harm other individuals. Mill’s Harm Principle clearly applies to self-defense and strives to protect the individual liberty of each of us. As long as our decisions do not affect another’s liberty or life then why must we be harnessed by another’s morality? That is the question that an anonymous 80 year old from Ohio is posing as well. This is the question to be addressed in the following paper. The letter written in June of 2003 outlined the thoughts of an 80 year old individual. Through the letter one can easily grasp that they have lived a full life, which their life is complete and they simply wish to spare their children whom they love greatly the pain and suffering of a long drawn out fight against various cancers. The author of this letter says, â€Å"What I don’t understand is why people think it is wrong for someone like me to just call it a day, throw in the towel.† (Anonymous. Pg.1) the principle moral issue with this is the individual’s right to life, and the individual’s right to their own life. Mill’s clarifies his principle as affecting adults in the â€Å"maturity of their faculties† (Mill, Pg. 19) by his own declaration one’s personal â€Å"good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant† (Mill, Pg. 18) to prevent another from taking their own life into their own hands. The argument most often heard is that suicide affects the family, and yet we see that the true d etriment here per the anonymous authors letter is the continuance which would cost additional monies and anguish from watching as one you love slowly and painfully drifts away. Mill’s point is that society or state has not the right to impose moral standards on an individual if that individual is not harming another physically. The argument can be made that by making it illegal to take decide when one should die, they are in fact presenting ownership of the individual. The very liberty that is proclaimed of body and soul is than repressed at the point of death if one dies as a result of one’s own hand. Mill’s presents the argument that each individual is the proper guardian of their own health; he states that this includes body, mental and spiritual. â€Å"Mankind is great gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to them, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.† (Mill, Pg. 24) The anonymous older gentleman outlines this by directly asking why it is someone else’s prerogative as to when he should end his own life. An individual’s liberty must include the freedom to decide when they die if they so choose. Unfortunately, the argument has been made that society must care for all lives within its grasp, and even more unfortunately, this is not the social argument as much as the state based society argument. They are able to make the case that the physical health and wellbeing is the prerogative of society and the state and cannot be left in the hands of the individual.

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