Putting Limits on Liberty

Putting Limits on Liberty - Joshua Mays M 10:00 11:00...

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Joshua Mays M – 10:00 – 11:00 Putting Limits on Liberty It’s always entertaining to see streets filled, on Sunday afternoons, with bright signs, painted t-shirts, and children; but, instead of laughter and cheers, they are busy shouting, with parents beating away at the rally drum, protesting the rights of someone else on grounds of their own deep moral offense. The Liberty Limiting Principles, as they progress further, away from limiting harm to an individual or society, drift away from protecting the rights of all to denying the rights of some. An important question to ask is: As a free citizen, when is the government allowed to limit my actions, my speech, or my privacy? Also, how should the public and private spheres be defined? The Harm Principle is usually the first set of limitations applied to free societies. When actions can be proved to cause genuine harm to others or to “society as a whole,” then restrictions on liberty can be justified. Genuine harm to others is often easy to prove, but on the other hand, harm to “society as a whole” is not always so easy to determine. The issue of distributing leaflets to those in the armed services during wartime, and a man’s conviction for violating the 1917 Espionage Act by doing so, has led me to ask what’s the harm in this situation? Is discouraging soldiers not to fight, during wartime, truly harmful to society? I would say that encouraging peace is always a
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This essay was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course PHIL 301 taught by Professor Bonevac during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas.

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Putting Limits on Liberty - Joshua Mays M 10:00 11:00...

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