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Exam1Essay1 - Chris Baxter Philosophy of Law Exam 1 Essay...

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Chris Baxter January 14, 2008 Philosophy of Law Exam 1 Essay 1b In his essay On Liberty J. S. Mill wrote about his one very simple principle. This one very simple principle is that the only reason that an individual or society should be allowed to interfere with someone’s actions is to prevent harm to others. This principle is called the “harm principle.” Mill argued that each person’s actions are only under public law when they interfere with those of other people or society as a whole. On the other side of a similar argument is Lord Patrick Devlin who wrote Morals and the Criminal Law. In this essay Devlin believed that if someone is doing something immoral that may harm the general beliefs of society then society has a right to step in and intervene. Devlin argued that harm to the society is the same as harm to an individual. Devlin’s argument is slightly based on Mill’s” harm principle” but he takes “harm” a step further and includes moral harm to the greater good of society. I will explain these two views on liberty, as well as which of these views I agree with. J. S. Mill’s view on what is a person’s obligation to society is very different than that of Lord Devlin’s. Mill felt that any society, in which a person’s liberties are not respected as a whole, is not truly free. Mill had a radical libertarian view on individual freedom. He felt that we should never initiate force or fraud, and as long as we don’t do anything to hurt
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others then we should be allowed to do as we feel. When Mill wrote that “no person ought
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Exam1Essay1 - Chris Baxter Philosophy of Law Exam 1 Essay...

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