WRIT 140 ESSAY 1 - 1 Tradonsky Brad Tradonsky Dr. Tomkins...

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1 Tradonsky Brad Tradonsky Dr. Tomkins Writing 140 1/26/2012 Authority: Acting in Your Best Interest “No man is an island, entire of itself.” Just as John Donne claims, people do not exist void of interaction with others. Our actions not only affect ourselves, but also all of the people we are connected to: friends, family, acquaintances, associates, and even, albeit more distantly, people linked to those we ourselves are connected to. Accordingly, as John Stuart Mill claims in his piece “On Liberty,” it is paramount that the governing rule of any society keeps its citizens from interacting with each other in a manner that “injures the interests of one another” (Mill). This not only means preventing people from partaking in activities intended to negatively affect others, but also outlawing some personal choices, such as drug use, which can indirectly negatively affect others. Although at times these laws may stifle individual choice, due to the interconnectedness of society we must consider the greater good, erring on the side of authority even if it means ignoring the desires of some individuals. Contrary to Mill’s idea that nobody “is warranted in saying to another human creature of ripe years that he shall not do with his life… what he chooses to do with it,” the authority should have the right to make personal choices for us in addition to merely having the power to forbid citizens from directly “injuring the interests of others.” It seems unjust to prevent people from living their lives in the manner of their choosing. In order to protect people’s ability to decide how they want to live their lives, it would appear
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2 that the government and its laws shouldn’t interfere with people’s choices. Yet sometimes the government has to interfere with people’s decision-making processes in order to maintain a functioning society; should people be free to murder, rape, kidnap or steal just because they want to? Certainly not. The authority must have some control over individual’s behaviors to prevent one person’s actions from negatively affecting other people. Mill words this idea nicely, writing: “As soon as any part of a person’s conduct affects prejudicially the interests of others society has jurisdiction over it, and the question whether the genera welfare will or will not be promoted by interfering with it becomes open to discussion”(Mill).It therefore seems more fitting to claim that
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2012 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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WRIT 140 ESSAY 1 - 1 Tradonsky Brad Tradonsky Dr. Tomkins...

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