What Hart endorses in Mill is his defense of the right to follow ones own

What hart endorses in mill is his defense of the

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What Hart endorses in Mill is his defense of the right to follow one’s own lifestyle; what he rejects is his insistence that this right has no internal limits. With this modified version of Mill’s defense of individual liberty to hand, Hart was able to confront Devlin’s arguments on more solid ground. One of his main complaints about Devlin’s case against liberty is that he blurs the distinction between paternalist law and what Hart now labels ‘legal moralism’. This is the distinction between laws for people’s own protection (e.g. to prohibit one from using drugs for the sake of his safety) and laws which merely seek to enforce moral standards (e.g. to prohibit one from committing private homosexual activity). It is easy to see how this distinction can be blurred and the issue confused. If behaviour deemed to be immoral, it is widely regarded as by definition harmful and self- destructive; laws prohibiting it will be seen as paternalistic and
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92 defensible. In Devlin’s view, both are immoral and shall be forbidden; but in Hart’s view only the first one shall be included in the criminal law. With this distinction now drawn clearly, however, it becomes a question of whether Devlin’s other arguments are strong or not. Hart disputes Devlin's thesis saying that ‘it assumes that immorality jeopardizes society, when in fact there is no evidence of that proposition.’ There are no empirical or practical evidences that show that the change of morality of a society is followed by its destruction. While Hart conceded that some shared morality is essential to the existence of society, he questioned Devlin's leap from there to the proposition that a change in society's morality is tantamount to destroying it-- that society is equal to its morality-- because that implies that the morality of a society cannot change, or rather that if it does, one society is actually disappearing, and being replaced by another. According to Hart, Devlin's argument amounts to an assertion that law should preserve existing morality, not that legal enforcement of morality is good in and of itself. By contrast, Hart asserted that society cannot only survive individual differences in morality but can profit from them, though he does not specify exactly how it might profit. The idea is society can live with its differences. We can call it in our own way as unity in diversity; don’t you agree? Hart also said that even if there is a valid argument for the legal enforcement of morality, Devlin's argument as to how that morality should be ascertained is flawed: ". . . no one should think even when popular morality is supported by an 'overwhelming majority' marked by widespread ' intolerance, indignation, and disgust' that loyalty to democratic principles requires him to admit that its imposition on a minority is justified." Hart's view of the connection between society and society's morality is more flexible than Devlin's. A society's morality can change without the society disappearing and democracy does not require the enforcement of uniform morality, as Devlin suggested.
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