Analysis Of John Stuart Mill's Liberty Principle

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Dr. Simon Clarke published an article called Mill, Liberty & Euthanasia in which his thesis states that, “deciding when to die is a matter of individuality” (Clarke 1). Dr. Clarke backs up his thesis by using some of the rationalities behind John Stuart Mill’s Liberty Principle. According to the Liberty Principle, people should be free to pursue their greatest good as long as it does not cause harm for the community. Secondly, the principle argues that when people are free they have the ability to seek their “individuality” therefore liberty benefits the person. For example, a person develops their individuality by developing their skills, personality, values, and potential. Ultimately that person will achieve the greatest good for themselves…show more content…
Clarke on his thesis and his argument. Similarly I believe that, “freedom… [is] necessary for people to lead objectively worthwhile lives” (Clarke 3). One of my arguments to support Dr. Clarkes thesis would be that once people decide that they want to be euthanized they have decided that there life holds no value to them anymore. Last semester in my Religion and Philosophy class the professor explained that once something has no more value to a person then it would cause the person no harm to have that thing taken away. The person would not miss it, worry over it, or be saddened by its lack of. For example a kid might receive a to toy car for his birthday and even come to love the toy car. As the kid ages and becomes an adult he moves out and forgets about the toy car. He no longer has use for the toy car and is not harmed if his parents decide to give his old toy car away to charity. If his parents would have decided to give away his toy car to charity when the kid was younger and still had a connection with the car then it would negatively impact the kid’s life. Similarly, when a person loses value for his life then it is no longer harming the person if the life is taken away. Dr. Clarke states that, “so long as the person is a mentally competent adult and his family or doctor are willing to help...then no one else is harmed” (Clarke 4). When an adult chooses euthanasia they are doing so because their life no longer holds any more value to them, they can not keep seeking their individuality, and ultimately it does not cause harm to the community. By “appreciating the deeper meanings of individuality” (Clarke 4) we understand that euthanasia does not cause harm to a person or even their community and further guarantees
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