Imperative Speech: John Stuart Mill's Inalienable Rights

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Early Enlightenment thinker John Locke presented to the society documents which championed inalienable rights including life, liberty, and property. Liberty in specific becomes a most crucial topic in the debate deciding what conditions the state should prohibit speech offensive to some groups. Much later, John Stuart Mill built upon and constructed reformed ideas that contrasted the early enlightenment and would then be known as the Mature Enlightenment. In his works now classified as neoclassical utilitarianism- he was an avid follower of Jeremy Bentham, the father of Classical Utilitarianism- Mill also presents invaluable perspectives which can be used to discuss the debate While Locke’s philosophy would justify that speech can be banned…show more content…
By a strict definition, speech would be words coming directly from a person’s mouth. In a modern setting speech goes far beyond spoken word. It includes any form of communication and external expression of self. By this definition, forms of expression such as text, ideologies, and pictures. Physical actions are more difficult to classify but using the ideas of symbolic speech as described by the United States, actions such as burning of the flag could be included. Therefore, in considering speech some may find offensive, it must be understood that this issue applies not only to spoken words from a physical individual. As society advances in technology, there will likely be more discourse on what still constitutes as speech. At present, opinions, ideology, text and limited forms of physical actions are in question when deciding under what conditions the state should prohibit speech that some people find…show more content…
However, it is precisely the idea of workmanship and therefore human’s impersonal lives, as well as consent of the governed which spurs discussion and tension. In the First Treatise of Government, Locke set out to dethrone Robert Filmer’s ideology of inherited authority while invoking the Bible for authoritative evidence. Ultimately, Locke argues that because Adam’s lineage cannot be traced, no one human has authority over another CITE. Furthermore, the only entity to have control over humans is God because God created humans, so God can do what he likes with his creations. Humans cannot as they “live together by no other rules but that of beasts” (Second Treatise 2). That is, they can rule over any else besides other humans. Another cornerstone of locke’s philosophy is his idea of the consent of the governed. In order for a government to be legitimate, it must follow orders and have consent of those intends to govern over. Ideally, this would require unanimous consent for any changes, Realistically, however, the only attainable possibility is a sizeable majority’s consent. Deciding what percentage constitutes a sizeable majority is a completely different debate on its own; so, the focus will be on characterizing Locke’s philosophy as consent of the sizeable majority governed. Putting these two ideas together brings
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