Mill's Principle Of Utility Essay

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I argue that while Mill’s principle of utility supports freedom in the ways he claims, government interference, which Mill strongly opposes, is necessary in order for freedom of thought and expression to support Mill’s utility. In this essay, I will briefly discuss Mill’s principle of utility. Then, I will discuss Mill’s liberty principle, and outline his two main arguments in favor of freedom of speech and ideas. Next, I will explain how Mill argues that freedom of thought and expression supports his principle of utility. Finally, I will advance an argument as to how Mill’s principle of utility might be better supported by government intervention; or rather, how government interference is necessary for freedom of thought and expression to increase utility (in the way Mill claims).
To begin with, Mill’s principle of utility is that we ought to judge actions and decisions based the utility which we gain from their consequences. In other words, if an action’s consequences increase utility, then it is ethically the ‘right’ action to take; similarly, if an action’s consequences decrease utility, then that action can be judged as ‘bad.’ By ‘utility,’ Mill
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Since Mill argues that the government ought to play no role in our lives (unless we are harming others), we must be able to properly govern ourselves in order for society to continue to function. We can only effectively govern ourselves if we are capable of thinking critically and for ourselves, which can only be done through freedom of thought and expression. Once we are able to self-govern, we will be forced to observe things, to reason with ourselves and others, and to make decisions based on those reasons. These are all ways in which we perfect certain faculties, such as the ability to make judgements, rationales, and keen observations. Perfecting these faculties is how individuals maximize

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