Posted at 12.16.2018
In 1993, Canadian farmer Robert Latimer killed his extremely disabled child by adding her in his truck and running a tube from his exhaust into the cab. Latimer fully accepted his guilt and said that, by eliminating her, he freed her from her long-term pain credited to her severe form of cerebral palsy. His girl was a full quadriplegic and required numerous surgeries to keep her standard of living. She could not supply herself and was at constant pain despite painkillers she was given. Despite her condition, she was able to sporadically laugh and respond to some stimuli. Later in the year, Latimer was convicted of first-degree murder. Yearly third, , his sentence was decreased to second-degree murder. Latimer, through various trials and charm operations was eventually released in 2008 as he had not been deemed a risk to population. His case raised many questions in regards to the legislations such as euthanasia, mercy killing and how it would affect other mandatory phrases for murder. The situation itself message or calls to attention a disagreement created by philosopher John Stuart Mill relating to damage and liberty. He brings to light his harm principle and attracts attention as to what liberty should be. In this essay, Mill's debate for the injury rule will be explained and evaluated.
Firstly, the injury principle needs to be examined as well as Mill's argument for this. His essay entitled On Liberty discusses civil and societal privileges. His concern is mainly to do with the right to use ways of control on someone else. He believes that the right to control another individual can be "rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to avoid injury to others" (Mill, 1). Essentially, Mill is saying that liberty shouldn't be constrained unless it is to prevent harm to other folks. He furthers this debate with declaring of "over himself, over his own mind and body, the individual is sovereign" (Mill, 1). Here, he says that individuals can essentially do anything to themselves as authority does not have any say in what
they do to themselves. It is from this expression that Mill says people have the liberty to think and have their own thoughts, thoughts, and values regardless if it applies to minority communities or nearly all society. Mill also suggests with this comment that he believes that individuals must have the right to go after their thoughts, values, and ideas it doesn't matter how population views it as long as no harm is done to others. He declares that his harm principle and thrust for personal independence over societal guideline would be beneficial to society as a whole. He explains this by declaring that individuals "would be more comfortable" (Mill, 1) and would feel less oppressed. He further talks about this by saying that since individuals would be going after their passions, population would spend less time controlling people and enforcing rules. Mill clarifies that that his doctrine is merely meant and then apply to people in the "maturity of their faculties" (Mill, 1). He is saying here that his set of guidelines cannot connect with individuals who are not involved customers of modern culture and are outside a set of principles he applies to a "civilized society" (Mill, 1). Civilized society contains people that can engage in their own pursuits, skills, and functions but likewise have had usage of an education. He feels that through personal representation and freedom, a person will gain an increased level of power to understand his / her environment. However, without access to that educational systems and a developed society, individuals won't reach their potential for personal reflection. Mill explains that individuals who are dependant of others, like children or the mentally challenged, must covered from themselves because they are unable of preserving the point out of personal reflection Mill requires. He also declares the concept of a civilized culture much be maintained in order for individual liberty and the damage principle to be effective for modern culture. He explains that flexibility of expression and thought is paramount to avoid sociable stagnation and that with individuality comes progress.
Next, analysis of Mill's discussion will be done. He brings up some solid details regarding societal improvement due to personality and thought development. Essentially, Mill remarks that
individuals learn from their mistakes and it is through this that personal development occurs. Regrettably, his article On liberty has spaces in which he's too obscure on the limits of liberty. He also is much too vague on his description of harm. That is due to the fact that he places a significant amount of importance on specific freedoms to maximize delight and understanding. He does not consider that personal selections regarding a person might sometimes be bad for others. The argument of paternalism is a good example of this. Chair belt laws determine that folks must wear their belts regardless that they would like to or not. The regulations are set up in the name of the safety of the average person. With Mill's argument, he boasts that seats belt laws and regulations would be an infringement on personal contentment and freedom, whatever the possibility of accident in an accident. Thus, he does not properly address the problem of an individual making poor selections.
To conclude, the case of Robert Latimer was discussed and the momentous exception in rules that was done. Through this, the Process of Harm by John Stuart Mill was explored through its meaning when it comes to liberty and its connect to personal liberty. Also explored was the only situation where Mill believes flexibility can be limited: to protect others from damage. Lastly, objections to Mill debate were brought up such as his vagueness in his explanations of liberty and injury as well as its link to bad personal alternatives.