Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Mike Hume

Nice to see Mick Hume quoting JS Mill in the papers today:

In his essay On Liberty, J.S.Mill took a stand not only for freedom of thought and speech, but also for “liberty of tastes and pursuits...of doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow [ie, if you smoke don't sue tobacco companies] without impediment from our fellow creatures, so long as what we do does not harm them, even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse, or wrong”.

That's pretty much what liberty means, that we all get left alone to plot our own path to the grave as we see fit. Our behaviour may only be restricted if we're doing damage to another, or to their rights to plot their own path as they see fit.

Why is it that some people find this so hard to understand?

1 comment:

Tim Carpenter said...

JS Mill also hits home on the idea of "social rights", which he considers "monstrous" and a worse infringement of freedom you cannot find.

Social Justice is built upon Social Rights. No wonder I find that concept so repulsive!