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John Stuart Mill's On Liberty Essay

586 words - 2 pages

John Stuart Mill's On Liberty

Imagine going through life not questioning anything that anyone tells you. Anything that is said to be true you would just agree with and not question the statement for yourself. Imagine how blindly you would go through life not finding anything out for yourself. A good example of this is something that just happened to me today. I have always been told that the population of the United States is 240 million and I have been told that for the longest time, even recently within the last month. I was always under this assumption and never questioned it. In my sociology class, my teacher told me that it is now 260 million and has been for quite some time. I took it upon myself to look up the census information on the Internet and found out that indeed, the population is 260 million. Without ever questioning the “truth” about the population, I never would have obtained the real truth. John Stuart Mill illustrates this point in his book, On Liberty and I will discuss how he makes these certain points.
     Mill claims that we may not interfere with a person’s liberty unless her or his acting freely will bring harm to others. In addition, he claims that the root cause for most of our errors in action and thought is “the fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful.” This statement is part of Mill’s initial argument promoting total freedom of both thought and discussion. The statement “You get what you put in,” is a statement that may further illustrate Mill’s point. If someone just hears this statement, he/she would not get the same feeling from it as someone who has put a lot of time...

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