Paternalism In The Usa And Johhn Stuart Mills.

3050 words - 12 pages

The idea of paternalism is based on the fact that not all people are rational all the time and sometimes states intervene into the lives of others for their own good. These paternalists advance people's interests such as life, health, and safety at the expense of their liberty. John Stuart Mills was a Utilitarian Philosopher and political writer that has been extremely influential to our society today. He is against most paternalistic action and is an advocate of maximum liberty. He was raised to become a modern thinker that became a revolutionary philosopher and has written countless essays, books, and magazine articles explaining his many ideals. Paternalism has become customary law today in most societies, but is still a topic of extreme debate by many interest groups and political writers of the new millennium. Many paternalistic laws are very widely accepted and used today but the question of whether or not they are just and moral remains unanswered although there are many who have taken sides on this controversial issue.John Stuart Mill was born in London on May 20, 1806 and was the eldest son of James Mill. He was educated entirely by his father as a child and adolescent. His father who stressed academic excellence also shielded him from outside interaction with other children. "He [Mill] believed this gave him an advantage of a quarter of a century over his contemporaries." Mill later realized that his father failed to pay attention to cultural, emotional, and physical growth, which he felt somewhat resentful for. He was simply trained to be a great thinker. Mill began to admire and follow the work of Jeremy Bentham at around age fifteen. He felt Bentham was a revolutionary theorist and that the Utilitarian principle was genius. 1The principle of utility, he says, understood and applied as it was by Bentham, "gave unity to my conception of things. I now had opinions; a creed, a doctrine, a philosophy; in one amongst the best senses of the word, a religion." He formed a small utilitarian society that all agreed on his fathers beliefs. He was rising up as a young intellectual when he was overwhelmed with illness at around age twenty-one of mental and physical stress that prohibited him from perusing his interests. This eventually passed after several months and he continued to write. He began co-writing with a woman by the mane of Mrs. Taylor who he befriended. Then once her husband died in 1851 he married her. His earlier works were published in the Westminster and London Reviews on social, economic, philosophy, and politics. His first famous work was entitled System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive in 1843. He also published many pieces about the political economy, parliamentary reform, representative governments, and utilitarianism. He was also a promoter of commons women suffrage, the interests of laboring classes, and land reform in Ireland and wrote a number of essays pertaining to these issues. His final works included a...

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