Mills Principle of Harm

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Although most philosophers and thinkers had at one time or the other discussed these concepts but Mill went a step ahead to establish the harm principle according to which every individual had the right to act as he wanted as long as his actions did not cause harm to others (Riley 1998). An individual could do or say whatever made him happy or comfortable or what he considered better for himself but only if his actions and views did not disturb or affect the others adversely. Also any person or a group of people had no right to force a person to do something which they feel was right for that person if he had no desire to do so. In Mill’s opinion the individuals are in a better position to judge what is good for them and what is not. Although Mill believed that regulation and interference in a person’s life were necessary, he strongly advocated individual liberty (Mill 2010).During Mill’s time democracy was gaining strength day by day. But instead of the rule of the people, Mill saw democracy as the rule or rather the tyranny of the majority which does not consider the needs of the minorities or the individual who differs from the majority view (Criminalization and legalization. some arguments from John Stuart Mill 2006). Mill fully supported democracy but the one which allowed individual freedom in all spheres of human endeavor (Riley 1998).Mill did not actually define harm but by explaining his concept further Mill said that the society had no right to intervene for any self regarding action (one which directly affects the individual) which may have the potential to harm the individual carrying out the act. However, Mill made an exception in this case as he exempted those who were incapable of self-government such as young children who require the care of other people.