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John Stuart Mill one of the foremost nineteenth-century spokesmen for liberalism advocated Utilitarianism the view that we should each act so as to promote the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people He very much stressed the individual rights calling for more power and freedom for people In such writings as On Liberty Mill argues that in the past the dangers had been that monarchs held power at the expense of the common people and the struggle was one of gaining liberty by limiting such governmental power In chapter four of On Liberty Mill defends the harm principle which he brought up in the first chapter and is the whole basis for the book He raises three objections and responds to them extremely effectively in his opinion Parts of his responses are extremely good and some parts of are very wrong Chapter four is a section of the book in which Mill chooses to use to get more in depth with the harm principle and help people to understand it better Remembering that the harm principle states that actions can only be punished when they harm others Mill looks at the fact that people are never fully separated from society and that their actions can affect others Mill raises his first objection which is that self-harm also can mean others are harmed by stating I fully admit that the mischief which a person does to himself may seriously affect both through their sympathies and their interests those nearly connected with him and in a minor degree society at large Page 79 His response to this is self-harm only counts as other harm when it violates a distinct and assignable obligation To some this is a perfect response because they believe until the person does something to affect them through direct physical harm it does not matter These people are extremely w rong and really show no compassion or love for the love for the
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