Comparing Devlin To Mill. Essay

1796 words - 7 pages

A Comparative Analysis of Devlin and MillIt can be assumed that if J.S. Mill and Lord Devlin ever coexisted some intoxicating deliberations regarding the role of morality in society would transpire. However, time has a peculiar habit of erecting boundaries amid centuries, allowing us only to presume discourse between the contemporary and the historical. Consequentially, each individual has an obligation to formulate his or her own appraisal established through the logistic unification of the particular instant and one's own conception of idealistic righteousness. But the acquisition of an infallible and tangible philosophy with universal application would be as obstinate to create as it would to fathom. In such regard, the apparatus on which debate must rest is well constructed. If each were to believe in the intricate purity of his inspiration than no philosophy but his own would be received. It is subsequently the responsibility of that creature to sell his faculty, ensuing the continued survival of dispute. It is the function of this formula to patiently arrive at a conciliated truth in which the majority of a society can divulge. If the perceived truth were to have an impact on the thirst and fertility of an entire society than it would be in that institution's interest to create a fountain from which everyone could drink. It is this motive that has justifiably birthed meticulous curiosity in the works of both Lord Devlin and John Stuart Mill, each of whom have crafted disparate cures for the perils of harm in society, but neither of whom have succeeded in absorbing the values of the other. However, to adequately dissect values there must first be an ample understanding of the beliefs of each party concerned, only then can one interpret the mutual ethics from the personal.Mill perceives only one instance in which society is justified in interfering with or limiting the freedoms of its adult members, that being to prevent harm to others. Though Mill would also claim that not all harm could rationalize intruding on an individual's freedom, the harm must overshadow the liberty being reduced. Additionally, Mill introduces two forms of harm, direct and indirect. Direct harm occurs when the actions of one member of a society has a negative impact on another as a result of that individuals behavior. Consequently, Mill would argue that a mugger has had a direct harm on his victim because the outcome of the event was immediate and detrimental. Indirect harm is habitually tolerable because most acts can affect others; accordingly, if the act has a detrimental effect on others but only as being consequential of the affect of the individual on himself, it is justifiable. For instance, if a man chooses to remain in ill health rather than obtain appropriate medical assistance, he is detrimental to society, but only as a result of him harming himself. This is distinguishable as indirectly harmful because there was an intermediate source of the harm, that...

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