more from John Stuart Mill

Single Idea 7217

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Political Doctrines / 6. Liberalism]

Full Idea

The strongest of all the arguments against the interference of the public with purely personal conduct is that, when it does interfere, the odds are that it interferes wrongly, and in the wrong place.

Gist of Idea

The main argument for freedom is that interference with it is usually misguided

Source

John Stuart Mill (On Liberty [1857], Ch.4)

Book Reference

Mill,John Stuart: 'Utilitarianism (including On Liberty etc)', ed/tr. Warnock,Mary [Fontana 1962], p.214


A Reaction

This is also a well known objection to capital punishment. Generalised, well established, legal interferences are perhaps more likely to get it right than ad hoc decisions about individuals by individual officials.