Tuesday, July 05, 2011

I'm a day late with this...

...okay, maybe more like five minutes late, but here it is anyway.

"The only part of conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part, which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign."
-On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Just as importantly, no social body has a right to coerce or restrict the individual unless the individual causes harm to others- the individual's own physical or moral harm is not justification for constriction of their liberty.*

In other words, while a person's behavior or beliefs might be objectionable to you, you do not have the right to infringe upon them. You have the right to be morally outraged, you have the right voice your outrage, but you do not have the right to "coerce or restrict."

*This is known as the "Harm Principle"