Our reading for next class discusses Free Speech and its Limits. John Stuart Mill argues that every opinion, no matter how good or bad, or even disgusting or terrible, should be allowed to be freely expressed.
His reasons are these:
First, he says that ideas and views which are unpopular might just end up being true once we really analyze them carefully. We would lose the value of those truths if we were to suppress those opinions.
Second, he goes further and argues that even views which are wrong might contain SOME truth, so we should not suppress them.
Third, he goes further still and argues that even if a view were totally wrong and contained no truth whatsoever, it still should not be suppressed because it would take away the need for us to understand and argue for the correct opinion. If we never had to argue for correct opinions, those correct opinions would lose their vitality and we would not understand them well or be able to defend them, or even know why we hold them.
For all these reasons John Stuart Mill says that ALL opinions should be allowed to be freely expressed. We should not suppress any opinions.
Our forum question for the week is this:
- Do you agree with John Stuart Mill?
- Please explain why you either DO or DO NOT agree with him.
- Please use examples if you can think of any.
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