What is state paternalism and the Harm Principle? Does harm principle allow unlimited free speech? How might we justify motorcycle helmet laws according to state paternalism or the harm principle?
While state paternalism argues that the state can restrict liberties for beneficial acts, the harm principle argues that the state can only restrict liberties to prevent harm.
The harm principle was articulated in On Liberty by John Stuart Mill in the following claim:
That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.
This point of view limits the degree to which a state can restrict individual liberties. Mill himself was a strong proponent of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and he had both in mind as he...
(The entire section contains 230 words.)
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