What are some philosophies, values or ideology about the balance between civil liberties and national security in the context of an unending war on terror?

1 Answer

thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Perhaps the most famous work of political philosophy which can be applied to this issue is John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty", a work that first adumbrated (i.e., foreshadowed) what is known as the "harm principle", that liberties should only be restricted where the freedom of one individual leads to harm to another individual. In other words, person X's freedom to murder is abrogated (i.e., abolished) under this principle because if he can freely murder, that abrogates (abolishes) the right of his victim to live. Under the harm principle, individual liberties can only be abrogated for the purpose of national security if it can actually be conclusively proven that harm will result directly from people engaging in those liberties.