Liberty and “the Harm Principle”. "The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others." John Stuart Mill, On Liberty. The meaning of “harm”.
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"The only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilized community against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty.
motorcycle helmet laws, seat belt laws, laws forbidding swimming without a lifeguard, prohibition of recreational drugs, laws forbidding gambling, laws regulating sexual conduct between consenting adults in private (including prostitution and sadism), prohibitions of gambling, usury laws, laws against dueling,...
murder statutes (insofar as consent of victim is no defense), laws prohibiting the use of drugs not approved by the FDA, laws prohibiting the sale of uninspected meat (even when customer is forewarned), mandatory Social Security contributions, compulsory school attendance.
Stephen also argues that the criminal law exists, not only to deter crimes that are dangerous to society, but "also for the sake of gratifying the feelings of hatred -- call it revenge, resentment, or what you will -- which the contemplation of such conduct excites in healthily constituted minds. " (LEF, p. 318)