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John Stuart Mills

             Since the beginning of time the question of freedom and what freedom is has drifted and caressed the longing desires of humankind. Whether it be the freedom from some religious baggage or the freedom from social restrictions so as to develop as a individual, mankind has always desired to experience that sort of emotional, psychological, or even physical freedom. All too often the limitations created by society leave much of mankind, in some form, tied down and restricted from growing and developing. John Stuart Mills writes on freedom and limitations in respects to individualistic progress and societal progress.
             The true question to be begged though is What is freedom'? Mills would express and make the distinction that freedom is not doing whatever you want when you want but rather doing whatever you want within the defined social norms and guidelines. Freedom is "pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest."" .
             In the provided definition of freedom found in Mill's work, On Liberty, the comment is made that people should have the freedom to do stupid things. People should have the freedom to do things that will harm themselves if that be as they wish. However, such luxurious freedoms are not to impede on other people's lives in a consequentially harmful way. Harm and destructive influence is then defined by society and what is socially accepted in society. .
             Mills believes that on the whole people will do what is best for themselves. Sure there are those who will hurt themselves but this ultimately is part of life's lessons and in time, through their suffering, they will develop grow as an individual.

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