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Philosophy 1305F/G
Dean Proessel

Philosophy March 27 Last day: Harm Principle: Nobody can stop you from harming yourself. They may council, suggest, etc., but ultimately it is your decision  Freedom of speech o Some speech can offend religious sensibilities o Someone who is not religious makes comments about a certain faith- the faith that they are commenting on has a theory that “you never question your faith”. If we offend a particular faith, do we have a right to do that in freedom of expression? What if the people of that faith say you are harming us by those comments? Who is right? Do we have an ultimate right to offend them? Or is it wrong to harm them therefore you don’t have the right? o This is a conflict of rights- the right of conflict of expression and the right of not harming others o This is the tension that arises from Mill’s principle Mill p495  “I`m deprived of the opportunity for exchanging error for truth” o If we are silencing your view (we never even come to know your view) o You would never find out the truth o “If the opinion is right, they (me) are deprived of the opportunity for exchanging error for truth” o Missing out on the recognition that you are wrong  The collision of views o Because I hear your view, through all of that I now come to understand that my view was false o But if I don’t go through that collision, a robust dialogue, you lose out on something o This is the first permutation  “If wrong, they lose what is almost a great a benefit. The clear perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error” o Second permutation o Mill worries about dogmatism- human beings assuming that they are infallible o If I am in possession of a view/ belief that I know is true, what could you gain by colliding with someone who you know is wrong? o I probably don’t actually know I’m in the right and that is why it is dogmatic o We don’t fully understand o Colliding with
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