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Law & Morality Essay Example

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Law & Morality

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Law & Morality. The principle recognizes two exceptions - children and people from backward classes. Stephen argues that such exceptions make Mill’s principle empty (Koons, 2003) but Higton (n.) clarifies that Mill refers to societies so backward that they are incapable of understanding the harm principle, let alone be responsible enough to apply them. Such classes lack the level of education and understanding which would enable them to benefit from the Harm principle.The definition of the word ‘harm’ has been considered vague and lacking in preciseness. Koons says that Mill allows the state to compel members of the society to aid others but it includes only direct harm and not the harm that I do others in harming myself.

Trying to draw a line of distinction between offensive act and harmful one can lead to a dilemma. A person running naked on the street can be interpreted as an offensive act by some but a harmful act towards children by others. Homosexual act behind doors is more offensive behind doors than heterosexual act in public. Thus if an offensive act is done in privacy with full consciousness of the outcome, then it complies with the norms of the harm principle but this has again been a cause of controversy as people contend that there should be no distinction between public and private actions. An act in private can equally and adversely affect the society but Feinberg states that causing offense is less serious than harming someone so the penalty imposed for an offensive act should not be as heavy as that of harm (Mill, 2002). Thus, because of the various arguments and opinions, the distinction between harm and offense remains under controversy.Mill’s principle assumes that it is possible to undertake an action that will not affect anyone lese (Higton). Others argue that it is not possible to do anything in isolation and without affecting others. The ultimate in self-harm is suicide but suicide is not reason enough for others to interfere because the Harm Principle states his own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. According to this, if someone was bent on committing suicide, others would have a right only up to trying to persuade him not to do it. Arguments abound whether I should be stopped from rock climbing because my demise in the process can cause harm to my relations left behind or even to the team members along with me during climbing. Smoking in. Law & Morality.

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