The Harm of Silencing Minority Opinions – a short reading from John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’

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If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. In chapter 2 of On Liberty [1859], John Stuart Mill discusses free speech and censorship – particularly censorship which aims to suppress minority opinions. He gives four reasons for maintaining free speech and opposing censorship: A censored opinion may be true Even if it is literally false, it …