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Overview of Paternalism Law - Term Paper Example

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The author states that paternalism does affect the freedom and liberty of a person, but there are cases where the use of this act would be necessary. For example, if an individual does not seem to make sense based on his/her actions it is important for paternalism to be realized. …
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Download file to see previous pages Several laws and regulations have been enacted that encourage paternalism by the government such as requiring a motorcyclist to wear helmets. These actions by the government have been opposed by several utilitarian thinkers like John Stuart Mill. He is opposed to the actions that led to paternalism by the government based on his autonomy-based argument. Paternalism exists in the form of restrictions or requirements imposed on people to perform in order for the common good to be maintained. In his topic on liberty, Mill argues that the government encourages cyclists to wear helmets to promote a good (Skorupski, 34). The protection of the person from injury is a good that cannot be ignored and it is not that the cyclist does not value his life, but this legislation goes against another good. In relation to the arguments brought forward by Mill, it is reasonable to conclude that Mill supports government actions. The question of self-protection as the basis for justifying paternalism is questionable since an individual is the most qualified person to judge himself/herself. As a result, it true to conclude that an individual is the most interested person in his own well being. ...
This is in reference to the fact that Mill argues that no amount of restraint or compulsion by others can stop adults from pursuing their interests. However, in some instances, government interventions do not only restrict a person’s liberty but encourage alternative solutions (Blokland, 78). In relation to paternalism, a person should be an independent and autonomous agent with the ability to choose his freedom. A utilitarian argument passed on by Mill is that of that there comes a time when a person has the discretion of his/her individuality being absolute. However, there are two strains of Mill’s argument with one based on straight forward utilitarian while the other relies, not on the good brought by the free choice but on the supreme value of the choice.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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