Protecting Free Speech or Supporting Bigotry?

The liberal thinker John Stuart Mill was a strong proponent of free speech and expression. Yet he also warned against the tyranny of the majority and its inclination to suppress minority rights and views. Both concepts are relevant to the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy.

On the issues of censorship and free speech, the erudite liberal thinker John Stuart Mill wrote “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.” For, he argued in his treatise On Liberty, that “if the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

The liberal thinker John Stuart Mill was a strong proponent of free speech and expression.… [Read more]