John Stuart Mill expounds significantly on why human beings need freedom. In his works On Liberty, Mill points out that human beings need both freedom of thought and expression. This is because freedom of thought is self-regarding, thus, requires expression to be understood. However, Mill argues that freedom of expression can result in consequences on other people, which motivates the society to regulate it, but given that freedom of expression has the same significance as that of thought. The society cannot regulate it altogether. Mill also asserts that human beings need freedom of speech although he is quick to point out situations when the freedom of speech is regulated. Lacewing (2007) notes that Mill uses the “Harm Principle” to indicate that power can only be used on a human being against his will to prevent harm on others. Mill also supports freedom of expression through his distinction of legitimate and illegitimate harm. This proves that human beings need freedom of expression as some speeches do not necessary have a legitimate harm on the people referred to. According to Mill, the freedom of expression is also necessary for the progress of human beings as it contributes to human being’s permanent interests. Lastly, Mill notes that freedom of thought and expression are necessary for the human race as they facilitate the distinction between what is certain and what is truth.
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Who are the Last Men?
Friedrich Nietzsche employed the term “The Last Man” in the book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”. He used the term in the description of a superior being that is imagined. Thus, it can be established from Nietzsche works that the last men are those that do not take any risks, are disillusioned with life, and desire only security and luxury. In addition, it can be deducted from Nietzsche works that Europe civilization represents the last men because the countries in the continent depict a comfortable lifestyle that politicians no longer exploit the masses. Furthermore, the countries in Europe experience social peace where all individuals, no matter their social classes, are equal. However, Nietzsche is quick to point out that development of the last men should not be encouraged as it will hinder the growth of talented individuals. This is because the last men do not dream, lack commitment and they are comfortable with what they earn. Thus, Deleuze (2006) refers to Nietzsche as pointing out that the last men are not sure of their claim regarding the discovery of happiness, because they are shy when they brag about it.
If we can Make Ourselves, Who Should We Be?
Sartre points out that human beings become who they want to be. He reaffirms this statement by explicating that anatomy, God, human nature, circumstances, upbringing, and character do not form a person’s destiny. The fact that human beings “are condemned to be free” also explains why people end up as they are because they are not held responsible by anyone. However, people have self interests that limits them to be moral in order to avoid punishment or ostracization. The relationship that people have with others also determines what they become. This explains why we have people that have friends while others choose to exist without friends. Sartre (2001) also points out that the values held by an individual contributes to what one will turn out to be. Thus, the meaning a person gives to his or her life helps in shaping the way that individual will be and that explains why some people lead meaningless lives while others seem focussed with specific goals.
Can Religion and Freedom be Reconciled? (Habermas)
Habermas (2008) indicates that religion and freedom cannot be fully reconciled although he points out that western believers might not be overburdened as Christianity informs some of the ideas in the constitutional democracy. These ideas include immutable individual rights and liberty. Habermas (2008) also asserts that the reconciliation of religion and freedom will depend on whether a person is a believer or not. Non-believers will have difficulties in comprehending how they reconcile because some of the religious reasons require a person to have lived the faith to comprehend easily. Freedom and religion also cannot be reconciled because Habermas (2008) refutes the idea that religion can suffice in some instances to justify some legal and administrative decisions. Thus, Habermas (2008) maintains that religion will be going against the neutrality principle, which governs modern constitutional democracy.