John Stuart Mill ‘On Liberty’ favours indirect utilitarianism: ”I regard utility as the ultimate appeal on all ethical questions… but it must be utility in the largest sense, grounded on the permanent interests of man as a progressive being” (Mill p. 70). He sustained that only increased liberty allows individuals to flourish as human beings: “Human nature is…a tree which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendencies of the inward forces which make it a living thing” (Mill, p.123). Mill defends freedom of thought and discussion as the means to human flourishing and maximising happiness and his defence includes four main arguments: the Infallibility Argument; The Dead Dogma Argument; The Partly True Argument; The link with Action Argument. I understand Mill’s defence of freedom as follows: Freedom of thought and discussion is an invaluable tool for discovering the truth and keeping it alive. Knowing the truth increases human potential for flourishing. History proved that it is a mistake for one to assume infallibility of his own views. Truth most often emerges from free antagonistic discussions. Freely exchanging opinions can shed light upon a mater or show faults in one’s own defence of his view. Truth will degenerate into prejudice or dogma and loose its power to stir up people unless it is often challenged by discussions freely expressed. All the above arguments shows why Mill allows for the opinion that corn dealers are starvers of the poor, to be freely circulated in the press with no regards to whether it is true, false or partially true. Such an opinion circulated in the right circles, would constitute an invitation to discussion and improvement.
David Archard’s article “Freedom not to be Free: The Case of the Slavery contract in J.S. Mill’s On Liberty”, defends and clarifies Mill’s argument for the prohibition of slavery contracts as anti-paternalistic and consistent with the ‘liberty principle’. A person is still free to choose to enter such a contract (or just act the part of a salve without a formal contract) and respect it only insofar as being a slave suits him. Society should regard such a contract as ‘null and void’. Archard explores the sources of invalidity for contracts: ignorance; coercion; mental incapacity; third party injuries, all absent in Mill’s slavery contract. He then shows that freedom has instrumental and intrinsic value and that it would be self-abrogating to alienate it. Mill’s ‘liberty principle’ is justified by the fact that it guarantees the exercise of individual freedom therefore it would be inconsistent with it to “permit behaviour which denied the exercise of freedom” (Archard; p. 460). Archard points out that proscribing slavery, “stops people from remaining in the position of not being able to do what they wish” (Archard p. 462). In contrast, a paternalistic limit on freedom would stop people from doing what they wish; therefore Mill’s exception is not paternalistic. I agree and add that Mill defends freedom to the remarkable extent that loosing it, is made impossible. One can still freely, if foolishly, sign a slavery contract, alienating his freedom, but thanks to Mill’s argument, freedom will conveniently accompany one should he/her ever need it. Rousseau also considers slavery contracts as “vain and meaningless”, but on the basis that to renounce one’s liberty is to renounce one’s life, and that no man has a natural right to do so.
CHOICES I MADE:
- Not counting calories : counting calories brings to mind thoughts of food and hunger.
- Eating what I crave: Cravings are important messages from our bodies. Listen!
- Exception: If I crave something that I’ve seen on a TV advert, I won’t buy it or eat it. Generally, food that needs advertising is junk.
- Start the day with a glass of water (water and lemon juice is even better, green tea if you prefer)
- Coffee is a must in the morning as well. (not instant and try it with less and less sugar) – Coffee is also supposed to be very good for us, rumor has it, so drink it throughout the day, If it makes you restless, make it decaff.
- Eating the five a day (fruit and vegetables portions): That’s easy especially when I add cream to the fruit and butter to the vegetables.
- Exercise: I try to walk for half an hour every day, I brush my teeth standing on my tiptoes, or one legged, occasionally I do yoga (nothing extreme)
- Coke and fizzy drinks – only occasionally
- Fast Food – only on my kids birthdays
- Plenty of water – yes, Other alcoholic drinks – rarely
The Bosu balance trainer and core muscles exerciser targets your core muscles–the muscles around your abdominal and back area–while you perform a host of different workouts, from squats and bicep curls to lateral shoulder raises and hip extensions. As a result, you not only gain strength, trim, and tone, but also improve your balance and coordination along the way. In addition, this, half of a gym ball balance trainer helps strengthen the mind, with thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also “here and present” with the mind fully engaged. By combining physical and mental focus, Bosu training will boost your performance across a wide continuum of activities, including sports, recreation, and daily tasks. I admit I am pretty lazy, and I use my Bosu balance trainer for balancing while brushing my teeth, drying and combing my hair and anytime I do something boring. I place it on my chair and sit on it while working in front of my PC. Here’s what this does for me: I’ve got better posture, I walk now with increased poise, my lower back pain is gone.