Mill primarily believed that both freedom of expression and freedom of action is important as it encourages eccentricity and individuality which will cause people to have greater rational thought and so in turn improve society. To explain this importance of being open to others views and other actions he outlined four arguments:
- Infallibility argument- this argues that it is important to listen to others opinions as we cannot assume that our views or actions are always correct. To do so is to suppose ourselves infallible which would be wrong.
- The Partly True Argument- Mill believes that in every opinion there is a portion of truth and therefore we should consider all view points and take the truth we find in each to gain the most truth we can
- The Dead Dogma Argument- This explains that it is important for us all to argue and discuss our viewpoints otherwise we will hold beliefs without any rational reasoning behind them- making them dead dogmas
- The link with action- This is an extension of the dead dogma argument in that it also argues that we must argue and discuss our views or actions otherwise we won’t act in accordance with them. So, for example, Christians believe it is important to help others less fortunate than themselves yet, if they don’t discuss this view often, they will forget this and never act on it.
Through doing these and discussing and debating all opinions, we will not allow ourselves to conform to certain views but improve our own rational thinking and therefore further society as a whole.