We, however, live in an age when liberalism’s priests and priestesses no longer feign respect for the powerful arguments in favor of the reasonability of Christian faith defended, for instance, by Mill’s contemporary John Henry Newman in his 1870 . They increasingly won’t even tolerate Christians living according to the principles of Christian morality. Witness, for instance, their efforts to narrow religious liberty to freedom of worship. To the extent that the clerisy affirms religion, it is the liberal religion by Newman in his 1879 Biglietto address.
In the same book, Cowling challenged the widespread view of John Stuart Mill as the secular saint of tolerance. According to Cowling, Mill’s liberalism constituted nothing less than an alternative religion: one that turns out to be a rather fideistic faith that demands submission from nonbelievers. Not surprisingly, reactions to Cowling’s thesis were almost uniformly hostile. Fifty-four years later, however, Cowling’s analysis of Mill’s liberalism provides insights not only into liberal intolerance in our time but also into how to address it.
John Stuart Mill and Utilitarianism Essay Examples
Recent scholarship on liberal exclusion focuses on ways in which liberal norms and standards of rationality disqualify certain persons from the rights of civic membership. Few works, however, move beyond philosophical anthropology in considering the basis of such exclusions. This article examines the economic concerns that frame citizenship and political membership in two strands of modern liberal thought: the work of John Locke and John Stuart Mill. I argue that both thinkers collapse requirements of economic and political membership, excluding the so-called “non-industrious” and economically dependent from the full rights and benefits of political membership, and creating a spectrum of partial citizenships. What begins as a concern for the value of labor in Locke’s writings extends through Mill’s work, creating a tension between democratic participation and the exclusion of the non-industrious. Although both thinkers include provisions for aiding the poor, a vision of economic membership – of inclusion in a community of the industrious – precedes political membership in these liberal frameworks.