John Stuart Mill on Liberty and Control

By Joseph Hamburger | Go to book overview

Chapter Three
MILL AND CHRISTIANITY

I was brought up from the first without any religious belief, in the ordinary meaning of the term. … I am thus one of the very few examples, in this country, of one who has, not thrown off religious belief, but never had it. (John Stuart Mill)

REGENERATION was to be preceded by destruction. Beliefs surviving from the past that were obstacles to the emergence of a new moral order were to be eliminated. Progress required has– tening this demise of the old morality, which, beyond the circles of the most advanced and emancipated thinkers, still enjoyed the support of most people. “The old opinions in religion, morals, and politics are so much discredited in the more intellectual minds” however, “they have still life enough in them to be a powerful obstacle to the growing up of any better opinions on those subjects.”1 Mill therefore mounted an attack on these old opinions, especially those about religion and custom. He carried out the negative, destructive part of his strategy for moral reform by seeking to cast doubt on these two pillars of existing moral opinion and belief, and On Liberty was an important instrument for the achievement of this goal.

The distinguishing feature of the old morality, according to Mill, was selfishness. Criticisms of it and egotism became a recurring theme in his thinking during the early 1850s. It appeared in his diary as disapproval of vanity for being “a moral defect; a form of selfishness; a dwelling on, and caring about, self and what belongs to it, beyond the just measure.”2 It was reflected in the softening of his criticisms of socialism in the third edition (1852) of his Political Economy, and especially in the chapters greatly influenced by Harriet, “Of the Stationary State” and “On the Probable Futurity of the Labouring Classes.” In the first of these he implicitly condemned self–seeking by criticizing “the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of human beings is that of struggling to get on; that the trampling, crushing, elbowing, and treading on each other's heels, which form the existing type of social life, are the most desirable lot of human kind” and in describing the northern and middle

____________________
1
Autobiography, CW, 1, 245, 247.
2
Diary, 25 January [1854], CW, 27 646

-42-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
John Stuart Mill on Liberty and Control
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • John Stuart Mill on Liberty and Control *
  • Contents *
  • Editor's Note ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • John Stuart Mill on Liberty and Control *
  • Chapter One - Liberty and Control 3
  • Chapter Two - Cultural Reform 18
  • Chapter Three - Mill and Christianity 42
  • Chapter Four - Candor or Concealment 55
  • Chapter Five - Arguments about Christianity in on Liberty 86
  • Chapter Six - The Religion of Humanity 108
  • Chapter Seven - Individuality and Moral Reform 149
  • Chapter Eight - How Much Liberty? 166
  • Chapter Nine - Mill's Rhetoric 203
  • Epilogue 225
  • Index 235
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 239

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.