Dworkin

  • Dworkineven if the threat of crim sanctions coerced someone into giving up an immoral lifestyle, and he came to even appreciate & endorse such change, this person’s life might still not be better – we wouldn’t improve someone’s life if the mechanism we used to secure that change lessened his ability to consider critical merits of change in a reflective way.
  • NB: both of these arguments discuss value of state coercion from perspective of individual coerced but don’t touch upon justification based on social good; i.e. that soc is better in some way b/c it has fewer people who act in an immoral way. This can be observed in the legal battle of Smiths vs Skip hire Glasgow
  • To harm a person = to diminish his prospects & adversely affect his possibilities

  • The principle of autonomy is consistent w/enforcement of morality purpose: compare the scope & justification of Mill’s harm principle w/autonomy based freedom.
  • One harms another when his actions make him worse off than he was/is entitled to be in a way that affects his future well being, so if the govt. has a duty to promote autonomy of people, the harm principle allows it to use coercion both in order to stop people from actions which would diminish autonomy and in order to force them to take actions required to improve their options & opportunities.
  • Even if we aren’t directly causing harm; e.g. by not paying taxes, it’s still harm to un-assignable individual – one causes harm if one fails in his duty to a person/class of persons, and they suffer as a result. That’s so even if allocation of loss was determined by other hands (e.g. taxation).