"Freedom of thought is the only guarantee
against an infection of people by mass myths,
which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues,
can be transformed into bloody dictatorships."
by:
Andrei Sakharov
(1921-1989)
Source:
Progress, Coexistence and Intellectual Freedom, 1968
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rather optimistic it is; the liberty to pursue the results of freedom of thought (as imposes on no other) is also optimistic, though the sentiment of the quote is oh too true.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Freedom of thought is no guarantee against anything... while it is a necessary ingredient, it alone is not sufficient.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Truth is an amazing thing....believing the myth is key to being "democratically" enslaved and manipulated. Ignorance it seems, is not so blissful.
     -- MIchael, Houston, TX     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Free thought is the beginning of all rights. Control people's beliefs, and you control the person.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Beware rumors and propaganda.
     -- Cal, lewisville, TX     
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    The 'A' from Reston, though your response is correct, it does not necessarily address the quote. Here, free thought allows mass myths, treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, bloody dictatorships AND, that which is against such or contrary thereto. With out freedom of thought, there is 'ONLY' people by mass myths, which, in the hands of treacherous hypocrites and demagogues, can be transformed into bloody dictatorships.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Good point Michael. In order to be vital and dynamic, "free thought" simply must have its roots in adequate, accurate perspective. That kind of perspective can't be found in any single religious, political or philosophical affiliation, however devout the underlying personal 'certainties' may be. This remains the case however loudly any given proponent may proselytize goodness and propagate fear. In the end they're always looking for control (power), donations and acolytes, in that order. "Freedom of thought?" People usually wind up believing what they're instructed to believe. Initially comes the instruction by parents or surrogates, then by sundry religious 'authorities' approved by parents/surrogates, then school. TV meanwhile, has flickered in the foreground and background of our conscious states, shepherding the lion's share of all political conceptualization for more than sixty years. However deeply I look, I can't find any guarantees regarding truly free thought in that, no positive ones anyway, not when I see the crud being endlessly propagated as truth and righteousness. Our very first consciously "free" thoughts aren't our own at all. They're always founded in somebody else's mere DESCRIPTION. Breaking free from the restraints of that description is the only avenue I know of to finding truly free thought. It's a laborious, unpopular avenue indeed.
     -- Mann, Kalamazoo     
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    Tell a big enough lie often enough, and lots of people will believe it, and never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    Society's customs are not necessarily truth -- they are traditional. Each generation questions the archaic traditions of the past -- how the older generations respond to such inquiries are a good sign of the openness of the current society. We must be allowed to choose our own way. Free thought is natural -- the attempt to 'win' hearts and minds may be based on good intentions, but in the end, the individual must determine this for him/herself. Today's religions are perfect examples of customs rather than truth.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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