"To be able to think freely,
a man must be certain that
no consequence will follow
whatever he writes."
Ernest Renan
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Reader comments about this quote:
While this may have been ment to say that there should be no negitive consequence from the act of writing, a part of that act of writing is often not just to express, but to actually cause actions by others to be taken... consequences... so, for a lack of clarity (on the part of either the writer... or of the creators of this site), this gets a thumbs down.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
  • 3 1
    King George's executive order of May 9, giving the President absolute dictitorial power, even over private business, in case of any declared emergency will eventually bring consequences. I think and write as freely as I want or am able, knowing consequences are comming.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 4
    Nothing is without consequence and the fight for freedom even less so
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
  • 5
    Indeed, what we say has an impact. If anything, a person must expect that consequences will follow whatever he/she writes. However, that choice should still be an individual's to make, not due to a decree from the government.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
    Giving the author the benefit of the doubt I am quite sure in the context of commenting on freedom of expression he was referring to punitive consequences.
     -- EGL, LA     
  • 3
    If someone writes something that deserves the negative reactions of his employer, neighbors, or associates, then they should expect them. The problem comes when government starts becoming the dictator of "proper" thoughts and right-speak.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 5
    Generally I agree with this statement (I hate censorship with a passion).
     -- Anonymous     
  • 3
    The ability to think freely was ordained to be a native faculty of Man and ought to be, accordingly, regarded as being a Sovereign Right of his and something the actuality of which is wholly discrete from external constraint.

    An individual cannot predicate his or her ability to think freely upon the prospective consequences of his or her doing so.

    Anyone who is constrained to do so is, by definition, not free.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
  • 1
    This quote, spoken by a man who promotes the Khazar hypothesis, which today, is still used to challenge the idea, Jews have ancestral ties to ancient Israel, and plays a large roll in antisemitic attitudes. Factions within the scientific community and the study of genetics, coupled with fringe linguistic theories battle in the UN as in other Countries who appose Israel or rather the State of Israel. Ernest Renan's passivist statement, seeking to stir hatred, without retribution ! What is the motive when freely thinking, and the intent when published ! As an Individual Sovereign, I protect the Individual Sovereignty as Right. Obviously it was not Ernest Renan's intent.
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    Thanks to 'Hate Speech' laws, a person can be jailed upon the arbitrary claim that his/her writing is 'hate speech.' This is a very slippery slope...
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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