"Liberty of speech invites and provokes liberty to be used again,
and so bringeth much to a man’s knowledge."
Sir Francis Bacon
(1561-1626) Philosopher, British Lord Chancellor
The Advancement of Learning, 1605
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Reader comments about this quote:
Man is a stubborn thing, especially in ignorance (an ignorant person never wishes to be considered ignorant, especially when he has never had an education in the matters wherein he speaks -- formally or informally). When the freedom of expressing one's liberty without recourse is held up as a standard to the people, the small spark of freedom ignites and becomes a flash and flame that burns true in the hearts of any man or women who has declared their own personal independence from usurpation and tyranny. This spark, if allowed to grow, will become a wild-fire wherein no government can usurp and illegitimately control its populace. Liberty grants wisdom its place in society, and welcomes logic of reasoned dissent in all places man may improve himself to produce more freedom in expressing each individual's liberty.
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
    When congress decided that a crime could be a "hate crime", it was a step towards making any speech that offends anyone, "hate speech". It has already happened in dear old England. Of course, you can say any hateful thing about conservatives, but God help you if you offend a Muslim. And have you noticed that anything you say negative about a liberal is "mean spirited" but they can call you a Nazi and that's just fine.
     -- jim k, austin     
    The greatest thing about the Presidential Election cycle may not be who is elected but about the discussion of issues and the selection of priorities in the governance and course of our society, nation, and country. Who would have thought (except Al Gore) a year ago about the current discussions underway in our country. Of course many do not want to explore issues only to win the election. But the issues will take root to some extent regardless of who wins. As some have said the political designation D, just as in a car, means forward and the politcal designation R means backward. I give the quote a Five Star rating because yes these discussions do beed a higher and higher level of knowledge and understanding. The quote is a good reason why we maybe should have a greater degree of discussion and democaracy on an ongoing basis where we all may participate more fully and thus expierence the fruits of Liberty more fully.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    And by consequence, 'politically correct' speech does not further liberty nor increase one's knowledge, hence, it is a basis for control and dumbing down all those upon whom it is foisted. Truth is provocative.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    It takes a willingness to use speech to communicate knowledge to expand human knowledge as a whole. Alchemists discovered many scientific concepts and techniques but because of alchemy's occult, mystical quality, alchemists kept their knowledge to themselves. When alchemists started sharing their knowledge and started removing the mysticism, chemistry and physics were invented, i.e. true science. Francis Bacon was one of the fathers of modern science and an advocate of the free exchange of ideas.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    The sword of Liberty must always remain sharp
     -- RobertSRQ     
    Liberty of speech is based on more basic foundations, such as: available terms, conditions and meanings. Liberty in its most fundamental definitions describes a land of liberty where: “The power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature.” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) Liberty is the “exemption from extraneous control. The power of the will, in its moral freedom, to follow the dictates of its unrestricted choice, and to direct the external acts of the individual without restraint, coercion, or control from other persons. Liberty is the right which nature gives to all mankind of disposing of their persons and property after the manner they judge most consistent with their happiness, on condition of their acting within the limits of the law of nature, and so as not to interfere with an equal exercise of the same rights by other men.” (1st Blacks Law Dictionary) Liberty: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." (Thomas Jefferson) In the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land, the only definition of liberty taught supports the socialist left or the socialist right. Both claim compelled compliance, government license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity (life, property and the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto taxes, funny money, etc.), anti-natural law dominance and non-recognition of individual sovereign inalienable rights exponentially applied, is greater and greater liberty. Wars are fought to spread such definitions of liberty. A working knowledge of liberty is lost, seldom to be used again. Only that spark of light that yearns to be free, within the noble being man, will once again bring forth liberty's provocation where it can be spoken of in truth.

     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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