"The justification and the purpose of freedom of speech
is not to indulge those who want to speak their minds.
It is to prevent error and discover truth.
There may be other ways of detecting error and
discovering truth than that of free discussion,
but so far we have not found them."
Henry Steele Commager
(1902-1998) Historian and author
Freedom and Order, 1966
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Reader comments about this quote:
Freedom of speech is an inalienable right that needs no justification, purpose or way to prevent error. There are better ways of detecting error and discovering truth - experience for one example.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Right in there with FDRs camp. If he got any more left, he would fall off the sinking boat.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Freedom of speech means being able to say something that someone disagrees with. A lot of folk with delicate sense abilities are offended by nearly everything and that's too bad for them. These are usually on college campuses and usually liberal. Muslims are always offended by you having a ham sandwich within 500 feet of them.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
    Use to be people came here, to be an American, and not try to over throw it, or change it. But assimilate to Liberty under grace. At one time, we weren't suppose to eat the pig, according to Jewish law. But guess what, Our God of nature took the law, out of the way, and set us Free. That we might partake of the promise, of Liberty and freedom.
     -- Ron w13, Or     
    Mike and Ron... are you reading something different there than I am? I don't see any left leaning speech at all. It is simply another explanation why America desperately needs freedom of speech - and our oath to defend to the death the right of anyone to speak it -not being politically correct.
     -- Wally, Niceville     
    I'm with Wally on this one. Freedom of speech is not an indulgence but a means to discovering truth.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Good on Wally.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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