"Freedom of conscience is a natural right,
both antecedent and superior to all human laws
and institutions whatever;
a right which laws never gave and
a right which laws can never take away."
by:
John Goodwin
(1594-1664)
Source:
Might and Right Well Met, 1648
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Reader comments about this quote:
ahh yes but, issues such as hate crimes have gone far in eliminating that under the current fascist theocracy. Soon, I'm sure they're going to start taxing conscience and all other natural rights.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    They have already taxed the conscious in that the conscious carries the burden (damage) of detriment lies have loaded upon it. These burdens are far more dangerous than a physical tax in that it is the first tax that allows them to get away with the second.
     -- Anon     
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    I love Big Brother. He has taken the burden of conscience off of my shoulders so that I may serve him more efficiently.
     -- Winston Smith, Oceania     
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    It is amazing how quickly conscience is traded these days for the illusion of economic security.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
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    Mike, Norwalk, ditto for me.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I don't get this one. Crime busters know that generally criminals return to the scene. For an argument against "freedom of conscience" read Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment". Was Cain free from his crime, remember he was the one who slew Able.. Was it his conscience or was it the Lord who said to him, "What hast thou done." Is a person who is free of conscience a psycopath. I think I am taking the word in the wrong meaning. Conscience has two does it not? I am taking the word from "the conscientious person" meaning. That person by definition is not free but is controlled by his conscience. The quote I assume means that we have freedom of choice to choose our beliefs and opinions but I assert that freedom will be directed by our conscience which differs among individuals. I further submit that a new born is a blank slate with no conscience, the conscience must be eduacated and informed, thus the author is if not incorrect at least a bit off track.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    We must learn to free ourselves of fragmentation; we must free ourselves from contradictions, violence, etc. etc. only then will freedom of conscience be yours - it is Natural Law. While we are the observer, we will continue to fragment and while you fragment violence and all you abhor will continue.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    This is the absolute basis of a free republic from which all power flows from the natural born rights of the individual. This is what revolutions against tyranny are made of. (It's no surprise Waffler doesn't get it...)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Waffler, I think your problem, at least one of them in this case, is that you're seeing it as, "Freedom FROM conscience" rather than what it actually says, "Freedom OF conscience." This may help but, somehow, something tells me otherwise.
     -- zeitgeist, la crescenta, ca     
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    I agree that we have freedom of conscience to choose this belief system or that etcetrera. I still submit that the conscience is educated from birth. There is no conscience or ability to choose without education and experience.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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