"It is the great parent of science & of virtue:
and that a nation will be great in both,
always in proportion as it is free."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
letter to Joseph Willard, March 24, 1789
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Reader comments about this quote:
Yes! Amen! Thank you, Thomas. He is a man of whose ideals every freedom loving American should aspire towards. Pray for his dying Republic.
 -- me again     
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    He would not want you to pray for our dying republic, no, he knew that praying was not the answer, but rather action! Take action to take back our elections from the unverifiable electronics that are being fostered upon us! Take back our legistlature from the rich! Take back our executive from the radical right and religion. Take back our courts from the morally and ethically corrupt who not only allow this to occur, but actually enable it! Take action! Down with King George and all of his hench men!
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    Absolutely. Freedom is the parent of virtue and the support of scientific study.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    LOL A Reston; prayer is an action (asking for aid from beyond the immediate human experience, Christian or otherwise, a precurser to further action). And why do you believe the non-rich in today's society would be more scientific, virtuous, or bright? And, your court friends have banned public prayer (virtuous, Christian or otherwise) limiting the freedom of speech. It is the advancement of science and virtue that describes the health of liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The condition described by Jefferson is so dissimilar to the condition we face in our society that I suppose that, If Jefferson were here now, he would soon drop dead of something. Our free society has sunk to the depths of corruprtion, in every sector, and lack of controls on behavior demonstrate how little virtue means to so many. And science, that great whore that harrows modern society and ruins the earth? What has that got to do with virtue today?
     -- David L Rosenthal     
    Jefferson was speaking to the industry of the individual. For the inventor (scientist) to succeed he must be free to think, to invest his time and money, and to be assured that someone will not steal his inventions or profits when his industriousness has been successful. One can be virtuous only when one is free to do so. Our society today is not nearly as free as we might imagine. We have become the children of behemoth government and have become beholden to it. Our virtue is in inverse proportion to the control government exercises over us and the amount of our labor that is taxed away from us.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    "Lack of controls on behavior" is called freedom. If you like control so much, move to China. Little science there, and they'll tell you what to do.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- Ronw13, ID      
    Methinks uncle Tom missed the whole Liberty thingy that enlightened men stressed during his day. 
     -- Don Lee, Reno     
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