"So long as there are earnest believers in the world,
they will always wish to punish opinions,
even if their judgment tells them it is unwise
and their conscience tells them it is wrong."
Walter Bagehot
(1826-1877) British journalist, businessman, essayist
Literary Studies
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Reader comments about this quote:
Wise words. He would be sad to see how in many ways we have not moved on at all.
 -- Anonymous     
  • 1
     -- Rich, Iowa      
    It's those damn true believers that cause most of the trouble. They always want to tell everyone how to live their lives and they always make matters worse. A great example was alcohol prohibition in 1920 and the current War on Drugs, which is really a war on people.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    For the Patriots on this site:
    Montana Court room upheaval: (Great Stuff)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I am a hard core believer in Jesus, who is the Christ and, His doctrines - such as: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." Further, in that Divinity belief, I am also a hard core advocate for the laws of nature and of nature's God (natural law). Natural law is diametrically opposed to legal positivism (man, as a god, has ability to make law and, with enough power attempts to despotically inforce such) The quote is addressing the hard core believers in legal positivism. Most earnest believers in the world (even those professing a belief in Jesus; see James 2:9 & Luke 16:9) faithfully prostrate themselves before the legal positivism's alter of mandating others capitulation
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Even the 'humanist' Thomas More burned Lutherans at the stake. Today our 'laws' plunder and imprison the innocent daily -- it is how our government funds itself -- it is just in the course of doing business. Somehow, the people have come to believe that their government is supposed to dictate what they are to do -- it just goes to show that humans are as easily domesticated as beasts of burden.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
     -- Mary, MI      
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