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Famous Quotes about Liberty
 

 
Famous quotes, quotations, sayings, phrases, idioms, proverbs, and axioms about Liberty and the Responsibility that comes with it. 
 


The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations

A classic since 1953 with over 20,000 quotes from over 3,000 authors.


Famous Last Words

Apt Observations, Pleas, Curses, Benedictions, Sour Notes, Bons Mots, and Insights from People on the Brink of Departure


Stretch Your Wings

Famous Black Quotations for the Young


American Quotations

An exhaustive collection of profound quotes from the founding fathers, presidents, statesmen, scientists, constitutions, court decisions


The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations


Last Words of Saints and Sinners

700 Final Quotes from the Famous, the Infamous, and the Inspiring Figures of History


America's God and Country: Encyclopedia of Quotations

Contains over 2,100 profound quotations from founding fathers, presidents, constitutions, court decisions and more


The Law

This 1850 classic is an absolute must read for anyone interested in law, justice, truth, or liberty. A most compelling and revolutionary look at The Law.


Bartlett's Familiar Quotations

A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs Traced to Their Sources in Ancient and Modern Literature (17th Edition)


The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Politicians

Rise up, America -- and laugh out loud at the greatest gaffes that no spin doctor could possibly fix!


The 776 Even Stupider Things Ever Said

Another great collection of stupidity


Quotable Quotes

Wit and Wisdom for All Occasions from America's Most Popular Magazine


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time

You don't have to be a genius to sound like one. Here's a collection of the most profound and provocative wit and wisdom in the English language in two lines or less.


2,715 One-Line Quotations for Speakers, Writers & Raconteurs

Invaluable sampler of witticisms, epigrams, sayings, bon mots, platitudes and insights chosen for their brevity and pithiness.


Phillips' Book of Great Thoughts Funny Sayings

A stupendous collection of quotes, quips, epigrams, witticisms, and humorous comments for personal enjoyment and ready reference.


Quick Quips and Quotes; 532 Things I Wish I Had Said

Quick Quips and Quotes is the Ultimate Collection of one liners.


Bartlett's Book of Anecdotes

The ultimate anthology of anecdotes, now revised with over 700 new entries.


Quotations for Public Speakers

A Historical, Literary, and Political Anthology


Liberty - The American Revolution

This compelling series traces the events leading up to the war and America's fight for freedom.


Founding Fathers

The story of how these disparate characters fomented rebellion in the colonies, formed the Continental Congress, fought the Revolutionary War, and wrote the Constitution


Libertarianism: A Primer

David Boaz, director of the Cato Institute, has written a simple introduction to Libertarianism inteneded to appeal to disgruntled Democrats and Republicans everywhere.


The Libertarian Reader

Classic and Contemporary Writings from Lao-Tzu to Milton Friedman


Thomas Paine: Collected Writings

All the classics: Common Sense / The Crisis / Rights of Man / The Age of Reason / Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters

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Bruce AckermanThere is simply no escaping the fact that the fate of the Constitution is in our hands -- as voters, representatives, justices. If we allow ourselves to abuse the tradition of higher lawmaking, the very idea that the Constitution can be viewed as the culminating expression of a mobilized citizenry will disintegrate. After all, the American Republic is no more eternal than the Roman -- and it will come to an end when American citizens betray their Constitution’s fundamental ideals and aspirations so thoroughly that existing institutions merely parody the public meanings they formerly conveyed
Lord ActonBy liberty I mean the assurance that every man shall be protected in doing what he believes is his duty against the influence of authority and majorities, custom and opinion.
Lord ActonPower tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
John AdamsTherefore, the jury have the power of deciding an issue upon a general verdict. And, if they have, is it not an absurdity to suppose that the law would oblige them to find a verdict according to the direction of the court, against their own opinion, judgment, and conscience? ... [I]s a juror to give his verdict generally, according to [the judge’s] direction, or even to find the fact specially, and submit the law to the court? Every man, of any feeling or conscience, will answer, no. It is not only his right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.
John AdamsThere never was yet a people who must not have somebody or something to represent the dignity of the state.
John AdamsBut what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments, of their duties and obligations…This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people was the real American Revolution.
John AdamsWe hold that each man is the best judge of his own interest.
John AdamsIt should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.
John Quincy AdamsAlways stand on principle, even if you stand alone.
John Quincy AdamsAlways vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
Samuel AdamsA general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy.... While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.... If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.
Samuel AdamsDriven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.
Samuel AdamsLet us contemplate our forefathers, and posterity, and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. The necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance. Let us remember that "if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom," it is a very serious consideration ... that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.
Samuel AdamsAnd that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press,  or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless necessary for the defense of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of grievances; or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures of their persons, papers or possessions.
AesopNo act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Publius Terentius AferI have everything, yet have nothing; and although I possess nothing, still of nothing am I in want.
Mohammed AliThe man who has no imagination has no wings.
Mohammed AliThe man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
Florence Ellinwood AllenLiberty cannot be caged into a charter or handed on ready-made to the next generation. Each generation must recreate liberty for its own times. Whether or not we establish freedom rests with ourselves.
James AllenOur life is what our thoughts make it. A man will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and others will alter towards him.
Woody AllenI call the mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master [and] receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.
Lisa AltherI’ve always felt that a person’s intelligence is directly reflected by the number of conflicting points of view he can entertain simultaneously on the same topic.
Fisher AmesMr. Madison has introduced his long expected amendments... The rights of conscience, of bearing arms, of changing the government, are declared to be inherent in the people.
Henri Frederic AmielThe test of every religious, political, or educational system, is the man which it forms. If a system injures the intelligence it is bad. If it injures the character it is vicious. If it injures the conscience it is criminal.
Walter Truett AndersonOur lives improve only when we take chances -- and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
Angolan ProverbThe one who throws the stone forgets; the one who is hit remembers forever.
Mordechai AnielewiczThe most difficult struggle of all is the one within ourselves. Let us not get accustomed and adjusted to these conditions. The one who adjusts ceases to discriminate between good and evil. He becomes a slave in body and soul. Whatever may happen to you, remember always: Don’t adjust! Revolt against the reality!
Hannah ArendtThe main characteristic of any event is that it has not been foreseen. We don’t know the future but everybody acts into the future. Nobody knows what he is doing because the future is being done, action is being done by a “we” and not an “I.” Only if I were the only one acting could I foretell the consequences of what I’m doing. What actually happens is entirely contingent, and contingency is indeed one of the biggest factors in all history. Nobody knows what is going to happen because so much depends on an enormous number of variables, on simple hazard. On the other hand if you look at history retrospectively, then, even though it was contingent, you can tell a story that makes sense…. Jewish history, for example, in fact had its ups and downs, its, enmities and its friendships, as every history of all people has. The notion that there is one unilinear history is of course false. But if you look at it after the experience of Auschwitz it looks as though all of history -- or at least history since the Middle Ages -- had no other aim than Auschwitz…. This, is the real problem of every philosophy of history how is it possible that in retrospect it always looks as though it couldn’t have happened otherwise?
AristotleThe high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.
Isaac AsimovNever let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what's right.
Ben H. BagdikianIn the US, voters cast ballots for individual candidates who are not bound to any party program except rhetorically, and not always then. Some Republicans are more liberal than some Democrats, some libertarians are more radical than some socialists, and many local candidates run without any party identification. No American citizen can vote intelligently without knowledge of the ideas, political background, and commitments of each individual candidate.
Walter BagehotSo 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 BagehotPersecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt.
Gil BailieThe people who burned witches at the stake never for one moment thought of their act as violence; rather they thought of it as an act of divinely mandated righteousness. The same can be said of most of the violence we humans have ever committed.
Mikhail A. BakuninFreedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.
Frederic BastiatAnd what is this liberty, whose very name makes the heart beat faster and shakes the world? Is it not the union of all liberties -- liberty of conscience, of education, of association, of the press, of travel, of labor, of trade?
Harry C. BauerWhat's right with America is a willingness to discuss what's wrong with America.
David L. BazelonNullification is not a "defense" recognized by law, but rather a mechanism that permits a jury, as community conscience, to disregard the strict requirements of law where it finds that those requirements cannot justly be applied in a particular case.
Ezra Taft BensonYou cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible!
Isaiah BerlinThe first people totalitarians destroy or silence are men of ideas and free minds.
Daniel BerriganI don't know a more irreligious attitude, one more utterly bankrupt of any human content, than one which permits childred to be destroyed.
Steve BikoThe most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
Curtis BokIn the whole history of law and order, the biggest step was taken by primitive man when...the tribe sat in a circle and allowed only one man to speak at a time. An accused who is shouted down has no rights whatever.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisDecency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisThe government is the potent omnipresent teacher. For good or ill it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that the end justifies the means -- to declare that the government may commit crimes -- would bring terrible retribution.
Justice Louis D. BrandeisTo declare that in the administration of criminal law the end justifies the means – to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure conviction of a private criminal – would bring terrible retribution.
Pearl S. BuckNone who have always been free can understand the terrible fascinating power of the hope of freedom to those who are not free.
BuddhaYour work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.
Buddha
BuddhaBelieve nothing merely because you have been told it. Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings -- that doctrine believe and cling to, and take it as your guide.
Edmund BurkeAmong a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.
Edmund BurkeTo govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil.
Edmund BurkeTell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young peoples, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation.
Edmund BurkeToleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Edmund BurkeNobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
Sir Richard Francis BurtonThe dearest ambition of a slave is not liberty, but to have a slave of his own.
Major General Smedley Darlington ButlerMy mental faculties remained in suspended animation
while I obeyed the orders of the higher-ups.
This is typical with everyone in the military.
Lord ByronMy time has been passed viciously and agreeably; at thirty-one so few years months days hours or minutes remain that "Carpe Diem" is not enough. I have been obliged to crop even the seconds -- for who can trust to tomorrow?
Gaius Julius CaesarMen willingly believe what they wish.
Gaius Julius CaesarBeware of the leader, who strikes the war drum in order to transfer the citizens into patriotic glow, patriotism is indeed a double-sided sword. It makes the blood so boldly, like it constricts the intellect. And if the striking of the war drum reached a fiebrige height and the blood is cooking and hating, and the intellect is dismissed, the leader doesn't need to reject the citizens rights. The citizens, cought by anxiety and blinded through patriotism, will subordinate all their rights to the leader and this even with happy courage. Why do I know that? I know it, because this is, what I did. And I am Gajus Julius Cäsar.
C. Arthur CampbellWhen we regard a man as morally responsible for an act, we regard him as a legitimate object of moral praise or blame in respect of it. But it seems plain that a man cannot be a legitimate object of moral praise or blame for an act unless in willing the act he is in some important sense a ‘free’ agent. Evidently free will in some sense, therefore, is a precondition of moral responsibility.
Albert CamusIntegrity has no need of rules.
Hodding CarterThere are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings.
Edwin Hubbel ChapinNo more duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions.
Chinese ProverbLaws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.
Sir Winston ChurchillYou see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.
Sir Winston ChurchillI have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.
Marcus Tullius CiceroA nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.
William Kingdon CliffordAll our liberties are due to men who, when their conscience has compelled them, have broken the laws of the land.
Bill ClintonIt depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is.
Bill ClintonIt depends on what the meaning of the word is. If the– if he– if "is" means is and never has been, that is not– that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement.... Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.
Bill ClintonThe other thing we have to do is to take seriously the role in this problem of...older men who prey on underage women...There are consequences to decisions and...one way or the other, people always wind up being held accountable.
Bill ClintonWe can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
John CogleyTolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human.
Morris R. CohenThe business of the philosopher is well done if he succeeds in raising genuine doubt.
Samuel Taylor ColeridgeOur own heart, and not other men's opinions form our true honor.
ConfuciusIf I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.
Steven R. CoveyThe main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Davy CrockettI leave this rule for others when I'm dead, Be always sure you're right -- then go ahead.
Davy CrockettI want people to be able to get what they need to live: enough food, a place to live, and an education for their children. Government does not provide these as well as private charities and businesses.
e. e. cummingsTo be nobody but yourself -- in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you like everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
John C. DanforthI have never seen more senators express discontent with their jobs. ... I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. ... We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected.
Alma DanielIt is up to you to decide whether or not you’re ready to be free, really free.
This pertains to your relationship as well as your activities in the world.
You are limitless, if you choose that! Your freedom comes from letting go.
Freedom means empowerment to be, do, go, feel, whatever your heart tells you.
Only you have kept yourself from having this freedom out of some
misunderstanding of what your responsibilities really are.
Your responsibilities are to your Self. Serve that truly, fully, and you serve All.
DanteThe hottest places in hell
are reserved for those
who in a period of moral crisis
maintain their neutrality.
Clarence S. DarrowThere is no such crime as a crime of thought; there are only crimes of action.
François Duc de La RochefoucauldMost of our faults are more pardonable than the means we use to conceal them.
Salvador De MadariagaHe is free who knows how to keep in his own hands the power to decide at each step, the course of his life, and who lives in a society which does not block the exercise of that power.
Joseph de MaistreEvery nation gets the government it deserves.
Antoine De Saint-ExuperyI know of but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.
Charles-Louis De SecondatWe ought to be very cautious in the prosecution of magic and heresy. The attempt to put down these two crimes may be extremely perilous to liberty, and may be the origin of a number of petty acts of tyranny if the legislator be not on his guard; for as such an accusation does not bear directly on the overt acts of a citizen, but refers to the idea we entertain of his character.
Democratic National Platform of 1892We are opposed to state interference with parental rights and rights of conscience in the education of children as an infringement of the fundamental Democratic doctrine that the largest individual liberty consistent with the rights of others insures the highest type of American citizenship and the best government.
Alan DershowitzIf we move away from the American tradition of lawyers defending those with whom they vehemently disagree -- as we temporarily did during the McCarthy period -- we weaken our commitment to the rule of law... So beware of an approach which limits advocacy to that which is approved by the standards of political correctness.
Comtesse DianeConscience warns us before it reproaches us.
John G. DiefenbakerI am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.
Milovan Djilas[Tyranny is] to compel men not to think as they do, to compel men to express thoughts that are not their own.
John Dos PassosIndividuality is freedom lived.
Frederick DouglassI know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.
John DrydenOf all the tyrannies on human kind / the worst is that which persecutes the mind.
Wayne DunnThe fact that most people think that being selfish means harming one's fellow man, that pursuing one's own self-interest equates to behaving brutally or irrationally, is, as Ms. Rand noted, a 'psychological confession' on their part.  In fact it is against one's own long-term self-interest to behave irrationally or trample others. Such actions are the exact opposite of selfish -- they're self-destructive.
Abba EbanA statesman who keeps his ear permanently glued to the ground will have neither elegance of posture nor flexibility of movement.
Albert EinsteinNever do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
Albert EinsteinIt is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs.
Albert EinsteinA human being is a part of the whole, called by us, "Universe," a part
limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion
of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting
us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to
us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our
circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of
nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the
striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a
foundation for inner security.
W. Vaughn EllsworthPity the poor, wretched, timid soul, too faint hearted to resist his oppressors.
He sings the songs of the damned, 'I cannot resist, I have too much to lose,
they might take my property or confiscate my earnings,
what would my family do, how would they survive?'
He hides behind pretended family responsibility, failing to see that
the most glorious legacy that we can bequeath to our posterity is liberty!
Bergan EvansThe civilized man has a moral obligation to be skeptical, to demand the credentials of all statements that claim to be facts.
B. C. ForbesThe man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.
Jerome D. FrankIncreasingly constructive doubt is the sign of advancing civilization.
Felix FrankfurterThe mark of a truly civilized man is confidence in the strength and security derived from the inquiring mind.
Viktor FranklBeing tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.
Robert FrostFreedom lies in being bold.
Rick GaberA moderate is either someone who has no moral code of his own, or if he does, then he's someone who doesn't have the guts to take sides between good and evil.
John Kenneth GalbraithThe conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThe seven blunders that human society commits and cause all the violence: wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, and politics without principles.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiNon-violent resistance implies the very opposite of weakness. Defiance combined with non-retaliatory acceptance of repression from one's opponents is active, not passive. It requires strength, and there is nothing automatic or intuitive about the resoluteness required for using non-violent methods in political struggle and the quest for Truth.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThe moment the slave resolves that he will no longer be a slave, his fetters fall. ... Freedom and slavery are mental states. Therefore, the first thing to say to yourself: 'I shall no longer accept the role of a slave. I shall not obey orders as such but shall disobey them when they are in conflict with my conscience'.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiWhat difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless,
whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism
or the holy name of liberty and democracy?
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiThe things that will destroy us are: politics without principle; pleasure without conscience; wealth without work; knowledge without character; business without morality; science without humanity; and worship without sacrifice.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiHonest differences are a healthy sign of progress.
Mahatma Mohandas K. GandhiA 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.
Helen H. GardnerThe most fatal blow to progress is slavery of the intellect. The most sacred right of humanity is the right to think, and next to the right to think is the right to express that thought without fear.
Jason GardnerIt's difficult to view the world outside our human context. Staying alive and paying the bills both require our attention squarely fixed on our own business. Our sprawling cities and suburbs are wonderful and frightening tributes to creative self-absorption. In them, we spend our microscheduled days bustling between work and the endless details of our private lives, turning in our moments of rest to the buzzing distractions of television and computers - all accelerating toward some ultimate, unseen fulfillment of convenience and hyperreality. Little encourages us to pause and look around, much less question the end goal of all our busyness. Anything slower than the quick cuts of TV commercials is overwhelmed by our impatience and short attention. Unfortunately, we might be missing something important - to our happiness and to our survival.
James A. GarfieldI love agitation and investigation and glory in defending unpopular truth against popular error.
William Lloyd GarrisonAre right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion?
Khalil GibranThe smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.
Khalil GibranIf it’s a despot you would dethrone, see first that his throne erected within you is destroyed.
John C. GiffordOne man can completely change
the character of a country,
and the industry of its people,
by dropping a single seed
in fertile soil.
Samuel P. GinderIf moral behavior were simply following rules, we could program a computer to be moral.
Josiah William GittHumanity's most valuable assets have been the non-conformists. Were it not for the non-conformists, he who refuses to be satisfied to go along with the continuance of things as they are, and insists upon attempting to find new ways of bettering things, the world would have known little progress, indeed.
William GodwinWhenever government assumes to deliver us from the trouble of thinking for ourselves, the only consequences it produces are those of torpor and imbecility.
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheMerely to breathe freely does not mean to live.
[Ger., Frei athmen macht das Leben nicht allein.]
Johann Wolfgang von GoetheThe unnatural, that too is natural.
Emma GoldmanThere is no greater fallacy than the belief that aims and purposes are one thing, while methods and tactics are another… All human experience teaches that methods and means cannot be separated from the ultimate aim.
John GoodwinFreedom 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.
Alexander HaigThat's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude.
Judge Learned HandI often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon law and upon courts. These are false hopes, believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no courts to save it.
Judge Learned HandThe spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women...
Learned HandWhat do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it… What is this liberty that must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not the freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check on their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few -- as we have learned to our sorrow. What then is the spirit of liberty? I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interests alongside its own without bias...
Elizabeth HarrisonThose who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.
B. H. Liddell HartThe profoundest truth of war is that the issue of battle is usually decided in the minds of the opposing commanders, not in the bodies of their men.
Friedrich August von HayekEven more significant of the inherent weakness of the collectivist theories is the extraordinary paradox that from the assertion that society is in some sense more than merely the aggregate of all individuals their adherents regularly pass by a sort of intellectual somersault to the thesis that in order that the coherence of this larger entity be safeguarded it must be subjected to conscious control, that is, to the control of what in the last resort must be an individual mind. It thus comes about that in practice it is regularly the theoretical collectivist who extols individual reason and demands that all forces of society be made subject to the direction of a single mastermind, while it is the individualist who recognizes the limitations of the powers of individual reason and consequently advocates freedom as a means for the fullest development of the powers of the interindividual process.
Friedrich August von HayekFrom the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.
Friedrich August von HayekHuman reason can neither predict nor deliberately shape its own future. Its advances consist in finding out where it has been wrong.
Friedrich August von HayekA society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.
Heinrich HeineWhenever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
Robert A. HeinleinI am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Ernest HemingwayEveryone has his own conscience, and there should be no rules about how a conscience should function.
Patrick HenryBad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of freemen. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.
Patrick HenryGuard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect
every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will
preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force,
you are inevitably ruined.
HeraclitusWhosoever wishes to know about the world
must learn about it in its particular details.
Knowledge is not intelligence.
In searching for the truth be ready for the unexpected.
Change alone is unchanging.
The same road goes both up and down.
The beginning of a circle is also its end.
Not I, but the world says it: all is one.
And yet everything comes in season.
HeraclitusMan's character is his fate.
L. M. HerouxMake sure what you risk is yours to lose.
Herman HesseAny attempt to replace a personal conscience by a collective conscience does violence to the individual and is the first step toward totalitarianism.
HillelWhat is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow; that is the whole Law: all the rest is interpretation.
Eric HofferIt is doubtful if the oppressed ever fight for freedom. They fight for pride and power -- power to oppress others. The oppressed want above all to imitate their oppressors; they want to retaliate.
Eric HofferTo some, freedom means the opportunity to do what they want to do; to most it means not to do what they do not want to do. It is perhaps true that those who can grow will feel free under any condition.
George Jacob HolyoakeThere can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth.
Herbert HooverIt [freedom] is a thing of the spirit. Men must be free to worship, to think, to hold opinions, to speak without fear. They must be free to challenge wrong and oppression with the surety of justice.
Herbert HooverFreedom conceives that the mind and spirit of man can be free only if he is free to pattern his own life, to develop his own talents, free to earn, to spend, to save, to acquire property as the security of his old age and his family.
Victor HugoFreedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.
Robert M. HutchinsA civilization in which there is not a continuous controversy about important issues…is on the way to totalitarianism and death.
Aldous HuxleyThe end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.
Hypatia of AlexandriaReserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.
Robert G. IngersollMental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.
Robert G. IngersollThe real searcher after truth will not receive the old because it is old, or reject the new because it is new. He will not believe men because they are dead, or contradict them because they are alive. With him an utterance is worth the truth, the reason it contains, without the slightest regard to the author. He may have been a king or serf -- a philosopher or servant, -- but the utterance neither gains nor loses in truth or reason. Its value is absolutely independent of the fame or station of the man who gave it to the world.
Robert G. IngersollIf there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant. I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr. clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb, at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear? I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent, throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena.
Robert G. IngersollCourage without conscience is a wild beast.
Eugene IonescoIt is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
Justice Robert H. JacksonOur forefathers found the evils of free thinking more to be endured than the evils of inquest or suppression. This is because thoughtful, bold and independent minds are essential to the wise and considered self-government.
Justice Robert H. JacksonCivil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others simply because their consciences tell them to do so.
Helmuth JamesSince National Socialism came to power, I have striven to make its consequences milder for its victims and to prepare the way for a change. In that, my conscience drove me -- and in the end, that is a man's duty.
Helmuth JamesToday, not a numerous, but an active part of the German people are beginning to realize, not that they have been led astray, not that bad times await them, not that the war may end in defeat, but that what is happening is sin and that they are personally responsible for each terrible deed that has been committed -- naturally, not in the earthly sense, but as Christians.
Thomas JeffersonReason and free inquiry are the only effective agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error and error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free inquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free inquiry been indulged at the era of the Reformation, the corruption of Christianity could not have been purged away.
Thomas JeffersonAn elective despotism was not the government we fought for, but one which should not only be founded on true free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among general bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectually checked and restrained by the others.
Thomas JeffersonI never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to Heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.
Thomas JeffersonOur particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our god alone. I enquire after no man's and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friend's or our foe's, are exactly the right.
Thomas JeffersonTo preserve the freedom
of the human mind then
and freedom of the press,
every spirit should be ready
to devote itself to martyrdom.
Thomas JeffersonThe error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. ... Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food.
Thomas JeffersonIt behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.
Jesus of NazarethWhat good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?
Dr. Samuel JohnsonThe true measure of a man
is how he treats someone
who can do him absolutely no good.
Dr. Samuel JohnsonIn questions of law or of fact conscience is very often confounded with opinion. No man’s conscience can tell him the rights of another man; they must be known by rational investigation or historical inquiry.
Carl Gustav JungSentimentality
is a superstructure
covering brutality.
JuvenalCount it the greatest sin to prefer life to honor, and for the sake of living to lose what makes life worth having.
Franz KafkaI think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
Garrison KeillorYou taught me to be nice, so nice that now I am so full of niceness, I have no sense of right and wrong, no outrage, no passion.
Walt KellyWe have met the enemy and he is us.
Thomas KempisActivate yourself to duty by remembering your position, who you are, and what you have obliged yourself to be.
George F. KennanThe truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the market place of ideas -- complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemmas, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse.
John F. KennedyThe wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.
John F. KennedyA man does what he must -- in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers -- and this is the basis of all human morality.
Robert F. KennedyThe problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use -- of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.
Alan KeyesCharacter is the accumulated confidence that individual men and women acquire from years of doing the right thing, over and over again, even when they don't feel like it. People with character understand that their lives are filled with events and choices that are significant, above all, not because of the short term success or failure of the search for money or position, but because the choices we make are actually making us into one kind of person, or another. Our life of choices is a life-long labor to make ourselves into a person who has begun to respond adequately to the awesome gift we received from God when He made us in His image.
Alan KeyesThe act of voting is one opportunity for us to remember that our whole way of life is predicated on the capacity of ordinary people to judge carefully and well.
Jamaica KincaidExpress everything you like. No word can hurt you. None. No idea can hurt you. Not being able to express an idea or word will hurt you more. Like a bullet.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law ... That would lead to anarchy. An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and consciencious stupidity.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.There comes a time when a moral man can't obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.The means by which we live
have outdistanced
the ends for which we live.
Our scientific power has outrun
our spiritual power.
We have guided missiles
and misguided men.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.I firmly believe that the Gandhian philosophy of nonviolent resistance is the only logical and moral approach to the solution of the race problem in the United States.
Michael KinsleyAnything that keeps a politician humble is healthy for democracy.
Harold J. LaskiThe only real security for social well-being is the free exercise of men’s minds.
Stanislaw Jerszy LecOne has to multiply thoughts to the point where there aren't enough policemen to control them.
Robert E. LeeIt is well that war is so terrible -- we should grow too fond of it.
Robert E. LeeYou must study to be frank with the world: frankness is the child of honesty and courage. Say just what you mean to do on every occasion, and take it for granted that you mean to do right.
C. S. LewisTo live his life in his own way, to call his house his castle, to enjoy the fruits of his own labour, to educate his children as his conscience directs, to save for their prosperity after his death --- these are wishes deeply ingrained in civilised man. Their realization is almost as necessary to our virtues as to our happiness. From their total frustration disastrous results both moral and psychological might follow.
C. S. LewisOf all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.
C. S. LewisHitherto the plans of the educationalists have achieved very little of what they attempted, and indeed we may well thank the beneficent obstinacy of real mothers, real nurses, and (above all) real children for preserving the human race in such sanity as it still possesses.
C. S. LewisOf all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C. S. LewisOf all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive... To be 'cured' against one's will and cured of states which we may not even regard as disease is to be put on a level with those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals. For if crime and disease are to be regarded as the same thing, it follows that any state of mind which our masters choose to call 'disease' can be treated as a crime; and compulsorily cured. Even if the treatment is painful, even if it is life-long, even if it is fatal, that will be only a regrettable accident; the intention was purely therapeutic.
Abraham LincolnNearly all men can withstand adversity; if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
Charles A. Lindbergh, Sr.A radical is one who speaks the truth.
John LockeAny single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
John Locke[W]henever the legislators endeavour to take away, and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any farther obedience, and are left to the common refuge, which God hath provided for all men, against force and violence. Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty ...
Henry Wadsworth LongfellowWe judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.
James Russell LowellAnd I honor the man \\ who is willing to sink \\ Half his present repute \\ for the freedom to think \\ And, when he has thought, \\ be his cause strong or weak \\ Will risk t’ other half \\ for the freedom to speak.
James Russell LowellAnd I honor the man who is willing to sink half his present repute for the freedom to think, and, when he has thought, be his cause strong or weak, Will risk t' other half for the freedom to speak.
John LubbockIf we are ever in doubt about what to do, it is a good rule to ask ourselves what we shall wish on the morrow that we had done.
Mary LyonThere is nothing in the universe that I fear, but that I shall not know all my duty, or shall fail to do it.
Lord George LyttletonTo argue against any breach of liberty from the ill use that may be made of it, is to argue against liberty itself, since all is capable of being abused.
General Douglas MacArthurLast, but by no means least, courage -- moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle -- the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.
Antonio MachadoThere is no way; we make the road by walking it.
Archibald MacLeishFreedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice. Without the possibility of choice and the exercise of choice a man is not a man but a member, an instrument, a thing.
James MadisonWhilst we assert a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to choose minds who have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us.
James MadisonWith respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.
MaimonidesTruth does not become more true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.
Morris MandelAlways put off until tomorrow what you shouldn't do at all.
Thomas MannIt is impossible for ideas to compete in the marketplace if no forum for their presentation is provided or available.
Orison Swett MardenTo many a man, and sometimes to a youth,
there comes the opportunity to choose
between honorable competence and tainted wealth.
The young man who starts out to be poor and honorable,
holds in his hand one of the strongest elements of success.
George MasonNow all acts of legislature apparently contrary to natural right and justice, are, in our laws, and must be in the nature of things, considered as void. The laws of nature are the laws of God: A legislature must not obstruct our obedience to him from whose punishments they cannot protect us. All human constitutions which contradict His laws, we are in conscience bound to disobey. Such have been the adjudications of our courts of justice.
Rollo MayHuman freedom involves the capacity to pause, to choose the one response toward which we wish to throw our weight.
Benjamin E. MaysWe, today, stand on the shoulders of our predecessors who have gone before us. We, as their successors, must catch the torch of freedom and liberty passed on to us by our ancestors. We cannot lose this battle.
Giuseppe MazziniLiberty, understood by materialists as the right to do or not to do anything not directly injurious to others, we understand as the faculty of choosing, among the various modes of fulfilling duty, those most in harmony with our own tendencies.
Donald S. McAlvaneyIn every declining civilization there is a small "remnant" of people who adhere to the right against the wrong; who recognize the difference between good and evil and who will take an active stand for the former and against the latter; who can still think and discern and who will courageously take a stand against the political, social, moral, and spiritual rot or decay of their day.
Herman MelvilleIt is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
H. L. MenckenThe notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country
more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a
good citizen driven to despair.
H. L. MenckenEvery decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. MenckenHuman progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.
H. L. MenckenConscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody is looking.
H. L. MenckenAll I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.
John Stuart MillThe great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief. Yet so natural to mankind is intolerance in whatever they really care about, that religious freedom has hardly anywhere been practically realised, except where religious indifference, which dislikes to have its peace disturbed by theological quarrels, has added its weight to the scale.
John Stuart MillProtection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.
John MiltonGive me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
James MonroeOf the liberty of conscience in matters of religious faith, of speech and of the press; of the trial by jury of the vicinage in civil and criminal cases; of the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms.... If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny.
J. P. MorganA man always has two reasons for what he does -- a good one, and the real one.
Bill MoyersIf you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press... They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds.
Bert MurrayConscience is that still, small voice that is sometimes too loud for comfort.
Ogden NashThere is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball,\\
And that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.
Friedrich NietzscheSocialism itself can hope to exist only for brief periods here and there, and then only through the exercise of the extremest terrorism. For this reason it is secretly preparing itself for rule through fear and is driving the word “justice” into the heads of the half-educated masses like a nail so as to rob them of their reason... and to create in them a good conscience for the evil game they are to play.
Gerhard OestreichNo external force will ever succeed in making you 'want what you do not want and believe what you do not believe'. A man may take my life, but not my faith.
J. Robert OppenheimerAs long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost and science can never regress.
Thomas PaineI do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.
Thomas PaineI have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.
Thomas PaineBut if you say, you can still pass the violations over, then I ask, hath your house been burnt? Hath your property been destroyed before your face? Are your wife and children destitute of a bed to lie on, or bread to live on? Have you lost a parent or a child by their hands, and yourself the ruined and wretched survivor? If you have not, then you are not a judge of those who have. But if you have, and can still shake hands with the murderers, then you are unworthy of the name of husband, father, friend, or lover, and whatever may be your rank or title in life, you have the heart of a coward and the spirit of a sycophant.
Alan PatonYou ask yourself not if this or that is expedient, but if it is right.
St. PeterTherefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Everett PiperHonesty demands that we boldly pursue ideas tested by time, defended by reason, validated by experience, and confirmed by revelation. We will only find truth when we place our confidence in it and not in ourselves. We will only learn when we love truth enough to measure all ideas with a measuring rod outside of those things being measured and are willing to discard those ideas we find to be "intolerable," inferior, and useless.
Everett PiperHistory has taught us time and again that political power always raises its angry fist when timeless principles are lost. We know that without the scale of "self-evident truths" grounded in the "laws of nature and nature's God," every culture eventually finds itself subject to the rule of the gang or the tyranny of the individual. Recognizing this, scholars of all ages have confidently given their hearts and minds to the words, "You shall know the truth and the
truth shall set you free.
PlatoGood people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.
PlatoThe worst of all deceptions is self-deception.
PlatoBe kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
PlutarchWhat we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
Sir Karl PopperThere is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions… It obviously endangers the freedom and the objectivity of our discussion if we attack a person instead of attacking an opinion or, more precisely, a theory.
Anne Bowen PoulinThe power of nullification plays an important role in the criminal justice system. ... Because an accused criminal is restricted in the defenses he or she can raise, the law recognizes only certain defenses and justification, and correspondingly, limited evidence. The jury’s power to nullify provides an accommodation between the rigidity of the law and the need to hear and respond to positions that do not fit legal pigeonholes, such as claims of spousal abuse before the battered-spouse syndrome received acceptance. Jury nullification permits the jury to respond to a position that does not have the status of a legally recognized defense. The power to nullify guarantees that the jury is free to speak as the conscience of the community.
ProverbObservation, and not old age, brings wisdom.
ProverbsThe simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.
Snell PutneyThere is no inherent misdirection in holding unorthodox views. Indeed, the autonomous individual, free from compulsive conformance and unquestioned assumptions, is likely to be unorthodox... They stimulate the climate of controversy without which political democracy becomes an empty formalism.
Ayn RandWhen you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion -- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richer by graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know that your society is doomed.
Ayn RandThe secret dread of modern intellectuals, liberals and conservatives alike, the unadmitted terror at the root of their anxiety, which all of their current irrationalities are intended to stave off and to disguise, is the unstated knowledge that Soviet Russia is the full, actual, literal, consistent embodiment of the morality of altruism, that Stalin did not corrupt a noble ideal, that this is the only way altruism has to be or can ever be practiced.  If service and self-sacrifice are a moral ideal, and if the "selfishness" of human nature prevents men from leaping into sacrificial furnaces, there is no reason -- no reason that a mystic moralist could name -- why a dictator should not push them in at the point of bayonets -- for their own good, or the good of humanity, or the good of posterity, or the good of the latest bureaucrat's five-year plan.  There is no reason that they can name to oppose any atrocity.  The value of a man's life?  His right to exist?  His right to pursue his own happiness?  These are concepts that belong to individualism and capitalism -- to the antithesis of the altruist morality.
Ayn RandIndependence is the recognition of the fact that yours is the responsibility of judgement and nothing can help you escape it -- that no substitute can do your thinking, as no pinch-hitter can live your life.
Ayn Rand...and we must consider," Austen Heller was saying unemotionally, "that
since--unfortunately--we are forced to live together, the most important thing
for us to remember is that the only way in which we can have any law at all is
to have as little of it as possible. I see no ethical standard to which to
measure the whole unethical conception of a State, except in the amount of time,
of thought, of money, of effort and of obedience, which a society extorts from
its every member. Its value and its civilization are in inverse ratio to that
extortion. There is no conceivable law by which a man can be forced to work on
any terms except those he chooses to set. There is no conceivable law to prevent
him from setting them--just as there is none to force his employer to accept
them. The freedom to agree or disagree is the foundation of our kind of
society--and the freedom to strike is a part of it. I am mentioning this as a
reminder to a certain Petronius from Hell’s Kitchen, an exquisite bastard who
has been rather noisy lately about telling us that this strike represents a
destruction of law and order.
William Winwood ReadeWhat a state of society is this in which freethinker is a term of abuse, and in which doubt is regarded as sin?
Ronald ReaganNo arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.
James RestonThe rising power of the United States in world affairs ... requires, not a more compliant press, but a relentless barrage of facts and criticism ... Our job in this age, as I see it, is not to serve as cheerleaders for our side ... but to help the largest possible number of people to see the realities.
Jean Paul RichterIndividuality is to be preserved and respected everywhere, as the root of everything good.
Michael RiveroMost people prefer to believe that their leaders are just and fair, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, because once a citizen acknowledges that the government under which he lives is lying and corrupt, the citizen has to choose what he or she will do about it. To take action in the face of corrupt government entails risks of harm to life and loved ones. To choose to do nothing is to surrender one's self-image of standing for principles. Most people do not have the courage to face that choice. Hence, most propaganda is not designed to fool the critical thinker but only to give moral cowards an excuse not to think at all.
Franklin D. RooseveltThe saving grace of America lies in the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities -- a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.
Theodore Roosevelt'Liar' is just as ugly a word as 'thief,' because it implies the presence of just as ugly a sin in one case as in the other. If a man lies under oath or procures the lie of another under oath, if he perjures himself or suborns perjury, he is guilty under the statute law.
Theodore RooseveltTo announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
Theodore RooseveltWe cannot afford to differ on the question of honesty if we expect our republic permanently to endure. Honesty is not so much a credit as an absolute prerequisite to efficient service to the public. Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life; it matters not how brilliant his capacity.
Jean-Jacques RousseauThere is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom for in that way one captures volition itself.
Bertrand RussellIn all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
Bertrand RussellThe essence of the liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being viewed dogmatically, they are held tentatively, with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.
Bertrand RussellIt is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions make it impossible to earn a living.
Bertrand RussellThe practical objection to Puritanism, as to every form of fanaticism, is that it singles out certain evils as so much worse than others that they must suppressed at all costs. The fanatic fails to recognise that the suppression of a real evil, if carried out too drastically , produces other evils which are even greater.
Edward G. RyanBlind submission to the Administration of the government is not devotion to the country or the Constitution. The administration is not the government.
Carl SaganThere is a lurking fear that some things are not meant “to be known,” that some inquiries are too dangerous for human beings to make.
Andrei SakharovProfound insights arise only in debate, with a possibility of counterargument, only when there is a possibility of expressing not only correct ideas but also dubious ideas.
George SantayanaTo knock a thing down,
especially if it is cocked
at an arrogant angle,
is a deep delight
of the blood.
John ScharrSurely a large part of the zealous repression of radical protest in America has its roots in the fact that millions of men who are apparently “insiders” know how vulnerable the system is because they know how ambiguous their own attachments to it are. The slightest challenge exposes the fragile foundations of legitimacy of the state.
Eric SchaubLife is but a blink,
and it matters.
Eric SchaubIt takes two wings to fly.
Eric SchaubThe process of liberation is continuous.
Eric SchaubSome truths need to be learned from the inside.
Eric SchaubThe truth doesn't sell. It is high in supply, but low in demand.
Bruce SchneierIt is poor civic hygiene to install technologies that could someday facilitate a police state.
Carl SchurzIf you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other.
Albert SchweitzerI have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.
Lucius Annaeus SenecaFreedom can't be kept for nothing. If you set a high value on liberty, you must set a low value on everything else.
Butler D. ShafferOur lack of constant awareness has also permitted us to accept definitions of freedom that are not necessarily consistent with the actuality of being free. Because we have learned to confuse the word with the reality the word seeks to describe, our vocabulary has become riddled with distorted and contradictory meanings smuggled into the language.
George Bernard ShawLife does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
George Bernard ShawIt is the deed that teaches, not the name we give it. Murder and capital punishment are not opposites that cancel one another, but similars that breed their own kind.
Leo ShestovHeretics were often most bitterly persecuted for their least deviation from accepted belief. It was precisely their obstinacy about trifles that irritated the righteous to madness. Why can they not yield on so trifling a matter?
Johann SigurjonssonIf we were all to be judged by our thoughts, the hills would be swarming with outlaws.
Adam SmithIt is not the benevolence of the butcher, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard
to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their
advantages.
SolonWe can have justice whenever those who have not been injured by injustice are as outraged by it as those who have been.
Baruch SpinozaPeace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.
Lysander SpoonerIf, then, it became so difficult, so nearly impossible, in most cases, to determine what is, and what is not, vice; and especially if it be so difficult, in nearly all cases, to determine where virtue ends, and vice begins; and if these questions, which no one can really and truly determine for anybody but himself, are not to be left free and open for experiment by all, each person is deprived of the highest of all his rights as a human being, to wit: his right to inquire, investigate, reason, try experiments, judge, and ascertain for himself, what is, to him,virtue, and what is, to him, vice; in other words: what, on the whole, conduces to his happiness, and what, on the whole, tends to his unhappiness. If this great right is not to be left free and open to all, then each man’s whole right, as a reasoning human being, to "liberty and the pursuit of happiness," is denied him.
Lysander SpoonerIf those persons, who fancy themselves gifted with both the power and the right to define and punish other men’s vices, would but turn their thoughts inwardly, they would probably find that they have a great work to do at home; and that, when that shall have been completed, they will be little disposed to do more towards correcting the vices of others, than simply to give to others the results of their experience and observation.
Lysander SpoonerFor more than six hundred years -- that is, since the Magna Carta in 1215 -- there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust, oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating or
resisting the execution of such laws.
Josef StalinOne death is a tragedy, but a million deaths are a statistic.
John SteinbeckAnd this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in all the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
Justice John Paul StevensThe government must pursue a course of complete neutrality toward religion.
Adlai E. Stevenson IIIf we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow it wherever the search may lead us.
Justice Potter Stewart[A] function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve it’s high purpose when it indices a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with things as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for understanding.
Harlan F. StoneIf a juror feels that the statute involved in any criminal offence is unfair, or that it infringes upon the defendant's natural god-given unalienable or constitutional rights, then it is his duty to affirm that the offending statute is really no law at all and that the violation of it is no crime at all, for no one is bound to obey an unjust law.
William Graham Sumner
William Graham SumnerIf I want to be free from any other man’s dictation,
I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
William Graham SumnerIf I want to be free from any other man’s dictation, I must understand that I can have no other man under my control.
Jonathan SwiftLiberty of conscience is nowadays only understood to be the liberty of believing what men please, but also of endeavoring to propagate that belief as much as they can.
Henry TaylorConscience is, in most, an anticipation of the opinion of others.
TecumsehLive your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.\\
Trouble no one about his religion.\\
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.\\
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.\\
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.\\
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.\\
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.\\
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.\\
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. \\
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.\\
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.\\
When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.\\
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
TertullianIt is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions. One man’s religion neither harms nor helps another man. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion, to which free will and not force should lead us.
William Makepeace ThackerayTo endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forgo even ambition when the end is gained -- who can say this is not greatness?
The PrisonerI may die a beggar, but with the Grace of God, I will not die a slave. I will not be filed, stamped, briefed, debriefed, or numbered... My life is my own.
Prof. Clifford ThiesThus, individualism is not antithetical to community. Rather, it can involve free association and a belief in an over-arching harmony of interests. In a free socety, individuals join with others because of love and mutual benefit, not because they are programmed or coerced.
Henry David ThoreauMust a citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a
conscience, then? It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right.
Henry David ThoreauTo be awake is to be alive.
Henry David ThoreauOthers -- as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders -- serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as they rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil, without intending it, as God. A very few -- as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men -- serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part ...
Henry David ThoreauLet us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe... till we come to the hard bottom of rocks in place, which we can call reality.
Henry David ThoreauIf a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Henry David ThoreauTo speak practically and as a citizen, unlike those who call themselves no-government men, I ask for, not at once no government, but at once a better government. Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it. After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule, is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases cannot be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience, then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents of injustice.
Leo Nikolaevich TolstoiHypocrisy is anything whatever may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it, and is revolted by it, however ingeniously it may be disguised.
Phil Trieb[I]f we won’t choose to pay the price of liberty, then by default we shall suffer the cost of servitude -- whether it be the iron chains of a
tyrannical oligarchy or the regulatory chains of unelected, faceless bureaucrats. When we witness our neighbors abused by tyrants, will we skulk
away and hope we’re not next? Or will we stand by them and challenge -- as freedom-loving Americans -- the tyranny of lawless leaders.
Harry S. TrumanWhen even one American -- who has done nothing wrong -- is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.
Mark TwainIt is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
Mark TwainIt were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.
Mark TwainMy kind of loyalty was to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.
Mark TwainIt is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
Mark TwainLoyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
Mark TwainDuties are not performed for duty's sake, but because their neglect would make the man uncomfortable. A man performs but one duty -- the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself.
UnknownIntegrity is not a conditional word.
It doesn't blow in the wind or change with the weather.
It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there
and see a man who won't cheat, then you know he never will.
John UpdikeThe essential support and encouragement comes from within, arising out of the mad notion that your society needs to know what only you can tell it.
Armando ValladaresJust as there is a very short distance between the U.S. and Cuba, there is a very short distance between a democracy and a dictatorship where the government gets to decide what to do, how to think, and how to live. And sometimes your freedom is not taken away at gunpoint, but instead it is done one piece of paper at a time, one seemingly meaningless rule at a time, one small silencing at a time. Never allow the government – or anyone else – to tell you what you can or cannot believe or what you can and cannot say or what your conscience tells you to have to do or not do.
Veterans Fast for LifeThe soul of our country needs to be awakened...
When leaders act contrary to conscience,
we must act contrary to leaders.
VoltaireMany are destined to reason wrongly; others, not to reason at all; and others to persecute those who do reason.
VoltaireOur wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
VoltaireThe safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death.
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.We are what we pretend to be.
Earl WarrenMere unorthodoxy or dissent from the prevailing mores is not to be condemned. The absence of such voices would be a symptom of grave illness to our society.
George WashingtonIt should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.
George WashingtonIf men are to be precluded from offering their sentiments on a matter which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences that can invite the consideration of mankind, reason is of no use; the freedom of speech may be taken away, and dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
J. C. Watts, Jr.Character is doing what's right when nobody's looking.
Josiah C. WedgwoodMen must have the right of choice, even to choose wrong, if he shall ever learn to choose right.
Oscar WildeSelfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.
Oscar WildeSociety produces rogues, and education makes one rogue cleverer than another.
Walter E. WilliamsWe should view our government the way we should a friendly, cuddly lion. Just because he’s friendly and cuddly shouldn’t blind us to the fact that he’s still got teeth and claws.
Woodrow WilsonThere is such a thing as a nation being so right it does not need to convince others by force that it is right.
John WoodenConsider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.
Yale Law JournalThe right of the jury to decide questions of law was widely recognized in the colonies. In 1771, John Adams stated
unequivocally that a juror should ignore a judge’s instruction on the law if it violates fundamental principles: “It is not only ... [the juror’s] right, but his duty, in that case, to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the
direction of the court.” There is much evidence of the general acceptance of this principle in the period immediately after the Constitution was
adopted.
Yale UniversityAcademic freedom means the right, long accepted in the academic world, to study, discuss, and write about facts and ideas without restrictions, other than those imposed by conscience and morality.
Frank ZappaDrop out of school before your mind rots from exposure to our mediocre educational system.
Forget about the Senior Prom and go to the library and educate yourself if you've got any guts.
Some of you like pep rallies and plastic robots who tell you what to read.
Forget I mentioned it... Rise for the flag salute.
Peter ZarlengaI am thought.
I can see what the eyes cannot see.
I can hear what the ears cannot hear.
I can feel what the heart cannot feel.
Yet I create Beauty for the eyes,
Music for the ears,
Love for the heart.
They, ignorant of their ignorance, call me cold.
Barren of Sight.
Barren of Sound.
Barren of Feeling.
But it is I who am from which all comes.
Given to the ungrateful.
Unseen.
Unheard.
Unfelt.
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