The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.
more Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. quotes
To speak his thoughts is every freeman's right, in peace and war, in council and in fight.
more Homer quotes
To silence criticism is to silence freedom.
more Sidney Hook quotes
It [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.
more Herbert Hoover quotes
Freedom 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.
more Herbert Hoover quotes
“Painters and poets,” you say, “have always had an equal license in bold invention.” We know; we claim the liberty for ourselves and in turn we give it to others.
more Horace quotes
We should not believe that because ours is a freer, more democratic society, the same imprinting procedure has not occurred even here, in America. Every generation of school-age children has imprinted upon it a politically correct ideology concerning America's past and the sanctity of the role of the state in society. Practically every child in the public school system learns that the "robber barons" of the 19th century exploited the common working man; that unregulated capitalism needed to be harnessed by enlightened government regulation beginning in the Progressive era at the turn of the century; that Wild Wall Street speculation was a primary cause of the Great Depression; that only Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal saved America from catastrophe; and that American intervention in foreign wars has been necessary and inevitable, with the United States government required to be a global leader and an occasional world policeman.
more Jacob G. Hornberger quotes
It is the essence of the institutions of liberty that it be recognized that guilt is personal and cannot be attributed to the holding of opinions or to mere intent in the absence of overt acts.
more Justice Charles Evans Hughes quotes
Freedom in art, freedom in society, this is the double goal towards which all consistent and logical minds must strive.
more Victor Hugo quotes
Nothing appears more surprising to those who consider human affairs with a philosophical eye, than the ease with which the many are governed by the few.
more David Hume quotes
Education is a kind of continuing dialogue, and a dialogue assumes different points of view.
more Robert M. Hutchins quotes
The policy of the repression of ideas cannot work and never has worked. The alternative to it is the long difficult road of education. To this the American people have committed.
more Robert M. Hutchins quotes
Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.
more Thomas Henry Huxley quotes
Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man. Without liberty, the brain is a dungeon, where the chained thoughts die with their pinions pressed against the hingeless doors.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
Intellectual liberty is the air of the soul, the sunshine of the mind, and without it, the world is a prison, the universe is a dungeon.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and his fellow men.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
They say the religion of your fathers is good enough. Why should a father object to your inventing a better plow than he had? They say to me, do you know more than all the theologians dead? Being a perfectly modest man I say I think I do. Now we have come to the conclusion that every man has a right to think. Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn't make a decent thief. When I read a book and don't believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
more Eugene Ionesco quotes
Our 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.
more Justice Robert H. Jackson quotes
Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only a unanimity at the graveyard.
more Justice Robert H. Jackson quotes
The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish.
more Justice Robert H. Jackson quotes
If you believe everything you read, you better not read.
more Japanese Proverb quotes
And, finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
It has been a source of great pain to me to have met with so many among [my] opponents who had not the liberality to distinguish between political and social opposition; who transferred at once to the person, the hatred they bore to his political opinions.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
I 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.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
I am not fully informed of the practices at Harvard, but there is one from which we shall certainly vary, although it has been copied, I believe, by nearly every college and academy in the United States. That is, the holding the students all to one prescribed course of reading, and disallowing exclusive application to those branches only which are to qualify them for the particular vocations to which they are destined. We shall, on the contrary, allow them uncontrolled choice in the lectures they shall choose to attend, and require elementary qualification only, and sufficient age.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Is it a right or a duty in society to take care of their infant members in opposition to the will of the parent? How far does this right and duty extend? --to guard the life of the infant, his property, his instruction, his morals? The Roman father was supreme in all these: we draw a line, but where? --public sentiment does not seem to have traced it precisely... It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father... What is proposed... is to remove the objection of expense, by offering education gratis, and to strengthen parental excitement by the disfranchisement of his child while uneducated. Society has certainly a right to disavow him whom they offer, and are permitted to qualify for the duties of a citizen. If we do not force instruction, let us at least strengthen the motives to receive it when offered.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Reason 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.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
I have indeed two great measures at heart, without which no republic can maintain itself in strength: 1. That of general education, to enable every man to judge for himself what will secure or endanger his freedom. 2. To divide every county into hundreds, of such size that all the children of each will be within reach of a central school in it.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
...truth is great and will prevail if left to herself; that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Every man should know that his conversations, his correspondence, and his personal life are private.
more Lyndon B. Johnson quotes
I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more. I will tell you in my way how the Indian sees things. The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian... we can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike.... give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. You might as well expect the rivers to run backward as that any man who is born a free man should be contented when penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. Let me be a free man...free to travel... free to stop...free to work...free to choose my own teachers...free to follow the religion of my Fathers...free to think and talk and act for myself.
more Chief Joseph quotes
Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself -- and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
more Chief Joseph quotes
Rational argument can be conducted with some prospect of success only so long as the emotionality of a given situation does not exceed a certain critical degree. If the affective temperature rises above this level, the possibility of reason’s having any effect ceases and its place is taken by slogans and chimerical wish fantasies. That is to say, a sort of collective possession results which rapidly develops into a psychic epidemic.
more Carl Jung quotes
A shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
more Carl Gustav Jung quotes
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
more Franz Kafka quotes
Freedom is independence of the compulsory will of another, and in so far as it tends to exist with the freedom of all according to a universal law, it is the one sole original inborn right belonging to every man in virtue of his humanity.
more Immanuel Kant quotes
As long as man remains an inquiring animal, there can never be a complete unanimity in our fundamental beliefs. The more diverse our paths, the greater is likely to be the divergence of beliefs.
more Sir Arthur Keith quotes
Dividing the political positions into liberal versus conservative is itself a leading example of [an old conceptual framework that organizes the world into categories and stereotypes] shared by journalists and media activists alike. As a result, it has taken decades for libertarians in the United States to break through this conventional view of the political spectrum and gain recognition as a distinct point of view. Over and above any hostility journalists had to free-market views, there was no conceptual space within their conventional wisdom for a political philosophy that combined free markets and free minds.
more David Kelley quotes
The truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the market place of ideas -- complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemmas, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse.
more George F. Kennan quotes
The 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.
more John F. Kennedy quotes
Express 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.
more Jamaica Kincaid quotes
In their tendencies toward tolerance, openmindedness, faith in people and lack of authoritarianism, selfactualizers do appear to possess psychic strengths which allow them to work well in situations marked by a diversity of viewpoints.
more Jeanne Knutson quotes
True individualists tend to be quite unobservant; it is the snob, the... sophisticate, the frightened conformist, who keeps a fascinated or worried eye on what is in the wind.
more Louis Kronenberger quotes
...as an economics professor I am by nature inclined to the view that the truth isn't out there, it's in here - that usually you learn a lot more by thinking really hard about the data than you do by sniffing around for supposedly inside information.
more Paul Krugman quotes
Free inquiry requires that we tolerate diversity of opinion and that we respect the right of individuals to express their beliefs, however unpopular they may be, without social or legal prohibition or fear of success.
more Paul Kurtz quotes
Free inquiry entails recognition of civil liberties as integral to its pursuit, that is, a free press, freedom of communication, the right to organize opposition parties and to join voluntary associations, and freedom to cultivate and publish the fruits of scientific, philosophical, artistic, literary, moral and religious freedom.
more Paul Kurtz quotes
The only real security for social well-being is the free exercise of men’s minds.
more Harold J. Laski quotes
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