The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning.... And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your legs and hands, and fly into your face and eyes.
more John Adams quotes
To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.
more Cardnial Robert Bellarmine quotes
[Heresy is] the dislocation of a complete and self-supporting scheme by the introduction of a novel denial of some essential part therein.
more Hilaire Belloc quotes
I thank God, we have not free schools nor printing; and I hope we shall not have these hundred years. For learning has brought disobedience, and heresy and sects into the world; and printing has divulged them and libels against the government. God keep us from both!
more Sir William Berkeley quotes
If special honor is claimed for any, then heresy should have it as the truest servitor of human kind.
more Charles Bradlaugh quotes
We 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.
more Charles-Louis De Secondat quotes
Heresy trials are foreign to our Constitution. Men may believe what they cannot prove. They may not be put to the proof of their religious doctrines or beliefs. Religious experiences which are as real as life to some may be incomprehensible to others.
more William O. Douglas quotes
We must not overlook the role that extremists play. They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent.
more Abraham Flexner quotes
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
more Graham Greene quotes
In politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
more Alexander Hamilton quotes
They that approve a private opinion, call it an opinion; but they that mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.
more Thomas Hobbes quotes
Heresy is what the minority believe; it is the name given by the powerful to the doctrines of the weak.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
If 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.
more Robert G. Ingersoll quotes
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear... Do not be frightened from this inquiry from any fear of its consequences. If it ends in the belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise...
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
Nothing can be more exactly and seriously true than what is there [the very words only of Jesus] stated; that but a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandising their oppressors in Church and State; that the purest system of morals ever before preached to man, has been adulterated and sophisticated by artificial constructions, into a mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves; that rational men not being able to swallow their impious heresies, in order to force them down their throats, they raise the hue and cry of infidelity, while themselves are the greatest obstacles to the advancement of the real doctrines of Jesus, and do in fact constitute the real Anti-Christ.
more Thomas Jefferson quotes
It is the tragic story of the cultural crusader in a mass society that he cannot win, but that we would be lost without him.
more Paul F. Lazarsfeld quotes
The liberty of thinking and publishing whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrances, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountainhead and origin of many evils.
more Pope Leo XIII quotes
A heretic is a man who sees with his own eyes.
more Gotthold Ephraim Lessing quotes
It is the freedom to blaspheme, to transgress, to move beyond the pale, that is at the heart of all intellectual, artistic and political endeavor. Far from censoring offensive speech, a vibrant and diverse society should encourage it. In any society that is not uniform, grey and homogeneous, there are bound to be clashes of viewpoints.
more Kenan Malik quotes
There is never any fair and thorough discussion of heretical opinions... The greatest harm done is to those who are not heretics, and whose whole mental development is cramped and their reason cowed, by the fear of heresy.
more John Stuart Mill quotes
Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind.
more Henry Miller quotes
Heresy hunters are intolerant not only of unorthodox ideas; worse than that, they are intolerant of ideas -- of any ideas which are really alive and not empty cocoons.
more Philip Lee Ralph quotes
There is a lurking fear that some things are not meant “to be known,” that some inquiries are too dangerous for human beings to make.
more Carl Sagan quotes
Those who are convinced they have a monopoly on The Truth always feel that they are only saving the world when they slaughter the heretics.
more Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. quotes
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
more George Bernard Shaw quotes
Heretics 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?
more Leo Shestov quotes
[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.
more Justice Potter Stewart quotes
I know that most men -- not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic, problems -- can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty -- conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.
more Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi quotes
...So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.
more Voltaire quotes
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