The key to wisdom is this -- constant and frequent questioning ... for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.
more Peter Abelard quotes
I would rather starve and rot and keep the privilege of speaking the truth as I see it, than of holding all the offices that capital has to give from the presidency down.
more Henry Brooks Adams quotes
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
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.
more John Adams quotes
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
more John Adams quotes
When people talk of the freedom of writing, speaking, or thinking, I cannot choose but laugh. No such thing ever existed. No such thing now exists; but I hope it will exist. But it must be hundreds of years after you and I shall write and speak no more.
more John Adams quotes
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole car-loads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.
more John Adams quotes
Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the "latent spark"… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?
more John Adams quotes
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
more Samuel Adams quotes
A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt dangerous.
more Alfred Adler quotes
In war, truth is the first casualty.
more Aeschylus quotes
Words are the physicians of the mind diseased.
more Aeschylus quotes
Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.
more Aesop quotes
In fact, nothing is said that has not been said before.
more Publius Terentius Afer quotes
The truth that makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear.
more Herbert Sebastien Agar quotes
The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.
more Mohammed Ali quotes
If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank.
more Woody Allen quotes
I 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.
more Woody Allen quotes
Philosophy means the complete liberty of the mind, and therefore independence of all social, political or religious prejudice... It loves one thing only... truth.
more Henri Frederic Amiel quotes
The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie -- a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days -- but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
more Hannah Arendt quotes
The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.
more Aristotle quotes
The least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold.
more Aristotle quotes
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.
more Isaac Asimov quotes
Truth always originates in a minority of one, and every custom begins as a broken precedent.
more Nancy Astor quotes
Give me chastity and self-restraint, but do not give it yet.
more Saint Augustine quotes
The quintessential revolution is that of the spirit, born of an intellectual conviction of the need for change in those mental attitudes and values which shape the course of a nation's development. A revolution which aims merely at changing official policies and institutions with a view to an improvement in material conditions has little chance of genuine success. Without a revolution in spirit, the forces which had produced inequities of the old order would continue to be operative, posing a constant threat to the process of reform and regeneration. It is not enough merely to call for freedom, democracy and human rights. There has to be a united determination to persevere in the struggle, to make sacrifices in the name of enduring truths, to resist the corrupting influences of desire, ill will, ignorance, and fear.
more Aung San Suu Kyi quotes
Men prefer to believe what they prefer to be true.
more Francis Bacon quotes
A forbidden writing is thought to be a certain spark of truth, that flies up in the face of them who seek to tread it out.
more Sir Francis Bacon quotes
For whatever deserves to exist deserves also to be known, for knowledge is the image of existence, and things mean and splendid exist alike.
more Sir Francis Bacon quotes
The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.
more Sir Francis Bacon quotes
There are in fact four very significant stumblingblocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge.
more Roger Bacon quotes
So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience tells them it is wrong.
more Walter Bagehot quotes
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.
more Matsuo Basho quotes
The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended.
more Frederic Bastiat quotes
Sometimes the law defends plunder and participates in it. Thus the beneficiaries are spared the shame and danger that their acts would otherwise involve... But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to the other persons to whom it doesn't belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish that law without delay ... No legal plunder; this is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony and logic.
more Frederic Bastiat quotes
One of the hardest things to teach a child is that the truth is more important than the consequences.
more O. A. Battista quotes
Half the work that is done in this world is to make things appear what they are not.
more Elias Root Beadle quotes
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
The laws of this nature are those which forbid to wear arms, disarming those only who are not disposed to commit the crime which the laws mean to prevent. Can it be supposed, that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, and the most important of the code, will respect the less considerable and arbitrary injunctions, the violation of which is so easy, and of so little comparative importance? Does not the execution of this law deprive the subject of that personal liberty, so dear to mankind and to the wise legislator? and does it not subject the innocent to all the disagreeable circumstances that should only fall on the guilty? It certainly makes the situation of the assaulted worse, and of the assailants better, and rather encourages than prevents murder, as it requires less courage to attack unarmed than armed persons.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
A principal source of errors and injustice are false ideas of utility. For example: that legislator has false ideas of utility who considers particular more than general conveniencies, who had rather command the sentiments of mankind than excite them, who dares say to reason, 'Be thou a slave;' who would sacrifice a thousand real advantages to the fear of an imaginary or trifling inconvenience; who would deprive men of the use of fire for fear of their being burnt, and of water for fear of their being drowned; and who knows of no means of preventing evil but by destroying it.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Can it be supposed that those who have the courage to violate the most sacred laws of humanity, the most important of the code, will respect the less important and arbitrary ones, which can be violated with ease and impunity, and which, if strictly obeyed, would put an end to personal liberty... and subject innocent persons to all the vexations that the guilty alone ought to suffer? Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man. They ought to be designated as laws not preventive but fearful of crimes, produced by the tumultuous impression of a few isolated facts, and not by thoughtful consideration of the inconveniences and advantages of a universal decree.
more Cesare Beccaria quotes
Government should allow persons to engage in whatever conduct they want to, no matter how deviant or abnormal it may be, so long as (a) they know what they are doing, (b) they consent to it, and (c) no one -- at least no one other than the participants -- is harmed by it.
more Hugo Adam Bedau quotes
Only reason can convince us of those three fundamental truths without a recognition of which there can be no effective liberty: that what we believe is not necessarily true; that what we like is not necessarily good; and that all questions are open.
more Clive Bell 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
In a recent conversation with an official at the Internal Revenue Service, I was amazed when he told me that 'If the taxpayers of this country ever discover that the IRS operates on 90% bluff the entire system will collapse' .
more Henry Bellmon quotes
In order to get the truth, conflicting arguments and expression must be allowed. There can be no freedom without choice, no sound choice without knowledge.
more David K. Berninghausen quotes
But how shall we educate men to goodness, to a sense of one another, to a love of truth? And more urgently, how shall we do this in a bad time?
more Daniel Berrigan quotes
Tolerance is the eager and glad acceptance of the way along which others seek the truth.
more Sir Walter Besant quotes
If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything ... that smacks of discrimination or slander.
more Mary McLeod Bethune quotes
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