Freedom of thought

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Freedom of Thought Ben Franklin.jpg

Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience or freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others' viewpoints.

Quotes[edit]

  • If it is the drive of our time, after freedom of thought is won, to pursue it to that perfection through which it changes to freedom of the will in order to realize the latter as the principle of a new era.
    • Max Stirner, Das unwahre Prinzip unserer Erziehung, oder: Humanismus und Realismus [The False Principle of Our Education: Or, Humanism and Realism] (1842) as translated by Ralph Myles (1967), p. 21
  • But arms – instrumentalities, as President Wilson called them – are not sufficient by themselves. We must add to them the power of ideas. People say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and democracy; but the antagonism is here now. It is this very conflict of spiritual and moral ideas which gives the free countries a great part of their strength. You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. On all sides they are guarded by masses of armed men, cannons, aeroplanes, fortifications, and the like – they boast and vaunt themselves before the world, yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts; words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic. They make frantic efforts to bar our thoughts and words; they are afraid of the workings of the human mind. Cannons, airplanes, they can manufacture in large quantities; but how are they to quell the natural promptings of human nature, which after all these centuries of trial and progress has inherited a whole armoury of potent and indestructible knowledge?

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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