I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me — shapes and ideas so near to me — so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.
- ~ Georgia O'Keeffe (Letter to Anita Pollitzer - 1916)
The agnostic does not simply say, "l do not know." He goes another step, and he says, with great emphasis, that you do not know. He insists that you are trading on the ignorance of others, and on the fear of others. He is not satisfied with saying that you do not know, — he demonstrates that you do not know, and he drives you from the field of fact — he drives you from the realm of reason — he drives you from the light, into the darkness of conjecture — into the world of dreams and shadows, and he compels you to say, at last, that your faith has no foundation in fact.
- ~ Robert Green Ingersoll (Reply To Dr. Lyman Abbott - 1890)
It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.
- ~ Henry George (Social Problems - 1883)