Quotes About Free Thought

Quotes tagged as "free-thought" (showing 1-23 of 23)
Baruch Spinoza
“The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.”
Baruch Spinoza

Steve Maraboli
“Judging is preventing us from understanding a new truth. Free yourself from the rules of old judgments and create the space for new understanding.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

John Stuart Mill
“Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person's notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. Not so with those whose opinions and feelings are an emanation from their own nature and faculties.”
John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women

Langston Hughes
“Yet the ivory gods, And the ebony gods, And the gods of diamond-jade, Are only silly puppet gods That people themselves Have made.-”
Langston Hughes

Alan Cohen
“It is not insult from another that causes you pain. It is the part of your mind that agrees with the insult. Agree only with the truth about you, and you are free.”
Alan Cohen

Anton Chekhov
“You don't understand, you fool' says Yegor, looking dreamily up at the sky. 'You've never understood what kind of person I am, nor will you in a million years... You just think I'm a mad person who has thrown his life away... Once the free spirit has taken hold of a man, there's no way of getting it out of him.”
Anton Chekhov, About Love and Other Stories

Tacitus
“It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks.”
Tacitus, Histories of Tacitus

Christopher Hitchens
“I am often described to my irritation as a 'contrarian' and even had the title inflicted on me by the publisher of one of my early books. (At least on that occasion I lived up to the title by ridiculing the word in my introduction to the book's first chapter.) It is actually a pity that our culture doesn't have a good vernacular word for an oppositionist or even for someone who tries to do his own thinking: the word 'dissident' can't be self-conferred because it is really a title of honor that has to be won or earned, while terms like 'gadfly' or 'maverick' are somehow trivial and condescending as well as over-full of self-regard. And I've lost count of the number of memoirs by old comrades or ex-comrades that have titles like 'Against the Stream,' 'Against the Current,' 'Minority of One,' 'Breaking Ranks' and so forth—all of them lending point to Harold Rosenberg's withering remark about 'the herd of independent minds.' Even when I was quite young I disliked being called a 'rebel': it seemed to make the patronizing suggestion that 'questioning authority' was part of a 'phase' through which I would naturally go. On the contrary, I was a relatively well-behaved and well-mannered boy, and chose my battles with some deliberation rather than just thinking with my hormones.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Christopher Hitchens
“As a convinced atheist, I ought to agree with Voltaire that Judaism is not just one more religion, but in its way the root of religious evil. Without the stern, joyless rabbis and their 613 dour prohibitions, we might have avoided the whole nightmare of the Old Testament, and the brutal, crude wrenching of that into prophecy-derived Christianity, and the later plagiarism and mutation of Judaism and Christianity into the various rival forms of Islam. Much of the time, I do concur with Voltaire, but not without acknowledging that Judaism is dialectical. There is, after all, a specifically Jewish version of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, with a specifically Jewish name—the Haskalah—for itself. The term derives from the word for 'mind' or 'intellect,' and it is naturally associated with ethics rather than rituals, life rather than prohibitions, and assimilation over 'exile' or 'return.' It's everlastingly linked to the name of the great German teacher Moses Mendelssohn, one of those conspicuous Jewish hunchbacks who so upset and embarrassed Isaiah Berlin. (The other way to upset or embarrass Berlin, I found, was to mention that he himself was a cousin of Menachem Schneerson, the 'messianic' Lubavitcher rebbe.) However, even pre-enlightenment Judaism forces its adherents to study and think, it reluctantly teaches them what others think, and it may even teach them how to think also.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Robert G. Ingersoll
“Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.

Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.

All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.'

If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.

All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, About The Holy Bible

Bertrand Russell
“Never try to discourage thinking, for you are sure to succeed.”
Bertrand Russell

“Darwin did not know what a bitter satire he wrote on mankind ... when he showed that free competition, the struggle for existence, which the economists celebrate as the highest historical achievement, is the normal state of the animal kingdom. Only conscious organization of social production, in which production and distribution are carried on in a planned way, can lift mankind above the rest of the animal.”
Friedrick Engels

Christopher Hitchens
“The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has—from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Frank Schaeffer
“The problem with the evangelical homeschool movement was not their desire to educate their children at home, or in private religious schools, but the evangelical impulse to "protect" children from ideas that might lead them to "question" and to keep them cloistered in what amounted to a series of one-family gated communities.

Frank Schaeffer”
Frank Schaeffer

Ilyas Kassam
“A truly free man is not free 'from' anything, nor free 'to' anything, he is just free. Free within himself.”
Ilyas Kassam

Christopher Hitchens
“The matter on which I judge people is their willingness, or ability, to handle contradiction. Thus Paine was better than Burke when it came to the principle of the French revolution, but Burke did and said magnificent things when it came to Ireland, India and America. One of them was in some ways a revolutionary conservative and the other was a conservative revolutionary. It's important to try and contain multitudes. One of my influences was Dr Israel Shahak, a tremendously brave Israeli humanist who had no faith in collectivist change but took a Spinozist line on the importance of individuals. Gore Vidal's admirers, of whom I used to be one and to some extent remain one, hardly notice that his essential critique of America is based on Lindbergh and 'America First'—the most conservative position available. The only real radicalism in our time will come as it always has—from people who insist on thinking for themselves and who reject party-mindedness.”
Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left

Jay Woodman
“Words to intrigue, inspire, examine, question, praise;
Words to help us appreciate our world, our selves, our games;
Words to dance our true soul fires gracefully free.”
Jay Woodman

Bertrand Russell
“It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living. It is clear also that thought is not free if all the arguments on one side of a controversy are perpetually presented as attractively as possible, while the arguments on the other side can only be discovered by diligent search.”
Bertrand Russell, Sceptical Essays

Christopher Hitchens
“Remember that it is 'free-thinking Jews,' not Jews as such, who are defined as the undesirables by T.S. Eliot in After Strange Gods.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir

Terry Pratchett
“The problem is, people only think for themselves if you tell them to.”
Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

“Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place.”
Joe Blow

C. JoyBell C.
“We wait upon finite minds to validate infinite things— this is evidence of human stupidity.”
C. JoyBell C.

Friedrich Nietzsche
“Every smallest step in the field of free thinking, and of the personally formed life, has ever been fought for at the cost of spiritual and physical tortures . . . change has required its innumerable martyrs. . . . Nothing has been bought more dearly than that little bit of human reason and sense of freedom that is now the basis of our pride.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn of Day: Friedrich Nietzsche

All Quotes | My Quotes | Add A Quote


Browse By Tag

More...