Free Thought Quotes

Quotes tagged as "free-thought" Showing 1-30 of 55
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

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

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

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

Friedrich Engels
“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.”
Friedrich 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

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

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

Abhijit Naskar
“The number of gurus, yogis, swamis and psychics in a country increases exponentially with the fall of reason, and the fall of reason leads to the fall of civilization.”
Abhijit Naskar

Abhijit Naskar
“Life without liberty, is a life not lived, and life without truth, is a life not understood.”
Abhijit Naskar, Monk Meets World

“What price is being paid by having a society in which the individual is not allowed to think? Why must we all conform, like a herd with an agreed-upon mindset?”
J Michael Jocelyn, Political Lynching of Kanye West: #Walkaway from Liberalism

Daša Drndić
“...the intellectual is a person who nurtures, preserves and propagates independent judgment, a person loyal exclusively to truth, a courageous and wrathful individual for whom no force of this world is too great or too frightening not to be subjected to scrutiny and called to account.

... A true intellectual, a genuine one, is always an outsider, …he is a person who lives in self-imposed exile on the margins of society.”
Daša Drndić, Belladonna

Abhijit Naskar
“I am not here to entertain you. I am here to make you think.”
Abhijit Naskar

“We owe a wealth of gratitude to the many heretics that have gone before us, those that had thought independently, and courageously, and dared to step outside the boundaries of conventional thought.”
Beth Sage Owens, A Heretic's Devotional

Abhijit Naskar
“Nature has given you legs, not to travel the safe and common road, but to discover new territory - to draw new maps.”
Abhijit Naskar, Revolution Indomable

C.A.A. Savastano
“Anything worth fighting for requires us to be willing to suffer to protect it.”
C.A.A. Savastano

Abhijit Naskar
“I am not a non-believer. In fact, I am a devout believer in God. And that God is I, the Human.”
Abhijit Naskar, Monk Meets World

Abhijit Naskar
“Monkhood means service, for in service lies divinity - at the same time, humanhood means service, for in service lies the meaning of life - so to put it simply, humanhood is monkhood. Material possessions have no bearing here. A doctor who places the benefit of the patient before his or her own, is a monk. A pilot who places the safety of the passengers before his or her own, is a monk. A teacher who places the interest of the students before his or her own and teaches them compassion instead of competition, is a monk. An entrepreneur who places the interest of the employees and customers before his or her own, is a monk. Any person who places the benefit of others, before the self, is a monk.”
Abhijit Naskar, Monk Meets World

Abhijit Naskar
“Reincarnation is an ancient myth, nothing more - it is the fairytale of the adults. And as long as it alleviates people's anxiety, it is an acceptable myth, but the moment it becomes an impediment to life, it turns deadly for the individual as well as the society.”
Abhijit Naskar, Every Generation Needs Caretakers: The Gospel of Patriotism

Abhijit Naskar
“When enough people possess the same belief, that belief automatically turns into an irrefutable truth in the eyes of the people, even if that belief happens to be the most atrocious lie of all times.”
Abhijit Naskar, Every Generation Needs Caretakers: The Gospel of Patriotism

Laurence Galian
“The Gnostic has always been free to express his or her Gnosis in the manner he or she wishes. The Gnostics of the Nag Hammadi Library perhaps could be considered free thought, free spirited seekers of Gnosis, who reject authority and dogma.”
Laurence Galian, Alien Parasites: 40 Gnostic Truths to Defeat the Archon Invasion!

Robert G. Ingersoll
“The truth is, that what is called religion is necessarily inconsistent with free thought. A believer is a bird in a cage, a Freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing.”
Robert G. Ingersoll, The Complete Works of Robert G. Ingersoll

Abhijit Naskar
“Expansion makes the human.”
Abhijit Naskar, Mucize Insan: When The World is Family

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