Best 35 of Free thought quotes - MyQuotes
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.
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.
Marquis De Sade
There is no stupidity religions have omitted to revere; and you know just as well as I, my friends, that when one examines a human institution, the first thing one must do is discard all religious notions. They are poison to lucidity.
H. W. L. Poonja
Who is journeying for freedom? The one who is already free. Thoughts are impediments to seeing your own face. Don't give rise to any thought, and discover who you are.
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.
What do we free spirits want? We just want to think our own thoughts and feel our own feelings. Why should that be a problem for anyone else?
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.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Our thoughts are free.
I am not much given to profanity, but when I am sorely aggravated and vexed in spirit I declare to you that it comes as such a relief to me, such a solace to my troubled soul, and brings me such Heavenly peace to every now and then allow a word of phrase to escape my lips which can serve me no other earthly purpose, seemingly, other than to render emphatic my otherwise mildly expressed ideas.
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.
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.
The moment, you begin to think without any sort of predominant conformity whatsoever, simply to be the act of thinking, that is the moment when answers of real glory and progressive significance begin to manifest in front of your mortal eyes.
A thinking human must practice thinking.
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.
A truly free man is not free 'from' anything, nor free 'to' anything, he is just free. Free within himself.
C. Joybell C
We wait upon finite minds to validate infinite things— this is evidence of human stupidity.
Abandon all segregation, ye who read me.
If only you become free, then you, my dear sister or brother, will give a truly liberated family environment to your child, and that child will give the same free environment to his or her child - and it will go on, and eventually make the world filled with enough conscientious free original human souls to outweigh all the negativity of the remaining tiny portion of second-hand humans - the real lesser humans.
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.
Free thought is a passion; it is much rather the thoughts than ourselves that are free.
I am not a non-believer. In fact, I am a devout believer in God. And that God is I, the Human.
Think – think without a hurry – think without the veil of labels and words – think without the involvement of the slightest bit of hypocritical self-deception - simply think.
What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his thought is not free; but if he holds them because, after careful thought he finds a balance of evidence in their favor, then his thought is free, however odd his conclusions may seem.
Dare to contradict the scientist, not because of your scripture, but because of your own rational thinking.
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.
It's very important for institutions of concentrated power to keep people alone and isolated: that way they're ineffective, they can't defend themselves against indoctrination, they can't even figure out what they think.
The problem is, people only think for themselves if you tell them to.
W. E. B. Dubois
Here comes the penalty which a land pays when it stifles free speech and free discussion and turns itself over entirely to propaganda. It does not make any difference if at the time the things advocated are absolutely right, the nation nevertheless becomes morally emasculated and mentally hog-tied, and cannot evolve that healthy difference of opinion which leads to the discovery of truth under changing conditions. -- W.E.B. DuBois, Black Reconstruction in America (Harcourt Brace & Company, New York, 1935, first edition), page 144
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.
Everything needs to evolve based on the need of the era - every idea, every tradition, every school of thought - if it doesn’t then either it gets destroyed or destroys the world.
Heber J. Grant
Many of the Latter-day Saints have surrendered their independence; they have surrendered their free thought, politically, and we have got to get back to where we are not surrendering the right. We must stay with the right and if we do so God will bless us.
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.
Anyone in a position to overcome barriers to free thought and communication should do so.
...it was Buddhism that inspired the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer, and, through him, attracted Richard Wagner. This Orientalism reflected the struggle of the German Romantics, in the words of Léon Poliakov, to free themselves from Judeo-Christian fetters.
Free thought, free speech and a free press.