Best 149 quotes in «free speech quotes» category

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    Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

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    Most people mostly use freedom of speech as freedom to bitch.

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    Now, it's are you now, have you ever been, and will you ever be in the future a supporter of non-violent boycotts against Israeli violations of international law? That's an outrage.

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    Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read. If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people. I can walk into a bookshop and point out a number of books that I find very unattractive in what they say. But it doesn't occur to me to burn the bookshop down. If you don't like a book, read another book. If you start reading a book and you decide you don't like it, nobody is telling you to finish it. To read a 600-page novel and then say that it has deeply offended you: well, you have done a lot of work to be offended.

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    Nobody is capable of of free speech unless he knows how to use language, and such knowledge is not a gift: it has to learned and worked at. [p.93]

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    Now she understood a few things: that the American academy, which one might have thought the place to defend freedom of speech, had been the seat and soul of abrogating freedom of speech, if the first assault on its freedom can be said to be restricting, or handcuffing speech. The day she heard “redneck” on NPR, she turned NPR off, not because broadcasters were still using the term, but because she knew one day they would not be. In fact, she had a vision of the quiet moment backstage at a Boston studio when a good, surprised correspondent was let go for saying “redneck” the last time it would be said.

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    Never interpret wrong! If you couldn't understand the actual meaning of my philosophy.

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    Nobody ever wanted to go to war, but if a war came your way, it might as well be the right war, about the most important things in the world, and you might as well, if you were going to fight it, be called "Rushdie," and stand where your father had placed you, in the tradition of the grand Aristotelian, Averroës, Abul Walid Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Rushd.

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    No idea is above scrutiny and no people are beneath dignity.

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    Oil may run out, liquidity may dry up, but as long as ink flows freely, the next chapter of Life will continue to be written.

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    Question everything - ban nothing

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    On peut rire de tout mais pas avec n'importe qui.

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    Our country is the only one that truly permits you to speak bad of your country, so you really shouldn’t say anything bad about it.

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    Potentially, anyone writing on the Web can reach a global audience. In practice, hardly anyone ever does.

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    Right to speak comes with a duty to listen.

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    Religion, a mediaeval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms. This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences in Paris today. I stand with Charlie Hebdo, as we all must, to defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. ‘Respect for religion’ has become a code phrase meaning ‘fear of religion.’ Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect." [I Stand With Charlie Hebdo, as We All Must (Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2015)]

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    The censors of our age do not yet burn books, they attempt to restrict speech in the name of "offense". The tactics may be different but the desire for control is the same.

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    Saying the "right" things is always the "liked" thing.

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    Solutions are not found by pointing fingers they are reached by extending hands.

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    The attempt [by the far-left] to boil down fascism to 'anything I don't like' is simply idiotic. Which is more fascist: Christina Hoff Sommers coming to speak about the lies of the feminist movement, or the people who are suggesting that they should actually be able to shut down her lecture by use of force? That seems a little more fascist to me.

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    The claim "hate speech is not free speech" implies "free" is a type of speech, as opposed to how speech is treated in a free society.

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    The mere fact that I exist means that I deserve to be here and to express myself any damn why I please.

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    The hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort, and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners.

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    [T]he imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity.

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    The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty." [Beauharnais v.Illinois, 342 U.S. 250, 287 (1952) (dissenting)]

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    The mere fact that I exist, means that I deserve to be here and to express myself any damn way I please.

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    The world is full of hurtful and offensive things, and notable among the worst is unfair censorship.

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    ...the nations that have thrived have been those, like America, that are most comfortable with the cacophony, and even occasional messiness, that come from robust discourse" Benjamin Franklin

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    [T]here is both an intrinsic and instrumental value to privacy. Intrinsically, privacy is precious to the extent that it is a component of a liberty. Part of citizenship in a free society is the expectation that one's personal affairs and physical person are inviolable so long as one remains within the law. A robust concept of freedom includes the freedom from constant and intrusive government surveillance of one's life. From this perspective, Fourth Amendment violations are objectionable for the simple fact that the government is doing something it has no licence to do–that is, invading the privacy of a law-abiding citizen by monitoring her daily activities and laying hands on her person without any evidence of wrongdoing. Privacy is also instrumental in nature. This aspect of the right highlights the pernicious effects, rather than the inherent illegitimacy, of intrusive, suspicionless surveillance. For example, encroachments on individual privacy undermine democratic institutions by chilling free speech. When citizens–especially those espousing unpopular viewpoints–are aware that the intimate details of their personal lives are pervasively monitored by government, or even that they could be singled out for discriminatory treatment by government officials as a result of their First Amendment expressive activities, they are less likely to freely express their dissident views.

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    There is no such thing as free speech for some. You either have free speech for everyone or you don't have free speech at all.

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    The right to free speech and the unrealistic expectation to never be offended can not coexist.

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    The state can't give you free speech, and the state can't take it away. You're born with it, like your eyes, like your ears. Freedom is something you assume, then you wait for someone to try to take it away. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free...

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    The propensity to say and do dumb things, and even wicked things, is simply part of human nature. One can blame the Church or Christianity for such things only on the thoroughly unwarranted assumption that Christianity claims to have abolished human nature. The truth is that Christianity, and the Catholic Church in particular, is the mother of Western civilization, with all it strengths and weaknesses, including its frequently exaggerated penchant for self-criticism. Like others who know what it is to be a mother, she is not surprised, although sometimes disappointed, when she is blamed for everything and thanked for nothing.

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    The real Machiavellian genius of the First Amendment is that free speech turns out to be mostly harmless — a lot of P.C. nit-picking, dingbat conspiracy theories, tedious libertarian screeds and name calling. The only “free speech” that has any effect in a stable, well-run plutocracy is the kind protected by Buckley vs. Valeo in the form of campaign contributions.

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    There is no right not to be offended.

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    They treated me like I'm a fascist, yet they were the ones trying to deny me my free speech. That's the left today.

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    This is a forum for readers. Authors walk these halls at their own risk. I’ve been to the Coliseum in Rome. GR is just that. Books are gladiators. Readers are ravenous citizens awaiting their next bite of entertainment, all Caesars with thumbs readied for judgement. Even champions fall prey to sword now and then. And you know what they say about the pen and the sword…the analogy is a bit muddled, but it’s in there somewhere.

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    Those who claim to be hurt by words must be led to expect nothing as compensation. Otherwise, once they learn they can get something by claiming to be hurt, they will go into the business of being offended.

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    Those who cannot bear any offensive speech do not believe in free speech.

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    Twitter, far from fostering debate and broadening minds, has turned us into a hive of scolds. Angry mobs wait on the sidelines to strike and then bask in the glow of their moral superiority.

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    To where we came? If we talk about free speech.

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    Truthfully, wicked people reveal themselves in words first, to inhibit speech would inhibit us seeing the wicked before they act.

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    To say that you believe in free speech 'but' is not simply to qualify your support, but to dissolve it altogether. Free speech is not something you can sort-of believe in on a scale of 1 to 10.

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    To where we came, if we talks about free speech?

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    Vi har noen rettigheter, plikter og verdier vi tar som en selvfølge. Men også selvfølgelighetene må begrunnes og forsvares. De oppleste og vedtatte sannhetene har godt av å bli utfordret, ikke minst for å gi oss anledning til å lese dem opp og vedta dem på nytt.

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    We are all free to be assholes, but we are not free to do so without consequence.

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    We are free to speak as we choose without fear of prosecution or persecution, but we are not free to speak as we choose without consequence.

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    We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. Tough shit. That's the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we're in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it's time to make a run for the fence.

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    We feel this is a matter of free speech, people should have the right to put alternative views across and criticise multinationals, especially those who spend a fortune pushing their own propaganda.

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    When the Washington Post telephoned me at home on Valentine's Day 1989 to ask my opinion about the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwah, I felt at once that here was something that completely committed me. It was, if I can phrase it like this, a matter of everything I hated versus everything I loved. In the hate column: dictatorship, religion, stupidity, demagogy, censorship, bullying, and intimidation. In the love column: literature, irony, humor, the individual, and the defense of free expression. Plus, of course, friendship—though I like to think that my reaction would have been the same if I hadn't known Salman at all. To re-state the premise of the argument again: the theocratic head of a foreign despotism offers money in his own name in order to suborn the murder of a civilian citizen of another country, for the offense of writing a work of fiction. No more root-and-branch challenge to the values of the Enlightenment (on the bicentennial of the fall of the Bastille) or to the First Amendment to the Constitution, could be imagined. President George H.W. Bush, when asked to comment, could only say grudgingly that, as far as he could see, no American interests were involved…