Top 50+Freedom Of Speech Quotes


Freedom Of Speech Quotes

1. If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

2. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

3. I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself.

4. Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice.

5. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

6. If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

7. Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.

8. My own opinion is enough for me, and I claim the right to have it defended against any consensus, any majority, anywhere, any place, any time. And anyone who disagrees with this can pick a number, get in line, and kiss my ass.

9. Hypocrites get offended by the truth.

10. Freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of saying stupid shit.

[Blog post, March 12, 2012]

11. Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.

12. There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

13. Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.

14. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

15. Proclaim the truth and do not be silent through fear.

16. The problem with today’s world is that everyone believes they have the right to express their opinion AND have others listen to it.

The correct statement of individual rights is that everyone has the right to an opinion, but crucially, that opinion can be roundly ignored and even made fun of, particularly if it is demonstrably nonsense!

17. This is slavery, not to speak one’s thought.

18. Too many adults wish to ‘protect’ teenagers when they should be stimulating them to read of life as it is lived.

19. Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of reality is not your reality.

20. It was a shocking thing to say and I knew it was a shocking thing to say. But no one has the right to live without being shocked. No one has the right to spend their life without being offended. Nobody has to read this book. Nobody has to pick it up. Nobody has to open it. And if you open it and read it, you don’t have to like it. And if you read it and you dislike it, you don’t have to remain silent about it. You can write to me, you can complain about it, you can write to the publisher, you can write to the papers, you can write your own book. You can do all those things, but there your rights stop. No one has the right to stop me writing this book. No one has the right to stop it being published, or sold, or bought, or read.

21. Free speech means the right to shout ‘theatre’ in a crowded fire.

22. To view the opposition as dangerous is to misunderstand the basic concepts of democracy. To oppress the opposition is to assault the very foundation of democracy.

23. If you’re not going to use your free speech to criticize your own government, then what the hell is the point of having it

24. To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticize and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed.

It all points to the promotion of the idea that there should be a right not to be offended. But in my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended. The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness – and the other represents oppression
25. We forget that, although freedom of speech constitutes an important victory in the battle against old restraints, modern man is in a position where much of what “he” thinks and says are the things that everybody else thinks and says; that he has not acquired the ability to think originally – that is, for himself – which alone gives meaning to his claim that nobody can interfere with the expression of his thoughts.

26. Because if you don’t stand up for the stuff you don’t like, when they come for the stuff you do like, you’ve already lost.

27. If there’s one American belief I hold above all others, it’s that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is “right” and what is “best” should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently. … As a nation, we’ve been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn’t approve of them.

28. It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.

29. Those who make conversations impossible, make escalation inevitable.

30. Beware: open-mindedness will often say, ‘Everything is permissible except a sharp opinion.

31. Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.

32. Freedom of speech is unnecessary if the people to whom it is granted do not think for themselves.

33. Censors never go after books unless kids already like them. I don’t even think they know to go after books until they know that children are interested in reading this book, therefore there must be something in it that’s wrong.

34. Sometimes a people lose their right to remain silent when pressured to remain silent.

35. In the Hindu religion, one can[not] have freedom of speech. A Hindu must surrender his freedom of speech. He must act according to the Vedas. If the Vedas do not support the actions, instructions must be sought from the Smritis, and if the Smritis fail to provide any such instructions, he must follow in the footsteps of the great men.
He is not supposed to reason. Hence, so long as you are in the Hindu religion, you cannot expect to have freedom of thought

36. Most people do not really want others to have freedom of speech, they just want others to be given the freedom to say want they want to hear.

37. Government has no right to hurt a hair on the head of an Atheist for his Opinions. Let him have a care of his Practices.

{Letter to his son and future president, John Quincy Adams, 16 June 1816}

38. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it.”

[First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801]

39. The fact is that censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion. In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience.

40. In many respects, the United States is a great country. Freedom of speech is protected more than in any other country. It is also a very free society. In America, the professor talks to the mechanic. They are in the same category.

41. 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.

42. You can’t pick and choose which types of freedom you want to defend. You must defend all of it or be against all of it.

43. Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression.

44. Ultimately, saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.

45. Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.

46. Religion grants its adherents malign, intoxicating and morally corrosive sensations. Destroying intellectual freedom is always evil, but only religion makes doing evil feel quite so good.
47. Our freedoms are vanishing. If you do not get active to take a stand now against all that is wrong while we still can, then maybe one of your children may elect to do so in the future, when it will be far more riskier — and much, much harder.

48. Silence is death, and you, if you talk, you die, and if you remain silent, you die. So, speak out and die.

49. Freedom is fundamentally the possibility of standig on a street corner and shouting “There is no freedom here!

50. Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes — or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist — not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.

51. Freedom is an absolute state, there is no such thing as being half-free.

52. Freedom of speech gives us the right to offend others, whereas freedom of thought gives them the choice as to whether or not to be offended.

53. Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error.

54. The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible.

55. It is the rare fortune of these days that one may think what one likes and say what one thinks.

56. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.

57. I wish there is a world where any one can know the truth and speak there mind with freedom without having to fear for their lives (Rinko, Basara, Vol. 13)

58. A desire for privacy does not imply shameful secrets; Moglen argues, again and again, that without anonymity in discourse, free speech is impossible, and hence also democracy. The right to speak the truth to power does not shield the speaker from the consequences of doing so; only comparable power or anonymity can do that.

59. Genuine bravery for a writer…. It is about calmly speaking the truth when everyone else is silenced, when the truth cannot be expressed. It is about speaking out with a different voice, risking the wrath of the state and offending everyone, for the sake of the truth, and the writer’s conscience.

60. When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe… that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas– that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment. As all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge.


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