Thursday, 8 January 2015

Quotes about free speech

In light of the tragedy that occurred in Paris yesterday, I thought I'd share some of my favourite quotes about free speech. It is important to remember, of course, that we do not have free speech in the UK. In addition to the censoring of films, video games and comedians, individuals are frequently arrested for posting offensive content on Facebook and Twitter.

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

"Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech."
––Benjamin Franklin

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

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
––Thomas Jefferson

"Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties."
––John Milton

"If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
––John Stuart Mill

"We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."
––John Stuart Mill

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