To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.
People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.
When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons.
Thinking is hard work, which is why you don't see many people doing it.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him will believeth in anything. - Hitchens 3:16
I'll not listen to reason... reason always means what someone else has got to say.
Inevitably it follows that anyone with an independent mind must become 'one who resists or opposes an authority or established convention': a rebel. ...And if enough people come to agree with—and follow—the REBEL, we now have a DEVIL. Until, of course, still more people agree. And then, finally, we have ... GREATNESS.
Considering he was neither priest nor scholar, the young man gave sensible, thoughtful replies -- the more so, perhaps, for being untrained, for he had not learned what he should believe or should not believe. Present a statement to him in flagrant contradiction to all Christian doctrine and he could be persuaded to agree on its good sense, unless he remembered it was the sort of thing of which pyres are made for the incautious.
Do you know, the only people I can have a conversation with are the Jews? At least when they quote scripture at you they are not merely repeating something some priest has babbled in their ear. They have the great merit of disagreeing with nearly everything I say. In fact, they disagree with almost everything they say themselves. And most importantly, they don't think that shouting strengthens their argument.
If no one had ever challenged religious authority, there’d be no democracy, no public schools, women’s rights, improvements to science and medicine, evolution of slavery and no laws against child abuse or spousal abuse. I was afraid to challenge my religious beliefs because that was the basis of creation—mine anyway. I was afraid to question the Bible or anything in it, and when I did, that’s when I became involved with PFLAG and realized that my son was a perfectly normal human being and there was nothing for God to heal because Bobby was perfect just the way he was.
I want to oppose the idea that the school has to teach directly that special knowledge and those accomplishments which one has to use later directly in life. The demands of life are much too manifold to let such a specialized training in school appear possible [...] The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgement should always be placed foremost.
In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.
A foolish faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth.
Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.
Freedom of speech is unnecessary if the people to whom it is granted do not think for themselves.
The forward momentum of British educations cannot be resisted: a relentless fascist machine that will spit them out the other side as soldiers or sexless governors-general and the like. All he can do is plant some small seed of independent thought in their minds. He is sorry for them and what is coming: every rottenness and corruption.
You have no idea how many men are spoiled by what is called education. For the most part, colleges are places where pebbles are polished and diamonds are dimmed. If Shakespeare had graduated at Oxford, he might have been a quibbling attorney, or a hypocritical parson.