July 17, 2006

Thoughts for the Day

And for every day, all from Thomas Jefferson:
"Truth and reason are eternal. They have prevailed. And they will eternally prevail; however, in times and places they may be overborne for a while by violence, military, civil, or ecclesiastical." -- to Rev. Samuel Knox, 1810
"Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error... They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only... If [free enquiry] be restrained now, the present corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged." -- Notes on Virginia, 1782
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." -- to Peter Carr, 1787
"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." -- Notes on Virginia, 1782
"In every country where man is free to think and to speak, differences of opinion will arise from difference of perception, and the imperfection of reason; but these differences when permitted, as in this happy country, to purify themselves by free discussion, are but as passing clouds overspreading our land transiently and leaving our horizon more bright and serene." -- to Benjamin Waring, 1801
Many more here.