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Interestingly a quote often attributed to Voltaire apparently mistakenly. It is considered to be a paraphrase by a later author of some of his works:
“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”
“…I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.”
Which is apparently irrelevant, aw shucks.
sorry it took so long to respond. I think that this is a great topic, it is the foundation of individual freedom in the US constitution.
It sounds like you agree with the principle. Syn.Ther’s quote was made by Evelyn Hall in her autobiography of Voltaire. What makes America decent place to live, despite all of the deficiencies, is that we have more individual freedom than most other countries. People can do whatever they want unless it interferes with another person right to do the same thing. Our first amendment in the US constitution says,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
This is usually summed up as freedom of speech, press, and religion. There are many people who take advantage of this freedom, Hollywood and our distorted Media are examples. Throughout history this principle has taken a long time to appear in politics. The reason for this is because it requires the governments to give up their power to the people (by way of representatives). So when I saw that I agree with the Hollywood’s right to produce whatever they want, I do not mean to advocate what they produce, I aim to support the freedom that enables them to produce whatever they want.
Another similar example arises with criminal rights. Many people in the world, and in the US, complain that criminals in this country have too many rights. Our bill of rights advocates certain “rights of the accused” which are mentioned in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments. The reason “criminals” have so many rights in this country is because they may NOT be criminals. The liberties are not made to support criminals; they are made to support people who have been wrongfully accused. This prevents policing agencies from gaining too much power and abusing this power at the expense of the people. With criminal rights and the 1st amendment, the goal is to emphasize freedom. American forefathers knew that some criminals would be freed and the entertainments industry would push all boundaries of decency, but they valued freedom over all else.