Frances Wright, known as Fanny Wright

Frances
Wright, known as Fanny Wright
1795
1852

Scottish-born American Lecturer, Writer, Freethinker, Feminist, Abolitionist, and Social Reformer

Author Quotes

If we bring not the good courage of minds covetous of truth, and truth only, prepared to hear all things, and decide upon all things, according to evidence, we should do more wisely to sit down contented in ignorance, than to bestir ourselves only to reap disappointment.

Equality is the soul of liberty; there is, in fact, no liberty without it.

Do we exert our own liberties without injury to others - we exert them justly; do we exert them at the expense of others - unjustly. And, in thus doing, we step from the sure platform of liberty upon the uncertain threshold of tyranny.

We hear of the wealth of nations, of the powers of production, of the demand and supply of markets, and we forget that these words mean no more, if they mean any thing, then the happiness, and the labor, and the necessities of men.

We have seen that no religion stands on the basis of things known; none bounds its horizon within the field of human observation; and, therefore, as it can never present us with indisputable facts, so must it ever be at once a source of error and contention.

The simplest principles become difficult of practice, when habits, formed in error, have been fixed by time, and the simplest truths hard to receive when prejudice has warped the mind.

The hired preachers of all sects, creeds, and religions, never do, and never can, teach any thing but what is in conformity with the opinions of those who pay them.

Surely it is time to examine into the meaning of words and the nature of things, and to arrive at simple facts, not received upon the dictum of learned authorities, but upon attentive personal observation of what is passing around us.

Our religious belief usurps the place of our sensations, our imaginations of our judgment. We no longer look to actions, trace their consequences, and then deduce the rule; we first make the rule, and then, right or wrong, force the action to square with it.

Now here is a departure from the first principle of true ethics. Here we find ideas of moral wrong and moral right associated with something else than beneficial action. The consequent is, we lose sight of the real basis of morals, and substitute a false one.

Look into the nature of things. Search out the grounds of your opinions, the for and against.

Know why you believe, understand what you believe, and possess a reason for the faith that is in you.

It will appear evident upon attentive consideration that equality of intellectual and physical advantages is the only sure foundation of liberty, and that such equality may best, and perhaps only, be obtained by a union of interests and cooperation in labor.

Instead of establishing facts, we have to overthrow errors; instead of ascertaining what is, we have to chase from our imaginations what is not.

But while human liberty has engaged the attention of the enlightened, and enlisted the feelings of the generous of all civilized nations, may we not enquire if this liberty has been rightly understood?

A necessary consequent of religious belief is the attaching ideas of merit to that belief, and of demerit to its absence.

I am not going to question your opinions. I am not going to meddle with your belief. I am not going to dictate to you mine. All that I say is, examine, inquire. Look into the nature of things. Search out the grounds of your opinions, the for and against. Know why you believe, understand what you believe, and possess a reason for the faith that is in you.

Author Picture
First Name
Frances
Last Name
Wright, known as Fanny Wright
Birth Date
1795
Death Date
1852
Bio

Scottish-born American Lecturer, Writer, Freethinker, Feminist, Abolitionist, and Social Reformer