Dissent

Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions.

Let us not be afraid of debate or dissent - let us encourage it. For if we should ever abandon these basic American traditions in the name of fighting Communism, what would it profit us to win the whole world when we have lost our soul?

In a democracy dissent is an act of faith. Like medicine, the test of its value is not in its taste, but in its effects.

We must dare to think 'unthinkable' thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about the 'unthinkable things' because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.

Persecution of a dissenter is always popular I the group which he has abandoned. Toleration of dissent is no sentiment of the masses.

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels -- men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty.

Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels – men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion.

If our democracy is to flourish, it must have criticism; if our government is to function it must have dissent.

Protection against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them.

Inspirations prevent us, and even before they are through of make themselves felt; but after we have felt them it is ours either to consent to them, so as to second and follow their attractions, or else to dissent and repulse them. They make themselves felt without us, but they do not make us consent without us.

I could never divide myself from any man upon the difference of an opinion, or be angry with his judgment for not agreeing in that from which within a few days I might dissent myself.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men – not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith.

Science exists, moreover, only as a journey toward truth. Stifle dissent and you end that journey.

He who dictates and formulates the words and phrases we use, he who is master of the press and radio, is master of the mind. Repeat mechanically your assumptions and suggestions, diminish the opportunity for communicating dissent and opposition. This is the formula for political conditioning of the masses.

In the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.