Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., (1841-1935) US Supreme Court Justice, also known as "The Great Dissenter"

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Quote

“The very aim and end of our institutions is just this: that we may think what we like and say what we think.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

The Professor at the Breakfast Table, 1860

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

one of

  • Reply
Anon    7/20/09

And then act upon it.

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RBESRQ    7/20/09

For us to move forward this must be paramount and then we can get on with the order of the day.

Ken, Allyn, WA

The first step to controlling people is to control what they say through fear. Once that is accomplished controlling what the people think is the next step, accomplished with a repetitious media putting out the approved propaganda. When thought is controlled, behavior is controlled. It seems our "institutions" have been doing this instead of what Holmes envisioned.

Kraig E., Austin

This is wrong. We can think what we want, but should only say what is right based on truth. Also we should look out for others more than ourselves therefore what we say should not be at the expense of others. Remember our freedom only extends to the point where it infringes on the freedom of others. Freedom according to our constitution has boundaries, it is not an all-encompassing freedom, that is self-centered anarchy.

Elisabeth, Astoria, NY

That may be the very aim and end of our institutions, but filtering our thoughts - instead of just thinking what we like gives us more chances to be right and honest when we say what we want.

E Archer, NYC

We have the right to be wrong in America and to express beliefs that are contradictory to science or proven 'facts', but we have no right to force others to accept and embrace those views. The right to religion is the right to believe in myths, to associate with like-minded believers, and to act in accordance with those beliefs. The right to speech is the right to say stupid things but not a right to have them accepted or followed. The right to think and speak includes the right to be wrong.

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

No, the aim of our institutions reflects the challenge to say what is purely correct and think what is purely correct.


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