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On Liberty Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from On Liberty
  1. #1
    “To make anyone answerable for doing evil to others, is the rule; to make him answerable for not preventing evil, is, comparatively speaking, the exception.”
  2. #2
    “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”
  3. #3
    “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion.”
  4. #4
    “A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.”
  5. #5
    ″... the danger which threatens human nature is not the excess, but the deficiency, of personal impulses and preferences.”
  6. #6
    “Each is a proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual.”
  1. #7
    ″... they have never thrown themselves into the mental position of those who think differently from them, and considered what such persons may have to say...
  2. #8
    “Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”
  3. #9
    “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of the opinion is, that it is robbing the human race.”
  4. #10
    “Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develope itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.”
  5. #11
    ″... intelligent following of custom, or even occasionally an intelligent deviation from custom, is better than a blind and simply mechanical adhesion to it.”
  6. #12
    “Yet, desires and and impulses are as much a part of a perfect human being, as beliefs and restraints;”

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  1. #13
    “The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it.”
  2. #14
    “It is not because men’s desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.”
  3. #15
    “A person whose desires and impulses are his own- are the expression of his own nature, as it has been developed and modified by his own culture- is said to have character.”
  4. #16
    “It still remains unrecognised, that to bring a child into existence without a fair prospect of being able, not only to provide food for its body, but instruction and training for its mind, is a moral crime, both against the unfortunate offspring and against society;”
  5. #17
    “The worst offense of this kind which can be committed by a polemic, is to stigmatize those who hold the contrary opinion as bad and immoral men.”
  6. #18
    “Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth.”
  7. #19
    “Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom.”
  8. #20
    “There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home.”
Book Topics › responsibility
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