Freedom of Expression
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man as far as by it he does not hurt or control the right of another; and this is the only check it ought to suffer and the only bounds it ought to know.... Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech, a thing terrible to traitors.
By Benjamin Franklin
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.
The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.
In Iran, there is no freedom of the press, no freedom of speech, no independent judiciary, no free elections. There is no freedom of religion - not even for Shiites, who are forced by Irans theocracy to adhere to one narrow set of official rules.
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
If all mankind minus one were of one 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.