It was James William Fulbright (1905 – 1995) who stated:
“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.”
Other quotes that are attributable to James William Fulbright include:
The citizen who criticizes his country is paying it an implied tribute.
(Speech to the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 28, 1966)
It is not our affluence, or our plumbing, or our clogged freeways that grip the imagination of others. Rather, it is the values upon which our system is built. These values imply our adherence not only to liberty and individual freedom, but also to international peace, law and order, and constructive social purpose. When we depart from these value, we do so at our peril.
(Remarks in the United States Senate, June 29, 1961)
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 ‘unthinkable things’ because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.
(Remarks in the United States Senate, March 27, 1964)
Incidentally, James William Fulbright, aka J. William Fulbright, aka Bill Fulbright, was an American politician who was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1942, and then in 1944 was elected to the United States Senate where he served 30 years until losing in the election of 1974.
Hey, how would you like to read some quotes that relate to dissent and relate to thinking? You do, eh. Okay, then, go over to:
Dissent Quotes from BrainyQuote™
Quotes on Thinking, from the website of John L. Jerz, Copyright (c) 2012.
Oh, and by the way, I also found an interesting place on the internet. Go ahead and check it out for your self. It is:
Democracy and dissent, Reset DOC, Philosophy and Religion, Wednesday, 11 March 2009.
After all that, you might even wish to explore the website of Reset DOC which states the following on its “About us” page:
Reset-Dialogues On Civilizations (Reset-DoC) is an Italian non-profit Association (since 2004), based in Rome. It promotes dialogue and intercultural understanding through public meetings both nationally, in Italy and at an international level, through publications and press work dedicated to more profound knowledge as well as the translation of notions and concepts from one into the other universe of understanding, from one into another culture – particularly between ‘East’ and ‘West’ in matters of culture, religion and politics. The Foundation was born in cooperation with the cultural Italian magazine Reset. We hope to become a reference point for all of those who want to go beyond the much-evoked clash of civilizations towards a pluralism in making. Our Scientific Committee is a network of intellectuals from different cultural backgrounds, who share the same liberal and humanistic values.