Nonfiction > Upton Sinclair, ed. > The Cry for Justice

Upton Sinclair, ed. (1878–1968).
The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest.  1915.
Free Speech

By Sir Leslie Stephen

(English essayist and critic, 1832–1904)
I, FOR one, am fully prepared to listen to any arguments for the propriety of theft or murder, or if it be possible, of immorality in the abstract. No doctrine, however well established, should be protected from discussion. If, as a matter of fact, any appreciable number of persons are so inclined to advocate murder on principle, I should wish them to state their opinions openly and fearlessly, because I should think that the shortest way of exploding the principle and of ascertaining the true causes of such a perversion of moral sentiment. Such a state of things implies the existence of evils which cannot be really cured till their cause is known, and the shortest way to discover the cause is to give a hearing to the alleged reasons.  1

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