Quote of the moment: Thomas Jefferson, on government support of truth

Bas relief portrait of Thomas Jefferson, as one of the great lawgivers whose heritage of laws we draw from, portrayed in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. Image from Architect of the Capitol, Wikimedia

It is error alone which needs the support of government.  Truth can stand by itself.

Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1782

Excerpted here from The Quotable Jefferson, edited by John P. Kaminski, Princeton University Press, 2006, p. 226.

No, he didn’t specify, but I think he was talking about creationists who seek legislation to sneak creationism into science classes.


2 Responses to Quote of the moment: Thomas Jefferson, on government support of truth

  1. Nick K says:

    I think Jefferson was talking about the right wing in general actually.

    Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


  2. James Hanley says:

    “It may be in the nature of the political realm to be at war with truth in all its forms…”

    Hannah Arendt, “Truth and Politics,” pp. 554 i The Portable Hanna Arendt, edited by Peter Baehr.


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