Je Suis Charlie


‘First, if any opinion is compelled to silence, that opinion may, for aught we can certainly know, be true. To deny this is to assume our own infallibility.

Secondly, though the silenced opinion be an error, it may, and very commonly does, contain a portion of truth; and since the general or prevailing opinion on any subject is rarely or never the whole truth, it is only by the collision of adverse opinions that the remainder of the truth has any chance of being supplied.

Thirdly, even if the received opinion be not only true, but the whole truth; unless it is suffered to be, and actually is, vigorously and earnestly contested, it will, by most of those who receive it, be held in the manner of a prejudice, with little comprehension or feeling of its rational grounds.

And not only this, but, fourthly, the meaning of the doctrine itself will be in danger of being lost, or enfeebled, and deprived of its vital effect on the character and conduct: the dogma becoming a mere formal profession, inefficacious for good, but cumbering the ground, and preventing the growth of any real and heartfelt conviction, from reason or personal experience. ‘

John Stuart Mill;  ‘On Liberty’

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5 Responses to Je Suis Charlie

  1. Maria F. says:

    Mr. T, what John Stuart Mill; says ‘On Liberty’ is so compelling. Particularly with speaking, writing, and blogging. I voice opinions in the air, and I wonder where do they land? I say I like, I think I know, yet it’s all in the air spread out so thin and minuscule. I was undecided whether having a visual blog was a better idea, since opinions land as either assumptions or misconceptions. I am glad you shared John Stuart Mill; ‘On Liberty’ on this post, as I learned more from him, (and I know it’s your avatar).

    • Trifocal says:

      I wonder about what people make of each post too. And responding properly to someone’s comments is hard when you do not know them well. I suppose that is partly because we miss all the non-verbal cues that we get talking with someone face to face, and partly because imo there are some broad differences in how people from different societies (and age groups?) communicate with each other. But that is part of what makes it all so interesting 🙂

      • Maria F. says:

        Yes, that is why I decided against turning comments off (sometime ago). There was this other photography “visual blog” that has comments off, and I found it intriguing; but then I thought if I did that, I would miss on some valuable information a blogger might have to offer. I was right, valuable information has indeed been useful through the comment section. I like what you shared about John Stuart Mill because it addresses the poignant issue of what is “truth”, vs. what lands as an opinion in people’s ears and how it evolves from there.

  2. Katy Gilmore says:

    Thank you for including my Je Suis Charlie on your list of liked posts!

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