美国研究院高级英语阅读考试 LSAT 1 论言论自由
It is common saying that thought is free. A person can never hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. The working of his mind is limited only by his experience and the power of his imagination. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value. It is unsatisfactory and even painful to the thinker himself if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbors. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man's thinking lead him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behavior of those about him, to reject beliefs which they hold, or to see better ways of life than those they follow. it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some has preferred, like Socrates, and some would prefer today, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus, freedom of thoughts , in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech. |www.examda.com|
At present, in the most civilized countries, the freedom of speech has been taken as matter of course and seems a perfectly simple thing. We are so accustomed to it that we look on it as a natural right. But this right has been acquired only in quite resent times, and way to its attainment has been lain through lakes of blood. It has taken centuries to persuade the most enlightened people that publish one's opinions and discuss all questions is a good and not a bad thing. Human societies in the past are generally opposed to the freedom of thought, or in other word, to the new ideas and it is easy to see why.
The average brain is generally lazy and tends to taken the line of least resistance. The mental world of the ordinary person consists of beliefs that she has accepted without questioning and to which she is firmly attached. She is instinctively hostile to anything that upset the established order of the familiar world. New ideas, inconsistent with some of the beliefs she hold, means necessity of rearranging her mind, and this process is laborious. requiring painful expenditure of brain energy. To his and her peers, who form the vast majority , new ideas and opinions that cast doubt on established beliefs and institutions seem evil because they are disagreeable. |www.examda.com|
Repugnance due to mere mental laziness is increasing by positive feeling of fear. The conservative instinct hardence the conservative doctrine that the foundations of society are endangered by the alternations in its structure. It is only recently that people have been abandoning thae bel