Surely Every Human Being Ought To Attain To The Dignity Of The Unit.

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Surely every human being ought to attain to the dignity of the unit. Surely
it is worth while to be one, and to feel that the census of the universe
would be incomplete without counting you. Surely there is grandeur in knowing
that in the realm of thought you are without a chain; that you have the right
to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls or fences, or
prohibited places, or sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought; that
your intellect owes no allegiance to any being, human or divine; that you
hold all in fee, and upon no condition, and by no tenure, whatsoever; that
in the world of mind you are relieved from all personal dictation, and from
the ignorant tyranny of majorities. Surely it is worth something to feel that
there are no priests, no popes, no parties, no governments, no kings, no gods,
to whom your intellect can be compelled to pay a reluctant homage. Surely it
is a joy to know that all the cruel ingenuity of bigotry can devise no prison,
no dungeon, no cell in which for one instant to confine a thought; that ideas
cannot be dislocated by racks, nor crushed in iron boots, nor burned with
fire. Surely it is sublime to think that the brain is a castle, and that
within its curious bastions and winding halls the soul, in spite of all worlds
and all beings, is the supreme sovereign of itself.
-- Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), "The Free Soul"