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Forgotten (Free) Thinkers

“We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth and to assimilate it from whatever source it comes to us, even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples. For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than truth itself; it never cheapens or debases him who reaches for it but ennobles and honors him.”

–Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Kindi (d. ca. A.D. 870), one of the earliest free-thinking Muslims, and likely deemed a heretic by past and present Islamic traditionalists. His point here is that truth can be found in various places, even outside Islam.

If this quote were from a member of the European Enlightenment or a 20th century intellectual, I would not have posted it. But it is always fascinating and refreshing when someone in an age of religious dogmaticism and strife can sound like a Thomas Jefferson or perhaps even a post-modernist.

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