Benjamin Franklin, Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech”, Benjamin Franklin, 1722.
Freedom of thought (also called the freedom of conscience or ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact, viewpoint, or thought, independent of others’ viewpoints. It is different from and not to be confused with the concept of freedom of speech or expression. Though freedom of thought is axiomatic for many other freedoms they are in no way required for it to operate and exist. Conception of a freedom or a right does not guarantee its inclusion, legality, or protection via a philosophical caveat. Bill of Rights contains the famous guarantee in the First Amendment that laws may not be made that interfere with religion “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. U.S. Supreme Court JusticeBenjamin Cardozo reasoned in Palko v. Connecticut (1937): Freedom of thought… is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom. With rare aberrations a pervasive recognition of this truth can be traced in our history, political and legal.
Sensuality contains a degree of moral knowledge which may not be ignored. It is the fact of this moral knowledge original to sensuality that establishes the appropriateness of thinking of reason’s rule over sensuality in terms of the political analogy of rulership. Sensuality is naturally ordered to reason and yet the natural involvement of the two and the mutual relation of dependence is but a lived relationship of morality and persuasion as well as obedience and to some degree consent. It might seem too strong to speak of sensuality’s consent to the rule of reason that promotes liberal conception. Rule is for the one who is superior in knowledge and justice. Reason as a faculty is naturally more directed to the common good and more ordered to justice than is sensuality with its material aspect and the particularity that comes of that. Rule of sensuality is necessary if the human proclivity to sociality is to be realized. Sensuality indicates rule of those who are free to provide counsel and not domination. When reason turned against God at the moment of the Fall, a moment when reason resisted its own ecstatic dynamism toward a life in imitation God this rule was rejected by sensuality. Importantly such a rejection was appropriate since reason tried to corrupt the nature of sensuality by removing its ecstatic dynamism and necessarily promoting a rule of domination in refusing the natural “free” pronitas of ecstatic sensuality. Law is “nothing else than an ordination of reason for the common good” and human law only has the quality of law in so far it is in accordance with right reason.”Insofar as it deviates from reason it is unjust law and has the nature not of law but of violence.” If a prince commands what is unjust, “his subjects are not required to obey him.” The disobedience of sensuality is one of the consequences of original sin and of concupiescence as a dispositive cause encouraging the will to move contrary to the judgment of reason. But it is crucial to realize that sometimes this unruliness is a rejection of false rule of reason.