It was on this date, March 8, 1841, that The Great Dissenter on the US Supreme Court, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr was born. His distinction as The Great Dissenter arose from many legal dissents issued on the Supreme Court that nevertheless were incorporated into common law. Holmes once wrote (in dissent): “the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out.” Throughout most of his legal life, his religious opinion can be said to have been Unitarian. It was Holmes who said to a reporter on his 90th birthday, “Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered that I was not God.”
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Originally published March 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Here’s your Week in Freethought History: This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s an affirmation that we as freethinkers are neither unique nor alone in the world, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times. Last Sunday, April 29, is the feast-day of the Abbot of […]