Quotation by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

When individuals and nations have once got in their heads the abstract concept of full- blown liberty, there is nothing like it in its uncontrollable strength, just because it is the very essence of mind, and that as its very actuality. Whole continents, Africa and the East, have never had this Idea, and are without it still. The Greeks and Romans, Plato and Aristotle, even the Stoics, did not have it. On the contrary, they saw that it is only by birth or by strength of character, education, or philosophy that the human being is actually free. It was through Christianity that this Idea came into the world. According to Christianity, the individual as such has an infinite value as the object and aim of divine love, destined as mind to live in absolute relationship with God himself, and have God's mind dwelling in him: i.e. man is implicitly destined to supreme freedom.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831), German philosopher. Philosophy of Mind, part 3: the Encyclopedia, section 1, "Mind Subjective," par. 482, pp. 239-240, Oxford University Press (l971).
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