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The American nonprofit Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, founded and directed by neuroethicist Dr. Wrye Sententia and legal theorist Richard Glen Boire, defines cognitive liberty as "the right of each individual to think independently and autonomously, to use the full spectrum of his or her mind, and to engage in multiple modes of thought."
An individual who enjoys cognitive liberty is free to alter the state of their consciousness using any method they choose, such as meditation, yoga, psychoactive drugs, and prayer. Such an individual would also never be forced to change their consciousness against their will. So, for example, a child who is forced to consume Ritalin as a prerequisite for attending public school, does not enjoy cognitive liberty, nor does an individual who is forced to take anti-psychotics in order to be fit to stand trial, nor an individual who faces criminal charges and punishment for changing the state of their consciousness by consuming a mind-altering drug.
We're playing with half a deck as long as we tolerate that the cardinals of government and science should dictate where human curiosity can legitimately send its attention and where it can not. It's an essentially preposterous situation. It is essentially a civil rights issue, because what we're talking about here is the repression of a religious sensibility. In fact, not a religious sensibility, the religious sensibility.
American psychologist and writer Timothy Leary summarized the concept in two “new commandments for the molecular age”:
- Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow men.
- Thou shalt not prevent thy fellow man from changing his or her own consciousness.
- American Civil Liberties Union
- Morphological freedom
- Sell v. United States
- The Rhetoric of Drugs
- Thomas Szasz
- Personalized medicine
- "FAQ - Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE)". General Info. Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics. 2003-09-15. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
- Two Commandments for the Molecular Age
- CCLE website The Center for Cognitive Liberty & Ethics (CCLE) coined the terms "cognitive liberty" and "cognitive security" in 2000.
- Cognitive liberty - Sell v. U.S. Supreme Court
-  &  Websites for Richard Glen Boire's law firm.
-  Graham Hancock on freedom of consciousness.
- Cognitive Liberty UK - Advocates of Law Reform in Relation to Psychedelic Drugs in the UK
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