What exactly is Freethought? The question has been tossed around a bit for at least the last two centuries most passionately in my opinion. If a Christian believes in "free will" does that make him or her a Freethinker? If someone utilizes, lets say, the scientific method? Or the "Baloney Test" (as Carl Sagan frankly described logical deduction)? Does that make the person a Freethinker by definition? Or is a Freethinker just someone who does/thinks whatever he/she wants to do whenever the mood hits?
I am a man of Dictionaries. Yes, I will admit it, I have read an entire dictionary from cover to cover. I read the entire Webster's collegiate in my sophomore year in high school. I noticed it standing on a podium, as if it were special. The Bible of grammar Nazi's every where... a veritable holy grail of geekdom. I learned the value of an acutely defined word. Definitions DO make a difference. If I have a different definition of a word than you do, then we CAN NOT make sense to each other. The very foundation of logic, the law of identity, is based on this concept. So a sharp definition is called for in this instance.
Freethought (wikipedia) is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any dogma.The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers.
That is what I love! An ATTEMPT at making a precise definition of ANY CONCEPT in this absurd realm the great Carl Sagan calls "The Cosmos". How difficult a task it is to define something. For those of you who think it is easy to define something, then please define for me a "table". How about defining a human emotion such as "love"? Any John Lennon fan will immediately catch on as John Lenon even made a song where he defined and re-defined love over and over again. Then again, what Beatles song didn't have a new definition of the word "love" in it?
For the most part, I agree with this definition of "Freethought" and "Freethinker", and this is the definition that I will be using. I think that it may even go as far...nay..It DOES go as far as political, economic, and social views, but that will be in my future opinion posts.
What is your definition of "Freethought"?
Blogged by JEREMY