Freethought Almanac

Lighting a candle in toxic air.
2011-10-15
October 15: Friedrich Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844) It was on this date, October 15, 1844, that German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Röcken, Saxony, the son of a Lutheran pastor who died when he was five. Brought up by pious relatives, Nietzsche was educated at the universities of Bonn (1864-65) and Leipzig (1864-68), becoming a professor at the […]

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2011-09-29
September 29: Michael Servetus

Michael Servetus (1511) It was on this date, September 29, 1511,* that the Spanish cleric Miguel Serveto, known by his Latinized name, Michael Servetus, was born in Villanueva. Recognizing an incipient intellect, at the age of 13, his father, a Roman Catholic cleric, sent his son to study at the University of Zaragoza/Lerida. It developed […]

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2011-09-28
September 28: Friedrich Engels

Friedrich Engels (1820) It was on this date, September 28, 1820, that German political philosopher and Socialist leader Friedrich Engels was born in Barmen, Prussia. His father ran a factory in Manchester, in the north of England, and sent him there as a young man to gain management experience. But Engels was shocked at the […]

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2011-09-17
September 17: Marquis de Condorcet

Marquis de Condorcet (1743) It was on this date, September 17, 1743, that French mathematician and political philosopher Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, was born in Ribemont, Picardy, France. His father died early, so his mother, a very devout woman, had Condorcet educated at Jesuit Colleges in Reims and at the Collège […]

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2011-08-29
August 29: The Reasonableness of John Locke

"How any man who should inquire and know for himself can content himself with a faith or belief taken upon trust, is to be astonishing."

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2011-08-27
August 27: Confucius

Confucius (551 BCE) It was on this date, August 27, 551 BCE, by tradition, that the Chinese teacher and philosopher K'ung fu-tzu (孔子 Pinyin Kǒng Zǐ), known popularly by his Latinized name, Confucius, was born in the state of Lu. Though fatherless from the age of three, Confucius nevertheless acquired a good education and married […]

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2011-08-27
August 27: Georg W. F. Hegel

Georg W. F. Hegel (1770) It was on this date, August 27, 1770, that the great the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in Stuttgart. After studying theology at the University of Tübingen, he tutored at Bern and Frankfurt, then lectured at the University of Jena (1801-06), before becoming headmaster of a Nuremberg […]

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2011-07-28
July 28: Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach

Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach (1804) On this date, July 28, 1804, the German philosopher Ludwig Andreas von Feuerbach was born in Landshut in Bavaria. As a young student of Hegel at Heidelberg, Feuerbach wrote to a friend, "Theology I can bring myself to study no more. I long to take nature to my heart, that […]

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2011-07-28
July 28: Karl Popper (1902)

Sir Karl Popper (1902) It was on this date, July 28, 1902, that British philosopher Sir Karl Popper was born in Austria. He studied and taught in Vienna until the rise of the Nazis forced this son of Jewish parents to emigrate. He was sympathetic to the Vienna School of philosophy, though he was never […]

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2011-07-26
July 26: George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (1856) It was on this date, July 26, 1856, that playwright George Bernard Shaw was born to Protestant parents in Dublin, Ireland. It is said the young Shaw attended a revival service by Dwight Moody and Ira Sankey in Dublin, and in one of his first critical notes wrote, "if this sort […]

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Ronald Bruce Meyer

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January 19: James Watt

Andrew Carnegie says Watt was a Deist and never attended church.



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