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Encyclopedia > Freethinking
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Freethought. (Discuss)

Freethinking or free thought is the practice of forming one's beliefs independently of the perceived factual/logical falsehoods and intellectually limiting effects of conventional wisdom, urban legends, popular culture, cognitive bias, prejudice, tradition, and authority. Free thinkers base their beliefs on what they perceive to be facts and logic. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... It has been suggested that Freethinking be merged into this article or section. ... Conventional wisdom is a term coined by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, used to describe certain ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public. ... Urban Legend is also the name of a 1998 movie. ... Popular culture, or pop culture, is the vernacular (peoples) culture that prevails in any given society. ... Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. ... For with(out) prejudice in law, see Prejudice (law). ... The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means to hand down or to hand over. ... In politics, authority generally refers to the ability to make laws, independent of the power to enforce them, or the ability to permit something. ... Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος (logos), originally meaning the word, or what is spoken, (but coming to mean thought or reason) is most often said to be the study of criteria for the evaluation of arguments, although the exact definition of logic is a matter of controversy among philosophers. ...

Contents


Freethinking in Philosophy/Religion

Free thought was advocated by Buddha in the Buddhist text the Kalama Sutta. The following excerpt encourages freethought: To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... The Kalama Sutta (Sanskrit: Kalama Sutra) is a Buddhist sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya of the Tipitaka. ...

"It is proper for you, Kalamas [the people of Kesaputta], to doubt, to be uncertain; uncertainty has arisen in you about what is doubtful. Come, Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' Kalamas, when you yourselves know: 'These things are bad; these things are blameable; these things are censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them."

Freethinking and irreligion

Because so many religious beliefs are based on tradition and authority and are often cognitively biased, freethinkers are often at odds with religious views and may discard them altogether. The word tradition, comes from the Latin word traditio which means to hand down or to hand over. ... In politics, authority generally refers to the ability to make laws, independent of the power to enforce them, or the ability to permit something. ... Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. ...


Although freethinkers are irreligious it is important to note that freethinkers can, in theory, have moral foundations just as strong as those who are religious; the mere fact a person is irreligious, freethinkers claim, has no correlation with virtuous convictions such as kindness to and tolerance of others, service to the less fortunate, nonviolence, or humility or humbleness. It is important to note that while some form of courtesy and moral values are necessary in order to coexist with other living entities, there is no such logical foundation for any religious beliefs.


It is likewise important to note that though freethinkers tend to reject religious dogma, their rejection is sometimes equally founded on traditional rejections of religion, which in the extreme, becomes dogmatic in its own right.


Development of Freethinking

Freethinking often begins with a rejection of established principles, but must eventually lead to the desire to build a logical understanding of reality. If it does not lead to this point then an entity's development would stop at a point of complete apathy. Freethinking can occur from the inception of logical thought, in which case no established principles need be rejected.


Freethinking often defines the given world by making a few basic assumptions: I exist, what I perceive is governed by natural laws of physics and as such exists, et cetera. From a few simple basic assumptions entire moral and ethical philosophies are built. A true freethinker will be developing this understanding of reality throughout their entire lives, yet two freethinkers can often quickly assume an understanding of each other through a quick exchange of the base assumptions.


Additional information

Freethinking is an improvement on natural philosophy due to the modern understanding of science and reality. As such freethinkers might possess extreme distaste for anyone that frequently quotes natural philosophers. Keep in mind that the term freethinking still just represents personal freedom of thought and does not truly contain any connotations.


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
What Is A Freethinker? (0 words)
Freethinkers recognize that there is much chaos, ugliness and pain in the universe for which any explanation of origins must also account.
Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason.
Freethinkers see no pride in the blind maintenance of ancient superstitions or self-effacing prostration before divine tyrants known only through primitive "revelations." Freethought is respectable.
Freethinker Rock in Comfort, TX (0 words)
The Freethinker Rock in the Comfort, Texas, town park was removed December 21, 2000.
Freethinkers and their ideas were also evident in other German areas like Kerrville, Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, La Grange and Brenham.
Texas was attractive because of available land and the freethinking principles of the Republic of Texas Constitution.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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