Welcome to the Freethought Forum
#1
This is for all discussions related to Freethought and Rationalism. Post your questions comments and relevant issues in this forum. Appropriate titles for threads would be appreciated.
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#2
Hi Bala! Making sure we all use appropriate titles for threads is a great idea. Maybe we can work that into the guidelines (the ones we have now are temporary and subject to revision).
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#3
Interesting topic Bala - Free thought, there is no better freedom than Freedom to think.

Most religions have but a ban against freedom to think. You will be punished for your thought crimes. The worst kind of Totalitarianism. I often engage my self in debates online and face to face, with believers. When at times i get stuck on some points, use thought experiments along with philosophy to get best possible answers for the same.
My friends have warned me to stop cushioning on Philosophy as they fear i may end up one day in a Psychiatric ward.

However from a philosophical point of view, how would you rate the importance of Free thought. Ajita Kamal, i had read some of your blogs, would like your views too.

Presently reading Thus Spake Zarathustra by Frederic Nietzsche. His free thoughts are very much evident however it is saddening to see Hitler miss-interpreting Nietzsche's Superman.
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#4
Quote:However from a philosophical point of view, how would you rate the importance of Free thought.

I think its hard to overstate the importance of freethought in philosophy. It's best surmised in this passage by Apostolos Doxiadis, through the character of none other than Bertrand Russell, in the recent graphic novel Logicomix.

"Studying philosophy really means gorging yourself on a stew of Every idea imaginable. A Platonist thinks appearance is a bad copy of real reality, while an Aristoteilan puts all his faith in observation. Are mental concepts innate or acquired? Innate says the great Kant, acquired says the great Hume. Is there an opposition between mind and matter? Yes says Descartes, No says Spinoza. What about the material world around me? why its all in the mind says Berkeley!"

Russell himself, being a "militant pacifist" as he describes himself, abhorred Nietzsche's militarism. Contradictions and varied thought are, IMO, aplenty in philosophy and is certainly important.

Just finished Logicomix (highly recommended for those interested in study of Logic and Theory of Knowledge) and presently reading Basic Writings of Bertrand Russell. 700+ pages of unadulterated clear thinking! Good times ahead!.
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#5
(29-Mar-2010, 05:38 PM)jithu.nv Wrote: Interesting topic Bala - Free thought, there is no better freedom than Freedom to think.

I totally agree with the above words in the context you present them. Religions have indeed put a ban on the freedom to think. But just to make it clear, in the context of our socio-political and philosophical movement, freethought is not simply about freedom to think, but is more specifically about using science, reason and logic in thinking. I'm sure you already know this, but I'm stating it because it is a common misconception among some theists. Some people mistake 'freethought' for having an open mind to any and all ideas irrespective of the evidence for or against them. This is, obviously, not true.

So we are not talking about 'Free Thought', we actually mean 'Freethought' the noun.


Quote:My friends have warned me to stop cushioning on Philosophy as they fear i may end up one day in a Psychiatric ward.

This is a just fear, of course, but then again, this is in the context of India where few people care about things like philosophy (at least in modern India). Also, few Indians even understand what philosophy means, often confusing it with 'point of view' or with 'ancient ideas'.

So, keep reading Nietzsche and Hume and Marx and Wittgenstein, my friend! Philosophy is the formalizing of reason itself, and is vital to freethought. In fact, it is vital to science itself.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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