free thinking

Freethought (sometimes spelled free thought) is an epistemological viewpoint which holds that beliefs should not be formed on the basis of authority, tradition, revelation, or dogma, and that beliefs should instead be reached by other methods such as logic, reason, and empirical observation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a freethinker is "a person who forms their own ideas and opinions rather than accepting those of other people, especially in religious teaching." In some contemporary thought in particular, free thought is strongly tied with rejection of traditional social or religious belief systems. The cognitive application of free thought is known as "freethinking", and practitioners of free thought are known as "freethinkers". Modern freethinkers consider free thought to be a natural freedom from all negative and illusive thoughts acquired from society.The term first came into use in the 17th century in order to refer to people who inquired into the basis of traditional beliefs which were often accepted unquestioningly. Today, freethinking is most closely linked with deism, secularism, atheism, agnosticism, humanism, anti-clericalism, and religious critique. The Oxford English Dictionary defines freethinking as, "The free exercise of reason in matters of religious belief, unrestrained by deference to authority; the adoption of the principles of a free-thinker." Freethinkers hold that knowledge should be grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, and logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, urban myth, prejudice, or sectarianism.Two major flaws of freethought are that majority of human epistemic interactions with the world are based on belief alone (eg. existence of the world, other minds, existence of the past, memory, etc.); and secondly that freethought itself is not based on logic, reason, or empirical observation as there is no way to logically or reasonably derive that freethought is deontologically valid. In such freethought can only be warranted through exercise of circular logic and hence any statements in support of freethinking are bound to beg the question.
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movement: free-thought

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