Freethinker

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Maxcady10001
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Freethinker

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 15th, 2018, 12:04 am

Does anyone still use freethinker to describe themselves? Why isn't it more popular to do so? It seems an impossible term to find fault with, who wouldn't want to be a freethinker?

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Greta
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Re: Freethinker

Post by Greta » June 15th, 2018, 12:45 am

To what purpose would one label oneself outside of applying for work or relationships?

Maxcady10001
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Re: Freethinker

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 15th, 2018, 12:51 am

For the sake of argument.

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Greta
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Re: Freethinker

Post by Greta » June 15th, 2018, 1:23 am

Hehehe. Okay. I personally don't call myself a philosopher because I have no academic or professional affiliations. So I'm an ex analyst (my last job before retiring) and now basically a free thinker about life, the universe and everything for the sake of curiosity.

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Re: Freethinker

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 15th, 2018, 1:44 am

After scrolling through posts on forums, calling oneself an atheist, theist, or agnostic, seems to cause trouble. I've even seen people call themselves agnostic atheists to bypass whatever problems come with the atheist label. There are probably a bunch of other labels people go by, but freethinker seems like it would stump anyone trying to pigeon hole a viewpoint. I've personally never heard anyone say they were a freethinker. I have heard of a freethinker's club, but I don't think any of those people took the label on personally.

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Re: Freethinker

Post by LuckyR » June 15th, 2018, 2:05 am

In various eras being part of a group or being independent have each been in and out of fashion. Currently being independent is less popular.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Freethinker

Post by Greta » June 15th, 2018, 2:18 am

I expect that the way you could be sucked into the vortex is someone would have you define "freethinker". If you are precise, then your notions will probably be criticised. If you are imprecise, then that will be certainly be criticised as rendering your definition meaningless.

Consider Terry Pratchett's depiction of philosophers in his Small Gods novel - he's perhaps not so far off ...
"What do philosophers look like?" said Brutha, "When they're not having a bath, I mean."
"They do a lot of thinking," said Om. "Look for someone with a strained expression."
"That might just mean constipation."
"Well, so long as they're philosophical about it . . ."

The city of Ephebe surrounded them. Dogs barked. Somewhere a cat yowled. There was that general susurration of small comfortable sounds that shows that, out there, a lot of people are living their lives.

And then a door burst open down the street and there was the cracking noise of a quite large wine amphora being broken over someone's head. A skinny old man in a toga picked himself up from the cobbles where he had landed, and glared at the doorway.

"I'm telling you, listen, a finite intellect, right, cannot by means of comparison reach the absolute truth of things, because being by nature indivisible, truth excludes the concepts of "more" or "less" so that nothing but truth itself can be the exact measure of truth. You bastards," he said.
Someone from inside the building said, "Oh yeah? Sez you."

The old man ignored Brutha but, with great difficulty, pulled a cobblestone loose and hefted it in his hand. Then he dived back through the doorway. There was a distant scream of rage.
"Ah. Philosophy," said Om.
Brutha peered cautiously round the door. Inside the room two groups of very nearly identical men in togas were trying to hold back two of their colleagues. It is a scene repeated a million times a day in bars around the multiverse-both would-be fighters growled and grimaced at one another and fought to escape the restraint of their friends, only of course they did not fight too hard, because there is nothing worse than actually succeeding in breaking free and suddenly finding yourself all alone in the middle of the ring with a madman who is about to hit you between the eyes with a rock.

"Yep," said Om, "that's philosophy, right enough."
"But they're fighting!"
"A full and free exchange of opinions, yes."

Now that Brutha could get a clearer view, he could see that there were one or two differences between the men. One had a shorter beard, and was very red in the face, and was waggling a finger accusingly.

"He bloody well accused me of slander!" he was shouting.
"I didn't!" shouted the other man.
"You did! You did! Tell 'em what you said!"
"Look, I merely suggested, to indicate the nature of paradox, right, that if Xeno the Ephebian said, `All Ephebians are liars-' "
"See? See? He did it again!"
"-no, no, listen, listen . . . then, since Xeno is himself an Ephebian, this would mean that he himself is a liar and therefore-” Xeno made a determined effort to break free, dragging four desperate fellow philosophers across the floor.
"I'm going to lay one right on you, pal!"

Brutha said, "Excuse me, please?"
The philosophers froze. Then they turned to look at Brutha. They relaxed by degrees. There was a chorus of embarrassed coughs.
"Are you all philosophers?" said Brutha.

The one called Xeno stepped forward, adjusting the hang of his toga.
"That's right," he said. "We're philosophers. We think, therefore we am."
"Are," said the luckless paradox manufacturer automatically.
Xeno spun around. "I've just about had it up to here with you, Ibid!" he roared. He turned back to Brutha. "We are, therefore we am," he said confidently. "That's it."
Several of the philosophers looked at one another with interest.
"That's actually quite interesting," one said. "The evidence of our existence is the fact of our existence, is that what you're saying?"
"Shut up," said Xeno, without looking around.
"Have you been fighting?" said Brutha.
The assembled philosophers assumed various expressions of shock and horror.
"Fighting? Us? We're philosophers," said Ibid, shocked.
"My word, yes," said Xeno.
"But you were-” Brutha began.
Xeno waved a hand.
"The cut and thrust of debate," he said.
"Thesis plus antithesis equals hysteresis," said Ibid. "The stringent testing of the universe. The hammer of the intellect upon the anvil of fundamental truth-”
"Shut up," said Xeno. "And what can we do for you, young man?"

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Re: Freethinker

Post by Maxcady10001 » June 15th, 2018, 3:43 am

Freethinker- a person willing to change their opinion when it is put to adequate criticism, with little regard for the extravagance or popularity of schools of thought.

I am now an ideological mongoose unable to be pinned down. I downloaded a free pdf of the book small gods, it seems worth reading. Does the "we think, therefore we am" assume we is one, or unified? Is that why he said that?

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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:01 am

Freethinker - a thinker that is gifted to a person without any expectations for anything of value in exchange.

Gifted child - a freethinking child, OR a child who has been given a freethinker

Freethinker - a thinker that is not in jail, in custody, in prison, or whose raison d'etre is not forcing him or her to eat Aunt Mariska's stuffed cabbage recipe.

Freethinker - a thinker who is free from the yoke of reason or logic when thinking.

Freethinker - a thinker to whom the universal (but not universally accepted) concept of "everything has a cause, and every cause is effecting something" does not apply. Personally.

Freethinker - unenallotted, unassigned, and unbound thinker who still has to decide to be "pro-choice" or "pro-life".

Freethinker - thinker of freedom, in all of its aspects, including what it means to be a freethinker.
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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:05 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 3:43 am
Does the "we think, therefore we am" assume we is one, or unified? Is that why he said that?
I don't think Pratchett had any other assumptions when writing the excerpted skit but 1. the egotism of thinkers, 2. the problems that different levels of capacity to understand logical structures present when argumenting and 3. the impression one has that he or she himself or herself is infallible in his or her knowing the true truth, while others are incorrigible in sticking to their false truths.
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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:13 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 1:44 am
After scrolling through posts on forums, calling oneself an atheist, theist, or agnostic, seems to cause trouble. I've even seen people call themselves agnostic atheists to bypass whatever problems come with the atheist label. There are probably a bunch of other labels people go by, but freethinker seems like it would stump anyone trying to pigeon hole a viewpoint. I've personally never heard anyone say they were a freethinker. I have heard of a freethinker's club, but I don't think any of those people took the label on personally.
This is mainly because "free" has a bad connotation socially, but a happy connotation on a personal psychological level.

Everyone loves a free ride, but everyone knows there is no such thing as a free lunch.

The entire Western capitalist / industrialist establishment depends on things not being free. That's a sociological pressure on the individual's thinking.

Whereas personal freedom is touted as the MOST valuable asset of Americans. "Gimmie liberty, or gimmie death." That's psychological pressure on the individual.

"You get what you pay for." A freethinker's thought may be spirited and beautiful to look at, but it certainly does not pay the bills, because it's -- well, because the freethinker gets and passes on his thoughts freely. The fool! (Socrates's wife suffered from this syndrome of thought.)

stb.

In conclusion, all over the world freethinkers have been persecuted, hanged, drawn and quartered, burnt at the stake, and maimed and mutilated then thrown to the fish.

So it is not a very, very good policy to openly announce to the world you are a freethinker.
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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:20 am

Greta wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 12:45 am
To what purpose would one label oneself outside of applying for work or relationships?
True. A supporting example:

"Dear Lady X,

Please consider my application for the positions of relationship partner and missionary.

My qualifications enable to do the job properly as I am through-and-through a freethinker.

Please respond by stating when I can start."
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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:29 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 1:44 am
After scrolling through posts on forums, calling oneself an atheist, theist, or agnostic, seems to cause trouble. I've even seen people call themselves agnostic atheists to bypass whatever problems come with the atheist label. There are probably a bunch of other labels people go by, but freethinker seems like it would stump anyone trying to pigeon hole a viewpoint. I've personally never heard anyone say they were a freethinker. I have heard of a freethinker's club, but I don't think any of those people took the label on personally.
I've seen complete religionists who posed themselves as atheists, openly declaring it, then making an impassioned (but false) argument how atheism is unsustainable as a world view.

Atheists don't need to use this tactic, because in their proselytizing movement don't need to force unacceptable concepts down others' throats. This is actually -- for some paradoxical reason which I can't fathom, at least I haven't yet -- a predictor of a religions' popularity: the more impossible the tenets are that are to be accepted, the more viciously devout the followers of a given religion are.
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Re: Freethinker

Post by -1- » June 15th, 2018, 7:40 am

LuckyR wrote:
June 15th, 2018, 2:05 am
Currently being independent is less popular.
"As usual... it depends."
As unusual, it independs.
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Re: Freethinker

Post by Steve3007 » June 15th, 2018, 7:57 am

Maxcady10001 wrote:Does anyone still use freethinker to describe themselves? Why isn't it more popular to do so? It seems an impossible term to find fault with, who wouldn't want to be a freethinker?
I think you've answered your own question. The purpose of labelling is to distinguish one thing from another. So labelling is only useful when there are at least two conceivable labels that we might want to attach to ourselves. If, as you've said, it's impossible to find fault with the term or imagine anyone wanting to label themselves as a non-freethinker, then the label is redundant.

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