freethinkers

(redirected from Freethought)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

freethinkers,

those who arrive at conclusions, particularly in questions of religion, by employing the rules of reason while rejecting supernatural authority or ecclesiastical tradition. The freethinkers believe that independence of thought from such authority leads all men to essentially identical conclusions concerning morality and religion. The name came into general use in the 18th cent. after the publication (1713) of Anthony Collins's Discourse of Freethinking Occasioned by the Rise and Growth of a Sect Called Freethinkers. The movement took different forms in different countries. In England it was intimately connected with deism but did not break completely with traditional Christianity. It took a more radical form in France. Voltaire renounced all connection with Christianity, and the Encyclopedists broke with religion altogether. Freethinking also has an important social side and influenced the philosophies of the Freemasons and, in France, the Culte de l'Être Suprême. In the United States the organizations established to further freethinking include the American Rationalist Association, the American Secular Union, and the Freethinkers of America. The International Order for Ethics and Culture, organized at Bern in 1908, is designed to investigate the ethical factors in society without theological or metaphysical bias.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
FFRF publishes Freethought Today which is the only freethoutht newspaper in the United States, broadcasts Freethought Radio, and promotes freedom from religion with educational books, literature, music, and freethought billboards.
Kirkley divides the book into two parts, "Theory," and "Theory into Practice." Part one examines the outlines of the postbellum freethought movement, freethinkers' theorizing about gender, and their conception of ideal gender relations.
Freethought support for complete intellectual and religious liberty was based on principle, not pragmatism.
325: "Religion is the sickest perversion ever seen on earth." Another way 800 conforms to the previous Harwood books I've read is by being full of interesting information that Freethought readers always appreciate.
Atheists, Freethinkers, and Secular Humanists will enjoy all the Freethought content in the novel.
One was Ed Buckner, a retired Georgia State University professor, unabashed atheist and a member of the Atlanta Freethought Society.
If we succeed at informing the general public that these ideas are of paramount import, and that those wire hold them stand at the vanguard of freethought, many among the general public will realize that a reason-based worldview is something they already subscribe to.
The lawsuit stems from the board's refusal to allow David Williamson, chair of the Central Freethought Community (a chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation) the opportunity to deliver a message of solemnity at the beginning of an upcoming meeting.
In mid May, the Texas Office of the Comptroller sent a letter to Americans United for Separation of Church and State announcing it had granted tax-exempt status to the Church of Freethought, a Dallas-area congregation.
What I didn't get from this book was clear analysis of O'Hair's place in the history of the freethought movement.
Meanwhile, aerospace engineer and North Alabama Freethought Association board member Kelly McCauley delivered an invocation at the opening of the September 25 Huntsville City Council meeting.
Mirecki became a lightening rod for controversy in November when he announced he would teach a course titled "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies." On a list serve used by a student freethought group, Mirecki called religious conservatives "fundies" and said the course would be a "nice slap in their big fat face." He later apologized and stepped down as head of the department, although he will continue to teach.