Friday, 30 July 2010


The free word of the day is free-thinking.

At first glance this is such an innocent little word, and one we would all want to have applied to ourselves.

Freethinkers do not accept or reject ideas unless there is evidence, knowledge and any reason to do so. Freethinkers form opinions based on fact, scientific inquiry and logic. No authority, generally held opinion, culture, prejudice or tradition is allowed to obstruct the freethinking process.

This is all well and good.

But thoughts and beliefs are two very different things.

Who would have thought a word that looks so innocent could harbour such a riptide of meaning.

I believe, whole-heartedly, in the individual right, and duty, to think. To be free to think.

But I also respect each individual’s right to suspend disbelief and to allow faith to join the dots created by the stars in the universe.

Free-thinking must allow people to think that scientific inquiry and logic are only as perfect as our imperfect knowledge allows.

So here’s to free-thinking, to the self-determination of the individual, and to faith.

Not what I would call a fun-damental post.

What do you think we need to be free to think about?


  1. Wow - powerful.

    I think we all need to think more about how to make this earth a better place - safer for kids, healthier, happier.

  2. Hi Jemi
    I agree safer, healthier and happier.
    I read last week that Stephen Hawking thinks mankind will not survive unless we find ways to travel beyond the earth. If we can't look after the little thing we have, how can we do better with more?!

  3. I love the line "Free thinking must allow people to think that scientific inquiry and logic are only as perfect as our imperfect knowledge allows." Well said!

  4. Hi Susan
    With our physio-logical barriers, comprehension is not finite.

    When we write YA we need to know and understand the typical and unique characteristics of this age group, the super, and sub, stratum.

  5. I'd like to believe that I'm a free-thinker, but I also recognize that the lack of emperical evidence doesn't necessarily eliminate possibilities outside of our understanding.

  6. Hey DL - :)
    Empirical evidence is a line marked in the sands of time. ;)