Freethinker FAQ

What is a Freethinker?


free-think-er n. a person who thinks freely or independently : one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; especially : one who rejects or is skeptical of religious dogma – Merriam-Webster

Is Freethinking a recent phenomenon?

Not at all. People from throughout history — many of whom are renowned for their wisdom, intelligence, and impact — were freethinkers.

Some Famous Freethinkers
George Washington Mark Twain Albert Einstein
John Adams Charles Darwin Charles Dickens
John Quincy Adams Thomas Edison Bertrand Russell
Thomas Paine Sigmund Freud Katherine Hepburn
Thomas Jefferson Abraham Lincoln Carl Sagan
Benjamin Franklin James Madison Steve Allen
Madalyn Murray O'Hair Ayn Rand Robert Ingersoll
Voltairine de Cleyre Michael Bakunin Lysander Spooner
Bill Hicks George Carlin Doug Stanhope

Do you have an official position on political issues?

No, Freethinkers do not have a particular political stance. However, since freethinkers question authority, many of them tend to be libertarian, or at least skeptical of the claims and alleged authority of rulers. Also, the issues that freethinkers are interested in involve science, so there is a tendency for freethinkers to have a preference for political positions that have a good foundation in science over political positions that try to stifle, distort or censor good science, in favor of religion. Most freethinkers oppose efforts by some to have government endorse or subsidize religion. It is also a safe bet that many have concerns about Lysenkoism, government politization (and weaponization) of science.

Politically, most freethinkers tend to be either

In 19th century America, most freethinkers were both atheist and anarchist. Today, the majority of freethinkers are atheist, but secular humanist "liberals." Thus, a major disagreement among freethinkers today concerns the authority or legitimacy of the State.

"Anarchy ... is the only logical outcome of freethought - the ripened fruit of which freethinking is the potent seed." – Voltairine de Cleyre