What does it mean to be a free thinker?

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The Oxford dictionary definition of a free thinker is – “a person who forms their ideas and opinions rather than accepting those of other people, especially in religious teaching.”

A free thinker is defined as someone who has free thoughts, free thought is an epistemological viewpoint that holds that beliefs should not be formed based on authority, tradition, revelation, or dogma and that beliefs should instead be reached by other methods such as logic, reason, and empirical observation – 1] “What is Freethought?“. Freethought Lebanon. 2017-09-23. Retrieved 2021-04-25.

The more pressing question to surface here is whether or not it is possible to be a free thinker, because it takes deliberate effort to filter one’s thoughts to stay connected to the objective and free of cognitive dissonance. Our subconscious is a powerful container that is consistently absorbing everything we are exposed to whether we are fully aware of it or not. One could contemplate that to be a free thinker one must not be afraid to dwell in solitude and separate oneself from the familiar.

I’d like to think of myself as a free thinker but I have my doubts because when introspecting on it all, I do understand I’ve been tainted by certain beliefs and experiences myself. What I can confirm is that I do my best to keep myself in check and be aware of my cognitive dissonance and biases so that I can steer my mind and heart toward a fair worldview to implement within my inner engineering.

Being a free thinker means doing your best every day, meditating, and being self-aware of your shortcomings and subjective realities to show up in the world with humility it is not about being right, it is about coming from an understanding place, as the famous American novelist Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise”.

She writer Neelofer Hilal is a passionate freelance writer, avid traveler, podcaster, futurist, dreamer, and social science enthusiast.

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