October 12, 2017

There are loads of people out there who would love to tell you how to think. Don’t let them. While every day is a good day to think for yourself, today stands above the rest. It’s National Free Thought Day!

Free Thought Day falls on the 12th as this was the day in 1692 that the Salem witch trials effectively ended. This was due to Massachusetts Governor¬†William Phip condemning the use of ‘spectral evidence’ in these cases.¬†As a skeptic of all things, ‘spectral evidence’ sounds like it’s entirely made up. It’s not really evidence of any sort.

Real evidence is always key in the effort to discover truth. Across the ages, people have argued for many positions using anti-intellectual rhetoric. One would hope that we could get past these tendencies in our modern age but that simply isn’t that case.

Almost daily, I find arguments coming from all different types of people with different ideologies. All too often is their argument supported with nothing more than assumptions and moral grandstanding. Such tactics will never earn you a win in my book.

In some cases people do gather evidence. Even with loads of data many of these people can fail to reach logical conclusions. A simple batch of data is not usually enough to make a convincing argument. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people take valid data and misinterpret it, or worse, intentionally misconstrue it.

Whether it’s political, religious, or any other line of ideological beliefs, it needs to be tested. Never ever just fall in line and believe what others believe. You must always strive to think for yourself, critically analyze the evidence, and reach your own conclusions.

Happy Free Thought Day!



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