Free Thought

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Free Thought or freethought is a viewpoint holding that opinions of truth should be formed on the basis of logic, reason, and science rather than on tradition and dogma. Freethinkers tended to be liberal in social matters, advocating for abolition of slavery, and promoting racial and sexual equality.

It is possible to view some Buddhist writings as a form of freethought, as in the Kalama Sutta. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Henry Steel Olcott were very sympathetic to the writings of D. M. Bennett, whom they met in India. Bennett published the periodical called The Truth Seeker and other publications.

In the United States, the Freethought Movement grew with the immigration of German freethinkers after 1848, but declined due to its lack of focus and the antireligious bias that did not appeal to most Americans. L. W. Rogers was an advocate for freethought before he joined the Theosophical Society.