Pure Freethinking  by Daemon Goodhope

Pure freethinking

Pure freethinking involves only logic based on observable truth. This lesson is about how to view the world and make a sensible analysis using only pure free thought.

First, one must learn not to rely on anything one cannot verify oneself. Can you be absolutely sure a professor is correct, because he is a professor? In practical terms, experts are often right, but in absolute terms, if you can’t see it yourself, it is hearsay. Researching professional sources is useful when you need details, but details are only useful once you have a clear idea of the structure to contain them. Going into details without knowing at least roughly what you need to know is like entering a hall of mirrors.  There are just too many details, most of which will be irrelevant.

You must learn to work with broad concepts, then narrow the field and fill in the details. That is why I use no examples, references or quotes in this book.

Thought Point: Are the opinions of experts today, always, often or ,only sometimes correct? What do you think?

So, what evidence is allowed in pure freethinking? Well, I will break my rule and give an example. Anyone who knows a fair number of tobacco smokers can readily see that they nearly all have serious lung problems as they get older. Coughing every morning, short of breath, regular winter bronchitis, are not difficult things to observe. Yet, it took the doctors and the lawyers decades before they would state categorically that tobacco was bad for your health. If you were a smoker and waited for experts to tell you it was harmful before quitting  you might die before they got round to it. This is a good example, because it also demonstrates that observed reality wins the end – cancer will not give in to political pressure or go away because no one talks about it. You can’t cancel cancer.

A freethinker can look around them and make unquestionably accurate observations. If I say “Nearly all rich people live in big expensive houses”, do I need to reference anything? No! It is patently true.

You only need references if you want more specifics. We don’t need particulars at this level. You can learn that later once you can work with obvious truth adeptly. One must be careful, though to separate observable reality from half-truth and opinion.

That ‘All German people speak German.” is an unquestionable truth and no further evidence is required. On the other hand, “All Germans drink beer.”, is a half-truth, not unquestionably true. To be accurate one must add the correct quantifier;  ”many Germans drink beer”.  When using pure freethinking it is very important to choose the quantifier that is really fits the bill. If not, you will never be able to come to a valid conclusion. Your thoughts will be only fit for after dinner conversation at best.

Each item you think of must be checked for accuracy. Ask yourself, “could this assertion be challenged?” If you think up a possible challenge you must adjust your thinking to overcome it. “All politicians are corrupt”, this might be your opinion and you could be correct, but you cannot easy check how many politicians are really corrupt. Worst still, the word ‘corruption’ is open to interpretation, it is a ‘catch all concept’ and not  specific. However, if you change the quantifier to indefinite one, like ‘many’, or ‘some’ that is good logic.  “Many politicians are corrupt”. You need to make a good guess and choose your quantifiers with care.

Thought point: ‘A few politicians are corrupt.”, is that realistic, what do you think?

The difference between opinion and observable truth can be subtle. “Many people use computers these days” is clearly true.  “Too many people use computers these days”, is an opinion. Ask ten people, how many people should use computers, and you will get multiple answers. That is the problem with opinions –  getting any agreement is not easy. You cannot build chains of pure logic if you do not define your thoughts carefully enough!

Dogs have four legs

Old people hate new ideas.

people love excitement

Regular exercise promotes good health.

Drinking alcohol is very bad for you.

Two is company, three is a crowd.

Nobody enjoys root canal surgery.

Thought Point: Test yourself! Which of the statements above are unquestionably true, part true, or simply  opinions?

The idea is to build a chain of logic that few if any can disagree with. It is not so easy to do, especially at first, but with practice it gets easier. In this book, I try to stick to objective truth, but that is open challenge. Be my guest, challenge me as you will, in your head, or on my website.

The big problem with going into greater detail is that details nearly always can be challenged. “63% of cat owners are women.” Is it 63, 83 or 65%? With details you always need more specifics; which demographic, what country, which survey technique was used? You can debate all day and never come to an agreement. The proper place for details is after you have established a satisfactory chain of pure free thought. Then find the details that are really necessary.

Not all challenges are legitimate. If the challenge is not based on observable reality it should be treated with suspicion. Many doctors told people smoking was safe, but the evidence they used to back this assertion went directly against observable reality. Ask yourself, “Does an expert opinion concur with what I observe?”,

“ Would other people be able to observe what I see?”

You cannot expect everyone to agree on anything. Strange and inaccurate views are stubbornly  held by many. Apply the same principles to a challenge that you used for your original thought. For example – “It is a stain on civilized society that many starve each year because they cannot afford by food”. Someone might challenge this, “it is not the fault of society they have no money it is because they are lazy”.  That challenge is missing a quantifier, “some may have no money because they are lazy”. That some people may starve through their own fecklessness does not challenge the original statement that, “Many starve because of political failure”.  OK, I have never seen anyone starve personally, but I have two reasons to believe it does happen; first there is plenty of well documented evidence (including grisly VDOs), and second I have observed that governments and big businesses have a substantial compassion deficit.

In school and colleges, pure freethinking is not encouraged, the student is asked to build a pyramid of references and quotes to back their argument. This is not bad in itself, as all study forms are useful, but it is no replacement for pure thought.

Thought Point: Build your own personal obvious truth library. Try to think of as many examples of things about society that are patently true yourself.

Easter Celebration – From A Humanist and Scientific Perspective

During this time of celebration, progressive Christians and non-Christians worldwide are still contemplating on what some people still consider the greatest sacrifice of all times – Jesus died for the sins of the world and his alleged resurrection. Although this may be something insignificant and for many people even absurd, could this be a metaphor for something of immense scientific proportions?

Jesus or the narrative of Jesus is the foundation of Western civilization which brought us science, technology, medicine and all the fascinating life enhancers we have around today. Nevertheless, science provides us the realistic and good and “evil” truth combination about sacrificing a life for the sins of others so that they could truly be saved! One doesn’t have to look too hard to find such evidence; all experimental labs using the mouse model are proof of great sacrifices where millions of mice give up their lives in exchange for that of humans. Millions and perhaps billions of humans have been saved and resurrected to a new life due to their own sins and sins of other humans; health and lifestyle, abuse, neglect, crime, violence and a lot more. As science came to stay with us for good as Jesus does in many ways, we should always take time to celebrate both of their uncounted miracles and enjoy a happy Easter.

Certainly many of us, Christians or not, have heard talks and presentations on various parallels of certain Bible characters or perhaps common people throughout history in regards to how they were / are born to be a “type” of Jesus, sacrificing their life for the benefit of others. For those of us that enjoy religious or secular metaphors, when it comes to science, sacrifices are a necessary evil which must happen in order for us to be saved from our many sins. Among the many sacrifices performed in scientific labs, mice are the greatest and most valuable offerings because of their genetic similarity to humans and their overall practicality. Millions of them are sacrificed worldwide in order to save people that sinned, sin at this moment (especially with all the food from Easter meals and the extra cholesterol from eggs) and will sin in the future (lack of exercise, pollution, stress, etc.). The most important health related discoveries and the best new drugs and medicine produced are the result of their great sacrifices.

Although the word sacrifice comes from religion, there’s nothing religious about sacrificing a mouse and certainly no one prays to a mouse for forgiveness, nor sings songs of thanks and adoration to it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to do so instead of any human imagination called a god?

The profound and touching experience I get from my research studies in cancer biology is that each and every time I receive a batch of new mice for my studies, I know they were born and pre-destined for a life of torture and sacrifice so that the many lives of humans could be saved in a literal and not a symbolic sense and have another chance at this truly and amazing thing we call life. As I watch the mice’ tumors grow and get bigger, their health getting worse, hear their pain and affliction for our sins going on for weeks or months, there’s no doubt in my mind they suffer terribly as they give up their lives for many of us to save us from our sins, much like Jesus did.

Science and technology cannot yet show us how to produce life, let alone create complex human life at this stage in our existence and evolution. It is why we consider life of both humans and animals special and something we should cherish, value and celebrate. Some of us certainly cherish life, whereas others do not, not even their own, for if they would, they will take better care of themselves and other fellow humans, including the environment they live in. Perhaps they take another metaphor the wrong way. They feel that just like “Jesus” died for your sins no matter what you do and rose again, science and medicine will save you over and over again, no matter what your sins may be, kind of like Jesus does. Thus, why worry so much when you can enjoy life and sin a little?

There’s a good chance science and technology will forgive even some of your gravest sins! But why commit them in the first place if you have a conscience? Oh, but that is one of the greatest problems and the most interesting intersectionality of religion and science. We often hear of preachers, priests and other religious personalities committing all kinds of grave sins (money laundering, sexual misconduct, etc. etc.), having lifestyles completely opposite of what they preach. Likewise, many scientists and healthcare providers live some of the unhealthiest lifestyles themselves. You’d think both parties should behave or do better! Thus, the essence of this metaphor is, why not become better people, non-believers and believers alike, especially those in the public sphere or high positions where others look up to them? Why not treat ourselves better, be more ethical and live healthier lives so that no one must be sacrificed on our behalf? As scientists we hope we do not have to sacrifice the life of lab specimen in order to save that of humans, but if we do not have other means, we must resort to this unfortunate, yet, amazing procedure which makes the exchange of life or restitution possible in a way that in my humble opinion religion cannot and will never accomplish.

We now can grow limbs and organs in the laboratory and if human limbs and organs will be successfully grown in the future and be able to cure cancer and other diseases, we may cease the sacrificing of various lab models all together. Such a revolution is a step forward in ethics and morals that only science can bring about. We can also perform all kinds of organ transplants, and someday we may be in a place with no more physical pain and suffering; perhaps we might even bring humans back from death. But if ever, it is science and technology that will take us there as we do not have much evidence that religion ever will. As many folks believe that Jesus was born to save us, some could certainly use this as a metaphor to save themselves from an intellectual death and start a new life, through science, technology and common sense. As this is the only life we know of and are sure of living while we still have it, Easter could be a good way to remind at least some of us about the greatest sacrifices and resurrections done through the miracles of science. They give many humans a chance to a new and better life while saving them from both a physical and intellectual illness and death and resurrecting them to a new life, a life truly worth living.

FT-mouse