By: Mohd Sadaq and Zehra Farhat Zargar
NATIONAL FREE-THOUGHT DAY which is celebrated on October 12e each year, encourage people to be free thinkers and encourage free thought based on facts, science, logic and reason. The day promotes logic and evidence-based decision making and our history tells us that those who did not follow established patterns and instead created their own path through independent thought were initially heavily criticized, subjects reproached and even killed simply because they didn’t. do not think like the others. But eventually the world is waking up to appreciate and recognize the spirit of free thought!
While the technological age has come to largely appreciate such a spirit of free thought, however, there are traditions and trends that still demonize free thought and to a large extent resist creativity and innovation. We have seen people in exile because they expressed themselves differently and questioned established norms.
The irony is that while it has taken so long for people to celebrate and raise awareness about something that falls under basic human rights, independent thinking remains a questionable trait. Anyone who thinks differently from the masses is considered crazy or offensive to this day. Whether it’s politics, education, science or whatever, those who have had revolutionary thoughts are often targeted and silenced.
Since at least 1997, several groups have promoted Free Thought Day. Organizations such as the Freethought Society, the American Humanist Association, and the Secular Coalition For America are just a few.
Organizers chose the date of October 12 because of a series of events dating back to the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. Throughout the trials, questionable evidence and accusers’ claims that they witnessed demons and of specters brought the case to a halt. Eventually, the hysteria surrounding the case and a letter written by Massachusetts Governor William Phips on October 12 ruled the “spectral evidence” inadmissible in court. So far, at least 20 defendants had already been executed. The governor’s letter saved hundreds of lives. At one point, trials resumed and “spectral evidence” was allowed but largely ignored and those convicted were quickly pardoned by Phips.
Therefore, since 1997, the Free Thought Celebration has been started by several organizations that raise awareness of the historical significance of free thought and stress the need to create breakthroughs under given circumstances. These organizations support the importance of free thinking and believe that the world could be improved by promoting free thinking and therefore creating increasingly innovative ways of living.
The world is witnessing the fact that while the global dynamics have been changed by people, it has always been due to free spirits – those who led the way and who resisted the status quo and continued to create something new. , something better. It is essential to note that all great ideas, innovations, discoveries as well as theories have emerged from people who have challenged the status quo and struggled to prove their ideas. They finally managed to do it, which is why we have iconic characters like Al Baruni, Edison, Einstein, Marx, Ghalib, etc.
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