FREETHOUGHT: Nine Great Freethinkers and Religious Dissenters in History

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It’s no surprise that so many influential thinkers and creative types have come from the ranks of these intellectual revolutionaries. Organized religion tends to reward people not for thinking creatively or critically, but for reciting and defending the dogmas of the previous generation. Throughout human history, it has consistently been true that hidebound theocracies have been mired in poverty, backwardness and intellectual stagnation, whereas the most dramatic advances have come about in times and places where people had the freedom to think for themselves, to freely question and debate. The lives of the men and women recounted here bear testimony to this.

1. Albert Einstein . . .
2. Robert Ingersoll . . .
3. W.E.B. DuBois . . .
4. Zora Neale Hurston . . .
5. Elizabeth Cady Stanton . . .
6. Asa Philip Randolph . . .
7. Robert Frost . . .
8. Emma Lazarus . . .
9. Yip Harburg . . .

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