Great Ideas from Sikhism

Today, we turn our attention to the fifth-largest organized religion in the world: Sikhism. What can Non-Sikhs learn from this young religion from India and Pakistan? Are there practical teachings of the Gurus that can be applied to the lives of atheists and theists alike? Join me in this episode, as we take a look!

Read More
Free Thought Forum Comment
Beyond Cults and Culture Wars: Building a Home For Freethinkers

See, as humans, we all need to belong somewhere. The lack of any kind of social group can leave one feeling vulnerable, alone, and depressed. As a young non-believer, it can be quite difficult to find a group that promotes things like skepticism, open-mindedness, and freethought, without also being infested with the kind of rampant anti-white, anti-western sentiments that I have found in some predominantly atheistic groups.

Read More
Free Thought ForumComment
Logical Fallacies (Part 3) and How to Avoid Them

Who doesn’t love a good card trick? No matter how closely we try to pay attention, all it takes is a clever sleight-of-hand or subtle misdirection on the magician’s part to bypass our powers of perception. In no time it all, we may find ourselves convinced that what we saw was magic.

Logical fallacies are used in similar ways. They sure-up our ideas and make our arguments sound stronger than they really are. On the surface, we can amuse and dazzle our audience. Our logic may sound stable and well-thought-out, but upon further inspection, it is all just a trick. Behind the curtain, these flimsy fallacies can be seen crumbling under their own weight. Join me as we unveil four more common logical fallacies.

Read More
Free Thought ForumComment
Logical Fallacies (Part 2) and How to Avoid Them

I had a great time creating Part 1 of this series and it looks like you really enjoyed it too! We’re back with Part 2 in our three-part discussion about logical fallacies and how to avoid them. I’m sure you’ve heard that a fool and his money are soon parted. This is an idea that scammers, con artists, modern-day snake oil salesmen, and cult leaders all understand well enough. Think of the billions of dollars collected from all of the good people who fall for just one of these subtle lies, cons, or tricks! Entire industries and economies are built atop the premise that it is easy to fool the average consumer, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today, we are taking a look at four more tricks used by the dishonest, the mentally clumsy, and, yes, even us when we are not being careful.

Read More
Free Thought ForumComment
Announcing Our Official Flag

There is something inspiring about a good flag. It represents something deep in human consciousness, and allows us all to focus on the core concepts that make us who we are. It is with great pride that the Executive Council of the Free Thought Initiative presents the new official flag for our organization!

Read More
Free Thought ForumComment
How to Create Engaging Conversations

In each Free Thought Forum, it is our goal to help all guests and members feel like they can speak freely and enjoy participating in the conversation. Yet creating and maintaining an engaging conversation takes a little skill and practice. Today, we will go over five things you can do so that when you are talking with friends, family, coworkers, and fellow free-thinkers, everyone will be able to get a lot more out of the experience.

Read More
Logical Fallacies (Part 1) and How to Avoid Them

Defined by the amazing website, Yourfallacyis.com: “A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Logical fallacies are like tricks or illusions of thought, and they're often very sneakily used by politicians and the media to fool people. Don't be fooled!” In this episode, the first in a three-part series, we will look at the first eight of 24 common fallacies that can hinder an intellectually honest and productive conversation among truth-seekers and free-thinkers. After each fallacy, a more preferable option is suggested that we can all use in our next forums, conversations, and debates!

Read More
Why Your Voice Matters

Let’s say you find yourself in a conversation about science, politics, culture, or in another complicated intellectual topic. You have something you want to say, but don’t necessarily have special education or related experience with consideration to the subject at hand. What should you do? Whether it be in our weekly meetings, online, or in other interactions, we hope that you always have the courage to share your perspective.

Read More
Boötes, the Boötes Void, Arcus, and the first Werewolf

You’ve reached part four of our guided audio tour of the night sky! Tonight, you will be given the steps needed to locate the constellation Boötes, (properly pronounced “Boh-OH-tease”) otherwise known as “the herdsman.” Do these stars depict an ancient rancher, an inventor, a hunter, a king, a winemaker, or the grandson of a werewolf? We will see if we can find out by exploring several of the myths tied to these stars. We will then wrap this episode up by dipping our toes into one of the deepest cosmological mysteries of all time known as the “Boötes Void!”

Read More
What Makes Us Different?

On the surface, your local Free Thought Forum may seem like just any other intellectual meetup or church-alternate group. But there are a handful of things that set us apart. Here are four unique things about our group that we are proud to share.

Read More
Emotional First Aid

When you’ve suffered a devastating emotional injury, find yourself overwhelmed, lost, without a path forward, or when you feel completely closed off from the love and friendship of others, that should be taken seriously too. We all have had extremely bad days. We all have times in which we are overcome by feelings of depression, isolation, anxiety, and loneliness. If you find yourself in such a situation, don’t you also need first aid? In such a moment, wouldn’t it be nice to have within reach a list of ideas on how you can pull yourself out of a rut?

In this episode, we will look into several suggestions on what can be done. These suggestions have come from psychologists and from the participants of our past open discussions, like you. As you listen to this episode, I hope you have the chance to write down a few notes of things that you can do to give yourself some emotional first aid on your next bad day. Of course, if you get an idea of something other than what is mentioned here, be sure to add that to your personal list as well!

Read More
It is GREAT to Meet You

Trying out a new group that you found online can be a tricky experience. Going to a new place to introduce yourself to new people takes guts. Now take into consideration that this group also asks you to really share what is on your mind! We have been impressed that so many of you, despite the awkwardness and unease that comes with meeting new people, have taken this leap! In our last three-or-so meetings, we have had the opportunity to get to know so many of you who have decided to give our organization a try. Some of you are going through a rough patch in life. Some of you are eager to share what you have discovered on your journey thus far. Your stories are fascinating, and your perspectives are rich with experience. We are sure that no matter your background and no matter what you bring to the table, this is where you can belong.

Read More
10 Rules for Great Flag Design

The members of this organization enjoy discussing big ideas that cover hard science, important political issues, and healthy habits. But we are also building a community, one in which you can belong; one in which you can be proud of your membership. Few things strengthen a community more than shared meaningful symbolism. Today, I’d like to take a quick break from our regularly scheduled program to start a creative conversation with consideration to 10 rules of flag design shared by vexillology enthusiasts, experts in design, and historians.

These are the rules we will hope to follow as we design our own flag, an official banner for the Free Thought Initiative that can unite, inspire, and rally free thinkers and truth seekers to our cause. If you would like to volunteer a suggestion or two about how our flag should look, we would love to consider your ideas! In this episode, I would also like to give a shout-out to a group in Utah redesigning the Utah State Flag into one that better matches these guidelines.

Read More
It is OK to be Patriotic

Happy Independence Day to all of our viewers in the United States. I hope all of you in the states enjoy some time with your family with barbeques, fun at the park, and maybe a few fireworks as you wave the stars and stripes. But am I wrong to hope that? There are plenty of people who say that celebrations like this are part of the problem. We live in a world filled with ethnocentrism, racism, tribalism, jingoism, extreme nationalism, and supremacism. Given the current political climate and the issues caused by overt national pride, is it really ok to be patriotic? In this episode, we will do our best to look at this question honestly, not only for Americans but with regard to every kind of national heritage across the globe.

Read More
Stargazing (Part 3) Ursa Minor, Polaris, and Finding the North Star

Welcome to part 3 of our series on Stargazing. In this episode, we will find the stars of Ursa Minor, the Small bear, also known as the little dipper, enjoy an alternative mythological origin of this constellation from the one shared in part 2, and learn how explorers, mariners, and pioneers have been able to use this constellation to find North for thousands of years. So download this episode, step outside, and listen along as we turn to the most northern constellation in the northern night sky!

Read More