A Worthy Freethought Cause


My name is Leslie A. Zukor, and I am the founder of the Reed College Freethinkers, a secular student organization based in Portland, Oregon. To counter the fundamentalist indoctrination of prisoners by the religious right, we are conducting a FREETHOUGHT BOOKS TO PRISONERS DRIVE. We are acccepting all freethought-related books, although paperbacks are preferable. Donations would also be great.

Many prisoners are in their current situation, because poverty has put them into a position where they feel compelled to commit crimes (i.e., selling drugs, stealing, et cetera). However, as education is the way out of poverty, these freethought books can inspire prisoners to pursue the scientific method in their own lives--and become teachers and researchers, not to mention moral citizens informed by the light of a rational humanism.

As someone who was not always a Freethinker, I know firsthand how much FREETHOUGHT BOOKS can change a person's life. Donate to a worthy cause, and you can help change the lives of prisoners.

Thanks for your consideration and take a look at the websites below. They will give you a better idea of our group and what it stands for.

Leslie A. Zukor
Founder & Signator,
Reed College Freethinkers, Box 1170
Reed College
3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.
Portland, OR 97202


  • Current Music
    Third Eye Blind; Blink 182; Green Day


Name: Mittens
Gender: M
Age: 31
Location: The lab

How Free Thinking Are You?

1) Why do you consider yourself a "free thinker"?:

When I examine a question it usually boils down to a yes-no yin-yang non-answer. As a scientist (molecular biology PhD student) and clinician (physical therapist) I have to be dogmatic to exist, so in my own time in my own world I need to be free. Most of the gut-wrenchingly beatiful ideas and concepts I've ever come across originated from other thinkers. The free flow of ideas is what makes us fully human.

2) Do you base your opinions solely upon your own experiences?

I think that this would be impossible. Language is rooted in our shared / inherited experience as a species, and most opinions are language-based.

3) What philosophy appeals to you the most? (If you prefer to explain your own philosophy, please do so)


4)If you had to write one statute or rule for a
Constitution of Humanity, what would it be?

Breathe, and know that you are breathing.

5) If you really felt truly free, what would you be doing right now?

Channeling pure joy and energy from the universe and radiating it to all other beings.


1) Define reality.

An illusion we can all agree on.

2) Is Truth subjective or objective?

Truth is a beautiful, ugly yin-yang with many, many facets. In two extremes, there is (1) the subjective "feeling" of truth which may or may not have a reference in the material world, and (2) the rational shared "truth" which others can materially agree on, and which is more objective.

3) Choose one thing about society that you would support and explain why it should be supported.

The desire to help one another realize our full human potentials (grassroots compassion, as well as institutionalized socialism).

4) What are dreams?

Dreams are a state of consciousness which we recognize as "not real." When we imagine or dream something and acknowledge that's what we're doing, we're acknowledging that it is not materially manifest.

5) Which is better: Knowing or Believing?

Believing. "Belief" derives from the action of committing to an idea, an ideal, a person. You may know about compassion, for instance, but to really believe in its power means you act on and radiate your "knowledge".

Not-believing. Belief may lead to loss of open mind and trying to force connections that should be allowed to occur spontaneously.

Knowing. Why broadcast your knowledge to the world? For every enlightened word you speak you only cast shadows of your own ignorance. Who can know what another needs to know?

Not-knowing. Realizing that no-one can probably ever really be sure of anything, ever, maybe.
  • Current Music
    Sigur Ros


Several people have reported an entry in this community that was intended to trick you into clicking a fake lj-cut tag. When clicked, it would add 500 friends to your Friends list.

We immediately fixed the loophole that was being exploited. If you clicked on it before that, however, you're probably finding a lot of strange people on your Friends list.

To fix this, go to http://www.livejournal.com/admin/console/ and enter the commands under the lj-cut. You can do them all at once.

If you have any of these users already on your Friends list, you will then need to add them back. This command will also remove several communities from your Friends list. If you want to keep those communities on your Friends list, just delete those lines from the commands.

We're very sorry about all this, and please rest assured that we fixed it as soon as it was brought to our attention.

If you have any questions, please see http://www.livejournal.com/abuse/report.bml -- you can open a report with the Abuse team there. I'm leaving comments disabled on this post, just to prevent further incidents.

Collapse )

Unmovable points

I'm fairly sure that you've all heard the argument of the immovable point and the infinitely long level, but that is not what I'm about to ramble about. I, for want of a better word, have just had something of a revelation about the human mind and how it works.

I'll try and keep this short and simple, as that reduces confusion as much as possible, so I'll give just the basic outline of the argument as bluntly as possible. I am, intellectually, an agnostic. I am unsure of pretty much everything, and as such spend my time wandering between despair and hope, spending only brief times at either end of the spectrum. However, it has come to my attention that atheists and theists generally don't have this problem, at least not to the same extent, which has caused me to realise something - to be comfortable and sure within yourself on the deepest level, you must have an absolute in your life, an unmovable point of reference. For atheists this point is death - it is absolute and unavoidable, and nothing comes after it. For theists this point is god, who is the absolute of absolutes and an eternal point of reference.

That, in short, is my revelation. A simple idea, perhaps, and one that has almost certainly been thought of before, but it seemed to make such perfect, clear sense to me when I realised it that I just had to share it.
  • Current Mood
    bouncy bouncy

"Why I am Not a Christian" by Bertrand Russell

Hey all, I am currently reading through and forming my thoughts regarding Bertrand Russell's "Why I am Not a Christian," which can be viewed here. Before I post my opinions and ideas, though, I would like to invite all of you to read the speech and join in. Feel free to beat me to the punch if you'd like!

Looking forward to some great discussion...


Note: Let's please try to keep this conversation civilized. It is completely understandable that those who do believe in God come from a completely different world-view than those who do not believe. We will likely have to work very hard to find common terminology, and it is unlikely that we will understand eachother. That's no reason to get defensive and turn this into mud-slinging. If the conversation goes there, I will ask the moderator to delete it. Please play nice! Thanks!
  • Current Music
    Hillsong United - There is Nothing Like

(no subject)

Name?: Steve Mindyourownbusiness

Gender?: Take a wild guess.

Age?: 22

Location?: UK

How Free Thinking Are You?

1) Why do you consider yourself a "free thinker"?:

Because, allowing that 'free thinker' is meant as someone who persues freedom of thought, I try to be just that - open to ideas and concepts that are not necessarily 'traditional' to my currnet or previous methods of thought. I am, in short, someone who likes to learn things.

2) Do you base your opinions solely upon your own experiences?

It depends on what you mean by experiences, really. Someone telling you of their own personal, physical experience is an experience for you in itself, as it is a source of knowledge. Much like historical resources, though, there are primary and secondary degrees of experience, so while secondary (by proxy) knowledge or experience is of value, it is often but not always of less value than primary (direct personal) experience. Think Lockean proporties only with experiences.

3) What philosophy appeals to you the most? (If you prefer to explain your own philosophy, please do so)

Mine. I really wish I could explain it more, or narrow it down, but I simply can't to any meaningful level without running off on a diatribe of epic proportions. I am heavily moralistic, but grounded in logic to a great extent, with heavy influences from humanism and the way the mind works and reacts. I suppose I draw a lot from Wittgenstein, in many ways, but that is by no means my 'personal philosopy'.

4)If you had the opportunity to write one statute or rule for a
Constitution of Humanity, what would it be? (ie: "Wander like a child",
"Accept Chaos", etc...)

Just get on with living.

5) If you really felt truly free, what would you be doing right now?

I have absolutely no idea, as the concept of true freedom is not something that I or anyone I have ever come into contact with has ever experienced, and is therefore too alien for me to speculate upon.

Topics for the "Free Mind"

1) Define reality.

That which is, possibly close to as we percieve it, possibly not.

2) Is Truth subjective or objective?

It depends on what truth is meant to be. A boolean sense of true in regards to whether there is a god with attributes x, y, and z can only by objective, but there may be forms of truth that are subjective, although I am not a big fan of subjective moralism et al.

3) Choose one thing about society that you would Support and explain why it should be supported.

Education, because it is the only route to bettering the individual and the masses. Without it we might as well not bother.

4) What are dreams?

Dreams in the technical sense are your mind processing information while it has little else to do. Dreams in the more important sense are things that we must have to give us a meaning or purpose to our lives, and without them I think we'd all be a lot more bored and miserable.

5) Which is better: Knowing or Believing?

That depends on whether I believe I know something or know I believe something. If you mean believe to mean the same sort of thing as faith, than I'd say it varies as to what you are looking for, as knowing something may bring you down when having faith in something (even if wrong) may bring you up. Personally, however, I believe that I'd prefer to know that believe, but as I don't know whether what I base that belief on is accurate knowledge or inaccurate belief I can't say for certain that I'd stick with that if I did know that. That was a garbled mess, wasn't it?
  • Current Mood
    groggy groggy