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You Didn’t Procreate That! — 7 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting this over here too, Chip. I hope you will favor us with all of your usually thought-provoking blog posts in the future. They make excellent discussion fodder.

    For instance, your term “free-thinking individual” immediately caught my attention. The keyword is ‘individual,’ of course, as opposed to a cog in the ‘collective herd’ of sheeple. Yet, the modifyer has considerable significance to me, since I self-identify as a freethinker, under the classical original meaning of this venerable 320-year-old word. If you check the dictionary, you will find that the hyphen is unnecessary:

    free·think·er\-ˈthiŋ-kər\ noun
    : one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; especially : one who doubts or denies religious dogma
    free·think·ing \-kiŋ\ noun or adjective
    First use: 1692

    In a nutshell, a proper freethinker is an individual with an open free mind, who thinks things through for himself, rejecting all authority, tradition, and conventional wisdom as dispositive, during the process of forming his own opinions. The reason Webster includes the phrase “especially : one who doubts or denies religious dogma,” is that in modern times, the term is most often employed by secularists, to reject any authority of religious dogma and sacred texts in politics.

    I spent a considerable period engaging these fools in debate on freethinker forums several years ago. I can report that most of them are so thoroughly indoctrinated, that they are quite blind regarding their own mindless uncritical acceptance of Politically Correct dogma, and the authority of those Marxists purveying it. In reality, these dogmatic Leftists are no more freethinkers, than the most pious among the intolerant Right.

    A true freethinker has many thoughts, fewer considered opinions, and very few beliefs. Such beliefs as he might harbor, he freely acknowledges as such, and would never confuse them with ‘truth.’ He might very well hold personal religious and/or philosophical beliefs; but he would not present them as unquestionable truths or authorities, to support his opinions in a political debate.

    Since he himself rejects such fallacious appeals to authority by others, he would understand that doing so is akin to preaching to the choir, only for the benefit of his cheering section among the audience. A worthy opponent will not – could not – be persuaded in the least, and more likely would respond with derision, than respect for cherished beliefs. It is infinitely more effective, to employ the same reason and logic he (presumedly) used, to acquire his opinions that support a belief to begin with.

    Freethinking has a remarkable history on the international stage. Especially for one wishing to employ the term, it is worth a cursory understanding of the roll it played in the enlightenment and reformation, which of course, influenced our individualist Founders to establish our nation with an entirely secular Federal government. See:


    For reference, my own freethinking position is more in line with the individualist, libertarian, anarchist views discussed in the final section. I recognize no authority whatever outside the confines of my own rational mind, which is quite capable of thinking for itself, and certainly capable of articulating and defending my opinions, without recourse to appeals to authority.

    Indeed, my sport on the freethinker forums, was ably defending our exceptional American culture and traditions, without ever referencing God or the Bible. So, I know for a fact that it can be done effectively, often prying open closed minds, and even occasionally changing them a bit. 🙂 ◄Dave►

  2. “Damn hippies are gonna ruin this country” Big John (pops) Magrum circa 1970

    I never thought of my father as a visionary. Back then my thoughts were “you don’t know what your talking about”. Those hippies to a 14 year old boy embodied everything that was cool. I’m thankful that I grew up. It seems the hippies of higher learning never did.

    • Yeah, my own dad didn’t become a sage until after I got out of the Army, just as Mark Twain predicted. Thank @bigjohn for us, for making a tolerable character out of you. Too bad he doesn’t check in more often, and perhaps entertain us with stories about your childhood. That would be a hoot. 🙂 ◄Dave►

  3. Enjoyed your comments fellers! Yeah, what I miss most about what use to be…hmm. You see I weep for my kids who think they’re growing up in a normal healthy environment. I remember so many eccentric, pioneer-like maverick nuts that naturally were the ones I selected to befriend. I don’t see that today…with rare exception. Very sad… As far as your rather anarchistic lean with the term free-thinking individual Dave. I come down somewhere closer to the idea that the idea of “team” may be missing in your sense of it. And I believe that if you add that quality to your otherwise excellent vision of it, then “we’ve” got something. Think about how important that word is from the most central unit of our society (Family) outward.

    • Your affinity for eccentric rogues explains why you put up with me, Chip. 🙂

      I don’t consider contumacy to be incompatible with the notion of sovereign individuals cooperating as a team, for a common purpose. Personally, I think the need for authoritarian hierarchy in organizing society, along with competing camps (teams) imbued with an us vs. them mentality, is highly overrated.

      Centralized command and control, without which this nation thrived for over a century as cooperative individuals, was a grievous error, which should never have been implemented. The foolish and decidedly un-American notion, of electing leaders (rather than hiring subservient representatives) to Federal offices, heralded the ultimate doom of our miraculous early success, as a nation of individual freemen.

      On the occasions when I have permitted myself to be cast in the role of leader (e.g. employer), I have proven rather effective at fostering teamwork and esprit de corps. In social organizations, I found the role to generally be an unsatisfying hassle, and quickly learned to turn down requests to take an executive office, even when the vacancy was arguably my fault.

      In various businesses I have owned, I also achieved exceptional productivity from my teams, by recognizing that everyone is inherently selfish, and making sure that they each personally profited by their efforts to make ours a winning team (e.g. flexible schedules, exceptional benefits, competitive salaries, high commissions, and/or profit sharing bonuses). I didn’t need to be a tyrant; they drove each other. 🙂

      On the other hand, I make a piss poor follower. As long as a team leader is functioning as a coordinator and cheerleader, I can be an asset to a team of cooperative individuals, working toward a goal with which I agree. The moment the leader becomes a capricious tyrant, or the original goal morphs into disagreeable pursuits, however, I will publicly revolt and likely stir up a rebellion on my way out the door. 🙂

      From the perspective of authoritarians, who tend to put the welfare of the family, team, community, collective, or state above the desires and needs of individuals, this probably makes me an unwelcome liability on a team. From my perspective, if more individuals were like me, teams would be better defined and more goal oriented, remain focused and cooperative, thereby leading more often to successful endeavors. Best of all, there would be one hell of a lot fewer petty tyrants wandering about, for individualists like me to aggravate. 😉 ◄Dave►

      • Your approach to “management” is a healthy one Dave. When my career was in the direction of being “the boss” I took the same position and had great success. As long as everyone on the team recognizes that there does have to be someone “in charge” to keep direction and progress focused it works out great. Also the person that is responsible for providing that direction also has to be willing to accept the responsibility when things get off track. THAT is where a lot of “managers” go wrong.I have had “bosses” that took all the credit until it went wrong then nothing but the blame game.

        • Oh, I still had a plaque on the wall of my office that proclaimed, “This is not a democracy.” I could as well have had Truman’s, “The buck stops here” on my desk. The situation you describe is the classic case of a weak ego. If one’s desire for recognition and to be liked, trumps one’s desire to succeed and/or win, one is approaching the limits of the Peter Principle. The quicker one is able to own and acknowledge a mistake, the sooner and easier it will be to rectify it, and absorb the valuable lesson.

          Maintaining a favorable reputation has obvious advantages in the world of commerce, which I sensibly cultivated among customers, vendors, bankers, regulators, et al, as well as employees. Yet, somehow in life, I have encountered precious few estimable individuals, worthy of investing with the power of my giving a tinker’s dam, what they thought of me on a personal level. Interestingly, my ego’s indifference may make me less than lovable by others; but its forthright honesty frequently earns their (perhaps grudging) respect. That appears to be more than enough validation for it, to keep it quiet and out of my deliberations. 🙂 ◄Dave►

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