Scott Berkun, essayist, blogger, and author of Myths of Innovation and Making Things Happen, wrote about the importance of freethinking and the three challenges that continue to enslave minds in today’s society:
- The fear of being wrong.
- Conformity to other people.
- The difficulty of being alone.
He also suggests ways of overcoming these challenges, such as learning the value of mistakes, going on a retreat, and exposure to diversity, warning us about the dangers of only “preaching to the choir,” something even a group of freethinkers are susceptible to:
Joining a “Free thinking” group can be nothing of the kind [wake up call to become free], especially if everyone in the group shares the same brand of atheism, deism, or anything-ism. Freedom grows best in diversity. The more ideas you hear, understand and compare, the greater the odds you’ll think freely about all of them. This can’t happen if you mostly spend time “philosophizing” with people who share 97% of your philosophy. Instead you’re likely just sharpening your prejudices. Sharpening prejudices can be fun. I do it all the time. But it’s not thinking, free or otherwise, and it’s not good philosophy either.
It’s an interesting and relatively short essay — recommended.