February 22 in freethought history…

arthurschopenhauerFebruary 22, 1788 – Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer is born in what is now Gdansk, Poland. He is best known for his magnum opus The World As Will and Representation. His belief in the will-to-life as the underlying force in the world was incompatible with belief in a god. Schopenhauer thought that if God existed, he would necessarily be evil, having created the universe solely for His own amusement. Schopenhauer died in 1860, aged 72.

February 22, 1846 – Feminist and freethinker Josephine Kirby Henry is born Josephine Williamson in Newport, Kentucky. Henry was a prominent activist for women’s rights in her native state: most notably, her work was key in the passage of a law ensuring the rights of married women. A freethinker, she also worked with Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the feminist scriptural critique The Woman’s Bible. Indeed, Henry’s anti-religious views were so controversial that she was banned from the Kentucky Equal Rights Association, an organization she co-founded in 1888. Henry died in 1928.

February 22, 1957 – Surgeon James P. Warbasse dies Woods Hole, Massachussetts, aged 90. He was an advocate for cooperative (i.e. jointly-owned and democratically-controlled) businesses, and was an outspoken anti-militarist. Warbasse was named Humanist of the Year in 1955 by the American Humanist Association.

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