Category Archives: ethics

February 4 in freethought history…

February 4, 341 BCE – According to ancient sources, the Greek philosopher Epicurus is born on this date (10 Gamelion of the old Attic calendar). Although little of his written work survives, fragments of his proto-scientific treatise On Nature. Epicurus is … Continue reading

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February 2 in freethought history…

February 2, 1970 - Philosopher and activist Bertrand Russell dies in the Welsh village of Penrhyndeudraeth, aged 97. Aside from his career contributions to philosophy, mathematics, linguistics and computer science, he was a lifelong critic of war and an advocate for progressive … Continue reading

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January 25 in freethought history…

January 25, 1928 – Rabbi Sherwin Wine is born in Detroit, Michigan. In 1969, he founded the Society for Humanistic Judaism, an organization that emphasizes Jewish culture and history rather than religious identity. He was one of the signers of … Continue reading

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December 7 in freethought history…

December 7, 1787 – Delaware becomes the first state to ratify the United States Constitution, which had been proposed to replace the deeply flawed Articles of Confederation. December 7, 1875 – President Ulysses S. Grant, in his seventh and final … Continue reading

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November 24 in freethought history…

November 24, 1632  – Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza is born Benedito de Espinosa to Portuguese-Jewish parents in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A lens-grinder by trade, he is best known for his magnum opus Ethics, which opposed mind-body dualism and equated God with Nature … Continue reading

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October 28 in freethought history…

October 28, 1914 – Medical researcher Jonas Salk is born in New York City. He developed the polio vaccine, which saved countless lives. Within a decade of the vaccine’s introduction, worldwide cases dropped from hundreds of thousands annually to a few hundred … Continue reading

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October 20 in freethought history…

October 20, 2012 – Paul Kurtz, perhaps the most influential skeptic and secular humanist of the 20th century, dies in Amherst, New York, aged 86. He founded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, now the … Continue reading

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September 22 in freethought history…

September 22, 1927 – Dora Russell and husband Bertrand Russell open the Beacon Hill School in Sussex, England. This small school featured a professional staff devoted to the Russells’ progressive views. Eschewing a rigid curriculum, Beacon Hill offered a Montessori-like … Continue reading

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September 21 in freethought history…

September 21, 1866 – Herbert George Wells is born in Bromley, Kent, England. As H. G. Wells he became on of the greatest and most influential science fiction writers of all time: his books include War of the Worlds, The … Continue reading

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September 17 in freethought history…

September 17, 1743 – French philosopher and revolutionary Marquis de Condorcet is born in Ribemont, France. Among his accomplishments were the invention of a form of instant run-off voting (called the Condorcet method), and an essay in which he espoused … Continue reading

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