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Freethought is the view of a freethinker. A freethinker has been defined by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (references) as

free-think-er n. a person who forms opinions about religions on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists.

There are strong ties between the words atheism, heretic, skepticism, and both humanist and secular humanism and the word freethought, but these words are not synonymous. A precise definition is at best difficult, as freethought is defined differently by different persons. For example, in principle, one could be a freethinker and simultaneously believe in the existence of a God, provided the basis for that belief was rational argument, rather than arguments from authority, tradition, or scripture. Some atheist freethinkers, however, believing that there are no rational arguments for deism or theism, are reluctant to accept the claims of deists or theists to be freethinkers.

A related movement is that of the "Brights", a term coined in 2003 by Paul Geisert of Sacramento, California to refer to people who hold a naturalistic worldview, free of supernatural and mystical elements. A similar movement advocates the term Universist and notably includes Deists.

See also: Rationalist

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