Freethought is a historical movement.  It had its greatest influence on society at large in the era of Robert Ingersoll, who died in 1899.  It was primarily an effort to get people to think for themselves instead of accepting the doctrines of conventional churches.  Freethinkers despise any idea which they find to be contrary to reason.

Freethought does not only question specific dogmas.  It is also an approach to issues of life in general.  Here’s my working definition:

Freethought questions every frame or box.  When presented with opposites, it is on the alert for a “third way.”  It is built on the recognition that any answer considered final is likely to gel into dogma.

It’s interesting to ponder how that gelling process is similar to the way metaphors become clichés.