"The moment you introduce a despotism in the world of thought, you succeed in making hypocrites - and you get in such a position that you never know what your neighbor thinks." - Robert Green Ingersoll
The FSI is a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting free speech, free thought and scientific reasoning. We are advocates for the values of secular humanism.
What is free speech?
Freedom of speech means that governments – and other authorities – do not have the power to suppress ideas that they don’t like to hear. The FSI therefore opposes censorship by authorities such as these. Free speech does not, however, mean speech without consequences.
What is free thought?
Freedom of thought can only flourish in a fertile climate – a climate free of political, social or moral oppression. It can also only flourish when people possess the tools required for free thought – crucially, education and freedom from crippling material want.
What is scientific reasoning?
Scientific reasoning refers to a method, not a conclusion. That method involves respecting what the evidence tells us is likely to be true, regardless of what we would prefer to be true. It means changing our minds when the evidence suggests that we should do so, and recognising that our personal experiences are sometimes the least reliable of all.
What is secular humanism?
Secular humanism operates from the premise that human beings are capable of honesty, trust, caring and other praiseworthy virtues, regardless of any religious beliefs we might or might not have. We share similar prospects for happiness, and similar fears and ways of suffering – which means that the life we’re living right now is sometimes more than enough to focus on.