The "Freethinking" Atheist
The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.
The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.
"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead