the freethinking community?

Barrie
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the freethinking community?

Hi Everyone,

 I'm a little confused about the label "freethinking" community. I may be wrong, but that label seems to imply that people who are not atheists are not freethinking; or to put it another way, that only atheists are free thinkers.

If this belief is indeed the case, it seems a little ironic. I say that because, to me, it seems closed-minded to think that only your group of people, whatever that group may be--are the "free-thinkers"--and those who believe differently are not being free thinkers.

 For example: I don't believe in the Bible as the word of God, etc. But IF someone does believe that--I believe that they come to that belief via their own free will and freethinking. I don't think someone who believes differently than I do--is somehow inferior to me; and I would hope that those with whom I am in disagreement--would extend that belief to me.

What do you think? Should the label of "freethinkers" exclude theists? Can someone who believes in God be just as freethinking as someone who does not?

Be well & happy,

Barrie


Piper2000ca
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I don't think the term

I don't think the term "freethinker" should or does exclude theists.  I've always looked at the term as something completely seperate from atheism/theism, and that implies somebody who believes that others are free to believe (or not to believe) in whatever they want, as long as they don't impose their beliefs on others.  I've met many theists who I would call freethinkers (I think wavefreak would be a good example of one).


Barrie
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Piper2000ca wrote: I don't

Piper2000ca wrote:
I don't think the term "freethinker" should or does exclude theists.  I've always looked at the term as something completely seperate from atheism/theism, and that implies somebody who believes that others are free to believe (or not to believe) in whatever they want, as long as they don't impose their beliefs on others.  I've met many theists who I would call freethinkers (I think wavefreak would be a good example of one).

 Hi Piper,

Barrie Responds: I agree with you--and I would agree with you that that was also the board's intention with that term--except for their use of the term.

For example, look at the description of one of the board's forums:

Freethinking AnonymousA haven for those who are without a belief in god, to discuss and the theorize, think freely, and debate any issue. No taboo issue in here. NO THEISTS ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM. THEIST POSTS WILL BE DESTROYED.---Barrie Comments: When you exclude "theists" from a board called "Freethinking Anonymous" doesn't it more than implies that "theists" are not to be included in the group called "freethinkers?" What do you think?-Be well & happy,Barrie


Piper2000ca
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Barrie wrote: Hi

Barrie wrote:

Hi Piper,

Barrie Responds: I agree with you--and I would agree with you that that was also the board's intention with that term--except for their use of the term.

For example, look at the description of one of the board's forums:

Freethinking AnonymousA haven for those who are without a belief in god, to discuss and the theorize, think freely, and debate any issue. No taboo issue in here. NO THEISTS ALLOWED IN THIS FORUM. THEIST POSTS WILL BE DESTROYED.---Barrie Comments: When you exclude "theists" from a board called "Freethinking Anonymous" doesn't it more than implies that "theists" are not to be included in the group called "freethinkers?" What do you think?-Be well & happy,Barrie

Hmm, that's actually a pretty good point, I hadn't really given the name of the board that much thought.  Perhaps a name like "Atheists Anonymous" might be better (although that sounds a bit too much like some theistic 12-step program).


JCE
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Hey Barrie!  Words are

Hey Barrie!  Words are funny things, aren't they?  How one person defines and chooses to use a word may be different from how another person defines and uses that same word.

The word 'freethinker' is commonly associated with atheists and that is probably why the owners of this site chose it.   What is important to remember here is that the word has been defined by the rules of that forum.  The owners of this site are entitled to call the forums whatever they want. 

For example, this forum is called 'Kill 'em with Kindness' and the rules are stated as to it's use.  The term 'kindness' could imply that we have to shower one another with compliments on this forum and be super nice.  The rules, however, state only that there is to be no cursing and no personal attacks.

Plus (and you may have to trust me on this one) walk into any church and tell them you are a freethinker and see what kind of reaction you get.  It is pretty unlikely that anyone, regardless of education or experience, will go "Oh!  A freethinking theist!  Great!".  They will most likely look at you and ask you why you hate god. 


Captain_Entropy
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I don't think the term

I don't think the term freethinker necessarily excludes theists. However, freethought involves forming beliefs through logical and rational principles and not through authority, ritual, or any kind of dogma. Since the vast, vast majority of theists belong to some form of religion or another, the vast majority of theists are not said to be freethinkers. Religion relies on authority, ritual, and dogma within it's belief structure.

Thus if you are dogmatic about your beliefs and/or belong to a religion, then you are not a freethinker. Atheists tend to embrace rationality, logic, and skepticism far more and generally are freethinkers (there are of course exceptions, as always.) I just can't remember meeting any theists that were not religious nor dogmatic about their god belief.


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Here's the definition of

Here's the definition of Freethinker:

free·think·er       (frē'thĭng'kər)  Pronunciation Key 
n.   One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation.

Here's a link to our good ol' Wiki.  As always, Wikipedia isn't the best source around, so take it with a grain a salt. 

If god takes life he's an indian giver


wavefreak
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And I thought I was a free

And I thought I was a free thinker because nobody pays me to think.


wavefreak
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I don't even read th FA

I don't even read th FA forum. I figure the temptation to post into the forbidden zone would be to much to resist.


stuntgibbon
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Freethinker is often

Freethinker is often interchangable with atheist or agnostic.   It's been assigned as a positive description of what to call those who are thinking on their own without the crutches of mythology and dogma.

It's an option to describe yourself with an affirmative, not simply with what you're not. 

If we are simply defined by what we don't believe, then we'd be called atheist, aunicornist, aspaceteapotist, agnomeist, aleprechaunist, abeowulfist, etc.     Sorta the difference between calling yourself "Male" vs "Not Female."