Freethinker = Deist

Razorcade
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Freethinker = Deist

Leda wrote:

I often use OneLook.com when I need to search a word definition on-line. When you go to the site and enter a word, you are given a "Quick Definition" along with links to numerous other dictionaries for the same word. The quick definition usually suffices. So one day when I was looking for a short, clear and concise definition for freethinker, I went to OneLook.com. Here's the definition it provided: (freethinker) a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it

Hmmm....sounds more like a deist to me. So, I checked out the definition for deist. Here's the definition it provided: (deist) a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it

I decided that this bothered me too much, so I contacted OneLook.com to make them aware of the glitch. I've never received a reply.

Go to the site today and do a search for freethinker and deist and you'll get the same results. Who ever said it pays to complain?!
It might seem like something minor, but c'mon! How long would it take for someone to correct the problem?

Razor wrote:

I tried it out and this was the result in Quick definitions and for curiosities sake, another term, 'theist'

Quick definitions (freethinker)
noun: a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it

Quick definitions (deist)
noun: a person who believes that God created the universe and then abandoned it

Quick definitions (theist)
noun: one who believes in the existence of a god or gods

...and for a control,

Quick definitions (apple)
noun: fruit with red or yellow or green skin and sweet to tart crisp whitish flesh

By the way, IMO, they got atheist wrong.

Quick definitions (atheist)
noun: someone who denies the existence of god

Haven't really searched other sites, but, is this indicative of all dictionaries?
I'm actually surprised that the 'atheist' definition didn't say 'satan worshipper'


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I would think freethinker

I would think freethinker would imply that you a free to not randomly believe things for no reason, but I guess it would also imply that you can if you felt like it...


Yellow_Number_Five
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I personally don't like the

I personally don't like the term "freethinker" and don't use it to describe myself. What, exactly, is a "freethinker" - too often it seems to me it's a person too caught up in PC notions to criticise the ill formed thoughts of others, or one who feels all such "thoughts" are actually worthy of serious consideration.

I'm an atheist, plain and simple, I see no reason to dress it up when the term atheist is already so badly misunderstood and demonized. Same goes for terms like "Bright" - why are we so ashamed or afraid to call a spade a spade?

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OED: free-thinker "One who

OED:
free-thinker
"One who refuses to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief; a designation claimed esp. by the deistic and other rejectors of Christianity at the beginning of the 18th c."

I like this word.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm an atheist, plain and simple, I see no reason to dress it up when the term atheist is already so badly misunderstood and demonized. Same goes for terms like "Bright" - why are we so ashamed or afraid to call a spade a spade?

I have stopped using the word atheist for several reasons. First, it is uninformative. Not believing in gods is not a guarantee of rationality. I could be a dyed-in-the-wool faithhead (to use Dawkins' lovely phrase) with respect to Scientology or Buddhism and still be technically an atheist.

Second, no-one describes himself as an aunicornist, an abansheeist, an afairyist, an aboddhisatvist, or an adragonist. Singling out atheism as a stance worth mentioning gives undeserved credence to the notion that belief in gods is somehow less absurd than belief in dragons and fairies.

Third, why would I stop at describing only (a tiny subset of) what I do not believe in? Instead, I can say I am a naturalist, which says something positive about my views on epistemology. I can also describe myself as a secular humanist, in which case I am making a statement about not only epistemology but values as well. Why stop at "atheist"?


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Kemono

Kemono wrote:
OED:
free-thinker
"One who refuses to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief; a designation claimed esp. by the deistic and other rejectors of Christianity at the beginning of the 18th c."

I like this word.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm an atheist, plain and simple, I see no reason to dress it up when the term atheist is already so badly misunderstood and demonized. Same goes for terms like "Bright" - why are we so ashamed or afraid to call a spade a spade?

I have stopped using the word atheist for several reasons. First, it is uninformative. Not believing in gods is not a guarantee of rationality. I could be a dyed-in-the-wool faithhead (to use Dawkins' lovely phrase) with respect to Scientology or Buddhism and still be technically an atheist.

Second, no-one describes himself as an aunicornist, an abansheeist, an afairyist, an aboddhisatvist, or an adragonist. Singling out atheism as a stance worth mentioning gives undeserved credence to the notion that belief in gods is somehow less absurd than belief in dragons and fairies.

Third, why would I stop at describing only (a tiny subset of) what I do not believe in? Instead, I can say I am a naturalist, which says something positive about my views on epistemology. I can also describe myself as a secular humanist, in which case I am making a statement about not only epistemology but values as well. Why stop at "atheist"?

Yeah, this is pretty much exactly what I was talking about. Semantic drivel.

I'm an atheist, I lack belief in gods.

I'm NOT a freethinker - I don't even know what that is. I AM a naturalist, but that is ancillary to my lack of belief in gods.

I KNOW what an atheist is, and I see no good reason to confuse the issue by trying to wrangle the simple lack of belief into something more palatable to the general public or more encompassing than it actually is.

If you're an atheist, simply say, "I'm an atheist" and do it without blinking. If you feel the need to butter people up with PC inclusive sentiments after that, be my guest.

Now, I and the squad do share Amanda Bloom's sentiment - we're fighting for a world where the term atheist isn't necessary. Right now it IS necessary, and I use it, and use it without apology or qualificaiton.

I'm not going to tell people to stop using the term "freethinker", I'm simply saying I personally see it as a farce and telling you why I do not use it and won't use it. Sort of like my beef with the term "marco-evolution".

You may do as you will and it won't change my opinion of you.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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I usually have to tell them

I usually have to tell them a few ideas then explain them...

Using the terms the way RRS defines them I'm an agnostic atheist who is anti-theist about some gods. Agnostic in that I can't prove non-existence, Atheist in that I don't believe in gods, and Anti-theist about the ones that are defined in a contradictory manner. And that doesn't even get into other ideas...

Maybe I'll just say "I'm a philosopher and hold many views here is my book that explains it all" (I wrote a book that I keep in my back pocket in this reality)


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Yellow_Number_Five wrote: I

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I AM a naturalist, but that is ancillary to my lack of belief in gods.

Jawdropping! Really? To me naturalism is the shit. Atheism is just one of its many implications.

Quote:
If you're an atheist, simply say, "I'm an atheist" and do it without blinking. If you feel the need to butter people up with PC inclusive sentiments after that, be my guest.

Butter people up?! It is less palatable for a woowoo-believing interlocutor when I say I am a secular humanist than when I say I am an atheist. If I say I am atheist, I am simply rejecting an imaginary friend she may or may not believe in. If I say I am a secular humanist I am rejecting both the imaginary friend and the interlocutor's slave mentality and her intellectual sloppiness.

Quote:
Now, I and the squad do share Amanda Bloom's sentiment - we're fighting for a world where the term atheist isn't necessary. Right now it IS necessary, and I use it, and use it without apology or qualificaiton.

Be my guest. Do note that I do not find the word atheist too explicit -- I find it not explicit enough.

Quote:
I'm not going to tell people to stop using the term "freethinker", I'm simply saying I personally see it as a farce and telling you why I do not use it and won't use it. Sort of like my beef with the term "marco-evolution".

Fair enough.


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Idea! anti-bullshitist Of

Idea! anti-bullshitist

Of course you then have do say what is bullshit and why your idea isn't bullshit, fights begin and then the cops wonder how all the bullshit got started to begin with. Then we are right back where we started and I think my point could be made with one three word question...


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Kemono

Kemono wrote:
OED:
free-thinker
"One who refuses to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief; a designation claimed esp. by the deistic and other rejectors of Christianity at the beginning of the 18th c."

I like this word.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm an atheist, plain and simple,

I have stopped using the word atheist for several reasons. First, it is uninformative. Not believing in gods is not a guarantee of rationality.

Being a free thinker is not a guarantee of rationality either.

Quote:
I could be a dyed-in-the-wool faithhead (to use Dawkins' lovely phrase) with respect to Scientology or Buddhism and still be technically an atheist.

You could be an insane psychopath who kills people to eat their bone marrow and proceeds to talk to the bones all night long with the literal belief that these bones understood you and still be a "freethinker."

Quote:
Second, no-one describes himself as an aunicornist, an abansheeist, an afairyist, an aboddhisatvist, or an adragonist.

I have yet to hear someone describe themselves as a notfreethinker.

Quote:
Singling out atheism as a stance worth mentioning gives undeserved credence to the notion that belief in gods is somehow less absurd than belief in dragons and fairies.

No it doesn't. Were 80% of the world believers in dragons and fairies, I assure you there would be people who readily used adragonist or afairiest to describe themselves. Furthermore upon seeing the definition of freethinker has "deism" associated with it, why would you want to use that term to describe yourself? Didn't you just call God belief absurd, and wouldn't you want to distance yourself from words that may categorize you as someone who could accept a god.

Quote:
Third, why would I stop at describing only (a tiny subset of) what I do not believe in?

You wouldn't stop there, however as I said 80% of the world believes in it, you are a minority, with this one belief and it's ok to point that out.

Quote:
Instead, I can say I am a naturalist, which says something positive about my views on epistemology. I can also describe myself as a secular humanist, in which case I am making a statement about not only epistemology but values as well. Why stop at "atheist"?

Don't stop at atheist, you can use those terms to describe yourself. But don't reject atheist for the same exact reasons you should be rejecting freethinker and then proudly exclaim you're a freethinker.

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Kemono

Kemono wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

If you're an atheist, simply say, "I'm an atheist" and do it without blinking. If you feel the need to butter people up with PC inclusive sentiments after that, be my guest.

Butter people up?! It is less palatable for a woowoo-believing interlocutor when I say I am a secular humanist than when I say I am an atheist. If I say I am atheist, I am simply rejecting an imaginary friend she may or may not believe in. If I say I am a secular humanist I am rejecting both the imaginary friend and the interlocutor's slave mentality and her intellectual sloppiness.

C'mon now, let's be honest enough to admit that the word atheist has a much scarier and negative connotation to the Christian then the word "secular humanist."

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Voiderest wrote:Idea!

Voiderest wrote:
Idea! anti-bullshitist

Of course you then have do say what is bullshit and why your idea isn't bullshit, fights begin and then the cops wonder how all the bullshit got started to begin with. Then we are right back where we started and I think my point could be made with one three word question...

Laughing out loud

Sapient wrote:
Being a free thinker is not a guarantee of rationality either.

No, but it rules out many forms of irrationality that are (strictly speaking) compatible with atheism. Like scientology and religious buddhism.

Sapient wrote:
You could be an insane psychopath who kills people to eat their bone marrow and proceeds to talk to the bones all night long with the literal belief that these bones understood you and still be a "freethinker."

The usefulness of the word atheist is diminished much more by the existence of non-theistic woo-woo (which is relatively common) than the usefulness of the word freethinker is diminished by the possible existence of psychopathic freethinkers (which are extremely rare if they exist at all).

Sapient wrote:
Were 80% of the world believers in dragons and fairies, I assure you there would be people who readily used adragonist or afairiest to describe themselves.

There surely would, but the question is should they call themselves that or is there a better PR strategy. (Not that PR is all that matters.)

Sapient wrote:
C'mon now, let's be honest enough to admit that the word atheist has a much scarier and negative connotation to the Christian then the word "secular humanist."

That is probably true where you live. In most of the places I have lived in the last few years, out-and-out Christianity is relatively rare while half-arsed "spiritualism" coupled with woo-woo beliefs abounds.


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Razorcade wrote:By the way,

Razorcade wrote:
By the way, IMO, they got atheist wrong.

Quick definitions (atheist)
noun: someone who denies the existence of god

How so?

Here's dictionary.com's definition of atheist:

One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

They are similar. I really don't have a problem with either.


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'denies' by itself implys we

'denies' by itself implys we are wrong as in we should believe in the existence of a god.


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Kemono wrote: Sapient

Kemono wrote:

Sapient wrote:
Being a free thinker is not a guarantee of rationality either.

No, but it rules out many forms of irrationality that are (strictly speaking) compatible with atheism. Like scientology and religious buddhism.

You're jumping through hoops to rationalize your lack of utilization of a word that perfectly describes you. There are hundreds of thousands of items that one can be irrational about or towards, the notion that "freethinker" excludes two of those irrationalities, so the term is more fitting is a rationalization on your part to steer clear of the word atheist. We learned above that freethinkers are aligned with deists, so there is a big irrationality right there to add to the freethinker list. But rationalize away my friend, cool by me.

Sapient wrote:
The usefulness of the word atheist is diminished much more by the existence of non-theistic woo-woo (which is relatively common) than the usefulness of the word freethinker is diminished by the possible existence of psychopathic freethinkers (which are extremely rare if they exist at all).

I'd reckon the amount of freethinker psychopaths and those that are atheist are likely almost the exact same number.

Sapient wrote:
There surely would, but the question is should they call themselves that or is there a better PR strategy. (Not that PR is all that matters.)

You just told us that you use the term secular humanist is more in your face than the word atheist. Now you're invoking, PR?! You're making my point here. As you rationalize below that the world you live in, "secular humanist" carries a more negative connotation than the word atheist. What world is that exactly?

Sapient wrote:
Quote:
C'mon now, let's be honest enough to admit that the word atheist has a much scarier and negative connotation to the Christian then the word "secular humanist."

That is probably true where you live. In most of the places I have lived in the last few years, out-and-out Christianity is relatively rare while half-arsed "spiritualism" coupled with woo-woo beliefs abounds.

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Christen wrote:Razorcade

Christen wrote:
Razorcade wrote:
By the way, IMO, they got atheist wrong.

Quick definitions (atheist)
noun: someone who denies the existence of god

How so?

Here's dictionary.com's definition of atheist:

One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods.

They are similar. I really don't have a problem with either.

Most people see the word deny and infer that "deny" only pertains to strong atheism therefore the word "disbelieve" is a very important addition to the definition. Most people also don't realize that "denial" is simply "refusal to admit the truth of" and therefore disbelieve can often be the exact same thing as deny.

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Sapient wrote: You're

Sapient wrote:

You're jumping through hoops to rationalize your lack of utilization of a word that perfectly describes you.

Not at all. I stopped using atheist when I realized I did not need it. There is only one situation that is ever likely to arise where the word atheist is needed:

Q: Are you an atheist?
A: Of course I am an atheist.

Other than that, no need. Think about it:

Q: What is your religion?
A: I don't believe in fairy tales. (A more comprehensive reply than "I am an atheist".)

Q: Do you believe in God?
A: No. Don't be silly. ("No, I'm an atheist" would be redundant.)

Q: So where do you lot get your morality if you don't believe in [insert fairy tale]?
A: We secular humanists use reason and compassion to judge what is moral. [It is much harder to speak for all atheists because they come in so many sizes and shapes.]

But yes, I do also have a personal distaste for the word atheist. Why should I define my views in the language of someone else's delusion? I am the normal one; it is the theists who have a memetic disease.

Quote:
There are hundreds of thousands of items that one can be irrational about or towards, the notion that "freethinker" excludes two of those irrationalities, so the term is more fitting is a rationalization on your part to steer clear of the word atheist.

I am not avoiding "atheist". When asked whether I am an atheist, I say "Of course I am an atheist". In most other situations there is a better word, a more descriptive one (although "freethinker" in most cases is not it).

Quote:
We learned above that freethinkers are aligned with deists, so there is a big irrationality right there to add to the freethinker list.

I wonder how many people associate freethought with deism except in historical contexts. If many do, then it is a problem.

Sapient wrote:

I'd reckon the amount of freethinker psychopaths and those that are atheist are likely almost the exact same number.

Yes, thank you for elucidating my point. The psycopath objection to "freethinker" applies equally well to "atheist", but the non-theist woo-woo objection only applies to "atheist". (The deist objection, of course, is still relevant to freethinker.)

Sapient wrote:

You just told us that you use the term secular humanist is more in your face than the word atheist. Now you're invoking, PR?! You're making my point here. [...] As you rationalize below that the world you live in, "secular humanist" carries a more negative connotation than the word atheist. What world is that exactly?

A clarification of the point I am arguing seems in order. My case against "atheist" is not that it is not provocative enough but that there are in most cases words (like naturalist or secular humanist) that are more to the point. As Mike seemed to misunderstand my point as "atheist is too explicit", I explained that this is not so and that I am perfectly happy to use explicit language to describe my views.


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Can we all agree that

Can we all agree that freethinker is not synonymous with deist? (Which is what this thread is supposed to be about.)

If so, then OneLook.com needs to fix the error.


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Leda wrote:Can we all agree

Leda wrote:
Can we all agree that freethinker is not synonymous with deist? (Which is what this thread is supposed to be about.)

If so, then OneLook.com needs to fix the error.

Leda, did you see the OED definition posted:

OED:
free-thinker
"One who refuses to submit his reason to the control of authority in matters of religious belief; a designation claimed esp. by the deistic and other rejectors of Christianity at the beginning of the 18th c."

It would seem that onelook needs to add to the entry, but apparently deists can be considered freethinkers.

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I understand, and agree

I understand, and agree with, that.

But OneLook.com provides the exact same definition for deist and freethinker in its "quick defintion" section. That's the issue.


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Leda wrote:But OneLook.com

Leda wrote:
But OneLook.com provides the exact same definition for deist and freethinker in its "quick defintion" section. That's the issue.

I concur, you've found a discrepancy.

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