The Freethinker In The Mirror
Rusty, a friend of mine from our secular humanist group, wrote an interesting piece that several people think is a pretty good challenge to non-believers:
“Are you a Freethinker?
A Freethinker is a person who thinks free from delusion, deception, misperception, fantasy, fiction and religious, political, cultural and even familial bias. For the sake of this discussion we will simplify it to freedom from religious philosophy.There are two primary Christian philosophical concepts:1. The obsessive and debilitating fear of Yahweh and Hell.2. The unrelenting, defensive and blind obedience to the church that created Yahweh and Hell.
I think what inspired him was some of the recent posts at our NOSHA Facebook page (and maybe some other experiences as well), but he makes some very good points. Freethinkers who accept evolution and who are skeptical of belief in a supreme being aren’t immune to other ideas that are a little on the less scientific side. I’ve met some non-believers who still believe in astrology and some who believe in fate and karma. Add to that people who support national conspiracies and you have a similar mindset who will argue for their own nonsensical flavor of the month.
I even find myself falling into the habit occasionally of thinking how some things happen “for a reason.” When I catch this thought welling up, I feel silly for a minute, but I try to analyze why it happened and what would make me consider it. I usually think this to console myself after something disappointing happens, so I think it is reasonable that we try to make life less rough on ourselves. If things happen for a reason that is beyond our control, then it’s even better that we figured that it was “meant to happen” that way. If shit just happens, however, it can happen again. And again. And we need a reason that doesn’t make us feel so damn unlucky.
So, Rusty makes a good point that we as freethinkers and non-believers need to examine our own biases and be willing to look at what we hold dear and tear it down if need be. It isn’t enough that we demand this of the religious, but we should be willing to do it ourselves.