Posted by: keepfishing | March 1, 2008

Freethinking? Freespeech?

I’ve always found it interesting how atheists/humanists/deconverted Christians often like to describe themselves as ‘freethinkers’. The basic idea is that they are thinkers who are free from any emotion, authority, tradition or dogma and base any belief on rational science and logic.

To be honest, it often comes across as pretty arrogant (though defended by the atheist Peter Atkins who asserts that “It’s ok to be arrogant when you are right.”) and in my opinion, nigh on impossible. As far as I can see, to claim to have beliefs entirely free from any cultural or emotional bias requires as much rebirth as Christian conversion. Even science, the alleged refuge of peer-reviewed neutrality and cold, hard facts is currently being accused of bias, advocacy and agenda. But I digress (though if you’re interested, hunt down some Ray Hilborn articles).It figures, that freethinkers would, by their nature, encourage debate and discussion in order to strip away any of the frivolous dogmatics that lesser mortals cling to and in order to facilitate such activity, free speech would be a necessity.  Yet today, whilst reading this,  I heard about a new film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which appears to suggest active suppression in the academic world, where the most thinking gets done. 

I’ll leave my opinions till I see it. If it ever reaches the UK 

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