Triangle Philosophy Message Board › Are Freethinkers, really Free and/or Thinkers?

Are Freethinkers, really Free and/or Thinkers?

A former member
Post #: 472
After pointing out a few message board errors from the moderator of a Fayetteville Freethinkers" Meetup, I was uncerimoneously kicked out of the group. I learned from other members that this happens a lot to people who disagree with the group's organizer/moderator. This of course demonstrates that there is only Freethinkin if it agrees with the organizer/moderator -- in other words, it is not free thinking at all. I was once thrown out of a sleezy bar in Pueblo, Colorado. The event was more disturbing to me than being tossed out of that Fayetteville group. Perhaps I was more upset in Pueblo because the throwing out process was physical and bruising while the virtual throwing out in Fayetteville included no physical contact. It didn't even bruise my ego. In any case, considering the intellectual quality of the other Fayetteville participants who were thrown out made me feel proud to be counted in their numbers.

Apparently there are a number of "Freethinkers" Meetups around the country and from what I gather, they are heavily populated with Agnostics and Atheists. I am a Theist and consider myself (being a Jungian) a Gnostic. So if I am invited into such groups it is sometimes begrudgingly on their part and with some apprehension . They seem to believe that I nay try to save their miserable souls from eternal damnation and hells fire. They usually learn that many of my dearest friends are agnostics and atheists and they soon realize that my purpose in wanting to share some intellectual space with them is to learn and grow myself. I hope that through our discussion, dialog, and friendship, we all are somehow improved or grown. My vision of my role as a theist and a Gnostic has grown as a direct result of what I learned from Agnostics and Atheists. I would rather have my Agnostic and Atheist friends in my home than many religious I've known over the years.

To begin this thread, I believe we should agree on terms and concepts. I don't believe anyone would disagree on the definition of the term "free". Although, believe it or not there are many even in this country who don't really understand the terms "freedom" and "liberty". To really understand such concepts they must be experienced "inside" -- the experience may be a result of a wake up when one realizes for the first time that they no-longer have freedom and liberty. I do not believe that "free" automatically licenses abuse, disrespect, and hatred. I believe that courtesy and respect must be a part of any gathering, even virtual ones like on message boards.

The term "Thinking" may cause us problems. The term is more popularly used to imply any cognitive act or process that appears to be going on in the head. Clinically thisi is incorrect (at least in Jungian terms). Thinking is one of four psychological functions used to describe what the psyche does with no concern for how it does it. ("is thinking" or non teleogical thinking.) Thinking is one of two judgmental functions and is the one that uses logic, cold calculation, planning, objectives, and social implications or influences. The other judgment function is called feeling (again this may cause problems inasmuch as the term is often used simply to define emotions). But in Jungian terms, feeling is the function used to define value. An object may be considered for its function (thinking) and for its value (Feeling); or what it is worth to us at the moment. The use, and name of a chair and its fit within a plan is a product of the thinking function. The chair will have a dramatically different value (feeling) if you've been sitting in one all day than if you are tired and need some time off of your feet. The psyche's feeling function is used to judge value, the interpersonal, experience, history, and aesthetics.

It is important, I believe to keep the distinctions in mind as we proceed through the discussions otherwise the postings may get muddied simply because of symantics. Of course if anyone can do a better job or has other workable ideas on the subjects, please feel free to do so.

Best,

Wes
Rod
user 9657085
Melton, AU
Post #: 104
Hi Wes some government officials will be monitoring your posts its out of my hands it seems you have breached protiocol of human rights and you will be closely assed i passed on the copies of your posts on my thread to these officials some copuntries are also monitoring your posts and they will either contact your lawyers and they may not when you slandefr someone and you neglect a duty of care its a series offenece kind regards
Rod
user 9657085
Melton, AU
Post #: 105
Hi Wes the authorities are now dealing with this is out of my control try to keep up with the times of world issues affairs and news and media I am not accountable of what happens to you its your choice what you want to do in life kind regards goodbye
A former member
Post #: 883
... you will be closely assed...

Well, Wes, I'm not sure what it means to be "closely assed" but it sounds like more fun than responding to Rod.

But seriously, you seem to have violated international protocol by disagreeing with Rod's posts. If you need, I will testify at your trial as a character witness so that they will be merciful upon your soul... perhaps with my testimony you'll only get life in prison? Maybe a floating prison in international waters?
A former member
Post #: 474
Thanks for the laugh Rich. I initially responded but pulled it after some reflection and a guilty conscience led me to believe that Rod causes more harm for himself than I can ever lay on him. I am not too enthusiastic about being closely assed especially without an equitable fee. In fact I am not too sure that I want to know what that is. I especially would not think it too welcomed in the floating prison in international waters especially with the officials from a variety of nations watching.

In any case please feel free to post and get this thread running. It could be a lot of fun, I suspect, especially with your equally nutty sense of humor (like my own).

Wes
A former member
Post #: 885
Well, I was initially booted from (and re-instated to and then left) a local Atheist meetup because I objected to a number of the individuals inserting Fundamentalist Libertarian viewpoints into every discussion. And in that I wasn't alone. I think a total of around 30-40 members left that meetup, since we got tired of being called "statists" or "violent coercives" because we either supported gov't (the current gov't, the past gov't, gov't in general, you name it) or we didn't support Libertarian views.

I found that a lot of the people who called themselves "freethinkers" in that environment ended up well sort of the necessarily logic to actually think freely. For instance, they'd plainly state as fact that all politicians were dishonest and immoral while supporting the Libertarian politician with no sense of irony. And even after this Libertarian politician stated that he wanted more church influence over personal decisions, they stuck with him and justified his comments as Libertarian. Or they'd argue in favor of discrimination, since societal anti-discrimination rules weren't allowing them to freely express their unique thinking. It's like I say about my adopted hometown: It's very liberal and open-minded until you disagree, and then it becomes very close-minded and conservative.

Normally I don't associate conservative causes with free thinking. Not that they don't exist. I just find that's normally not the, well, the norm.

"Freethinker" is normally code for "non-religious" -- I can go on for days on the subject of the non-religious, being one of them myself. Something I'd like to know is do you think someone can be religious AND a free thinker? Not a theist, necessarily, but religious. Seems like religion is the antithesis of free thinking...
Chris
user 5801783
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 26
"Freethinker" is normally code for "non-religious"

To me, "freethinker" means someone who is not superstitious, not just about religion, but other subjects as well. Wikipedia says "Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or dogma. The cognitive application of freethought is known as 'freethinking', and practitioners of freethought are known as 'freethinkers'."

People have superstitious beliefs about many other subjects besides religion: Santa, Easter Bunny, black cats, broken mirrors, ladders, the number 13, astrology, economics, and politics just to name a few.
A former member
Post #: 475
I am proud to report that my application to another Fayetteville FreeThinkers Meetup has been denied. I thanked them for the honor of being rejected and recognition that I was really a Freethinker and they were not. Oh well -- there goes my social life (LOL).

Similar to your experience Rich, I found that Freethinker was meant to mean an atheist and agnostic and most that I met were angrily opposed to anyone who had any theist leaning as members of an organized religion or not.

My town is very small and heavily populated with a wide range of religions from Presbyterian to various forms of Penticostal. I am not socially involved with any people in the area except at the bowling alley. I have been courteously invited to the United Methodist Church and two Baptist Churches -- oh yeah also the Jehova's Witnesses stopped by to straighten out my thinking. I courteously thanked them all and wished them well. I was raised Roman Catholic and remained a non-practicing of that religion for a number of years. I joined the Episcopal Church since, as Robin Williams put it, "You don't have to leave your brains at the door!" But perhaps fifteen years ago I started studying the history of Christianity and as a result of that study and my other studies, Jung, Astrology, I simply call myself a theist and a gnostic. I am from up north and had some presumptions regarding Southern Baptists, who are the majority of people I find I associate with. They are not as rigid and judgmental as I thought they'd be, have wonderful senses of humor, and are kind and courteous. For bowling team members, this is just fine with me. We simply do not talk about religion -- there's no written or unspoken rule but it just works out that way and I am pleased with such a social environment.

I have many friends who are agnostic and atheists and I feel honored that they call me a friend. I do not evangelize and feel that everyone must find their own way and who the hell am I to judge anyone on their path?

As I said, I am a theist but other than occassional visitst to the Unitarian Universalists services in Raleigh, I am not a member of any organized religion. I am not even sure that I'd be a member of a gnostic church if there was one in the area. I have my own ideas on religion and find it difficult to consider a comfortable fit for me within any organized religion. I respect the ones who actually practice what they preach with charity and other important contributions to society, like the Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and UUs and have volunteered to work on projects with them. I was invited to a Quaker service but found that too uncomfortable but the people were nice.

I think that it is important to understand how the psyche handles challenges and problems before one can grasp and capably discuss the cognitive processes

to user 5801783, I agree on your perception and what you described was what I expected to find when I joined an earlier Freethinker group. In reality it was more a gathering of relatively closed minded, paranoid, and judgmental Atheists in practice.

I am very much looking forward to learning more from the group.
Ed Floyd
user 7712563
Raleigh, NC
Post #: 108
Wes,
Welcome back, friend.

Is there any other real thinking than free thinking?
Is it possible that the cause of our suffering has affected our ability to think freely? Or,is it possible that something, like Darwins selection has selected for a loss of free thinking?
A former member
Post #: 888
Wes,
Welcome back, friend.

Is there any other real thinking than free thinking?
Is it possible that the cause of our suffering has affected our ability to think freely? Or,is it possible that something, like Darwins selection has selected for a loss of free thinking?

The idea of natural selection favoring the genes for non-free thinking in order to protect the species is interesting... can you expand on that one?
Powered by mvnForum

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Log in

Not registered with us yet?

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy