Why do atheists call themselves "Free Thinkers"?

When I was an atheist I was also a free thinker. Over time that thinking led me to Christ. To my relief, I didn't have to hang my intellect at the door when I came to church. A truly free thinker would consider all angles and not ignore or fight religious ones.

Are atheists truly free thinkers or are they willingly ignorant?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Neither. Some atheists call themselves free thinkers because they feel that they're not constricting their thought with religion.

    While I am an atheist, I feel that giving oneself the "Free-thinker" label is counterproductive. It insults anyone who is different from you by implying that you are in some way better, which is what many atheists feel is wrong with religion, and it puts you in an intellectual box that it's hard to escape from.

    Then again, not all atheists are free-thinkers. And not all free-thinkers are atheists.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Of course not. Only the mad are truly free thinkers. The notion of 'free thought' has more to do with non-conformity than epistemic liberty. Since the majority of the world is theistic, I guess that part of atheism still applies. The fundamental mistake of most atheists, and theists for that matter, is imagining a disconnect between the will and the intellect. The vast majority of us believe what we want to believe and then cloak this naked assertion of will in intellectual garb. Reason is the slave of the will. Ironically, true freedom only comes after we abandon our will and submit to the Creator. "If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed." I didn't hang my paltry intellect at the door when I became Christian, but I did have to leave my self-willfulness at the door. I simply couldn't fit through the opening with it still in my arms.

    peace

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  • 1 decade ago

    the origin of that term is more that lack of religious belief allows you to follow the evidence or argument where it leads without constantly having to deal with the tautology of divine existence. Free thinker does not equal atheist, but atheism enables free thinking.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hmmm.... I call myself "Mae". That's about it.... Well, occasionally "Empress of the Universe" when I'm feeling especially cheeky.

    Every organized religion I've ever seen has a structure that, at some point, requires the practioner to adhere to some pre-specified rules, regardless of the individual's thoughts. I don't think it's willful ignorance to choose not to embrace something that restricts the expression of such thoughts.

    Obviously, if I were to go to a christian church, I would have to accept a mythos that does not mesh with the thoughts I have (that no great one deity exists). I choose instead to remain FREE to THINK what makes sense to me.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It staggers the mind that someone with reason and intellect will chose a belief in something that has no sound evidence to support it.

    Religion typically does not support or encourage critisism. A belief in a theory that is not able or willing to correct itself is a door closed in the believers mind.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i find it's much easier to think freely without worrying about bogeymen who might burn me for all eternity after i die. don't you? i mean i'm not saying there isn't a god, but if there is one, he's probably not so concerned with petty things like christianity or any religion. then again who's to say god is in any way benevolent. god could be like a big kid with a magnifying glass. i'd find someone to be a truly free thinker when they start worshipping something like that.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The same question could be asked of Christians....free thinkers or willfully ignorant?

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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm an atheist and I don't think the term 'free thinker' applies exclusively to atheists. to me it's more to do with eschewing that whole business of hierarchies and formal creeds and doctrines and stamping out heresies.

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  • I'm not willingly ignorant, I just don't assume what doesn't make sense and has no personal purpose to be truth.

    If anything I'm a lot closer to happiness letting go God and being an atheist.

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  • 1 decade ago

    A free thinker wouldn't be so narrow minded and always have ideas instead of a strict belief system.

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