This is just a simple explanation of why I have come to embrace freethinking. Normally, It’s not something I’d even bother writing about. “Live and Let Live” and all that. But lately in life, I’ve encountered many people with many beliefs and I have seen first-hand how their beliefs shape their worldview. They are beliefs not grounded in reason or common sense, but in excerpts and passages from ancient books that have no bearing on the world we live in today. They should not be worshipped or quoted, but put in the same place, on the same shelf, where we put other fairy-tales that we abandon in our childhood.
Thomas Paine said “My mind in my own church” in his work “The Age of Reason”. How liberating! What power we have to think, to grow, to discover, to doubt all in this entity called “the mind”! We need not to follow any doctrine or adhere to any creed other than our own. Is that not liberating? Is that not freedom?
I have found, however, that this is a subject that I can’t talk to many about. Few and far between are the people that understand what this means to me. Some have called it a “cause”, that I’m simply getting on a soapbox for atheism. Some people just can’t get their head around my non-belief in a god or gods. (They invoke that little magic pill-type word called “faith” which I won’t get into now. I’ll save that for another tangent.) Some people just don’t choose to think about such things. Am I upset by this? No, not really. Disappointed? I guess so. My point? I’m just wondering where all the thinkers are, where all the doubters and skeptics are hiding. Do we live in such fear (or maybe comfort) that we consciously choose NOT to push the boundaries of our minds, to test what we SAY we believe?
There was a time in the not-so-distant-past that if one of humankind were afflicted with disease or died for (at the time) unknown reasons and it was considered “The Will of God”. Fortunately for us, the were doubters and skeptics not willing to accept these broad and ambiguous reasons the churches, temples and mosques passed down. And because of these kinds of people, we know a fever does not have to kill us and that Polio needs not to cripple our lives!
So for those of you who sleep upon unproven beliefs and wrap yourselves up tight with a blanket called faith, sweet dreams. I seek those that are awake, those who want to be awake because we only have so many awakenings given to us. I search for those who do not depend on an idea of an “after-life” for reasons to do good or be kind, but those who appreciate “this-life” and do good and are kind because that’s the only way to be truly happy in this life.