Are Atheists Free Thinkers?

What Is Free Thinking?

Photo Attribution: Wikipedia

Close Minded Yet Open Skepticism

I frequently hear Atheists proclaim how they are free thinkers and those of faith are just drones, bound to the close mindedness of religion. Though I will concede to their point to an extent -as I have heard Theists of all kinds blindly spewing regurgitated information (even data that’s been adequately refuted) with adamant dogmatism- however this broad paintbrush stroke is not warranted as a whole. I’m not writing today to prove if Theism, and more specifically Christianity, is open or closed minded but I’m here to show that Atheists are not quite the free thinkers they “think” they are.

Their default position on the world, the universe, and how things got here and are sustained, comes from a mere naturalism presupposition. Any position other than that (religious or otherwise) stays at the gate of their “knowledge filter” and will not be welcomed into the fortress that they vehemently defend. Moreover, they volley arrows from their wall of defense at those from another kingdom of thought that hope for an open dialogue. After all, they are there to defend the only reality in the world, science. So out of the 1000’s of religions that speak on how we got here, why the world is the way it is, what makes us who we are etc, any of these answers are automatically deemed false by Atheism since it’s open minded to only naturalism. Even when Theism has a better answer -say for instance, a causal agent that created the first cause of the universe rather than creation creating itself- for a number of life’s questions, these are automatically wrong though their presumptive answer(s) is/are less compelling.

It seems odd that by merely accepting documented scientific facts (barring of course hypotheses which nevertheless demand a natural explanation) this is used as “evidence” of being open, while the acceptance of these facts do not require one to be open minded at all, but merely an affirmation of such! Again, I do understand that their primary proclamation of open mindedness is that they don’t rely on/need religion or God to tell them what’s truth, moral, etc. But here’s the dilemma, on the other side of the fence they strictly rely on science, nature, materialism etc to tell them these very things. I would put this in the “calling the kettle black” scenario. In reality they are saying, choose any color you wish as long as it’s black.

Disclaimer: This article is not speaking of the philosophic “Free Thinker” (hence the lack of capitalization that I used) but merely those that think they are “free to think” about (or believe) anything, based on a true open mindedness to find truth, from whence it comes.

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About Razor Swift

Rich Christian who is the founder of Razor Swift, seeks to open hearts and minds through the platform of apologetics. It's his desire to approach Biblical, faith, and other issues from a different perspective rather than just preaching to the choir in the Christianese dialect. He maintains that faith and reason mustn’t necessarily be at odds with each other, but can be complementary. May no stone lay unturned.
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10 Responses to Are Atheists Free Thinkers?

  1. Mack_the_Turtle says:

    //Even when Theism has a better answer -say for instance, a causal agent that created the first cause of the universe rather than creation creating itself- //

    How is that a better answer? It brings up the problem of infinite regression. It also takes an position that is a leap of faith because we have never seen something created that was not created from prior, existing matter. So to say “every thing has a cause,” is really a leap from “everything we know of has a cause from pre-existing matter,” which means the first premise of the syllogism fails.

  2. razorswift says:

    Mack,

    Thank you for your reply. Can you please expound on your infinite regression comment? Thanks in advance.

  3. Lee Myers says:

    Not all freethinkers are atheists and not all atheists are freethinkers. The article is a faulty overgeneralization attacking another faulty overgeneralization.

    “Theism has a better answer -say for instance, a causal agent that created the first cause of the universe rather than creation creating itself”

    Straw man. I do assert “creation creating itself.” Wow, I’ve never seen that straw man before. How very original. *sarcasm*

    “they strictly rely on science, nature, materialism etc to tell them [truth, moral, etc.]”

    And another straw man.

  4. razorswift says:

    Lee,

    Can you please explain why my two quoted passages are strawmen? How so? Please unpack that a little. Thank you.

  5. Lee Myers says:

    “Theism has a better answer -say for instance, a causal agent that created the first cause of the universe rather than creation creating itself”

    This is a common theist straw man. No atheist I have ever known has asserted “creation created itself.” Even for those who subscribe to the quantum fluctuation model, quantum fluctuation is something so it’s not “creation creating itself.” There are many cosmological models, big bounce, infinite black holes, quantum fluctuation, multi-verse. At the end of the day I concede we simply still don’t know and are working on it. CERN is a big part of that as are other general quantum experiments searching for a quantum theory of gravity or a unified field theory. I don’t assert an absolutist view of any cosmological model with the sole exception of the vague big bang expansion from a smaller, hotter, denser state of being. Aside from that the jury’s still out and I’d rather have evidence supporting my position than just make stuff up or accept the views of someone else who was just making stuff up.

    “they strictly rely on science, nature, materialism etc to tell them [truth, moral, etc.]”

    Never met an atheist who relies on science to teach them ethics. Sam Harris thinks it might, but has been rather unclear on exactly how that would work. It seems all Sam has to say is we have different opinions of different acts and by measuring brain activity we can measure people’s reaction to certain acts and thus plot the spectrum of morality Well that’s all fine and good, but then again, we could just ask them, which is the way morality already works. I form my opinions on morality based on my own basic empathy, influenced of course by cultural, societal, political and economic upbringing and current status as well as certain genetic factors. This is also how others form their morality. I don’t need a neurologist telling me what’s moral and immoral. Morality is a bit more complicated than that. Science has little to say on the issue of morality. Nature simply reflects our own biological altruism in some species, whereas others don’t so much, and thus nature doesn’t tell me what’s moral either. Philosophical materialism has almost nothing to say on the matter other than these things supervene upon particular brain states.

  6. razorswift says:

    “This is a common theist straw man. No atheist I have ever known has asserted “creation created itself.” Even for those who subscribe to the quantum fluctuation model, quantum fluctuation is something so it’s not “creation creating itself.” There are many cosmological models, big bounce, infinite black holes, quantum fluctuation, multi-verse.”
    >>>

    Are all of those models coming from a naturalistic origin/cause?

  7. Lee Myers says:

    Indeed they are of natural origin. And if that’s all you had said that would be fine. But the assertion that atheists think “creation created itself” is a simpleton’s oversimplification and demonstrably false.

    • razorswift says:

      Lee,

      This is my last response to you on this article as I must move on. However, I would like to continue discussing this in my chatroom (link below) with you. You say:

      “Indeed they are of natural origin. And if that’s all you had said that would be fine. But the assertion that atheists think “creation created itself” is a simpleton’s oversimplification and demonstrably false.”
      >>>

      Everything we know in science (especially in lieu of the Big Bang, but otherwise as well), is that ALL of nature (the universe) had a beginning. Even a quantum vacuum -from whence virtual particles come- had a beginning after the Big Bang itself. All of your differing models are still part of what we know to be created (e. g. nature/creation, used interchangeably) hence my “creation creating itself” scenario. You’re right, Atheists don’t say that explicitly but implicitly they do and it’s the same result nevertheless. I have more thoughts and ideas I’d like to discuss with you but I’ll reserve that for my chatroom if you’re interested. Take care.

      My chatroom: https://razorswift.wordpress.com/our-paltalk-chatroom/

      • Lee Myers says:

        No actually we are currently searching for a quantum theory of gravity. General relativity breaks down at the quantum level and so one cannot say definitively “the universe had a beginning.” This may or may not be the case. And none of the scientific models are “part of what we know to be created.” But hey, just keep beating the crap out of that straw man till you’re blue in the face and maybe you’ll accomplish something other than laughter. Maybe learn some astronomy, physics and cosmology before making such statements. Quantum fluctuation isn’t created. Infinite black holes are infinite. The big bounce model is a series of universes bouncing into existence from the last, possibly infinite. The multi-verse has multiple universes and no definite beginning either.None of these models represent a universe being “created” in the way you are talking about. The ones that incorporate creation ex nihilo are referring to uncaused quantum fluctuation.

  8. Lee Myers says:

    And you also assert that “Theism has a better answer” which is also demonstrably false. Theists have no evidence for their “answer” and thus their “answer” is merely another in a long line of baseless assertions. There is mountains of evidence for natural cosmology, which is one reason why the overwhelming majority of physicists are atheists, over 80% I believe, more than any other scientific field.

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