Atheists In Kenya (AIK)

Bringing together non-believers

No, Free Thought Does Not Automatically Equal Atheism

It occurred to me that while we call ourselves the Kenyan Free Thinkers, most (if not all) of us profess ourselves to be atheists. In fact, thus far this blog has made free thinking and atheism synonymous. They’re not. The truth is that a free thinker is not automatically an atheist, and an atheist is not automatically a free thinker. However, it is also true that many free thinkers are atheists (or at least deists or pantheists) and many atheists are free thinkers.

Free thought is, according to Freethoughtpedia a way of looking at the world that holds that beliefs should be formed on the basis of science and logic, and not influenced by emotion, authority, tradition, coercion, dogma or established belief. Above all else, a free thinker must be a rationalist. The reason why many free thinkers are atheists is because free thought rejects beliefs that don’t have clear logical roots and reasonable evidence. Religions lack sufficient evidence for their gods, therefore I would hesitate to believe that a religious person could be a free thinker. Even those free thinkers that aren’t atheists are usually agnostics, skeptics, secularists, or otherwise unconvinced by religious claims.

A point I think is worth stressing is that an atheist is only a free thinker as long as their basis for atheism is reason. Too many times I’ve heard of people becoming atheists only because they are bitter or angry at life. Those aren’t free thinkers.

Hope I’ve shed some light on the subject. 🙂


About missdevi

Just your friendly neighbourhood atheist, blogging barefoot from somewhere in Nairobi, Kenya. Hoping to get Kenyans to open their minds and THINK.

5 comments on “No, Free Thought Does Not Automatically Equal Atheism

  1. Harry
    May 23, 2012

    Missdevi, well articulated. I totally agree with you. Atheism could well be a subset of free thinking. I think there are many instances in life where we can and do employ free thinking. In fact, one can argue that almost everyone is a free thinker. When you purchase a car, reason will make you look at the price, fuel consumption, color, shape etc. Most humans make reasonable decisions every day. A child is sick, they take them to hospital. That is free thinking.

    However, I think the the context in which we are free thinkers here, is with the aim of unchaining, freeing, almost liberating Kenyans from dogmatic, often unreasonable beliefs so pervasive in the religious sphere. The pervasiveness of religion, their organization into churches, sects, mosques, the fact that even the most educated person would still want to believe in invisible gods, makes religion a focal point for the Kenyan Free Thinkers.


    • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok
      July 31, 2012

      I have to disagree (not to threadjack) with one part.

      A child being sick, and then being taken to hospital, is the exact opposite of free thinking. So many of us are so unaware of how something as simple as drinking more water can prevent things like headaches, for example. Instead, we stupidly and blindly pop a painkiller or get meds from the doctor. Going to the doctor when sick, instead of doing research and investing time into prevention by living a healthy natural lifestyle, is simply a sheeple thing to do. Just because it is not a religious decision, does not mean it isn’t the product of dogma.


  2. Joseph Wahome
    June 9, 2012

    This clarification was important, Missdevi, for many people tend to confuse the two terms. In reality though, being in one state, such as being a free thinker, does not always imply being in the other state. Moreover, freethought does not always lead to the person becoming an atheist, since the final state of being depends on what facts and evidences avail to the freethinker. In much the same way, being an atheist does not always mean that the person is a freethinker. Just as Missdevi has pointed out, if the main reasons for being an atheist are anger and disillusionment, then that atheist is not a freethinker. In our interactions as Kenyan atheists and freethinkers, we should keep this distinction clear, so that each and every person attending our functions knows exactly what he or she is.

    Once again, thanks, Missdevi, for such a nice read.


  3. Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok
    July 31, 2012

    Very, very, very well put. Although it does make me chuckle as a lot of posts on here are very bitter and angry sounding, I totally agree with what you are saying.

    The person who gets heated up over an argument, and cannot see another person’s point without bashing it, is usually the one who most likely is “wrong” (or just not that confident in their own beliefs). I admire the religious and atheist people who can sit at an interfaith meeting, discuss calmly, and put across their views without bashing anyone else. They listen, digest info, and make their own unbiased decisions.

    That is truly, a free thinker.


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This entry was posted on May 23, 2012 by in Atheism and tagged , , , , .
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