Thursday, 27 March 2008
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the joy of freethought?
The positive primordial feeling of using our own brain on the so-called last questions before it has been replaced by imposed religious beliefs, and after it has been regained by deconversion. A view that emphasizes the good sides of living with a free mind as opposed to attacking bad sides of religion.
Dare it? Is it dangerous?
No. At least not more dangerous than religion. But for most adherers, religion implies a big value which will cause fear of loss if threatened. Only a shift of view will show that the real values of religion will not be lost, and that the gain of freethought will exceed a possible loss by far.
Do it? Do you want to proselytize?
Not quite. Rather encourage. I have the impression that many out there are not really comfortable with their religion. Instead of living it in a compromised, undecided way, they could be happier with undogmatic freethought and a full commitment to a secular humanism. But for all those who are happy with their religion, it might be better to stay with it.
Do you hate Christianity?
No. I have just grown out of it, and I still appreciate its content that is relevant to humanism, and I admire the great cultural achievements such as the music of Bach. I am also comfortable with my first name and with the reasons of my dad to choose it for me. The spiritual world in which I have grown up is and will forever be part of my life, and I do not deny this part of my personal history.
Are you an atheist?
This question may be less important than you may think, but yes. At least at the moment. Freethought is a thinking mode, not a belief, and for a freethinker every belief is subject to a possible change. But it is not very likely that I'll come again to believe in a personal God who has planned my life and who does guide it.
Do you believe in a soul?
Yes, but not in one that is separate from my brain and that has existed before my brain and will exist after my brain has disappeared. The soul is a function or phenomenon of the brain, and this is not meant as a depreciation but, on the contrary, as admiration and awe of natural wonder.
So you do not believe in afterlife?
No. I did not exist before I have been conceived, and I'll return to this same state after my death. But, due to my life, the world has changed its state - see also my remarks on butterfly effect. I think that the finite duration of life, as opposed to a supposed endless duration, adds more value to it. When there is no life after death, life before death becomes more important and precious.
Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/ccsd/2315262576/