- NOTE: This article was first posted on my old site on March 28, 2011.
Freethinkers and social democrats are just the same…
I believe this just speaks for the the GROUP, not Filipino freethinkers in general. I’m a Filipino Freethinker myself, but that doesn’t mean I agree with everything they say (like the part when they like Carlos Celdran disrupting a Church mass to support the RH bill). And also, most of all, I don’t hate religion as much as they do.
As for the atheists bonding together part, I don’t think the primary reason for them bonding together is “their hatred towards religion”. I say these atheists just simply want to shout out, speak out, for the fact that we live in a religion-dominant society.
If it IS the hatred, however, then this is just one of the things why it is a fact that Filipino atheism is still young. Like a kid, it still has a LOT to learn and experience. We’ve been under the influence of religion for so damn long that “freedom” from it feels so…yeah know, different. These atheists consider themselves “inmates” of a prison called “religion”, and the first thought of them after getting out and becoming free is hating to get back there.
I say you should take it slow for the moment. I myself also admit that I am among these “young atheists”. I also admit that I once a militant atheist with this ignorant hate towards religion, which I am now in the process of extinguishing this hate by opening my mind a bit more — figured seeing the world in black and white is not the right way. So I strongly believe that these atheists can improve. If you wanna prove something right to them as an atheist yourself, it would be best that you make it so that it shows that you want to correct them, improve them. To show hate towards a group would just end up nasty, well based on my experience. I however admire the way you criticize these atheists. Being criticized is one good way of learning and becoming better.
Time will tell if we Filipino atheists in general, especially the members of the Filipino Freethinkers, will get better (and perhaps finally achieve their intended goal — be advocates of reason). At the moment…Let these criticisms coming.
Here’ my reply:
First, let me tell you that rational thinking is far different from what they call “freethinking” (if this term has any meaning at all). Philosophically and philologically speaking, the term “freethinking” is a good example of floating abstraction. A floating abstraction is any concept detached from existents. It is a concept that people merely take for granted and accept as a species of truth and fact without knowing what specific units the concept denotes. In reality, you really don’t know what the term “freethinker” means– as well as its nature, its scope, its validity. You accepted it yet you really don’t know anything about it. To know something is to see itsconnection to reality and its relationship to the rest of your knowledge. A floating abstraction is a concept or idea which is, in your mind, cut off from reality, i.e., which you have not reduced to its referents. It simply percolates in your mind as a string of words detached from concretes. For instance, if you say, “A unit is an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members,” and then I ask you for an example, and you shrug, the concept “unit” is – for you – a floating abstraction.
I hope you know and understand that only concretes exist. Abstractions do NOT exist. However, abstractions are merely a
method of classifying concretes. Concretes are perceivable by our five senses. Examples of abstract terms are socialism, capitalism, altruism, globalism, poverty, etc. Karl Marx did not invent socialism; he merely came up with a term to identify or classify some concepts he later on called “socialism” and “communism”. Socialism existed thousands of years before Marx.
Also, Adam Smith did not invent capitalism. However, Smith and some other free-market philosophers like Ayn Rand and Ludwig von Mises believed that a practical and moral social system that has a potential to uplift man’s life condition, civilization, freedom and rights, and state of affairs exists. Thus, concepts like socialism and capitalism are NOT floating abstractions because these are concepts NOT detached from existents.
However, the concept “freethought” or freethinking” is a concept utterly detached from existents. It’s a term without existential meaning. Remember that we use definition to separate and distinguish between concepts and ideas. Definition is what we use to keep order in our mind. It’s part of philosophy.
Now I begin to see and understand that some these self-claimed “freethinkers” are victims of “terminological irresponsibility”. Before calling yourself “something”, you have to understand the nature of the term (e.g., freethinker, socialist, capitalist) that you’re trying to attach to your person and identity. What is “freethought”? Why should I call myself a “freethinker”? Is there really such a term?
Someone in the wiki-world, or perhaps someone from Kansas State U, came up with a sophomoric definition of the term. This wiki-person defines it as “a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or dogma.”
Through the process of deduction, the wiki-person is trying to say that “freethought” is:
1. a philosophical viewpoint
2. this philosophical viewpoint posits that opinions should be formed by a specific process
3. the basis of this process are logic, science and reason
4. and the latter should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or dogma.
This means, if such a definition holds water, that the freethinker collective is NOT simply a group of people trying to speak their minds as you said.
The problem with this definition is that it has no solid philosophical foundation to stand on. Most rational and thinking men, especially scientists, understand that a philosophy has the following branches:
1. Metaphysics- the nature of reality. What is reality?
2. Epistemology- the nature and scope of knowledge. How do we know we know.
3. Ethics- morality. What’s the morality of man?
4. Politics- social system. What’s the best political system for man.
Judging from the sophomoric, poorly written blog articles on the FF website, it appears that they adhere to Marxist, post-modernistic, Foucauldian, Machiavellian system. Theirs is a system, which is poorly based on a number of systems of thought.
For instance, their immature, hilarious defense of the RH bill is solidly founded on Marxist dialectical materialism and Machiavellian system. The end justifies the means, they argue. We have to contribute to the greater good, they say, without knowing that such a mentality is fundamentally ANTI-REASON, ANTI-LOGIC and ANTI-SCIENCE.
In regard to the nature of the Freethinkers, consider what I stated here in reply to one who ONCE claimed he’s a freethinker. http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/a-brief-comment-on-the-filipino-free-farters/
Here’s a related blog: http://fvdb.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/filipino-freethinkers-versus-reason/
Also in response to another self-confessed Freethinker who supported (or still supports ?) the RH bill, I wrote the following:
First, I noticed that this pro-RH bill freethinker was so confused about his political ideals like most people who claim to have profoundly understood their own political inclination. There is no such thing as a pro-capitalist “but not in the classical way”. Capitalism is capitalism. This political ideal, as distinguished from all other ideologies or political systems (e.g., socialism, fascism, Nazism, etc.), is all about absolute separation of state and economy. Free market capitalism means the economy must be set free from government interference and control. But let me clarify that this freedom from government control is not synonymous to anarchism, which is a stateless system. The existence of limited government is the fundamental requisite for the establishment of free market capitalism (this term is actually a redundancy) for the very simple reason that a society or an economy needs an entity empowered to protect individual rights. We need a government to protect property rights, contracts, and to protect people from criminals and the state from invasion or any form of internal military conflict. This is what the advocates of freedom and capitalism call “classical capitalism.” Thus, there is no such thing as “non-classical capitalism”, because that would be both a floating abstraction and a contradiction in terms. If this alleged “non-classical” capitalism were about a mixture of government controls and freedom, then such a system is strictly not to be called “capitalism” but “mixed economy”, a mixture of economic freedom and socialism.
These things are not taught and discussed in universities because most political science, sociology, and liberal arts professors were trained in the discipline of Marxist, Frankfurt, Foucauldian, post-modern schools of thought. Post-modernism is strictly not a variant of Marxism, but it shares most of the latter’s statist and big government’s views. If Marxism is all about state control of the means of production and the limitation and even abrogation of individual freedom, post-modernism seeks to distort a student’s- or a man’s- understanding of reality. Observe that most post-modernists are Marxists— or share some or most of Marxist views, such as feminism, environmentalism, pacifism, and some other statist movements and ideals. These new “isms”— environmentalism, feminism, pacifism, global warming alarmism, etc.— are part and parcel of the New Left. In the Philippines, those part of the New Left movement— who do not actually call themselves “Marxists” or “Communists”— are the RH bill supporters, Filipino Freethinkers (who are ardent supporters of population and government control), environmentalists, feminists, judicial activists (like former chief justice Reynato S. Puno who believes that the people have a right to demand the free delivery of education, health care and other welfare programs from the government), and all pro-welfare program advocates.