(This post is part of the weekly series Freethought Friday)
Freethought demands uninhibited inquiry, reason, doubt, courage (yes doubt and courage), honesty, and integrity. Freethought is not only about thought, free and unafraid of dogma and arbitrary authority, but about the expression of those thoughts. Freethought demands free expression.
I value freethought and so I value secularism, which to me is not only the right to live in a society that is not ruled politically by one or another sect but also to live in a society that doesn’t demand respect or obedience to one or another sect in daily life. We must believe or disbelieve as we see fit and be allowed to openly change our minds and our message as we learn.
So secular values, freedom of and from belief and association are values that have value for all, whether they believe in gods or not.
We all have opinions that are anathema to someone. We all think things that someone else finds crazy or twisted or evil. Almost any sincere utterance of opinion is considered dangerous by someone else.
Freethought demands the right to heresy, secularism upholds the right to blaspheme. Any charge or prosecution (persecution) of anyone for the so-called crime of blasphemy is an outrage against us all.
We do not ask for tolerance of the most robust freedom of expression, we demand it. We demand it because without it human progress grinds to a halt, weighed down by dogma, and by superstition, and by arbitrary authority.
The emperor, whether he is clothed or not, is not above the open observation of each and every one of us. Our thoughts and our speech, must be free!
Freethought doesn’t ask meekly for the right to free expression or sit and wait hopefully for it. Freethought demands Free Expression.
Bye for now