Years ago, I discovered a blog which contained some criticism of the Baha’i Faith and I eagerly copied a blog entry from it to support my own case against the Baha’i Faith, only to discover that the author was a hard-core Christian who was not nearly as critical of his own religion as he was of other faiths, a clear sign of dishonesty and bigotry. This was confirmed today when I found the new version of his blog and read its About page. I will post parts from that page here in green and italics and my responses in blue and bold.
True Freethinker presents my writings. My name is Ken Ammi, I am an Argentinean-American , a Jewish-Christian, an essayist and lecturer.
While I was raised in a 100% secular manner, I did attend private Jewish school and had my Bar Mitzvah in Israel (only secular Jews may be able to understand this oddity). I was also involved in the New Age Movement and was a practitioner of Reiki, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung and the I’Ching.
Seems like an open minded person, right? Nope!
The True Freethinker website consists of a combination of a few different blogs that I was authoring; the main ones were the Christian Apologetics blog Life and Doctrine and the contra atheism blog Atheism is Dead. The concept of freethinking is deeply rooted in the Bible itself as in the Bible, we find firm belief, we find doubt, we find skepticism, we find rebellion, we find every facet of human reactions towards, and against, the divine. Some people label themselves “skeptic” when they really mean “cynic.”
Right there is where Ammi starts being blatantly dishonest! The Bible does contain references to skepticism, doubt, and rebellion, and it condemns all these things and even depicts people who have these traits being put to DEATH by God himself! Also, considering the many, many, MANY atrocities and incidents of infighting, outfighting, upfighting, downfighting, forwardfighting, backwardfighting, and all around fighting among people of various religions and creeds throughout history, only a profoundly ignorant person would NOT be a cynic about religions in general, let alone Christianity in particular!
I, for one, became a true and honest skeptic upon finding out that the Teeth Mice, Argentina’s equivalent of the Tooth Fairy, were not real; my parents had told me a quaint story about them leaving money for my teeth. At a very young age I found out that they were not real and that my parents, with good motives, had deceived me and I became furious. How pleased I was to find, decades later, that the Bible enjoins true and honest skepticism:
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD” (Isaiah 1:18), in the New Testament the Bereans are considered more noble (or more “fair minded”) for double checking everything that Paul told them (Acts 17:11), Thomas asked for the evidence which the others had seen and had merely retold to him (John 20:24-30), Jesus stated, “Love the Lord your God with all your…mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-38).
We are clearly called to discern, test, and judge, prophets, spirits and all things:
“Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge” (1st Corinthians 14:29).
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is “discerning of spirits” (1st Corinthians 12:10).
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1st John 4:1).
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil” (1st Thessalonians 5:19-22).
“you must inquire, probe and investigate it thoroughly” (Deuteronomy 13:14).
Did it ever occur to Ammi that the worst liars are the ones who assert the loudest they are telling the truth? And using the Bible to prove anything in the Bible is classic circular reasoning, of course. What value is testing anything if the standard you use for testing is NOT reality itself, but something that itself has never been proved valid by comparing it with reality?
Much of what passes for “Freethought” and “Freethinking” today is, in reality, atheism wearing a very thin disguise. The first section of the parsed essay Freethought Without Forethought? serves as evidence of this. In that case, it is clear that what is meant by Freethought is adhering to absolute materialism.
There is a perfectly good reason why freethinking = atheism and it is not disguised: One of the basic concepts of Abrahamic religions is that God created the universe, therefore it should reflect his glory. But when scientists view the universe with a critical and objective eye, they see NO evidence of a creator behind it. Indeed, science has already completely discredited the creation stories in the Bible.
If a Judeo-Christian cannot be a freethinker then freethought is not freethought but demands adherences to certain restrictive parameters. Yet, since the Judeo-Christian can think beyond, for example, materialistic parameters we can be true freethinkers.
WHAT???!!! How is insisting on using only reality itself to judge spoken or written claims restrictive? Oh, because it does not allow for ANY delusions? What value is the kind of “freethought” that results in someone claiming that the Earth is flat, at the center of the universe and/or less than 10,000 years old and assuming that is somehow worth defending against those who understand those are lies? Truth is meaningless in that case!
Atheists who have commandeered the term Freethought complain that Christians cannot be Freethinkers because they adhere to the Christian worldview. Yet, they commit the same alleged fallacy by adhering to atheism in disguise (or openly). Certainly, there are true and honest Freethinkers on both, and many other, sides of the issue. It is to these that this website is dedicated.
I think I understand why some atheists wish to redefine atheism to discredit a claim like that above. See this for more details:
It is indeed dishonest to claim atheism is a worldview as dogmatic as Christianity, because atheism is NOT based on any man-made scriptures that are beyond questioning. It is simply the conclusion that God does not exist. The dogma only comes from atheists when they assert “there is no God” as a response to the Christian claim “there must be a God somewhere”. But the two claims are not equally valid or invalid, again because no scientist has ever found clear evidence to support the theist assumption. Ammi is lying outright there!
Need I go on?