Freethinkers Who Dislike Freedom?

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A reader sent in a thoughtful question I think deserves to be answered at some length. Chris asks:

I in general consider myself a liberal-thinking person — I believe one’s sexuality, religion, etc., are their own business and should not be dictated by government, for example.

I am also in an informal Humanist/Freethinker group in my area. However, since the Corona shutdowns began, all of the members of the Facebook group for that meetup group have been posting about how they admire our state’s governor and health director for shutting down non-essential businesses, banning gatherings, etc. (all this while more state unemployment claims, including my own, have been filed in the last two months than in all of 2018 and 2019 combined.) One group member even posted today they’d be willing to make masks for those who “needed extra ones.”

Tonight, a video was posted in the group by Seth Andrews, who hosts a “Thinking Atheist” website.  It was a seven-minute rant about specifically a Tennessee pastor who was leading protests, then calling Americans who violate social-distancing “a potential infection point and a health hazard to everyone they meet” and “no one’s getting they’re liberty taken away, everyone is still an American, it’s not about you, it’s all the lives of all human beings” I personally refuse to be considered a presumptive “threat” (infected) without a shred of evidence to prove that I am.  (What happened to the “burden of proof” on the person making the assertion/accusation?). I also refuse to be treated like a prisoner (stand here, walk this direction, wear a mask, etc.) when I’ve committed no crime.

These people claim they’re “freethinkers” — yet they propose accepting everything the government tells them without question. I feel betrayed by these liberals — I thought liberals were supposed to *favor* liberty and freedom of choice/conscience. But it appears they only favor “freedom” when it comes to their own viewpoints. Have you had many personal interactions with liberals such as these, and is there a way you’ve found to reach them and make them realize they’re really not “freethinking” at all — that they’ve just substituted traditional religion for the “religion of the state”, just as Communism did?

My reply: 

I, too, am a Freethinker – but unlike the ones you’re dealing with, I believe in freedom generally. They don’t.

They also apparently do not think.

For decades, I have been trying to get people to understand the danger presented by presumptive guilt. To appreciate the injustice of punishing people because there is “concern” they might cause harm.

But the opposite principle has been so widely accepted it is now ingrained and not even necessary – for people like your “Freethinkers” – to even address it. And it has become the basis for everything from mandatory seatbelt laws and insurance-at-gunpoint to its ne plus ultra expression in Sickness Psychosis.

Just as “someone” might lose control of their car and cause a wreck and therefore everyone must be punished if caught driving without insurance – or faster than an arbitrary number posted on a sign – so also must everyone stand here, walk in between these lines, wear a mask – and so on.

They might be contagious and “someone” might get sick.

Note the absence of specificity; the endless vagueness of it. The arbitrariness of it. Also that it is not a defense to to point out that you, specifically, haven’t caused any harm to anyone. It does not matter.

“Someone” might.

Therefore, everyone must obey – or else.

Your not-Freethinkers are not thoughtful enough to understand the implications of this, apparently – which reach much further than “stopping the spread.” When anyone’s actions or failure to act a certain way could, possibly, result in harm to “someone” then everyone is subject to pre-emptive guilt and punishment for anything.

It is not coincidental that we are subject to crotch fondling and body scanning – to being treated as presumptive “terrorists” at airports. It flowed naturally from allowing ourselves to be treated as presumptive “drunk” drivers, decades earlier.

And it is not coincidental that your unthinking friends now favor everyone being treated as a presumptive Typhoid Mary, on the same basis. It is because they do not think about principles, or don’t care much for them.

Such people are far more dangerous than a virus or even a stray nuclear weapon because the damage they can do – in the name “safety,” security” and now “health” – is without limit.

It is based on emotion – on how they feel about a risk they cannot specify. Such and such is “too much” for them.

Emphasis on for them.

What gave them the right to decree acceptable risk for others? This is an incredibly arrogant as well as dangerous notion. It is “too risky” to drive without wearing a seatbelt, or to not buy health insurance or to allow other people to freely associate  . . . for their tastes.

Not grasping that others may feel the same way about things they believe aren’t “too risky” but are just as subject to pre-emptive punishment on the same emotional/we-are-concerned basis.

They will recite, like a mantra, the foregoing rationale that “someone” (they will use other words, such as “people” or “society”) is put at risk by the things they are “concerned” about – but note that they are not articulating that a specific person has caused an actual harm to an actual specific person.

Just the vague, generalized assertion that “someone” might.

This upends 1,000 years of Western civilization by upending the idea that a victim must be produced in order to establish that a crime has been committed and that punishing a person who has not actually harmed someone else is nothing less than harming them because you or others do not like what that person has done and desire to inflict suffering on him – which is itself a crime.

Your “Freethinkers” apparently do no understand that freedom, to have meaning, must mean the freedom to assume risks. To be held accountable, of course, if the risks assumed do result in harm to someone else.

But not before.

And to be left in peace so long as they do not – no matter how much others may be “concerned.”

That is freedom thinking, which your friends might try thinking about!

. . .

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  1. It’s dumbfounding to think of how stupid everyone i. I’m typing this in a multi-untit apartment complex in the middle of the Mojave desert where there used to be a few springs that provided surface water. Each of us paying a unique utility bill, none of us taking advantage of our proximity.

    Our biological niche is crepuscular. We could learn advanced mathematics simply observing the night light orbitting Polaris. Instead we stare wordlessly at the various boob tubes. Typing pithy messages to one another pver the world wide surveillance web.

    Now we all drink each others treated urine via the Colorado river. DEE LISH uss.

    Imagine you are a corrosion engineer/scientist. Whata bunch of slap happy scumbags they all are, inspecting the handiwork of imperfect men

    Cating inspection class in Shanghai. What fun and important knowledge we’ll assimilate on those screens.

    The top 10 compounds on the surface of this planet are oxides. OUr bodies are oxidizing as we speak. So much cash in Global Oxidation Crisis. It’s good to be the scientist

  2. Freethinkers aka atheists have always worshiped the State. They tend to be the most educated and closed minded. I am a freethinker, enviromentalist, freedom activist, and I have zero in common with these snowflakes. I actually show them contempt every time they start with the State worshipping and regurgitating corrupt unproven science.

    • Hi Josie,

      “…every time they start with the State worshipping and regurgitating corrupt unproven science”.

      Most of the prominent atheists (Harris, Dawkins, Dennet, etc…), are not even atheists, they’re just too arrogant to see it. While they condemn others for religious faith, they fail to notice their own religious faith, Statism, arguably the most dangerous religion ever created. They have not rejected irrational faith, they’ve just transferred it to a secular institution. They correctly observe that the beliefs underlying religious faith cannot be proven true, but think the beliefs underlying the legitimacy of political authority are self evidently true, they are not. In fact, Statism is the most irrational religion as the myths underlying its perceived legitimacy are provably false. The worst that can be said about the foundational beliefs of other religions is that they are probably, not provably, false.


  3. it’s the ultimate irony that “liberals” declare themselves free thinkers when you consider they all have the same views and woe betide anyone who disagrees with them.

  4. It could be that the problem causing the blindness voluntarily self imposed upon those who prefer not to see is that they are fat. Not so much in the literal sense, but that as well, as in that there needs are fulfilled, while they constantly complain about not having their wants satisfied. That’s about to change. No revolution was ever started by fat people. In consequence of the willful destruction of what economy we had, a number are going to lose weight, literally and figuratively. Hungry people DO start revolutions, and the Sociopaths In Charge who are responsible for their hunger have often not fared well in the process. As people start missing meals, I suspect their eyesight will improve. Could get bloody.

    • Oh, they’re well aware of that JWK- hence “Universal Basic Income”. When that becomes unsustainable (Think Weimar Republic)….then there will be chaos and rebellion….but the rebellion will not be conducted by the hordes suddenly craving liberty, and recognizing who the real enemy is- but rather by hungry mobs merely seeking bread for themselves at any cost- and not only can such people be even more easily manipulated (plus it gives the state the justification to use overt violence), but such movements are ultimately just as oppressive as what they profess to oppose- think: The “Occupy Movement” of a few years ago.

      Pretty much, the only time in history that a revolution produced any semblance of liberty for a while, was the establishment of America- and that because it’s practitioners were united on a good deal of philosophical principles- as opposed to just reacting to immediate physical circumstances- and our people are united on nothing (And that is by design).

  5. What you’re describing is where irrational fear has overcome reason and common sense.

    Folks, LIFE is inherently full of RISK. For that matter, how many zygotes, or embryos, or fetuses (fetii?) buy the farm and, in the vital statistics sense, are nothing but a blob of tissue, as the pro baby-murdering fanactics would deem a viable, healthy, child, still in the place where it ought to be the “safest”, ever. Yet, even the process of getting out after nine months of “baking in the oven” (and then, after the sweet break of childhood, if you’re a male, you spend the rest of your life trying to get back in, though hopefully not in the “Oedipal” sense!) is risky in and of itself, though advances in obstetrics have greatly reduced fatalities in childbirth for both infant and mother. There’s a reason for the statistical concept of “infant mortality”, as until recently it was not unheard of for a mother to birth eight, nine, or ten kids or more during her fertile years, and yet not raise even the half of them to maturity; it was ACCEPTED as a part of life.

    Now, I’m not suggesting we go back to the medically barbaric days of losing a lot of children and in order to sustain the population at all, keeping women “barefoot and pregnant”, though I don’t mind keeping up with what causes ’em! What I am saying is that we’ve become wimpified and no longer able to deal emotionally and mentally with adversity. I see all the time numerous would-be two-legged cattle posting a repeated theme: that it’s MY obligation to either curtail or eliminate normal, reasonable, and at times ENJOYABLE activities in MY daily life, on the now likely NEBULOUS chance that THEY could possibly get infected with COVID-19. Well, I’ve got news for these pathetic ninnies: likely most of these twits whom scream that they want to be protected are either retired, infirm, or otherwise don’t work and therefore don’t contribute one goddamned thing to our economic life. So, if THEY want to “shelter in place”, and they don’t have to admit the likes of me into their homes anyway, WTF is the PROBLEM?

    These “shelter-in-place” ninnies have been sold a big fucking bill of goods that their “Nanny State” can and will protect them Got more news for these dipshits: it CAN’T, but that’s ok, because it doesn’t and never did WANT TO. This has been nothing but (1) a scam, coming mostly out of “New Yawk”, as another Medicare fraud writ large and (2) an EXCUSE for many statists, elitists, and would be petty tyrants to seize power w/o having to even hold a fraudulent election to claim legal mandate. The biggest issue that should be shoved right back at them is: WHO THE FUCK ARE THEY TO DETERMINE WHAT IS “ESSENTIAL?” Has Martial Law been declared? Is this country under attack by a hostile foreign power or is there a state of insurrection? I see not one goddamned “fatwa” of these tyrants that would remotely pass constitutional muster.

    And yet all too many in this country don’t give a shit, as long as they THINK they’re “protected” or they get more freebies from Uncle Sugar. The time for debate is over: either we resist, take up arms where necessary, and fight like hell, or meekly submit and try to remember what was once a relatively FREE country, but no more, or we GTFO…may emigrate to RUSSIA.

  6. Speaking of Typhoid Mary, there is a cartoon going around picturing Trump as a puppeteer controlling the strings of the ReOpen crowd referring to those being manipulated as “Typhoid Mary-Onettes” (if I could post it I would) Here is a link. The comments are stunning…

    What is distressing is that, as the “Free Thinkers” mentioned above, the level of argument, or lack thereof, on the part of liberals/progressives who favor the lockdowns, is utterly lacking in thought. Cartoons take the place of any sort of rationale or position based on research a philosophical basis. They don’t even act like they have sort of ideology upon which to base their opposition to letting people live their lives. They might as well utter, “Og see bad. Bad is bad. Bad go away.” Heck they don’t even make that level of reasoning.

    I thought “Progressives” were all about intellect. I guess they are just the drooling goons they accuse others of being.

    • “progressives” are anti-intellect, else they wouldnt be leftists. They are goose stepping sheep aligned with idiotic nannystate marxism. Period. And I see that link is from minnesota – no more need be said.

      • They don’t seem to understand English. Their definitions of “Free”, “Think” and “progressive” seem to be the very oppossite of what the words actually mean.

  7. I’m reminded of this quote, I do not know its origins, but it is worth raising here:

    “There is nothing worse in this world than an enslaved man who naively believes himself free, except, perhaps trying to explain to that same man his predicament. You can lay truth after truth at his feet. You can qualify your every position with cold, hard, irrefutable data. You can plead and scream and raise veritable hell, but before he will ever listen, he must first become aware of his own dire circumstances. As long as he views himself as safe and secure, as long as he imagines his chains are wings, he will see no reason to question the validity of the world around him, and he will certainly never invest himself into changing his own deluded destiny.” -Unknown

      • Which leads directly to what a waste of life spielunking is.

        Nobody convinces anybody of anything. What’s seen is what’s got because that’s what was already there.

        Consent manufacturing is within, not from the without it is projected into.

        But would-be convincers hitching their horses to the back of the wagon & goading them to push can’t help but be as they are, either.

        Nobody’s talkin’ their way out of, or into, anything. The wagon does not, because cannot, move.

        But…Plato pusses will say that just proves how much all the shadowboxers need Plato pusses need shadowboxers – well, a few, not nearly so many as are clogging the cave nowadays – to peel grapes & such.

        Sheaths & swords pre-agree that sheaths gotta have swords.

  8. Typhoid Mary of legend has been supplanted in the realm of popular fears by Typhoid Fido:

    “Do not let pets interact with animals or people outside the household,” says the CDC.

    Of course, it’s going to be challenging to put canine quarantine offenders on the stand in municipal court, unless they can be convinced to answer the prosecutor’s questions with “one bark yes, two barks no.”

    Good thing dogs can’t talk. Otherwise they might sarcastically snarl, “Four legs good, two legs BAAAAAAAAAAAAD!”


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