"If you wish to converse with me,
define your terms."- Voltaire
Voltaire’s admonishment is still
sage advice for today's Orwellian world. Words are being
corrupted into meaning their opposite in common parlance daily.
Here are some often misunderstood words and what I mean by them when
I use them.
One who forms opinions as a result of thoughtful independent
inquiry, rather than unquestioned acceptance of established views or
teachings of others. Because of the 'Freethinker Movement,'
this word has almost deteriorated into just another euphemism for
'atheist.' I prefer to use it in the broader dictionary sense,
which would fairly include independent inquiry regarding both
religious and secular views and dogma.
One adhering to any form of the dogma that society should be
organized around the principle 'From each according to his ability,
to each according to his needs.' This would include acceptance
of the concept of a 'progressive' income tax, and any suggestion
that a citizen is 'entitled' to any 'benefits' they didn't earn that
are derived from taxes paid by others
A mildly derisive term most often applied to fundamentalist
Christians. I use it in its broader dictionary sense to mean a
member of any dogmatic political or religious group, including
Marxists, Muslims, or any other radical group actively seeking to
change society to conform to their model of the world.
Temple for the Rational Mind