K Moore’s letter complaining about the use of the word bright to describe freethinkers is interesting (Points of View, November 2003). He finds it “Disneyesque”. I think bright is wonderful. It’s open and friendly. It’s catchy. And when all is said and done, to think carefully for yourself without letting yourself go along with the unjust bias that religion connives to implant in us from childhood is being bright. To me, the word bright is about being an independent thinker and recognising that any religious group or God has no right to order us what to think.

After all, why let another think for you when you can do it yourself and when somebody had to think up the dogmas religion tells you to believe in the first place? Deep down we want to decide all things for ourselves it is just that some of us are too scared to do it and end up exploited by religious people. It is bright to recognise that universal need.

K Moore says he’d prefer a word that described his beliefs and not his disbeliefs. But to believe x is to deny whatever contradicts it. To disbelieve x is to affirm what is against it. Disbeliefs are more important than beliefs because if I believe say that there is no God, I will have more disbeliefs than beliefs. I mean I will disbelieve in pantheism, theism, deism, agnosticism and all those other countless isms. The belief in atheism then is less important because it is one belief while the disbelief is more important for it is disbelieving far more propositions. So there is nothing shameful about any term that emphasises disbelief. A disbelief is a belief itself. It is believing that something is untrue. It is easier to unite people in what they do not believe than in what they do believe. If people want to use a term that emphasises their disbeliefs then good luck to them. But there is no doubt that bright does not do this. It emphasises belief in yourself, that you can be free from religious conditioning and think for yourself.


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