No two freethinkers are exactly alike; a group of freethinkers contains a great diversity of perspectives, so there is no one, official perspective shared among all of them. This makes the freethought community a truly vibrant source of ideas and opinions!
In this light, Meet a Freethinker is our series featuring freethinkers of all backgrounds and perspectives. We want to introduce you guys to the people who make up the proverbial melting pot of this growing movement.
Our next freethinker is Clyde Marces Mante. Clyde is a professional graphic artist from Davao City and is responsible for the awesome meetup posters of the Davao Chapter of Filipino Freethinkers.
1. How would you define a freethinker?
All human beings who think clearly, fairly, rationally, objectively, independently, unswayed by any tradition, religion, myth, dogma and irrelevant emotions are basically freethinkers. Freethinkers make up their mind based on their best judgement, guided by reason, science, and logic — as opposed to “sheeple” (sheep+people), a commonly used slang for those who are gullible and predominantly fed by illusory “truth”.
2. What belief system do you subscribe to?
I am an eclectic skeptic. I like to question, analyze, and test things. I exercise intellectual caution and suspended judgement. However, there are times when I tend to tame or even shut down my skeptical side for the moment and see if there is anything I can learn from something whether or not I agree with it. I try to pick up the best elements of any belief system, which makes me eclectic. My interests are wide and varied and I like it that way rather than being very narrow and specific.
3. What was the funniest or most interesting reaction you got from a person after you told him or her that you were a freethinker?
One evening, I was having a conversation with a friend and other FF-Davao core members via Facebook. At the same time, I was doodling some stuff for our meetup poster. I sent my draft art to my friend’s message window by mistake and he said: “Ay freethinker ka? Kaya naman pala… di nakakapagtaka na hanggang ngayon (4 years to be exact) single ka pa!”
4. In what way has being part of a freethinking community benefited you?
Aside from having a great sense of belonging to a group that adopts reason, logic, and scientific methods in most aspects of life, I also made some dramatic changes and improvement in my self-education, standard of living, and as well as my moral attitudes.
5. How do you deal with family members who are not so open to your free-thinking ideas?
We live in a world of different customs and not everyone is going to have the same opinions as we do. However, I have my ever charming way of dealing it every time they strongly disagree. I just keep calm and…
6. What drives you to do graphic designing? Does being a freethinker help you have better creative process?
It’s always a pleasure pursuing a longtime passion. What I lack in effective verbal communication, especially in explaining and describing things, I let loose in my art.
With the help of reason (purpose and essence of the art), logic (to arrive an appropriate and effective design) and science (the available technology), yes, being a freethinker vastly improves the creative process.
7. Does seeing all the beauty in nature around you somehow make you think that there is a Grand Designer who made it all?
I don’t appreciate the beauty of nature just by looking at it. I try to understand how it works. The complexities of science and physics make me somehow think that our universe does have a designer. But by this, I do not mean a “god figure”/deity monitoring and molding all aspects of our lives. My idea is more like the universe could be sentient and that it is its own designer.