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Poisoning the Well

DISCLAIMER: Views expressed in this article represent the views of this particular author and do not necessarily represent the editorial position of

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With the recent embarrasment brought about by one of our articles, I sometimes wish that the Filipino Freethinkers had a formal organizational and editorial structure where we could actually sanction erring members and take down their articles. But the FF is not a formal organization, and the fact that most of our readers – and critics – believe otherwise does not change this. In fact, the FF can be described better not by what it is but by what it is not:

  • The FF is not a cult where members are indoctrinated to blindly follow a leader.
  • The FF members do not have a common philosophy or a guiding philosopher or thinker.
  • The FF members do not have a common preferred political system.
  • The FF members do not have a common preferred economic system.
  • The FF members do not have a common goal for the Philippines.
  • The FF members do not have a common stand on the existence of God.
  • And this may come as a surprise: the FF members do not have a common stand on the RH Bill.

If there is anything the FF tries to foster, it is freethought, meaning members are encouraged to form their individual opinions on the basis of science, logic, and reason and not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. As such, the FF actually does not have an official stand on contraceptives and the RH Bill; what we strongly oppose is the meddling of the CBCP on an issue that should have been independently decided by the lawmakers of the state. The CBCP represents everything that is against freethought: papal authority, Christian tradition, and Catholic dogma. So whether we dissent or agree with the CBCP on certain issues is beside the point; it is their arrogant insistence that Philippine law should be subservient to Vatican law that pisses us off.

But in spite of this informal structure of the FF, as one of the writers I am deeply saddened by the recent damage to our website’s credibility. Forgive me for saying this, but what I find more disturbing is the cavalier manner in which my fellow writer tried to dismiss the accusations by downplaying the issue. I take my writing seriously, and the FF website is not “just a blog”.

As such, I urge my fellow writer to post a real response because that dismissive comment simply made it worse. If the accusations are unfounded, do say so and state for the record. But if the allegations are valid, I believe the following would be the courageous thing to do:

  • admit it
  • take down the article
  • apologize
  • offer an explanation, not an excuse
  • acknowledge that this explanation does not justify the act
  • apologize again

I must stress that this is no longer about our stalker; just because it was a Randroid who found out and exposed the alleged plagiarism doesn’t make it any less serious. But again, I’m speaking only for myself as an author and not as an ‘official’ editor.

And to our stalker, thank you for keeping us on our toes. Bask in Schadenfreude while you can because I believe you actually have something valid against us this time. But as to your other accusations about us being enemies of reason, let me share with you Wes’ comment in another post, which also explains why this article is titled Poisoning the Well, because that’s exactly what you are doing:

“…it’s the fact that VB and his group resorted to a lot of below-the-belt name-calling and personal attacks *aimed at the whole group* that really showed their lack of maturity.

Generalizations like what he did could be akin to saying that *all* PEX’ers are complete assholes just because he didn’t like what one writer had to say. This site hosts a lot of different viewpoints, some may agree with Objectivism, some may not. It’s how well you defend your side that shows what you’re truly made of.

But all I saw in VB’s counter-arguments (aside from the oh-so-mature name-calling) could be summed up into “you just don’t understand the true essence of our philosophy because you disagree with us. Go read our sacred scriptures again until you agree with us.” How can you even begin to open up a constructive discussion with a mindset like that? Shouldn’t they instead call themselves “Objectionists” because they object to other people objecting about their object of infatuation?”

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