You come into this question and probably you’re confused with the teaching of Buddhism because one of the very basic fundamental of Buddhism teaching is “Freedom to think freely and to understand the truth”. So does that mean a Buddhist or someone who practice Buddhism is a free thinker? Theoretical yes, but majority of Buddhists out there are not a free thinker because they think they’re Buddhist and not a free thinker. Thus, there are not a Free Thinker.
If you completely understand the concept of Buddhism which is what I mean here – 100% Buddhism, you will realise that 100% pure Buddhist is actually a free thinker. Buddhist has the complete freedom to choose and think freely to understand the truth and this is exactly what I mean by the definition of free thinker. Is Buddhist a free thinker?
The answer will be “No”, if the Buddhist is <100% Buddhism. Most Buddhists will probably disagree with me but again this is just my opinion or at least my understanding or my interpretation of Buddhism. I welcome you to comment if you disagree with me and I'm happy to hear your opinion.
Here you go probably a sensitive statement that I’m going to made is:
Most Buddhist will probably think that free thinker and Buddhism are 2 separate entities that are similar but not exactly the same – “if you’re a free thinker, Buddhism is probably the best religion for you.” But soon you will realized when you fully understand the Buddhism concept, it leads you back to a free thinker. Loop again…
p/s: If you’re a Buddhist here, let me know your thought on this article. What do you think?
[Update: June 16, 2012]: What is Buddhism?