Word for the Wise January 29, 2007 Broadcast Topic: Freethinkers' Day
Today is Freethinkers' Day. The date is chosen in honor of Thomas Paine, the American freethinker extraordinaire who was born on this date in 1737. (来源：英语麦当劳－英语学习门户 http://www.EnglishCN.com)
A freethinker, as we've mentioned before, is one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority; that term is applied particularly to a person whose beliefs differ markedly from those of an established religion, usually in the direction of skepticism or the denial of established belief.
Freethinker also can apply to one of no determinable religious position or to one who feels truth is made more available by not committing oneself to any orthodoxy, especially a belief in God's existence. So what is orthodoxy? Eighteenth century Bishop William Warburton punningly defined orthodoxy…[as] "my doxy;" and went on to describe heterodoxy [as] "another man's doxy."
So what is a doxy? The sort of doxy thought about by freethinkers names an "opinion" or "doctrine;" the straightforward way to interpret Bishop William's use of doxy is "religious opinion;" orthodoxy and heterodoxy are formed by adding the combining form ortho (meaning "straight" or "correct") or hetero (meaning "different" or "other").
Oh, and as for the other sort of doxy out there, the one that made the Bishop's definition a play on words? The doxy that means "floozy; prostitute; mistress" is believed to be a modification of the now-obsolete Dutch docke meaning "doll."