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Open minded - Close mindedness

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Has anyone ever noticed that those people that claim to be open minded are the most close minded, intolerant people you will ever meet?

I admit I am close minded :P I am very set in my beliefs and it would take a great deal to move from my position on a a great many topics. However, I do not force my ideology down people's throats, nor do I state other people are wrong in their beliefs when I disagree vehemently on many points those people espouse. Yet if I dare say even one iota of a hint of my belief I am attacked as ignorant, intolerant, and close minded.

While I might be close minded I am certainly not intolerant. I tolerate the gruesome spelling and homonym errors on forums even though I grown when I see sentences like

Their is nothing wrong with me
I here what you are saying
I like that to
Its like a balloon

If you see nothing wrong with those sentences . But I tolerate anything that is not a direct attack against me. Say what you will. Who am I to judge. Not to say I don't think bullies should be told to lay off.

I am also not ignorant. I believe very heavily in the seemingly lost art of rhetoric (how to win an argument), but that is sort of a misnomer. It is more the art of learning understanding.

To win an argument you both need to have a common base, otherwise you have not won anything except a shouting(typing match). This common base is something you both agree on as valid and true, something rock solid that you can return to. For example, if I am an athiest and you are a Christian, using the Bible as a base is not a good idea. This first step is crucial.

Second, present your case with proofs linking directly back to the common base (in other words truths & facts that cannot be refuted or argued except in the interpretation of the common base)

Third, present counter points to your opponents points linking back to the common base (in other words, prove your opponent wrong with his own textbook)

Fourth, (and this is most important) reach a resolution upon which you both agree. The point of an argument should not be to prove you are right and he/she is wrong, but to correct an erroneous understanding. If no resolution can be met it means the person refuses to look at facts presented and stubbornly wants to say the same thing.

I have found again and again that it is the "Supposedly" open minded person that has no ability to argue effectively and more often than not denigrates to name calling and other juvenile behavior....

bugs me, lol


  1. BinkyBoi's Avatar
    Well I try to be as open minded as possible, but as I always say "Ignorance is defined as the lack of knowledge in a subject, opinion is defined as one's beliefs" So basically saying, one's opinion is not ignorant, unless if they have no clue what the heck they are talking about. Take for example this one girl at school, she's an atheist and I'm well...a christian. And we got into an argument because she was persecuting religion and God (she was saying "god is a figment of the imagination, if you read a science book you would know that). I explained to her that that is her belief and I respect it, but I don't respect people who bash other views or beliefs. Then I got the "If you disagree with me, then you are truly ignorant" treatment.

    So in what you are saying, when I was trying to be open minded, I became the ignorant one in the situation. I've decided to ask a few people online and they agree with her that I was the ignorant one.

    So in a way, the open minded people can be close minded.

    But the one thing I DO NOT tolerate is hatred towards a person because of their race, religion, sexuality, political affiliation, and beliefs. I absolutely can't stand it.
  2. irataliw's Avatar
    I hear you. Online people generally do not know anything They just want to talk and sound impressive. Present me with facts for your argument. Don't say a science book. Which science book, by what author, what was that author's motivation. What are that author's sources? Hermeneutics is another important art in proving a point.

    Also, one needs to establish one's audience. Are they predominantly athiests? Sounds like it. My feeling on that is, I do not need to prove God exists. You need to prove to me God doesn't if you are the one initiating the attack. A lot of people who say they are good at winning arguments are merely good at getting in people's faces, talking down to them and intimidating them. That is not winning an argument :P.

    LOL I once had a friend who had an argument with me. Unable to win with sheer intimidation, he stated, "I will kick your ass." I replied, "yes, but I will still be right. You could kill me, but it won't change that fact, will it?" That friend and I shared a good laugh. It isn't about dominating a person, but coming to an understanding of facts. I can be wrong, but find the error in my logic
  3. BabyArtie's Avatar
    Good morning,

    You have some interesting points here. But I think I'd like to look at the question of "-mindedness" from a somewhat different angle.

    There are a good many things on which I do not have an opinion - either because I know too little about them, or (to steal a quote from the British Catherine Tate Show's Lauren), I'm "like, am I bovvered?". Part of the modern world's problem is that we are expected to have an opinion on everything, and people want it now - not when we've had time to think it over.

    Where I do have an opinion, my definition of the open-minded person is the one who says "This is what I believe, but I am prepared to be proved wrong". But this leads us into rather more difficult waters.

    Don't know if you've ever read Karl Popper, but he had a lot to say about the nature of proof: as I recall part of his thesis was that the only thing you can really call truth is something that is open to being proven not to be true. He had in his sights the Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism, a thing which apparently was never wrong even after several near-180 degree turns from the original theory. But to an extent the same is true of both Christianity and the sort of militant atheism espoused by Richard Dawkins - both are acts of faith, neither can be actually proven.

    The trouble is that proof is not an easy thing to achieve. It has always been possible to pass material into the public domain that was false (see, for example, the Zinoviev letter in the 1920s, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and more recently the Laffer curve). The Internet simply makes it easier to do. (There is one infamous case where someone put a false statement into a Wikipedia article, a newspaper repeated the content without citing where it had got it from, and the Wikipedia then claimed the newspaper story as a source proving it was true!)

    So what is the answer? Perhaps a little more humility all round and an acceptance we don't have all the facts - and perhaps a degree more care about who is providing us with the facts and how they got them...?


  4. irataliw's Avatar
    I agree with you, Artie as this comes from an a certain level of intellectual honesty, the problem is, as you say, most do not want to make that possible step to say, maybe I am wrong. This is the primary reason why I say finding a basis of truth that both parties can agree on is so important. If the two sides can never find that base then an argument is pointless as neither person will take any new insights away from the discussion.

    It is so difficult to admit you know nothing on a subject. I have to do it all the time. Sports, mechanics, chemistry... the list goes on But when you do know something about a subject and you are called to task on it, it can be vexing when the person arguing with you is not coming with the same amount of research.

    Your comment about the wikipedia article is very funny to me. but reminds me of the "Dvinci Code" debacle so many people cried over. So many people cried out, this is horrible. Brown is horrible, but the reality was the only theologian quoted in the fictional work never used source material. The internet is nice, but if you are not prepared to back what you say with multiple, systematic sources that can be studied, there is nothing to be gained and newspaper articles are hardly tantamount to fact. There is incredible bias in their writing, and at the end of the day, they want to sell papers more than they want to give you real news. This is why it is so important to read multiple papers on a single story and then begin to make theories as opposed to saying the paper said it, therefore it is true.

    Your statement about Karl Popper reminds me of NOMA

    Very nice thoughts, Artie
  5. ade's Avatar
    i agree with Artie. but, from my working class perspective, we have the demand of "prove it"; and that's not the 'prove it' in the academic sense, it means to prove it tangibly.
    popular science seems to have lost sense of practical reality and people focus on the statements and nit-pick at them.
    and, nowadays, new scientific 'discoveries' seem to be announced too hastily, as if they're being made by over eager children.
    it should be kept in mind that many of the foundations of science are only what was/is the most workable solution, not absolute fact. this leaves us with the possibility that it all could come tumbling down with the next major discovery; and naturally, as per human nature, most people will be willingly ignorant and desperately cling on to the falling walls of their beliefs.

    to be honest, knowing the flimsiness of some of the foundations of science is a bit un-nerving as it conjures up the image that we've been nothing more than children playing with matches. - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community. is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.