Author Topic: Open-mindedness  (Read 2076 times)

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Offline Kite

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Open-mindedness
« on: September 14, 2009, 06:48:00 pm »
Discuss...

Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI&feature=player_embedded

(I don't like how it starts off on about religious persons, however keep watching, it gets better imho.)
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 09:13:56 pm by Kobuk »
Still can't believe the username 'Kite' wasn't already taken.

Offline Sskessa

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Re: Open-mindedness
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2009, 08:01:00 pm »
Hey Kite, you will probably get more responses if you give us your own version of the topic instead of linking to a video off-site. People are generally more apt to respond to each other rather than something impersonal like a video.
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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Open-mindedness
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2009, 09:30:41 pm »
Now, it sounds like this video/thread is more about discussing open mindedness rather than religion. Therefore, let's try not to derail this thread about religion only, ok?

From what I saw, I found that video to be rather informative. :) I wish more and more people were open minded. Unfortuneately, I am a bit close minded myself.  :-[ For example, I am open to the belief of aliens and UFO's visiting Earth. HOWEVER, I won't go out of my way to believe every crackpot and nutcase out there who says they saw aliens, UFO's, or believes in some alien conspiracy.  :P I want proof, and it had better be good, otherwise I won't believe you.
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Offline Avan

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Re: Open-mindedness
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2009, 10:28:51 pm »
@Kobuk, Yes, Proof (evidence) is essential to any argument, as shown by Plato's ladder of belief. To further clarify this:

There is a difference between rejection due to close-mindedness (which I am defining as unjustified rejection/disbelief, which is a form of the first rung, unjustified belief) and rejection due to epistemically aware (which I am defining as justified rejection/disbelief, which is a derivative as well, but of the second rung, justified belief) reasons.

If I said, 2+2=10 (and NOT in base 4), you would reject it, because it is disprovable. This un-knowledge (unworthy of even the title of 'belief', though it could be, if you were really deluded/bad at math) can be rejected out of epeistemic awareness rather than close-mindedness.

Now, if I said, God is an alien made of meatsauce and ramen noodles* who despises pasta (and pastafanaians and their false pasta/meatball god) who is part of a government/aztec/alien conspiracy to blow up earth but resulted only in destroying the twin towers on 9/11, and gave no other reason than, "I got it in a holy vision while I was sleeping after eating a 10 cheeze pizza with too many anchovies", you would be right to reject this as being a load of nonsense without doing any real counter-arguing, because I never provided any real proof, and I was just spouting Unjustified Belief (as defined by Plato, this is nothing but dogma with no substantiation). Now if I had some sort of evidence to back this up, making it a Justified Belief (NOT a Justified TRUE Belief, just a Justified Belief), then you could still reject it with a VALID counter-argument, but not doing so could be defined as doing it out of close-mindedness.

It's all about justification. If you cannot/do not** justify it, don't be surprised if people outright reject it, and on the other hand, if someone justifies their belief, you need to provide some sort of justification for your belief.

I'm not saying justification = truth and unjustified = untrue. I'm merely defining the line between rejection out of close-mindedness and rejection out of rational justification.

*Ramen noodles are asian, but I don't know if I spelled that right.
**Some things may not need explicitly mentioned justification however, such as basic arithmetic, which assumes the other already knows of the justifications for this, in other words, basic math skills.
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Offline Yip

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Re: Open-mindedness
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 03:27:44 am »
Very good video. I approve.

I don't see why you think it's about religious people at the beginning. Although yes religious people usually fall into the "believe in something supernatural" group, but there are plenty of non-religious people in that category as well.

There seems to be a wide spread misunderstanding of what open-mindedness means. Many people seem to think it means accepting anything that comes along. It doesn't. It simply means being willing to consider anything, not that you'll accept it. Anyone that says it is possible to be too open-minded either doesn't know what being open-minded actually means, or they are using the phase where it's not really about an excess of open-mindedness, but about a lack in skepticism. There is no such thing as being too open-minded. No topic should be off limits to honest rational consideration. However, it's important to also be skeptical

Speaking of skepticism, there also seems to be a wide-spread misunderstanding of that term as well. It doesn't mean rejecting anything that comes along. It means requiring evidence or reason before just accepting things. Skepticism is a good thing when coupled with open-mindedness.

You could think of like this:
Code: [Select]
             skeptical
            A-----------B
            |     |     |
open-minded |-----*-----| close-minded
            |     |     |
            C-----------D      
              gullible
If the goal is to have as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible, then "A" is what we should shoot for. "B" rejects everything and therefore would hold as few false beliefs as possible, but would also reject true beliefs as well. "C" accepts everything and therefore would hold as many true beliefs as possible, but would also readily accept false beliefs.  Both "A" and "D" accept some things and reject others. The difference is the criteria by which this decision is made. "A" rejects things that lack evidence or that are illogical. "D" rejects things because they are unwilling to consider that they might be wrong, and thus will only accept things that agree with what they already believe.

Also it's worth mentioning that everyone starts out at "C". (this is the state that children generally hold, and they typically move away from it as they grow older.)

@Kobuk: Unless these "crackpots and nutcases" have good evidence to consider, then you are completely justified in not believing them. That doesn't make you close-minded.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 03:29:20 am by Vararam »

Offline Sskessa

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Re: Open-mindedness
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2009, 12:22:21 pm »
Well, others don't seem to have a problem responding to a video, I guess it's just me. Sorry, Kite.  :-[

Anyway, I agree with the definition of open-mindedness Vararam and Avan have written. There was a pretty serious argument about supernatural occurrences going on in the "Life after death" thread, so I wonder what some of them would think about this definition.
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