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Why do others think I should be more open minded .

  1. Aug 31, 2012 #1
    Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    I'm often told I should be more "open minded", often in regards to things such as natural medicine or spirituality. Personally I think "open mindedness" is completely irrational, and those who are, are a blight on humanity that need to be purged.

    Has anyone else experienced similar persecution.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 31, 2012 #2
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    It is none of my business what other people thing of me or what I should so. If someone says I should do something, it is rare that they are right. Most of the time I really need to do something else or nothing at all.

    But I am very open minded. I will at least consider just about anything. But don't be terribly surprised if I reject it and hold to a different opinion.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2012 #3
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Often it's not that they've made an effort to impose their unfounded/disproven ideas on me, it's more the other way round but they won't subside to reason.

    It's a shame natural selection is predicated on ability or procreate, not intelligence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  5. Aug 31, 2012 #4
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    All hail the all-knowing quadreg
     
  6. Aug 31, 2012 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Closed mindedness is the tendancy to dismiss ideas, claims, proposals etc without considering the evidence. Ironically it is common to see people who are closed minded wrt to the evidence agaisnt their position using the term against others (it's important to note though that some of this is ignorance rather than irationality). In extreme circumstances I've met people who incorrectly use the term closed minded to refer to someone who dismisses something even if they consider the evidence but usually restricted to one or two topics.

    Something you should think carefully of is whether or not your behaviour is indistinquishable from someone who is closed minded. For example: if someone proposes alternative medicine and you dismiss it without explaining why (or by explaining poorly or in an insulting manner) then you do look closed minded.

    Lastly to be frank your attitude stinks. Expressing wishes that people who say you need to be more open minded (rightly or wrongly) should come to physical harm or be the victims of some form of natural eugenics is disgusting. If you meant it flippantly then that's an example of where you should think more carefully about how you come accross.
     
  7. Aug 31, 2012 #6

    Borek

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    They bring you down to their own level and beat you with experience?
     
  8. Aug 31, 2012 #7
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Open mindedness is not doublespeak. It is not irrational either.

    Are you guys serious? You are on a science forum, rejecting open-mindedness? Open-mindedness is a core principle of science.

    Yes, the type of "open-mindedness" that somepeople push is silly, but that is because they are using it incorrectly (as Ryan pointed out).
     
  9. Aug 31, 2012 #8
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    In science theories and assertions are based on evidence, physical or theoretical, which is rational, generally/from experience being 'open minded' is not. For instance if I told you homeopathy was better than penicillin for treating bacterial infection, or even that homeopathy works at all, often one would be considered 'open minded', though it clearly doesn't.
     
  10. Aug 31, 2012 #9
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    I believe the "doublespeak" accusation was referring specifically to the people Ryan was describing it who use the term "open-minded" incorrectly. To some people, being "open-minded" means "ignoring evidence." To some people, to be open-minded is to disregard all studies to the contrary, and believe in something anyway, as a definition.
     
  11. Aug 31, 2012 #10

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    This is an obvious misuse of the term and it cuts both ways.

    Alice - "Alternative medicine alpha is better than mainstream medicine beta"
    Bob - "Actually there's no evidence to support that. I looked into it and found papers [1-6] that show that under properly controlled double blind experiments mainstream medicine beta is better. Papers [7-16] discuss the claims of alternative medicine alpha's mechanisms and how they contradict many principles of biology and chemistry. Papers [17-21] show that the articles reporting favourably for alternative medicine alpha are either methodologically flawed or biased. Lastly papers [22-24] detail the damage both economic and social that alternative medicine alpha is doing"
    Alice - "How can you say it doesn't work? There are hundreds of testimonies from patients who have been cured. My aunt had a back problem that doctors spent years failing to treat with mainstream medicine beta but one dose of mainstream medicine alpha fixed the problem"

    In this scenario Alice is being closed minded by not properly considering the evidence.

    Alice - "Alternative medicine alpha is better than mainstream medicine beta"
    Bob - "That's rubbish, there's no way that that works. Alternative medicines are all rubbish and people who believe in that are idiots"

    In this scenario Bob is being closed minded by dismissing the claim out of hand without bothering to even look into it. He may be factually correct and Alice may or may not be closed minded as well but that doesn't change the fact that Bob really needs to be more open minded.
     
  12. Aug 31, 2012 #11
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    EDIT: Once again, thanks Ryan for putting it clearly and concisely. I like your response better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
  13. Aug 31, 2012 #12
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    You can't always simply just look at evidence. For instance how do you prove, or find evidence that spirituality does not exist?

    On a side note, natural medicine that works is simply called medicine.
     
  14. Aug 31, 2012 #13
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    That's tricky. You don't need to believe in something to be open-minded, though.
    First, though, spirituality does exist...maybe spirits don't, but spirituality is a belief, a way of life, or a philosophy. With that said, I understand your point. Do we need to stay open-minded about ghosts?

    Well, open-minded isn't like a process, it's a way of approaching claims. You don't need to go searching for the proof (or, *cringe*, dis-proof) of something. You should just show reasonable consideration of the things likelihood.
    Alice: "I can't wait to see my first ghost!"
    Bob: "While I can't prove you wrong, I am fairly sure that ghosts don't exist, as all evidence points to the idea as going against our understanding of how the physical world works."

    The point of it is rationally dismissing or accepting claims, rather than dismissing or accepting them blindly.
     
  15. Aug 31, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    That's not the point. If you were open minded you would never absolutely accept or reject a claim and always be prepared to review the available evidence before making a decision (or failing that acknowledging that the amount of evidence that you have based your decision on is a small fraction).
     
  16. Aug 31, 2012 #15
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Best quote on topic.
     
  17. Aug 31, 2012 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Cheers :smile:
     
  18. Aug 31, 2012 #17
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    There's one thing I'd like to add to this: It's up to the person making the claim to provide the evidence. If somebody wants to make a claim I find hard to believe, it shouldn't be up to me to have to go out and seek out supporting evidence. If this was the case, one would have no time to eat, shower or sleep due to the time constraints of being "open-minded."

    So, if somebody wants to tell me that some new new age "treatment" works, I'm perfectly justified in dismissing the claim unless they provide evidence. One the evidence is provided, it would be the open-minded thing to do to at least take an honest look at it. But, if no evidence is provided, it's not closed-minded to say "until you give me some evidence, I can't believe you."

    And if somebody responds with "there's more to life than evidence," it's not closed-minded to dismiss whatever that person was saying without any further thought.
     
  19. Aug 31, 2012 #18

    Evo

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Absolutely correct.
     
  20. Aug 31, 2012 #19
    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Sometimes, you are just not qualified to review the available evidence. If I know that someone without any credibility (self-proclaimed expert) is making a statement, I wouldn't listen to him until he brings up the evidence supported by the actual experts.

    I always look for the person's credentials before I hear what he has to say.
     
  21. Sep 1, 2012 #20

    Borek

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    Re: Why do others think I should be more "open minded".

    Slippery slope. Argument from authority can be just another logical fallacy.
     
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