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Thread: Open-mindedness: A Universal Virtue

  1. #11
    Senior Member Array Nonsensical's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Costrin must be lying, I snapped this picture of him and JC at our last work dinner

    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  2. #12


    I am a staunch naturalist, and cannot stand those "in your face" atheist types. Not that they are all like this, but many of them don't seem to care so much about the truth as they do about telling people they are wrong in order to elevate themselves.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Array syckkz's Avatar
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    Jul 2009


    I must agree.. on both sides. Religious - Anti Religious and in between there are people who are open-minded and then there are people who push their beliefs on everyone they come in contact with.

    I don't think that beliefs should be pushed on people, but I do believe that people should be free to speak their minds on their religion or lack of without being so over bearing about it and judging people who have different views.
    “Always be sincere, whether you mean it or not.”

  4. #14
    Senior Member Array alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Nov 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
    Religion, or lack of religion, has nothing to do with how open your mind is. And as I have faced that stereotype myself, I wish people would stop judging others based on that.

    I agree. Open-mindedness has nothing to do with being religious or not. But people who judge other people are usually more eager to tell their judgement on other people's faith than people who don't lay judgements so easily on other. That is why it can seem that e.g religious people are more judging because those who are, are more visible than those who are not.

    But thinking about history, it can be easily seen why religion is related to narrow-mindedness. There was a time when nothing else but religion was right. And those who disagree got tortured and killed.

    So, the connection between being religious and being narrow-minded is understandable but not always the right conclusion with every religious person.

  5. #15


    To be fair-minded one must be vigilant (consciousness plus intention) of the need to treat all viewpoints alike. This demands that we adhere to intellectual standards such as accuracy and sound reasoning, which are unaffected by self-interest.

    A contrast with fair-mindedness is intellectual self-centeredness.

    Fair-mindedness is a challenging task that demands a family of character traits: intellectual humility, courage, empathy, honesty, perseverance, and a confidence in the value of reason.

    Our culture places maximum value not on fair-mindedness but upon self-interest, and maximizing production, and consumption.

    Intellectual humility begins with the recognition that absolute certainty regarding any matter of fact is beyond human capacity. There exists no mind-independent reality that we have the capacity to know. We can know only that which is “colored” by our experiences and historical perspective.

    Our common sense views, coupled with philosophical tradition and religious dogma, all teach us that such is not the case, that we can find absolute certainty. This cultural tradition works aggressively against our goal of intellectual humility thus demanding that we must become more intellectually sophisticated in order to gain the level of intellectual humility required.

    Intellectual courage is a difficult assignment. We all tend to place great value on our own opinion, which is more often than not just something that we grabbed as it flew by. But this is even more of a problem when we are “wedded” to something that we have a strong commitment to, for what ever reason. Our political affiliation is one example.

    Intellectual courage is especially difficult, and even dangerous to our well being when we hold ideas that society considers them to be dangerous; even though we are confident that they are rationally grounded. Society often punishes severely all forms of nonconformity; the execution of Socrates by the citizens of Athens might serve as a good example.

    By developing this character trait of intellectual courage we will often be ostracized from a group or even a large community. Such an experience will give us incentive to recognize that most people live their lives in such a manner as to be secure in the middle of the approval of those about us.

    Intellectual courage ain’t for sissies!

    Intellectual empathy is a consciousness that one must engage the imagination in an effort to intellectually place your self into the shoes of another so as to comprehend that other person as well as possible. To accomplish this transaction we must try to learn as much as possible about the other person’s situation so as to reconstruct that person’s assumptions, premises, and ideas.

    Many of these ideas were gleaned from the book Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life by Richard Paul and Linda Elder

  6. #16


    Very good thread, I was going to make one like it myself but in regards to greater aspects than that of religion solely. The belief systems of others that are pushed with hypocrisy and definition of specific truths is something that just pissed me the fuck off today.

    Each person is of their own, and saying that one way is best for all or there is only one way denies people their freedom of open mindedness and expansion. I get especially pissed off by people who believe peace only exists in one form, and judge others as deficient for not seeing the same view. As the op stated this can come from any number of sources, religious zealots not exempt.

    Call me naive but I tend to believe each person does the best they can with the information available, as well as the desired need for contentment. I don't think anyone really wants to be fucked up or unhappy, simply given the freedom to be what they need without consequence.

    This makes true open mindedness to some extent dangerous as some need to regulate the individual idea of contentment. However no threating matters are best left to the interpreter to believe as they see fit.

    And in this sense, I too am a hypocrite.

  7. #17


    Goddamn it! I can't edit my post from my phone for some reason.

    "However, non threatning matters"

  8. #18
    Senior Member Array whimsical's Avatar
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    Feb 2009


    I definitely agree, and I am a Christian who was once an atheist so I know where these people are coming from. I don't try to force my beliefs onto anyone, and I accept and want to learn about other people's religions.

  9. #19


    Ever notice how people impose the close-mindedness label to rationalize their disgusting habits or fetishes?

    Them: So you aren't into scat porn?
    Me: No that is repulsive.

  10. #20


    I empathize with the OP. I think conceding that every opinion is of equal value is often confused for open-mindedness. You can believe one thing and reject another and still be open-minded. It simply means that after weighing all the opinions available to you, you've formed one of your own. This is often seen as intolerant, but it doesn't mean you don't respect other points of view, simply that you disagree with them. Too many people think open-mindedness means conceding that their opinion is as valid as yours, and that's not the case.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.


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