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Old 09-29-2010, 03:40 PM
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Default What does it mean to be open minded?

Similarly, what does it mean to have a closed mind?
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

In an argument, I think it's mostly to do with being able to imagine what it is like to be someone who doesn't agree with you.
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:35 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

I'd have to disagree with that. I think that having an open mind means being able to accept the possibility that you might be wrong. Like, actually accepting that your views might be wrong. I guess it's essentially using evidence-based reasoning to reach a conclusion.

Actually, it seems as if we agree, at least mostly. Hm.

It doesn't matter how much you listen to someone's arguments if you don't accept that your own could be wrong, though. That's why I think it's necessary to know how to be wrong to be open minded, otherwise you ... well it doesn't really work.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:49 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

I agree that it's necessary to "know how to be wrong," in a sense. But for me the most important part of being open-minded is to be able to think about your own opinions in the first place.
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

I'm of the opinion that open-mindedness is the ability to consider the possibility that other people's beliefs are right and that yours are wrong, without being gullible or easily-swayed.
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Old 09-29-2010, 10:59 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

It's like seeing something from all perspectives in one sense. In another, to keep an open mind about things is trying something and not judging a book by its cover.

Or at least, I think so.
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

But... I know opinions like "females are the weaker sex" and "homosexuality is unnatural" are wrong. They're just wrong. Does that really mean that I'm not open-minded?
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
But... I know opinions like "females are the weaker sex" and "homosexuality is unnatural" are wrong. They're just wrong. Does that really mean that I'm not open-minded?
Well, what if it was someday scientifically proven that aliens from another planet introduced homosexuality somehow? That would make it unnatural (but that's different from being wrong-that's still a whole 'nother story). Would you be prepared to accept that? I think that would be the difference between open- and closed-mindedness in regards to something like that...
edit: Well, what opal said, but if that situation occurred and you still believed homosexuality was natural even when presented with legit evidence of the opposite, I would consider that closed-minded.

Last edited by Alraune; 09-30-2010 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 09-30-2010, 01:56 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

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Originally Posted by Cirrus View Post
But... I know opinions like "females are the weaker sex" and "homosexuality is unnatural" are wrong. They're just wrong. Does that really mean that I'm not open-minded?
No. Considering someone's opinion to be wrong doesn't make you close-minded. This is an awful misconception: open-minded does not mean accepting every possibility as equivalent. It is simply the ability to evaluate different points of view objectively. Rejecting an opinion because it is blatantly false isn't close-minded; rejecting an opinion because it differs from yours is.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

Being closed-minded is thinking like 'I am right and every who shall disagree with me is forever wrong. I am the ultimate deity, and am always correct.'
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:22 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

A lot of people seem to have the mentality of "this is what I think, and I don't want to change what I think because I already decided that this is what I think", and then go "la la la I can't hear you" when they hear evidence that refutes their worldview.

Which is why you rarely hear people say at the end of internet debates "oh, I guess you're right", and join the other side.

Of course it goes without saying that we should all be dedicated to The Quest 4 Absolute Truth and refine our viewpoints over time, it makes no sense to hold onto a belief our inner voice is trying to tell us is wrong. However, as you know, this is a lot easier said than done.

If you can admit that you are wrong upon hearing evidence against your worldview, then you are openminded.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: What does it mean to be open minded?

Quote:
Originally Posted by opaltiger View Post
No. Considering someone's opinion to be wrong doesn't make you close-minded. This is an awful misconception: open-minded does not mean accepting every possibility as equivalent. It is simply the ability to evaluate different points of view objectively. Rejecting an opinion because it is blatantly false isn't close-minded; rejecting an opinion because it differs from yours is.
Yes. This is true. Something can be wrong. Sometimes you're just right and someone else is wrong, but sometimes you're also wrong. Having an open mind is merely being open to the fact that you might be wrong. It can turn out that you're actually right, of course, but unless you accept the possibility you're wrong you don't actually have an open mind.
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