Open Minds

Chariots of the Gods?
By Erich Von Daniken
see related


One of the most hilarious phrases I hear people utter on a regular basis is, “You’re so open-minded!”  I notice that this phrase generally follows my agreeing with them (or at least appearing to agree with them) on a topic which usually generates conflict.  I also notice that when I disagree with them, they do not seem to think that I am open-minded any longer.  It’s as if in an instant I lost the quality of being open to new ideas and suddenly became closed to the possibilities of the world, which coincidentally happens at the moment when I express a viewpoint that is disagreeable to them.

I see this mentality play out in quite amusing fashion in Von Daniken’s classic book.  He frequently appeals to opening one’s mind, and yet glosses over the counter-arguments made by his opponents and the interpretations of the evidence which do not align with his views.  When he’s asking you to be open-minded, it’s really a very simple request that you just agree with him and be done with it.  You needn’t engage in cogitation on the arguments he puts forth, because an open-minded person simply accepts what they are told, right?

I guess I’m just not very open-minded.  I don’t simply accept whatever people tell me.  I think it over, research it, and consult with other intelligent people to help filter out my biases.  If those are the activities of close-minded individuals, then I guess I am magnificently close-minded.  And I have no desire to simply buy into whatever nonsense is popular or interesting or politically correct at the moment so that I can be called “open-minded”.

Close your minds, dear friends.  Do not let stupidity cross the threshold of your brain.  Bar the door to your intellect from the nonsense oozing out of our culture.

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7 Responses to Open Minds

  1. QuantumStorm says:

    There’s a really great qualiasoup video on youtube on the nature of open-mindedness. I can’t remember what the video title was, but it did a really good job of clearly explaining what it meant to be open-minded. 

  2. TheSutraDude says:

    “the difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits” – a supposed quote from Albert Einsteinit is my belief one has to question authority and oneself vehemently to become “open minded” but that being the case or not, to accuse someone of not being open minded over disagreement is not really an argumentative point. 

  3. Kellsbella says:

    You’ve got me thinking on the book now. I read it so long ago, but I can only recall fragments of it. I suppose I must be too open-minded, since everything seems to seep out of my brain.

  4. Orlei says:

    The book looks like an interesting read.

  5. Nous_Apeiron says:

    @QuantumStorm – I will see if I can find it. Thanks!@TheSutraDude – You’re right.  It really isn’t a point.  It’s just an easy way to dismiss an opponent and be hyper-ironically close-minded.@Kellsbella – Haha!  It is a bit dated now, and there’s so little in it of real substance and it’s structured so poorly that it’s difficult to retain it all.@Orlei – It is interesting, though rather poorly written by either academic or literary standards.  As a propaganda piece, it’s decent.

  6. an_OM_aly says:

    Satire, ok then, won’t have to discuss the meaning of open-minded.Actually, came here to say thank you for helping to focus my thoughts on a quandary. En garde against non sense!

  7. Nous_Apeiron says:

    @an_OM_aly – You’re quite welcome.  Feel free to ask if you would like me to lend my blade in your duel against non sense.

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