10-25-01

Open Mindedness

The difference between the two, comfort and openmindedness is the difference between cowardliness and truthfulness. The mind that is open is open to the truth, whereas the close mind invents whatever truth it is comfortable with, so that it may persist in its delusions. To be truly openminded, we must renounce the religion of our parents, and deny our cherished beliefs. Comfort is seduction. Better it is to suffer the pains of uncertainty, and the insanity of lost identity, so that we might open our minds to a firmer foundation, a deeper truth. Closemindedness is afraid of reality. We need reality. Therefore, closemindedness is a form of death worship. It denies our needs. Openmindedness allows us to embrace the alien and discover what others will not discover. The distinction is between fear and love; life and death.

Close mindedness is not a label for people who are not knowlegeable. That is what we call ignorance. Close-mindedness is willful ignorance, the unwilingness to see what is before them, and the unwillingness to see it for what it is. Closemindedness is a form of dishonesty and fear. So yes, the position of the open minded is so right, for they are also open to criticism, and so they will have the greatest chance of being right. Any evidence they can get, they do get. Wisdom rejoices in rebuke. So to do the open minded consider insults, criticisms, and rejoinders very carefully. An close minded person will consider an insult. He will not entertain the notion that he is wrong. Given that we are all wrong on some issue at all times, the close minded man makes this chronic. He is stuck in infancy.

As for your argument that closeminded people are better able to act, because they are sure, you are making the assumption that open minded people are paralyzed by their acknowledgement of uncertainty. Far from it. Where the closeminded are comfortable with self certainty, the openminded are comfortable with uncertainty. They enjoy the instability of growth, which gives greater stability as they mature. You said there is no greater benifit then life then to be sure of your position. This is only true if your position is correct. If you are sure there is no hell, but there is one, your so called benifit is your doom. Only the open minded have the right to be sure about any matter, for their assurity is based on critical thinking, vigorous analysis, thorough questioning, and the consideration of positive and negative evidence. Now if the open minded do not have enough information, but have to make a decision, they will make the best decision they can. They are not paralyzed. Merely because openminded people prefer to know as much as possible before making a decision does not, as you say, make them just like closeminded people. In fact, it makes them completely unlike closeminded people.

What bizarre extremes you propose: the insanity of openmindedness on one end, and the hate of closemindedness on the. Yet openminded people may hate, when hate is called for, and closeminded people may be insane. What is openmindedness? Openminded people are open to new information, and closeminded are closed off to new information. Openmindedness and closemindedness are two choices that only an adult can make. Children are necessarily openminded so that they can learn and mature. As we become adults, we have already adapted our main habits and personality traits, our thinking habits and belief habits. Here comes the crux. The moment we value a comfortable lie over the painful truth, we commit the intellectual sin that corrupst reason and common sense. It is against common sense.

The closeminded man lives by his unchanging habits, and forces all new information and new situations to conform to his ideals and images of the world. He will not and cannot fundamentally change. Sometimes a new situation demands that he changes at least superficially, and at such times he does so, with much pain and anguish. A closemineded democrat may admit to the fallibility of his party if the democratic polititian were to denounce his pastor. Here he must change his habits of belief regarding either his church or his political party. You see now that closemindedness is parasite to openmindedness, for to remain closed off to new information, we must change enough to live. Yet even here, the closeminded man may lie about the problem, and spend as little time thinking about it as possible. No, closeminded people do not have common sense, and for them it is impossible. They can only use common sense when common sense agrees with their opinions and preconcieved beliefs. If commons sense prodded them to change, grow, renounce, or sacrifice, they would declare it folly, and not see it as common sense. Closeminedness itself is a denial of common sense, for it is obvious that openness to new ideas is good. Only the openminded are capable of common sense, when it suits their preconcieved ideas, and when it refutes their preconcieved ideas. The reason that closeminded people are prone to hate is because they are afraid of innovation and change, and these fears lead to anger, and this anger leads to hate. You see then how unreasonableness leads to wrongful hate.

As your other dangerous extreme, you say that openminded people go off into bizzarre thinking directions beyond reason. To go beyond what I now think is reasonable is to dare for new truths. Your dangerous extreme sounds appealing. It is by no means insanity. For we must assume that just as the openminded man is open to experimental ideas, he is also open to common sense and sensability, and will live by common sense. Since he is wise, he will choose the reasonable, but first he experiments to see all the options, deciding from all the data what is reasonable and what is unreasonable. It is commons sense that we grow through experimentation. It is also commons sense that we protect ourself from dangerous experimentation. Since the openminded man is open to common sense as well as experimentation, he will put everything into context.

Therefore, a man cannot be too openminded, for the more openminded he is, the more he will be openminded to common sense. The closeminded man, who sees the world as comfortable as possible, will use common sense when it fits him, and will deny that common sense is common sense when it does not fit him. He will not admit to error or change his fundamental flaws. A man cannot be too openminded, but if he is too closeminded, he will be blinded to life, and will thus kill himself.

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