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Krechevskoy

[Dissertation] Perceiving Reality

The Importance of Belief, and the Difference between Truths and Beliefs

More than anything this is just me doing a dissertation, but I think that it is extremely important what we believe, what the truth really is, and the difference between them.  There is a LOT of importance in what we believe, especially when it doesn't align with the truth, or the truth can't be known.

There are a few main points which we need to look at, and consider.

Personal Beliefs

These are the beliefs which we all hold on a personal level.  It encompasses everything from the extremely mundane "That is a push door", all the way up to the extremely interesting "God exists, and has these exact properties".  The category of personal beliefs includes everything that you have any opinion on what-so-ever!

So, what is the significance of that?  Well, it turns out that this is terribly important!
What you believe informs and practically decides what you think and do in this world.

The belief that a door is a push door prevents you from pulling on it.
The belief that the cops will find and arrest you prevents you from committing a murder, or a robbery.
The belief that you will fall and be crushed to death prevents you from jumping off of cliffs.
The belief that a suicide bombing will send you to heaven removes the hesitation in killing yourself and everyone around you.
The belief that your God requires faith in him/her leads you to not question their existence.
The belief that homosexuality is immoral leads you to oppose their freedoms.
The belief that the universe was put here for you to enjoy, leads you to take things for granted.
The belief that there isn't an after life leads you to value this one much more highly.
The belief that the universe is a beautiful place leads you to appreciate the colour purple.

One extremely valuable example of this is a case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder(OCD).  In this particular case(linked below), a man was with a friend one day, and an El Camino drove past.  His friend told him that he had to wipe of the El Camino, or "Something BAD will happen!"  He now has the belief in his head that he has to wipe his hands off, or "Something BAD" will happen when an El Camino drives past.  Because of that belief, he now watches every single car that goes past him when he is out walking, and when he does see an El Camino, he will start to compulsively wipe his hands for upwards of TEN hours at a time.

Source: Obsessed from A&E TV

His OCD makes his case a very exaggerated one, though while it is certainly not that obvious in most people, we all have similar effects.  His case is such a good one because the belief he holds seems so ridiculous to us.  However, there are some things that you may believe, and not even realize that they aren't true.  For example, black cats or walking under ladders bringing bad luck.  Wearing a pair of underwear that makes you luckier.  For the longest time people all believed that the earth was flat, that witches and wizards and dragons and trolls and unicorns all existed, and that if you turn off the lights and say "Bloody Mary" into a mirror three times, a severed head would appear in the glass.  People believed that Freddy Mercury and Dumbledore were straight.  People believed that a big muscle-bound guy named Zeus threw lighting down from mount Olympus every time there was a thunder storm.

Community/Group Beliefs

When a sufficient number of people who share a similar belief come together some very interesting things can happen.  Religion is probably the most obvious example of this, though certainly not the only one.  I'll use Catholicism for an example.  It is perfect possible for someone to be catholic by them self.  It doesn't seem like there is anything which would stop that from happening.  However, a single catholic person awash in a sea of non-catholic people is not likely to remain catholic for long.  Humans are very social creatures, and we react to what we see around us.  It is very hard to cling to Catholicism when everyone around you believes in Hinduism.  Excluding extreme cases, we strive for the approval and even praise of our peers, and would not receive it in those conditions.  If on the other hand, that same catholic person where in Vatican city, where most everyone is also catholic, it would be extremely easy for them to remain catholic.  Their peers would easily accept their beliefs, and in effect, the group bolsters it's self.  Even finding a single person that shares a belief has an impressive amount of power.  When whole societies form that adopt and share a belief, it becomes extremely powerful.  By them self a catholic person would constantly be forced to question their beliefs, and would have to enforce the idea that they are correct when everyone else disagrees.  In a sea of catholic people nobody asks or disagrees with your catholic beliefs, and then you don't have to question them or worry about their correctness.

Other examples of this include governments, political parties, and fandoms. An example which probably isn't so obvious is the scientific community.  Yes, that’s right, the scientific community works the same way as religious groups and fandoms!  See, it is very difficult to believe that the earth is round when literally everyone around you is certain that it is flat.  It is extremely difficult to claim that things gradually evolve to suit their environment when everyone around you says that God designed everything perfectly just a short while ago.  It isn't easy to make the claim that the universe is BILLIONS of years old when all your friends think that it is closer to 4000 years old.  In order to make things easier on themselves, scientist banded together to form the scientific community.  They defined some beliefs on how we should study the universe.  They all believe in the effectiveness of the scientific method. and that we should remark on, and try to understand reality.  now, even though their personal areas of study may be different, scientists can bolster each other's confidence and belief in science through the shared belief in it.

Universal Truths

A universal truth is something that is simply true, regardless of time, location, no matter who knows about it, what anyone thinks about it, or even if it was ever observed at all.  Science and logic both focus heavily on remarking upon universal truths.  Unfortunately sometimes science gets things a bit wrong and has to make adjustments over time, but with each revision, it moves closer and closer to absolute, universal truth.

Typically a universal truth applies to something like, "Gravity is the attraction of two masses towards each other over any range" or "The effects of gravity travel at the speed of light" or "Light has a maximum speed, which neither light it's self or any other particle can exceed".  Now, granted, I am only reporting what science has got so far, and those statements may be found to not be universal truths in the future, but as far as any living human knows, they are all hinting at universal truths.  Take for instance the universal gravitational constant.  Nobody believed that number had a certain value which forced it to be that way.  That number was discovered and has been repeatedly tested and observed.  It has been that way since long before we even knew about it to have an opinion on what it could or should be.  Our opinion of it has no bearing on it's existence or it's real value.

There are also, of course, axiomatic truths.  These are almost entirely based in concept, but we can create things with a concise, objectively measurable definition, and then they become a universal truth.  For example, 1 + 1 = 2.  No matter where you are in the universe or what your personal beliefs are, numbers are defined in such a way that 1+1=2.  The symbols themselves may change, but the concept is absolute.  There are a number of axioms which we have made, and which are very useful, especially in the field of applied logic or formal mathematics.

The difference between a truth and a belief, is that truth is based on reality, and belief is based on perception of it. Truths reflect the way that things -really- are, and it doesn't matter what anyone sees or thinks about them.  Say I build a big door that says "PUSH" on the handle, but it is -actually- a pull door.  Now, a random person walks up, reads the sign that says "PUSH" and they push on the door.  The TRUTH of the matter is that the door is a pull door.  However, the person using it BELIEVES that it is a push door.  As I said above, our beliefs inform and decide upon our actions.  That person believes it is a push door, so they will try to push on it.  What is important to notice though is that the persons belief simply cannot change the truth.  They can push and push all they want, but it remains a pull door.

Informing Our Beliefs

Given the example of the mislabelled door, it becomes obvious that we must have some mechanism to change our beliefs.  Otherwise we would just stand there all day and push against the unmoving door.  That mechanism is called experience.  Experience is all the data which we gather from being exposed to something.  The first bit of experience we get from the door we were exposed to is the label, which says "PUSH".  The evidence informs our beliefs about this door, and leads us to believe it not only is a door, but that it is a push door.  Feeling that you have enough evidence to proceed, you push firmly against the door.  At this point, the door doesn't move, and with any luck, you have avoided smashing your face against it.  New evidence has been added which tells you that this is NOT a push door.  You now have a problem!  You have evidence that says that this both is and isn't a push door.  At this point things break down into what evidence is most valuable to you.

Having only just read the sign and pushed against the door, you probably have about a tie in your head, which leads to confusion.  It is highly likely you will push on the door once or twice more to enforce the new evidence, until it's importance/credibility eclipses that of the label.  It follows that soon after you would start to pull on the door, since you have decided that it isn't a push door after all.  The door opens when you pull, and you come to the conclusion that the door is actually a mislabelled pull door.  Through experience/evidence and some trial/error, you arrive at an appropriate perception of the truth.

What the door example fails to account for though is the situation in which you have a large amount of faith in the sign.  Enough that you can't eclipse it with a few or even a few dozen attempts to push on the door.  Rather than discredit the sign, you instead simply conclude that it must be locked, or you aren't pushing hard enough.  Perhaps you just aren't worthy.  There may be some other trick, and you just know it involves pushing.  Perhaps you are pushing in the wrong place?

What kind of crazy person would believe so strongly in a sign?  Once they did just a little pushing, they should be able to discover the incredulity of the sign.  Unfortunately this is the effect of a reinforced belief which is disjoint from reality.  Lets take little Sally Lou, who has just been born.  Every single day, since before she could even understand, her parents tell her that the door is a push door.  They relate their experiences pushing the door, and how it opened for them.  They describe the door in some detail, and sometimes they even put their hands together like a closed doorway and talk to the door to thank it for being in their lives.

Sally Lou has just turned 16, and after 16 years of waiting and being told over and over about the door, she runs out and finds it to push on it.  Now, with such a strongly instilled and reinforced belief, she is more likely to conclude she is a failure, or that she is at the wrong door, etc... rather than simply testing it out and discovering it was in fact a pull door.

If 16 years of preaching can convince young Sally Lou not to try seeking the truth on a mislabelled door, imagine the kind of damage that it could do with something even harder to test or examine.  Religion, racism, slavery, political parties, morals, scientific facts, hygiene, and much, much more.  A constant persuasion from others can form beliefs which are totally unseated from reality.  Beliefs which aren't supported by first hand evidence, but rather second hand evidence that was passed down form people we trust.

Too many times I have heard an Atheist/Antipestivist call out to the religious, "Hey dummies, your beliefs aren't founded in evidence!", only to have the religious person reply that they have Faith.  What they -actually- have is a belief that is supported by the second and third hand experiences of others, passed on to them through their religious community and doctrine, repeatedly reinforced to the point that they feel they have all the evidence in the world even though they have no first hand evidence of any of it.  They don't feel any lack of confidence in their beliefs because everyone in their religious community shares those beliefs, and bolsters them, and they all read from their doctrine together.  There is enough off-hand evidence that there feels to be no need to seek more.  And then, when their beliefs fail them, or what they expect to happen doesn't, they will rationalize it away, often in insanely crazy ways, all to hold onto the idea that the door is in fact a push door, and their beliefs are in fact correct as well.

No matter how many times their prayers go unanswered, their enemies walk away untouched, their church burns or collapses from natural disasters, their members die at a young age or in a brutal way, they get stuck in a bloody war...  They have the strength to bolster beliefs well above a healthy level, and lead people to think and act based on beliefs that are completely disjoint from reality.

Conclusion

I'm trying to point out that belief without evidence, and in particular FIRST-HAND evidence, is a dangerous and disingenuous thing.  Even if you do happen to be a deeply religious person, what I ask is that you be aware of the reality or the world you live in, and if you have kids, please give them the chance to form their own beliefs about the world.  Don't lecture your child about the teaching of your holy books.  Sit them down and let them read for them self, then decide what they think of it.  You may not like the outcome, but at least you will know that they made the decision them self.

The same goes for atheists and apestivists as well.  Regardless of what you believe, question your beliefs, gather evidence, and allow others to inform their own actions.

Thank you!
Viewed: 66 times
Added: 7 years, 1 month ago
 
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
TL;DR?

TOO BAD!
Lyserdigi
7 years, 1 month ago
I....  
I just fell in love with your mind a bit there ♥
=^..^=
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
I may have fallen in love with you for actually reading through my early morning rants!
Lyserdigi
7 years, 1 month ago
That text was brilliant.
and there was no fault in its logic..
I personally love intelligence and logic.
=^..^=
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
Hmmm.... Love, intelligence, and logic... all in one place...

Sir, I dare say that you are a myth!
Lyserdigi
7 years, 1 month ago
Well, like i use to say -->
"I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine...! "
And i consider myself more of a legend than a myth...
Well, maybe a folklore.
=^..^=
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
A fable perhaps?
Lyserdigi
7 years, 1 month ago
sure...
Sounds somewhat accurate, i believe
=^..^=
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
*Tickles the fable*
Lyserdigi
7 years, 1 month ago
*tries to roar all menacingly but it ends up just a series of snorts as the lion falls down giggling...

=^..^=
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
*Pounces and starts tickling you all over* >:3

I am the victor!
spatch
7 years, 1 month ago
A very interesting read.
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
Glad you found it interesting! ^_^
Aquilux
7 years, 1 month ago
Grading on a curve, I give you an A+ in the school of life. Congratulations.
Aquilux
7 years, 1 month ago
Not to say that this is lacking in any way, just that it stands head and shoulders above the sea of ignorance most of us find ourselves in.
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
Thank you very much!  I just wish that education were more comprehensive in the world.

You know, there is not a -single- philosophy or morality class that is required to graduate from high school in the united states.  Most high schools don't even offer classes similar to those.  The closest thing is a few required readings in English classes, which cover fairly mundane materials, and then only give them a brief examination.  Without actually personally seeking it, the most advanced ideas I would have been exposed to would be the contents of "The Giver" by Lois Lowry.  And that is certainly a great book, filled with thought provoking ideas and a huge dilemma of what we define as perfection, what we should and do value as a society, the importance of both sameness and diversity, of choosing a life of blissful ignorance, or of painful knowledge.  All of this and more, in a setting which I could probably discuss for weeks on end without running out of ideas to cover...

But the only questions that our teacher had at the end boiled down to a questionnaire to detect if you actually read it!  They were questions that just asked what happened in the book, without ever asking about the importance or implications or even the thought behind them.  There weren't any difficult or open ended questions, it was just an easy to grade multiple choice scantron test so she would know who read it from cover to cover.

Which of these is more valuable?
" The pills made the children see:
A) Funny Colours
B) Bugs Bunny
C) Black and White
D) Spots
E) None of the Above
" Why were the citizens given pills to suppress their intake of colour, emotion, pain, and thought?  Do you think that this was a justified plan?  Do you think that something like this could ever happen in real life?

Write your answer below in at least 2 paragraphs.  Use complete sentences.

The second one is obviously a better question, it is more thought provoking, and it actually requires the student to think and assess what they thought of the book.  It doesn't allow for any laziness of thought, and it would also very quickly answer if the student had really read the book.  It would also allow the ENGLISH TEACHER to actually appraise the student's use of the English language significantly more so than a long line of "ABDABDBAECABD..." which she was asking us for.  Granted, it would also require the teacher to actually sit down, read through her students thoughts, take the time to read through about 30 pages of answers, grade them according to their reasoning and fundamental understanding of the material, keep an open mind so she could grade fairly, and possibly take a day or two to get back to the students with a grade.

Oh wait, how could I have been so stupid!  She wants to do as little as possible and still get paid.  So we give her a long strand of "ABDABDBAECABD..." on a nice formatted piece of paper, and she walks out of the room, loads them into a machine that does her job for her, and can come back 5-10 minutes later with grades on a test that didn't make the students think or work out their minds at all.  It is a test of memory, not thought.  You didn't learn anything, you just memorized some things.

How upsetting it is to me, when I take a test that is more concerned with what you remember than what you know.  When we are tested for content, not context.  A mindless regurgitation of what happened, and not why it happened.  It doesn't matter if you understand the core thought process and reasoning that the author used, and have thought about and formed your own opinion of the events which are described in the book.  It matters that you recall what colour shoes the main character was wearing at the time.

And people just can't figure out why it is that America's most advanced Ph.D students perform on the same level as those of third world countries...
Catwheezle
7 years, 1 month ago
It's a well-worn point, but one that deserves repeating, and I think you put it very well :)

I find as I age that it becomes harder and harder to keep my mind flexible. Or maybe it isn't a lack of flexibility, but just that it has grown so much momentum. Time was, I'd leap into arguments and walk away having conceded the point, almost all the time.

Now... it's rare that I concede a point, though it's a great joy when I do, because it means I've learned something, I've advanced my opinions to a new state of refinement. Feels like it's less than once a week, nowadays, where it used to be a normal part of everyday conversation. I like to think it's only a rare thing because I'm mostly right most of the time, nowadays.

But I have a secret fear that it's because I've just refined my arguments over the years so well, that people cannot deflect or parry them with their ill-prepared arguments, let alone pierce my years-deep armor of conviction and self-reinforcement. Perhaps I'm just stubbornly wrong, instead: perhaps I'm willfully ignorant. Or perhaps I have excluded from my life those elements that significantly disagree with my comfortable worldview, so there's nobody left to shake it up.

I take pride in listening to the evidence, but I worry that I'm not as good at that as I once was.
Krechevskoy
7 years, 1 month ago
Having suffered largely of the same feeling,  I find that it is terribly ironic, yet morbidly amusing;  The more correct you are, the more you worry about being flawed.

I think that simply being aware that you are at risk of not being right, but simply stuck in your ways, and acknowledging that you don't want to become trapped in a flawed belief, will greatly assist you to remain receptive and open minded.

If you feel that others simply aren't up to the task of preparing and launching arguments against you properly, then I have a suggestion.  This is something which I often do to make sure that I'm not just winning an argument because my opposition is doing a poor presentation.  Be your own opponent.  Research, study, and think as closely to the opposition as possible.  Make your own case for the other side.  Then, once that is done, assail your own beliefs with the new viewpoint you have examined, and see how well it holds up to scrutiny.  Find the flaws and weak points of your ideas by personally assaulting them.

More often than not, I have found issues with my belief that the "other guy" never would have even hinted at.  Through introspection and self-analysis, I consolidate my ideas much faster, with a deeper understanding of both sides.  It really forces one to become comfortable and confident with their own thoughts/beliefs, and gives the brain an excellent workout.
Catwheezle
7 years, 1 month ago
Devils' advocacy is important: you need to be able to see both sides of an argument. So it's not unusual for me to discuss something with someone, put forward their argument with "but I suppose you'd probably argue that X", and find that I soundly defeat my own arguments with this strawman, at which point I finish by saying something like "Hrm, and that's a good point. Okay, we should probably try it your way first."

I've had my co-worker complain "Hey! I didn't even get to argue!"

But way I see it, if they have the bad taste to be *right*, then they should just shut up and accept it when I acknowledge that :P
Sev
Sev
7 years, 1 month ago
Just got on a bit ago, read all this in one sitting while eating, and I wish more people where like you. I hate people for reasons like stated, or rather, facepalm at the stupid. But really, I tend to hate Atheists the most when it comes down to it, cause religious people can usually calmly ignore and disagree with you. Where as, most atheists tend to act like there is no gods or anything, and tend to act like huge assholes about it, going so far to try to force their beliefs on each other then act like they are superior. Personally, thanks to Disturbed, I tend to have a sorta saying, you can't spell belief without the word Lie.

It is good to have an open mind, but to have one so open, your brain falls out is no better than being so closed mind, you are forever suffocating yourself.
Charn
7 years, 1 month ago
I have seen that phrase more and more often lately. Have an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.
It doesn't make any sense at all.its a trite  play on wordsand a generic excuse to dismiss ideas other than your own. If you mean you are  own minded, but wary, say that.
Sev
Sev
7 years, 1 month ago
Hun, it makes plenty of sense, having an open mind is good but it's possible to have your mind so 'open' you prettymuch lose your mind, it literally seems to fall out. This is no pass as people to make an excuse to dismiss ideas other than my own, anyone that uses it like that is stupid and needs to be smacked across the face with a wiffleball bat.

Lets use Paranormal Investigators as an example, such as the show, Most Haunted. Going into an investigation to detect a haunting, one has to keep an open mind. But the people there, namely Yvette Fielding, are so open, that they lose their mind. She is an example of a weak link in psychology, her fear, her mindlessness in situations, where she becomes fearful, effects everyone else around her to also become obsessed and mindless. The only reason the show is interesting, all be it for the wrong reasons, is every sound, every touch, every speck of dust MUST be paranormal, MUST be proof of a haunting, and MUST be true.

To be fair though, the show has one real aspect to watch, Dr. Ciarán O'Keeffe, he is proof of the proper way to investigate. Keep an open mind, but keep some skepticism and seek to find answers and proof of a haunting, not just believe it because you where there. But people that believe in 'orbs' on camera so fervently that they will go to any length to prove it, that hear a house settle at night, creaking and groaning as the house cools and materials shrink on a molecular level, that believe without seeking proof, they have lost their mind, and are mad with their beliefs. Another point is people that go out and come up with batshit insane theories involving government and aliens and other things, and believe them just because, but then don't try to back them up, but spout them like some homeless person on a street corner shouting 'the end is near' over and over.

The point of saying have an open mind, but not so much your brain falls out is that, just a saying of, keep your mind open, and willing to listen, learn, and adapt, but not so open that everything is true. But on the otherhoof you have people that are so close minded, that they reject anything that isn't in their view of the world, stuck in their old ways, never believing in anything but their own way, and anyone else is wrong, and they are the only ones right. A case in point in that case is most die hard religious people and/or crotchety old people that have outdated beliefs that conflict with the mental growth of a person, and if those people get together in a group, society.

My point was that, be open minded, but don't get so obsessed one way or another, seek to properly educate and enlighten yourself. Not sit there thinking your house is haunted till you are mindless and telling everyone and calling in paranormal investigators to prove it then being upset that they found nothing at all, just because you hear a water heater turn on at night makes a moaning like rattling. Nor disbelieve the possibility so hard to the stagnation of your mind cause "science hasn't proved it thus it can't exist" you know, like gorillas and the air itself NEVER could have existed, nor bacteria or trillions of other things that never existed to the world, till technology got to the point it could prove it's existence.

In short, as I said, keep an open mind, be a fence sitter, look at facts, and form your own opinion on a case by case matter, not think it wholly true every time, because the first encounter you had was stimulating and appeared true, nor think it wholly false every time, just because your first encounter with something was played off as nothing. It was never meant to be passed off as a way to dismiss what people say though, to think such or be used as such in an insult to the term. A better way to put it would be, keep an open mind, but question everything you are presented, within reason, based on fact, and proof, never truly decide something proof positive or proof negative till you yourself experience it
Charn
7 years, 1 month ago
"Hun, it makes plenty of sense, having an open mind is good but it's possible to have your mind so 'open' you prettymuch lose your mind, it literally seems to fall out."

- How? When? This doesn't make any sense. Minds do not 'fall out'. Having an open mind doesn't mean carving a hole into rationality or anything, it means not automatically assuming you are right about things. It means considering facts, even if doign so means acknowledging you are wrong and remaking your position.

"Lets use Paranormal Investigators as an example, such as the show, Most Haunted. Going into an investigation to detect a haunting, one has to keep an open mind. But the people there, namely Yvette Fielding, are so open, that they lose their mind. She is an example of a weak link in psychology, her fear, her mindlessness in situations, where she becomes fearful, effects everyone else around her to also become obsessed and mindless. The only reason the show is interesting, all be it for the wrong reasons, is every sound, every touch, every speck of dust MUST be paranormal, MUST be proof of a haunting, and MUST be true."
This isn't having an open mind, though, is it? because if it were having an open mind, she would go in there and be -receptive- to the idea of there being ghosts. What you are describing is a manic, uncontrolled mind -INSISTING- that there is paranormal activity. The other examples you listed are basically teh same thing. They're not having an open mind, because when you INSIST You are right, or you know the truth, without examining the situation fully, (like most religions insist) you are having a closed mind.

An Open Mind specificially represents the ability to understand and acknoledge that you DON'T know everything, and being willing to correct beliefs if they are proven to be wrong. I can not think of any situation where being willing to be wrong is a BAD thing, except when you are choosing to do something that could hurt someone (like vigilante justice)

It sounds like the situation here isn't that you think having too open a mind is bad, as much as you are combining the idea of having an open mind with the idea of being gullible/naive. They aren't the same thing, though!
Sev
Sev
7 years, 1 month ago
Love, it's a saying, all be it, potentially a stupid one. The basis of the whole thing, keep an open mind, be willing to change your views and what you know if presented it properly and with proof why it changes, be willing to admit you are wrong and learn. To have a mind so open your brain 'falls out' is often to take something, and be too open to it, that you become mindlessly a fool. It's a circle, and really, if you don't get it that is fine, I personally do not see your issue with the topic other than you have seen it used in a way that fools and morons use to dismiss other people and insult them.

My example still stands, her mind is OPEN to the idea of ghosts, but her mind is so 'open' that in her eagerness to want to believe, she forgoes logic, rational thinking, and all forms of attempt to stay willing to say "ok, that was odd, lets look at what that was again, and see if it can be explained off' and instead goes 'OMG! THAT WAS A GHOST OMGOMGOMGOMG! AND I HAVE IT ON FILM AND WE PROVED IT!' and other things that are not open minded. As I said above though, it's a circle, you can have a mind so open, that it turns around and becomes closed. Let me simplify the saying for you here hun, have an open mind is that, be willing to learn. Where to have one too open your brain falls out is a saying, an example, the compare to, losing ones mind, to become so focused that you become irrational and mindless in it's pursuits. Finally, a mind so closed your brain suffocates is welf explaining, it means your mind is so shut to any way that isn't your way, that you are unwilling to learn, adapt, and grow as a person mentally.

As you said: "An Open Mind specifically represents the ability to understand and acknowledge that you DON'T know everything, and being willing to correct beliefs if they are proven to be wrong." and I agree. But as I said (since I read this paragraph by paragraph and replied to it as thus), open mind is to be willing to learn and adapt and admit you are wrong. But it is possible that your mind is so open that your brain falls out, as in, you become mindless and in effect, your mind isn't 'closed' as those people say their mind is 'open' though really their mind is so 'open' they become close minded.

No, what I AM saying is that being so open minded that you become mindless, focused on one thing and never learn or adapt, take face value and present a mad image, can leave a sour taste in the mouth of people those kind of people can meet. Look at shows like most haunted, or most zealots of a religion, those who speak loudest, are often heard the clearest. Having an open mind is good, to not have one is caustic to ones growth, but to not be willing to learn and question things, or even refuse to believe anyone and that you MUST be right, and everyone else that doesn't listen or 'understand' is a 'heathen' or a 'close-minded non-believer' is bad. THAT is the meaning of the saying, be willing to learn and change, don't be one of those batshit insane people or close minded zealots that think they are the only right person in the world.
Catwheezle
7 years, 1 month ago
Seems to me you're arguing against credulism, where they feel something is probable even in the absence of any significant supporting evidence. That's not open-mindedness on their part: it's feeble-mindedness.

On the other end of the scale is what I'd call hyperskepticism - where they reject any idea as improbable, despite reasonable evidence that it's feasible.

Cleaving a more balanced line between the two is what I think of as openmindedness. That's where you don't absolutely believe anything, nor absolutely disbelieve anything: but you do ascribe weights of evidence.

The invisible pink unicorn (IPU) standing beside me is... very unlikely. There is no evidence for it, considerable evidence against it. It is not sensible to operate on an assumption that it exists, nor even that it *may* exist.

The fact that all objects that have mass, have their own gravitational field, is... rather likely. There's no direct way that I personally can ever experience this effect outside of a laboratory. And I have not personally checked to see whether it really does conveniently explain various observations that can be made with a telescope and a clock. But in the absence of counter-evidence, I'm happy to have reasonable faith in the third-hand reports that it does. I see no reason to be skeptical.

I see these three categories as theist (credulism), strong-atheist (skepticism), and agnostic (openminded, evidence-based). Ithers have their own terms and definitions, but to me, only the last stance is intellectually honest.
Charn
7 years, 1 month ago
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I before e, except after c...

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