Sunday, May 16, 2010

Open or Closed; Which Mind?

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of one being Open or Closed minded, and how often I hear the words used in more arguments than I care to attempt to list in this post, because if I did the post would be nothing more than a list of arguments from: interracial relationships to sexual preferences to political beliefs, etc.

So, what is it to be either open minded or closed minded?

Open minded: 1. Having or showing a mind receptive to new ideas or arguments. 2. unprejudiced, unbigoted, impartial.

Closed minded: Having a mind firmly unreceptive to new ideas or arguments.

My position has in years past been one of a closed mind, because I was under the false pretence that if I showed a willingness to listen to points of view that were different from what I was familiar or accustomed would give an impression of agreement or alignment with the opposing belief of whatever subject being discussed. I've later come to realize that I was unable to effectively dialogue if I wasn't willing to be receptive.

It is through our willingness to be open minded that we are able to filter all of the presented argument and solely on speculation or hearsay which promulgated out of ignorance, fear or indifference.

The scriptures teach us to reason together, and in the midst of reasoning there must be an openness and it is through this openness can we Narrow in on Truth.


Z said...

Hi, IHS...good to see a blog post here!
I often grapple with this myself and have been really trying to work on what I've thought might tend to be my close mindedness about different things.......
I think there IS a right and wrong, as I think you do, too, and so I do worry that being OPEN MINDED seems like agreeing with a side you don't believe in.
Still, I think entering into a conversation with love and calm is better than just shutting off any exchange from the get-go. And, people will listen better if they're approached with softer and less judgmental words, right?

I'm not sure any amount of receptivity on our part will bring someone even around to hearing our point of view, but one can try.

sue said...

IHS - The comment you made about Kagan on Z's blog made more sense than all of the rest put together.

sue hanes said...

I.H.S. - This post is one that I connected with immediately - as opposed to the first one where I had to concentrate more.

It bothers me when Christians say that it is not good to be openminded - as I always think of myself in that way.

Your post is exactly what I am thinking.

Thanks, I.H.S.