Open or Closed

It’s an interesting thing – how people interpret open and closed minds.

Person A says Person B is open minded if they accept or are willing to concede merit to Person A’s claims – and close minded if Person B dismisses the claim.

But open and closed minded isn’t actually about a willingness to accept the claim’s premise – it’s about a willingness to consider the evidence for the claim.
A closed minded person has already reached a conclusion and no new evidences or claims is going to shake them.

An open minded person will also have reached conclusions, but examines new information, evaluates it and accommodates it – maybe changing the conclusion or maybe adapting to an exception.

A clear metaphor would be a religious or conspiracy person is closed minded – nothing is going to alter their conclusion that their god is the true god (and real) and nothing will stop a conspiracy person from their pet conspiracy – because lack of evidence is just proof of how effective the conspirators are and that’s what they want to you think, man.

An open minded person is the skeptic (of which atheist is a sub category, specialty area if you will), someone who uses the scientific method.

Granted the occasional fraudster slips pass – but the system is designed to detect these – and does – science is a self regulating and adaptive to new evidence.

So, if Person A makes a claim for which there’s no evidence, no logic or consistency with other known facts – then rejecting that claim is not being closed minded – it’s actually a rapid assessment of the merits (none), the evidence (none) and the logic/probability (none) and reaching a conclusion – so highly improbably as to be stamped with “didn’t happen”

However, all conclusions are subject to review if new or actual evidence is provided.

If one insists that open minded means allowing a possibility and probability to any claim – then it’s impossible to have any critical thinking because you can’t dismiss any claim – not Big Foot, Loch Ness, UFO abductions, vampires, ghosts, and Elvis is alive and in hiding, but sending out clues to special fans who will prepare the masses for his eventual return.

When really, for the last one, the higher probability is people who are exploiting the grief and wishful thinking of the gullible for monetary gain.

This is why there’s a dozen or more people out there claiming to be Elvis children (or half sibling), but not actually moving their case in court or providing any evidence.

It’s more lucrative to string the public along and you can make whatever claims you want – the court of public opinion is far more lazy on evidence standards than court.

It’s more lucrative to invent a quack medicine treatment and market it, than actually learn medicine and practice it too. A good rule of thumb for medical treatments is – first they are called medical and not Health treatments – but also, the goal of medicine is to fix you and you go back to your life.

With health treatments, the goal is to keep you coming back for more treatments.

1 thought on “Open or Closed

  1. Funny how you write something and then later realize there’s a more concise way to say it.

    Making a claim that has no evidence and insisting that others must respect and accept that claim is not open minded. People who make these claims tend to
    playing word games to make the evidence or lack thereof proof of the claim. This is the hallmark of a very closed because nothing is going to change it. Worse, the close mind will also move the goalposts of what counts as evidence in order to maintain the claim.

    Saying we don’t know or we don’t know yet – is an open mind because it’s a mind that is not yet made up. That is the essence of being a skeptic.

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