Perception of Open mindedness

Love may be a many splendored thing, but perception is a multi-layered thing.

Whether we allow ourselves to be open to multiple perspectives or cling to just one; is decided on a case by case basis and fluctuates throughout our lives, years, days, even down to the specific circumstances of any given situation.

The circumstances are fairly important, since that acts a a filtre for determine which perspectives and information is relevant to arrive a ta decision in the circumstance.

Conflict between yourself and another parties or parties arise when the number and kinds of perception – and with it, what is the relevant information – do not have sufficient overlap or any at all.

Whether a conflict can be resolved, depends on how much overlap of perceptions there are between the parties. No overlap, then no resolution – you truly cannot see eye to eye.

This leads me to the idea of open mindeness.

Being open minded is what people claim they are when they have accepted an explanation or course of action that lacks any sound basis.

This is everything from religion,  naturopathic  healing, to ghosts and alien abductions.

The claim is generally that those of us not embracing the concept are closed minded.

Ironic – since, to embrace a concept is to close yourself off to other concepts – it is to close the mind.

The claims generally run along various levels of self deception and oversimplification:

  • I beleive in god because when I die, if there is a god, I’ll got to heaven and if there’s no god, then no harm, no foul.
  • It doesn’t hurt anyone for me to beleive in x, y, z.
  • As long as I follow the doctor’s treatment, then these other treatments are complimentary.
  • Why not try everything, you can’t know it doesn’t work.
  • Why not beleive it, you can’t prove it’s not real, that it doesn’t exist, that it doesn’t work

So, here’s why not:

There can be no evidence for non-existence – non-existent things do not leave footprints, spoor or hair/fur on branches; things that do not exist do not do anything to the natural environment that leave traces of there having been there. A thing that doesn’t exist cannot be inferred to exist from the lack of traces either.

Ghosts, unicorns, vampires, faeries to comic book superheros are imagination and they exist in fiction where they belong – to remove them from their proper context and assert that they do exist in reality, or may have existed once and that our imagination is a form of collective half memory, or that they exist in an another dimension that periodically crosses into our world – is to invite madness. It’s okay that they are imaginary and that they exist in the world of fiction.

Complimentary – the dangers of complimentary “medicine” is that the nautropathic medicine so called treatments are placebos at best and contra-indicated with medicine at worst.

Unproven treatments at best, are a waste of your time and money – and worse, since so many people now cling to them, are a waste of tax money and health insurance money to the tune of billions of dollars – it’s like a hospital who is turning away very sick people in favour of filing the beds with people with minor or no complaint at all and providing beds, staff attention and treatements when they aren’t needed – the people who need care are waiting longer and longer to get care because we are wasting so much time, money and effort in treatments that will have no impact on anything other than the person’s perception of symptoms.

So called alternative medicine can only provide relief of symptoms that are subjective, that is, how much pain or discomfort you think you are in, as opposed to how big your tumour is or how broken your leg is.

And this is the heart of the matter – everyone can understand what a broken leg is – and they know the treatment is getting the leg reset adn immobilized in a cast until the body heals itself.

You would not go and get acupuncture or a homeopathic drink to fix this – the more you factually know about the human body, the better able you are to determine a course of treatment – and so called alternative health practitioners do not know any more about biology than their clients.

If you don’t know enough about your body to heal yourself, why go to someone else who knows more more and often less, than you do?

This is not to say that doctors know everything – they don’t, but they know substantially more than the  so-called alternative health practitioners. Alternative health indeed – the alternative to health is to not have any, and to be dead.

This is the harm that is caused by accepting claims without evidence. It is never a case of well, I have my own beleifs nd they don’t hurt anyone – is that over enough time, beliefs are not held by one person – they are held by many – and they get organized into cults, which over neough time and enouh members, become religions – or over enough time and members, become a political party – often propped up by a religion with the shared vlaues and ideas.

Cleanliness is an idea that is dangerous when religion and politics align.

Cleanliness is next to godliness plus political ideology becomes less about washing your hands and more about ethnic cleansing the gene pool.

Whereas, cleanliness remains merely hygiene when you do not escalate it to a divine rule to be imposed on everyone else.

  • Hygiene = physically clean
  • Hygiene + Divine authority + political power = genocide

So, accepting claims that have no basis, logic or evidence lead to terrible outcomes for everyone else. That is the eventual result of ideological groups voting for like minded politicians.

The USA has had their secular society co-opted by this very process under George W Bush – who has prevented a lot of actually humanitarian work being funded around the globe by restricting funding to christian ideological groups and by the longer term endorsement of these same groups within the US society – for example – court ordered attendance at Alcholic Anonymous – which is basically an attempt to shift the addict from alchohol to god/AA meetings.

Seriously, let’s not pretend that AA isn’t religious.

But, back to perception – when you are open minded, you are still considering information and haven’t formed a position. The open mind is a mind that has yet to be decided.

Decided mind is when you’ve deemed that you’ve had enough data and made a decision. However, you are still open to new data that could change it – that’s open minded.

Closed minded is when you’ve decided something (god is real, unicorns exist, I was alien abducted last night) and no other information or lack of information is going to change that decision.

Of course, we’re not open, un/decided, or closed minded on all matters all at the same time. Which is why we grow and change our views over our lifetime and experiences.

If we’re lucky, we can learn and make decisions based on what other people have done or experienced – and this is often conveyed through fiction, art, or non-fiction or pure research.

But basing your decisions on a more limited data set – I beleive what I was raised to beleive – is merely to repeat the experience of the parents and not to change or, in fact, grow up and be a fully formed adult in any meaningful sense.

This is why godbots, to the atheist, appear a child aping their partents – because they are.

And godbots, childishly aping their parents whom they percieve as adults, take offense – since they must be adults since they act like their parents who aped their parents – don’t see themselves for the children that they truly are.

This is why deferring to ancient vague authority – whether it’s for the religion of earlier generations or because ancient shamans and healers used the bark to cure headaches that we now make aspirin out of is harmful.

We cannot cling to how things used to be done – we do not live in that world anymore.

The way that people did things decades, centuries and milenia ago are not solutions for the era when the problems of those practises are where we are now.

We cannot keep doing things as a society and expect the same result – it’s collective insanity.

This is why we have to have the advancement of human rights – to correct the prejudice of the past.

This is why we have to have medical advances – we cannot keep treating illnessess with the same treatments that are shown to not work (AA for example)  or do not work better than placebos (alternative treatments ) or do not work on the core problem and only manage symptoms.

To be open minded, is to embrace change and the unknown as change and unknown.

To have pre-conceptions is why the observer taints whatever is observed.

And that taint is conformation bias – which, everyone is guilty of when we only seeks or give merit to information that confirms what we already know.

Tricky, when we can’t really know what it is that we think that we know.

You know?

3 thoughts on “Perception of Open mindedness

  1. Pingback: Game Changers « Random Ntrygg

  2. AA works no better than 5% by their own internal report done in the 1990’s and that they now suppress.

    Because 5% is the same result as people who give it a go on their own.

    AA is against the use of anti-addition drugs – like the anti-depressant Wellbutrin which had the bonus of blocking the reward centres of the brain for addictive substances.

    AA is also a religious program – which taxpayer money should not be supporting or be court ordered treatment in a secular, democratic society.

    Further, it was invented in the 1930s and it’s never been changed, except to replace the word god with higher power – as if it makes it not religious.

    Second, AA does not make the person responsible – it in fact entrenches the victimhood.

    You are not helpless unless you submit to a higher power – and merely apoliogizing to those you have hurt is still not really taking responsibility for your actions – just seeking forgiveness for the outcome.

    Unless a person really wants to change, then nothing to is going to make them change.

    And, if they really want to change, then, by being accountable and responsible to themselves – they will.

    THis is why AAis only 5% successful and these would have been without AA

    So, trading one addiction (substances) for another (meetings) is no better than going from being addicted to drugs to the “lesser” addications of alcohol.

    If AA is going to be a court ordered and tax supported treatment – then it needs to be sujected to the same scrutiny and oversight as other government funded treatment programs and it should have to demonstrate results, audited and verified by third parties.

    As it is now, it is government sponsored religion.

  3. Thought provoking post, Random. I don’t have any use at all for the alternative medicine crowd, less and less as our understanding of biology improves. I’m almost ready to forgive the medical profession for the anti-masturbation hysteria and circumcision/clitorectomy craze, female hysteria cures, colostomy craze, blood letting, lobotomy and other horrors of medical history. But much as I dislike the abdication of personal responsibility and turning everything over to a “higher power” demanded by AA, I thought it was really the only thing that does work for most drunks. I don’t think it works because of the godbot ideology, but more because of the peer pressure and creation of a culture that supports and encourages sobriety, as opposed to a culture that celebrates binge drinking. I have a close relative who was headed for nights on a park bench under a newspaper, were it not for finally getting into AA after pretty much ruining his life and family connections. So it surprises me to hear you dis AA. Is AA all hype? Does it really not work? You got data? Or do you only see the failures and that has coloured your perceptions?

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