19 4

Closed-mindedness... not just religions

Does it dawn on you, your value system, that "being very sure" (to the exclusion of doubt, further consideration) of anything is identical to the quality/condition of being absolutely adamant re religious beliefs? Seems to me that folks who would identify w/ the facts, attitudes, methods... of science, be forever tentative, even a bit cynical if considering the affective domain... Realize that all sensation has subjective elements... we can/only sense what we can, our perceptions lag and are only successive approximations to what is there.

BobFenner 7 Dec 25

Post a comment Reply Add Photo

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


you can never rationalize perception in humans


I believe that religion in some cases is virtually indistinguishable from delusion. Beliefs are by definition are entirely faith based. I believe that if I work for an employer that they will pay me. After all, that is the law in most cases. Should that employer fail to deliver and I continue working for them in the belief that my payday will come I would rightfully be considered crazy. In the case of religion it's tough to say how long is too long to wait for that payout. Some say it's till death. Others till an undetermined point in the future. Others still say the time is now. Who knows?


I sense this is one of those thinly disguised arguments against outspoken non believers. If you are definite about what is not proven then you are being close-minded. As non believers have muscled up over recent years in confronting religion, this has been used against us. It comes down to intellectual rigour; anything might be true, but in the absence of evidence then it's just speculation. Speculate all you want, but don't weep on my cookies about how much you want to believe and how sincere you are. Come back when you've got some evidence. Believe in God? Where's your evidence? Jesus was son of God? Where is the historical, artefact and archeological evidence? Believe aliens visit the earth? Interesting idea. Where is the conclusive proof of that? No? Well keep looking. It's not close-mindedness to reject these things. It's consistent rigorous human thinking. And the world needs more of it, not less.


Being open minded does not mean being so open that your brains fall out.

I would attribute this but I suffer from CRS.


There is a related issue that today's problem of balkanized news sources and separate demographic paradigm bubbles has led to a lot of people insisting every opinion is equally valid and equally deserving of respect. College professors in the social sciences are increasingly complaining of their students getting furious and utterly insulted-feeling when they are called out on their made up factual statements. "Open-minded does not mean "willing to accept everything at face value." Factual integrity still matters.


I absolutely agree with the post. That is actually the main reason I embrace the label of " agnostic atheist." However, it is worth emphasizing the vital difference between the adjectives "open-minded" and "gullible." We should always try to apply critical thinking skills to evidence presented to us. I don't mean that anyone here suggested otherwise, but it still seems to need defending. Exhibit A is the "intelligent design" fake science that tries to fabricate or twist evidence to suit their agenda, rather than respecting actual scientific methodologies and rigorous peer review that is an essential part of science.


There seems to be a direct relationship of those who are "strict" atheists with those who know the least about Science!!! Those involved in actual research in almost any field will find within each discovery a thousand new mysteries. Sadly, you won't find many here because they are too busy discovering the truth, the facts of their areas of study...and have no time or desire to harass and nitpick with others about a myriad of subjects perhaps related, but not limited, to their research.

They also go on about Science!!! as if it were the end-all, be-all of all human knowledge. "Sorry, folks. Move along. No unknowns here. I'm using the sum total of everything we'll ever know to dispute everything you think there possibly could be."

Remember, we who don't know everything are a great annoyance to those who do!


Science is built on probabilities whereas religion is built on faith. If something has a probability of 98% because it has been tested repeatedly and the tests have been verified I feel justified in believing that something. The religious believe as Hebrews says "Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." If you believe in something hoped for and that you never saw evidence for, that's closed-mindedness. If you believe in something that has repeatedly been tested and verified by many people that is accepting evidence. I go with the evidence.

gearl Level 7 Dec 25, 2017

Granted. But what of the many many questions science has not answered yet? 98% certainly sounds great but most areas of study are not that well concluded.

@BenPike Two hundred years ago science had answered very little. Now a multitude of questions have been answered. We have technology that I am using at this second to discuss this subject with you. That came from science as is everything that modern society uses to survive. What is one thing that religion has proven in the last two hundred years? What one advancement in knowledge can be attributed to religion? When science cannot answer a question scientists will say, I don't know but we're working on it. Religion tends to act like they already know all the answers while attacking science because they don’t as yet know everything. Only one side is working on it. In the end when you need help with your health or your car or flying to Tokyo, who ya gonna ask?

@gearl I never meant to compare the two. Steve Jobs and Jerry Falwell don't have the same careers. One was an innovator and the other a vulture in guise.


Science can easily be refuted with newer evidence or theories. It's harder to prove if there's a god or no god. The further we evolve in science, the closer we come to refuting religion/existence of any deity whatsoever.

Not sure I believe that. The further we delve into the intricacies of the universe and space, the more we discover that we do not know.

Well, more millennials are becoming secular now. (I did) They're learning more about science and the absurdities of religion. The more remains we find of humans before jesus' time, that can prove there never really were biblical times. We've have never found the Garden of Eden, any evidence that people wandered the desert for 40 years, etc...

I'm speaking of religion, not space.

There are several theist sects who believe, as well as we agnostics who accept the possibility, science may at some time "prove" their god(dess)es)s.

I consider the most likely Pantheism but in the end I don't care. Too many possibilities, so little time.


Science allows for (even demands) corrections of possible mistakes/misinterpretations. Religions? Not so much.

Some religions are less dogmatic than others.


"Believing" in science is not a "value system." A value system is a set of ideas about morality/what is ethical. Science does not deal with what is ethical; that is for philosophy, religion, and cultural mores. Accepting the tenets of science is not the same as having religious beliefs. When scientific theories are disproven, most will accept the evidence. A theory is not the same as a belief, or it is not within the scientific community.

@Kreig Yes, but my point is the "value system." As to how often it is used like a magical sword, I dunno. Do you mean that scientists are locked into dogma, as the original post implied, or that it is used as a panacea to answer all questions? I have known atheists who are as fundamentalist as are Christians, but I cannot see that science is used as a "magical" weapon. Can you give an example? Perhaps I misunderstand.

@Kreig But using "science" to back up unfounded claims of prejudice, etc., is not truly science. it is, at best, pseudoscience. I was sitting in a McD's one day and a guy was telling the kid sweeping the floor that the ink in tattoos got into the bloodstream and killed people. He cited a young person whom he knew who had many tattoos and just dropped dead of a heart attack because the ink poisoned his bloodstream. The "science" was that toxic substances in the blood can kill a person; the problem was that the guy had concocted the "scientific" theory himself. I didn't know him from Adam, but as he was talking loudly, I told him that his theory was rubbish and asked for studies to prove it. Of course, he had none. When a scientific theory/opinion is put forth, it must be back with research and study, and not research by Aunt Martha or biased people, i.e. the "study" done on the brains of blacks that concluded blacks had smaller brains than whites and therefore, not as smart. The study was,of course, also rubbish. A theory is only as reliable as the person who theorizes. For centuries, women were considered the inferior sex, and it was based on "science," and people still hold on to those ideas even though they have been disproved. Go figure.

@Kreig And that is why I will continue to call people out when they make outlandish claims. I am an English teacher, not a science teacher, but my students have to support their claims with reliable sources. It is amazing how asking people in public places to provide support can take the air our of their sails.


Yes. I think that's the proper attitude of a scientist (or anyone who wants to always be getting closer to the truth).

skado Level 8 Dec 25, 2017

There are things we can know that are not built on perception or belief. For example the laws of modus ponens and modus tollens. To hold those as facts enables the consideration of much else, whereas to hold those as questionable stymies reason and thought.


I echo the same sentiments as already voiced before me in this thread. Human limitations may be a bitch, but we've only got what we've got - at least for now.

Zster Level 8 Dec 25, 2017

Our limits may suggest that we are not equipped for certain tasks. We maybe better off leaving them alone, for now, rather than using a steam roller to fold a sheet.


I am a pessimist in most situations, I expect the worst, so if I am wrong, that is a good thing. The same with what I believe to be true, if I am wrong, I am wrong, if I find I am wrong, I have learned something.


All religious "true believers" are, by definition, closed minded. But, the same is also true for true believers in any political or economic ideology.


I so not choose to associate with closed minded people.

You and me both. They’re childish.


It is simply a question of perspective, rather than certainty; I shall not conduct my life according to that which is not supported by some amount of evidence since it may be wasted effort.

There is much which our senses are thoroughly incapable of telling us, that is why scientists do not rely upon perception if any other means of measurement is possible.


I agree completely. To me, being sure of something means accepting it as a good working hypothesis. I might act as if I believe something to be true, but I'm open to changing my mind if need be.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:10602
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.