I am tired of people who claim that they are the ones that have an 'open mind' just because they have a belief in something unsupported (and generally disproved) by science like homeopathy, UFO/alien visits, psychic ability, god etc
Firstly, just because you believe in things and have convinced yourself these things are true, does NOT in any way make you open minded. To be truly open minded, one must go out of their way to understand the very best arguments/evidence for and against, and then form an opinion without bias or prejudice, reserving the right to change ones mind, agian, based on sufficient overwhelming evidence.
I hear many debaters on the side of the skeptics like myself such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins use the phrase
'I like to be open minded, just not so open minded that my brains fall out'.
Massive respect to Dawkins and Hitchens, however, a better way of putting it for me would go like this
'I am open minded, but its being open minded that makes me not believe in the nonsense you believe in'
Lets take away the 'open minded' label away from believers of nonsense, and lets adopt it ourselves. Being open minded is a good thing
"Open-minded" means you accept evidence that meets basic standards of evidence when it is presented to you. "Closed minded" means you reject such evidence, or refuse to ever look at it at all, because you already have pet ideas that meet lower or no standards of evidence.
"Open-minded" doesn't mean you accept weird ideas willy-nilly for fear of looking bad in the eyes of people who don't know how to think, much less evaluate claims and evidence.
If you are open minded, you will look at something like homeopathy, science, philosophy, UFO, psychics, or gods and think, ok this might have some accuracy. Then you look at the evidence, both for and against and make a determination based on that. People who are open minded may believe in a false conviction, but it won't be for long. Anyone who picks up a new idea fast can lose it just as quickly if it doesn't provide any benefit.
Being open minded means that when someone initiates a conversation with you about a topic on which you have already made up your mind, you are open to actually listening to what they have to say, instead of saying I already have that all figured out.
Being open minded means actually listening to opposing points of view. Not accepting them, just considering what the other person is actually saying instead of your memory of everything that's been said about it before.
When you realize that they're regurgitating nonsense then you're well within your limits to close the door mentally and say okay I've had enough of that already thought about that.
But, when all someone has to do is bring up a topic that you think you already have figured out, before you have any idea where they're going or what they have to say, you jump on them with this emotional tirade of you're an idiot you're beneath me I know it all, that's close-mindedness.
Open-mindedness is mostly a myth.
Nobody really has an open mind, everyone has his or her basic assumptions, presuppositions, framing beliefs...
We only differ in the degree our minds are closed or biased or blinkered.
Intelligent and educated people are just better at finding reasons why their gut feelings and their assumptions are correct.
For me, being "open minded" means accepting verified truths and believing scientific theories until they are unproven. It also means not jumping on any "bandwagon" of probable bull shit, yet, being able, if proof appears, to say, well, damn, that really works, I didn't expect that.
Ie: if a group of angels appear and start doing Angel shit I will give it some possibility (I'm more inclined to believe another doubtful reason such as genetically enhanced humans first, though)
I see where you want to go, but to me it seems your closing statement is closed minded.
For me, being open minded means that you assess ideas based on their merits/evidence. You may discount an idea because there isn't sufficient evidence to change your point of view. You may accept the idea in parts or in whole, but you are willing to listen to the idea and your form your opinion after hearing it and assessing.
Its the idea that someone can see all the sides of an argument/situation and understand why each side arrived at that intersection. All this input may cause a change in how/what that person walks away with.
Its the basic that my current answer may not be correct amd that tomorrow even laws of physics could be upended by some new discovery.
As I said in the beginning I understand where you want to go and I value that opinion, but I respectfully don't see it suading me to discount an idea because it may be odd.
I dated two black men in my 20s. And had a fabulous black lover in my 50s.
In my 20s, had a ménage à trois with another woman and a man. It was a blast, all night long. Last year, I set up another threesome, and the guy I was dating chickened out. His loss.
At the University of Michigan, I looked for a jazz class. Joined Jazz Workshop in the Afro-American Studies Department. I had the only white face. On Fridays, we played gigs. With every song, each student had to play an improvisational jazz solo. It was fun! Played with them for two years.
"Kathleen Miller!" I heard a few years later, running down a trail at the University of Washington. In graduate school, I was rushing to get to work.
Turning, there was the tall, freckled black professor of Jazz Workshop at the University of Michigan. I stopped and waited for him to catch up.
"How did you remember my name?" I asked.
"Think about it," he replied and smiled.
He said I was the only white student who had the guts to join Jazz Workshop in 20 years. I dated him for a while, but he wasn't really my type. He liked it when I wore a dress. He was too old for me.
Also, I married a Latino man. Our daughter is half-Latino and half white.
How's that for being open-minded?
Being 'Open Minded' does not require believing more things. I think it does require examining as many things as is appropriate to your situation.
A mathematician/professor/author many years ago wrote one of my favourite lines:
.....Do not believe anything, but question only what is worth questioning.
-- George Polya
Nobody has the time and energy to rigorously examine everything they come across. But no idea rates your attention and that of your associates until it's been vetted appropriately.
I remember thinking as a christian that I was open minded... open to the holy spirit leading and guiding, open to the truth of god, but In fact I was very close minded and convinced that I was right to follow god and that if ever something in the bible contradicted science or other information, that with time the bible would be proved right.
Now I look forward to learning new information especially when it changes how I think or live.
I think as non-believers we have to question our own beliefs and the beliefs of others in a gentle manner so that we all grow and learn
If you say you are open to something that doesn’t mean that you believe in it. All it means is that you have not rejected it. If you refuse to look at evidence for those things you mention then you have a closed mind. It’s much more rational to have an open mind. Lumping everything with which you disagree into one class is also irrational.
A question that comes to mind. Why does it bother you so much for people to hold interest in those things?
That sounds more like the definition of being a skeptic than open minded. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but they’re also not interchangeable. Sorry but no one on either side is automatically open minded. You don’t deserve a cookie for sticking to your convictions any more than they do. Believers/spiritual kooks don’t have a monopoly on open mindedness by any means, agreed, but neither do we. I see almost as much confirmation bias and myopia among skeptics as I did among the religious if I’m being honest, about myself included.
Anyone who’s anywhere near convinced they’ve got it figured out is full of shit. Moderation in all things, especially moderation. An open minded religious person is one who uses their belief introspectively to learn about themselves and others rather than judge, legislate and block scientific progress. An open minded skeptical person is one who uses their best sense and science to do the same, for everyone, not just those they automatically agree with. A closed minded person on either side uses what they know or think they know to tar everyone of the other persuasion with the same brush, exclude, and feel superior like you have here. I’m passionately anti theism myself, but this is not what openmindedness looks like from us any more than it was coming from them.