I remember back in my southern baptist days when I'd hear religious talk from a catholic or someone jewish or mormon or 7th day adventist or even pentecostal I'd immediately throw up a barrier of disbelief. The one I'd been taught to put up by my religious elders. No reason to even pay attention to them - or so I was told in Odessa and OKC.
Later, as my eyes opened and I left that belief system, I figured out that those other beliefs had just as much of a basis in reality as my own. None. But to the extent that my own fellowship had any positive effects then so might their own. I dropped my barrier of mistrust, learned about them, and found they all share similar goals. The differences are just in the mythos and rituals ... attributable to their histories and geographic/cultural influences. I actually found benefits and positive influences emanating from all as well as a variety of empirical data for study. But I had to get past that barrier first.
I've noticed a similar barrier with many people on this site. I understand skepticism given the influence and lies of evangelicals from the past. But it's still important to learn the basis behind many of those views in order to see if they have anything to offer. We all only sense and experience a miniscule portion of reality and are expected to build our universe based upon it. Our view is not only just one angle, it may not even be the right one. It's important to learn the others.
Case in point - psychology. Despite our supposedly "advanced" western medicine, our history researching and developing mental health tools and data is painfully shallow. We're relying mostly upon data and efforts conducted just over the last 100 years or so. In comparison, psychological exploration into the mind and thought development has been going on in the Indus Valley (India, Pakistan et al) for over 2,000 years. So it should come as no surprise that current mental health efforts include a new emphasis on meditation and relaxation techniques developed there. Same illustration with chinese accupressure - now accepted as a treatment option by the AMA. But many psych experts had to be dragged into this new era due to those same mental barriers.
It's called being "close-minded". Thinking that YOU know everything there is to know about a subject such that other sources couldn't shed any light or present any new information. I see a ton of it here and it's disconcerting. Calling someone else's theory on a scientific topic "woo" or some other derogatory term without even diving into the context is foolhardy and, frankly, naive. We dismissed shaman and tribal elder's stories as fairy tale rubbish and we paid dearly. CFC's were indeed hurting the ozone. DDT was in fact causing weaknesses in raptor eggshells and leading to dwindling numbers of bald eagles. Lead shot is certainly ingested by birds and other fauna leading to death. The village chieftain who had huts burned due to curses along the Ebola river in Zaire had a valid reason for his actions and empirical data to show his remediation was necessary and effective. You have to investigate the different views to gather what you can from it. It may be good material. You'll never know if you never try.
Same here with other ideas such as history, social evolution, or even the basis behind secular belief systems such as buddhism, jainism, or advaita vedanta (monism). We're not talking about deity worship. We're talking about attempts by different cultures to explain the universe around them. Just because someone sees something from a different viewpoint doesn't mean they are wrong. You actually have to engage and learn about it to see if it has any truth. And given the gaps in our understanding it would be wise to entertain all possible options or views.
I remember it wasn't too long ago that we were told all humans were basically the same genetically - all coming from homo sapiens. To even entertain a differing thought was frowned upon and would get you fired from public venues ... such as Jimmy the Greek on CBS. We now know that there were different hominids that populated the earth and led to present-day man: homo sapiens, homo neandertalus, homo denisovan, homo florensis, homo erectus, and 2 more ghost mtDNA contributors we have yet to identify. We know these all existed due to genetic sequencing. We are all NOT the same. But we let barriers block our learning in the past. Much like close-minded people do here today.
Don't be the dummy who misses out on an opportunity to possibly learn something new due to prejudice.