Information icon.svg Results for the 2023 RationalWiki Moderator Election have now been posted. Thank you for participating in this election, and congratulations to the winners!

Talk:Open mind

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Very well done Armondikov. SJ Debaser 19:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

quote from the UFO files[edit]

'It's good to keep an open mind,but not so open that your brains fall out!'--Thedoctor80 (talk) 15:22, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

As Tim Minchin adds, "unfortunately I didn't come up with it myself, I read it, erm, in a book. So to avoid copyright issues I've given it a sub-title, which is 'Take My Wife!'" Scarlet A.pngpathetic 16:13, 28 October 2010 (UTC)


Was just thinking about adding an extra section on open mindedness being about considering all possibilities, not just ones presented to you. So if asked to be open minded about something, you also simultaneously consider the things that you weren't asked about. For example someone tells you to be "open minded" about God (aka, the Christian one) so you immediately start considering, on an equal level, all forms of God, creators, alternative deities, religions and even the ones that haven't been mentioned yet (also known as the ones you've just made up). Not sure how to form that into an entire section, though. ADK...I'll loll your demon! 00:04, 21 October 2011 (UTC)

Is How many gods? useful as background information? Proxima Centauri (talk) 11:11, 26 June 2012 (UTC)


I've removed the quote attributed to Aristotle:

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

If you put it back, please add a reference to the work of Aristotle that is the source.--ZooGuard (talk) 10:25, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Some browsing lead me to this blog post, which seems to have found the source. Aristotle wrote something vaguely similar, but I guess the quote was made up for convenient soundbite purposes. (talk) 11:29, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, technically you can get around it by just putting "attributed to" in front of it (and it's a widely-enough quoted sentence to be worthwhile including in some form as a cquote). Aristotle may have said something similar, but it would have been in Greek. Obviously. So a soundbite translation into English could technically be correct. Sort of. Scarlet A.pnggnostic 11:32, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but it seems like he was talking more about how much accuracy one should attribute to inconclusive evidence...I think. The quote itself is still handy, at any rate. (talk) 11:38, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, obligatory. Scarlet A.pngsshole 12:54, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Refusing to entertain positions[edit]

"All that open mindedness requires is that one considers an idea or proposal and does not reject it outright before any considerations or evaluations are made." Suppose I receive an email from some far-right loony group with the subject line "Why Obama is wrong". If I don't read the email, am I being close minded? After all, Obama quite possibly could be wrong. I think this description needs to be refined. There are literally millions of ideas and proposals, and it would be impossible to consider all of them. Is it close minded to have heuristics about which to listen to?Fdof (talk) 00:31, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

That's a good point. Context counts: what happened with the email is that you had alternate cues as to the content of the letter. If perhaps, someone you did not know but also had no prior information about, in a more respectable setting than an anonymous email, said "Hm, I have some reasons why Obama is wrong, would you be willing to listen?" it would then make more sense to entertain them. You already know the far-right loony group that sent the email, so that is a clue as to the email's content: arguments you have already evaluated to be false. ±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRgoing galt: the literal crazy train 00:54, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Suppose you have little information either way about Obama or whether the group that forwards you the email is "loony". Then, yes, by refusing to read it you are being closed minded. Skipping over things you've already thought about should they not present something new isn't necessarily doing so, but steadfast isolation from an opposing view or new information is. I don't see how the line in the article doesn't imply that, as it refers to entertaining an idea or proposal, not each individual instance of it. Scarlet A.pngbomination 08:31, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Cearly written by people who have spent too much time on the internet arguing with idiots[edit]

Clearly. Nullahnung (talk) 16:10, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Obviously. Scarlet A.pngbomination 13:23, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
When I want to argue with an idiot, I talk to myself. --Scherben (talk) 17:54, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
'The tubes' suggest two meanings for 'Cearly.'
And where should we go to argue with 'idiots'? Anna Livia (talk) 19:20, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
This discussion had to be necro'd... why? --It's-a me, Lgm sigpic.png 🎄LeftyGreenMario!🎄(Mod) 20:29, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
What is 'necro'd'? Anna Livia (talk) 15:48, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Anna Livia Necro'd means that someone added a comment to a discussion that had not seen any recent activity (i.e. bringing a dead discussion back to life). CowHouse (talk) 04:34, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
But I was not the first in this revival. Anna Livia (talk) 10:39, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Nobody said you were. CowHouse (talk) 11:20, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I once borrowed a book that had a last return-date stamp 12 years previously. Beat that. Anna Livia (talk) 16:50, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
The Dead Sea Scrolls --Scherben (talk) 16:16, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
Reference documents don't count :) Anna Livia (talk) 16:25, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Open mindedness[edit]

Does open mindedness mean that I should listen to the other side, even when they are like radical right-wing nationalists, anti-vaxxers etc. and try to understand their points?

I generally dismiss stuff that is nationalist, conservative, "alternative science", "America bad, Russia good" or "West is hypocritical, so Russia good" narratives or made anything said by Miroljub Petrović, Tim Pool, Balkan Info etc, like a total NPC. But that's not open minded.

ASerb (talk) 16:46, 13 February 2023 (UTC)

I think it's a question of balance - something which is, in fact, covered in the article.Bob"Life is short and (insert adjective)" 20:17, 13 February 2023 (UTC)
"Be open minded, but not so open minded that your brain falls out." Vee (talk) 20:19, 13 February 2023 (UTC)