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What is an "open mind," and what is it’s purpose?

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Akolouthos View Drop Down
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  Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: What is an "open mind," and what is it’s purpose?
    Posted: 28-Feb-2006 at 19:59

Open-mindedness is possibly one of the most openly promoted traits in western intellectual society (here I am not trying to be exclusionary--it's just that I, as a westerner, can only speak to what I know). What is the definition of this broadly interpreted term? What are the fruits of possessing an open mind? How does having an open mind help/hinder historical discussion? Above all, what is its purpose?

Have fun .

-Akolouthos

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2006 at 21:27
It doesn't really mean anything, its what someone asks the other to have or do when they disagree with them.
At least, that is what experience as taught me.
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  Quote Mila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2006 at 22:22
To me it means being capable of laying aside your experience - everything from family traditions to education to culture - in order to look at a situation and examine it from several points of view other than your own; if you're actually able to some extent understand the position of others, and how they arrive at this position, then you have an open mind.
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  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Feb-2006 at 22:44

It means being able to question what you know, and entertain other opinions and views even if you disagree with them.  It doesn't necessarily mean you have to accept it, just consider it.  If you're left wing, and you hate the rightists, but entertain the fact that they could be right for the sake of discussion and contemplation, that makes you open-minded.  In the end though you could come to the conclusion that you hate them even more, but you'd be open-minded nevertheless.

As Cywr said, it's most common use today is "why can't you be more open-minded and agree with me!?"

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  Quote Perseas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 07:27
It means simply the ability to adopt and respect what other people say, plus to allow yourself understanding what they mean. The benefits of this, is that you can examine different thinking patterns and enrich your own.

Edited by Perseas
A mathematician is a person who thinks that if there are supposed to be three people in a room, but five come out, then two more must enter the room in order for it to be empty.
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  Quote Halevi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 07:40

It is to not dismiss an idea or point of view just because it isn't compatible with your current set of beliefs.


Edited by Halevi
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  Quote Akolouthos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 15:15

I agree with everyone who has posted here to a certain extent. I do feel that "be open minded" is something that we say to often when we mean "agree with me"--a value that we want others to show solely in deference to our own opinions. I also believe, as many of you do, that in a more pure form it entails trying to seperate your opinions from your identities--a process that can never, I feel, be perfected, but which we must try to engage--and to try to understand where others are coming from even when you disagree with them. Someone, I forget who, once said something like this: "The purpose of opening the mind is to shut it, once again, on something more true."

-Akolouthos

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Mila View Drop Down
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  Quote Mila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 15:22
I don't think you really have to agree with them.

Like, for me... I can understand terrorists. I know
what's it like to feel so abused by a specific people
that you can look at them - even a smiling, pregnant
woman with her other baby girl in her arms on a park
bench...and you can honestly believe she's doing it
just to spite you, just to torture you because she
knows - because of her people - you can't do that. I
can understand the feeling of just wanting to hurt
them, inflict as much misery and death and
destruction as you possibly can and
feeling...thrilled...proud, therapeutic-ized...to be able
to do it.

That doesn't mean I agree with it. But I understand it.
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  Quote morticia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Mar-2006 at 15:35
I agree with Mila...you don't have to agree with them, but you can have an open mind to listen to the other person's views on any subject matter.
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Trust in God: She will provide." -- Emmeline Pankhurst
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  Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 15:19

Open minded: everyone can think; everyoane can talk; everyone can make a choice; everyone can make a stand; anyone can be "wrong".

Those who are on ground zero might set aside their diferences

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  Quote Quetzalcoatl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Mar-2006 at 23:38

 

Open-mindedness as oppose to narrow-mindedness, it is a state of the mind where one considers all possibilities that he/she encounters without immediate discrimination.

Being open-minded is not always a good characteristic, sometime it pays for one to immediately discriminate against certain possibilities (self-preservation issue comes to mind) and not allow the mind to be poisoned by conflicting possibilities. But on a long term basis, open-mindedness is always preferable to narrow-mindedness. However, Narrow-mindedness and open-mindedness aren't two separate, discrete states of the mind, they do coexist at time and both are necessarily for the survival and evolution of an individual. But being too narrow-minded makes one less flexible, adaptable a person and more disaster prone.

Freud speaking

 

 

 



Edited by Quetzalcoatl
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