i often pride myself on being open-minded but i came across this quote the other day and it got me thinking…
if you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it
the dictionary defination of open-minded is being receptive to new and different ideas or the opinions of others. this can often be detrimental to one’s health especially mental. it means that you actually have to listen to the ideas and opinions of insane people before you make up your mind what you believe about the issue. if you’re an opinionated git, you can skip that step and just stumble blindly onwards, knowing that you are right, regardless of what other people think.
take your good old-fashioned racists. how simple life must be for them. black people are less than human and don’t count and should be gotten rid of. simple. they don’t even have to argue their case or listen to alternatives because their mind is made up and that’s that. same for creationists. flat earthers. alien conspiracy theorists and sarah palin. the bliss of ignorance.
if you are, and i’m sure you are because you are reading this, like me, undecided on some things, curious about other people, willing to change your mind, open to being proved wrong, you will have to suffer being inundated with off-the-wall, crazy, stupid, disgusting and sometimes, downright dangerous thoughts and ideas of others.
for example, i had to actually go (forced to you understand) and look into the flat earth society, to find out what they’re on about. This is from the Guardian interview with the president daniel shenton:
The Earth is flat, he argues, because it appears flat. The sun and moon are spherical, but much smaller than mainstream science says, and they rotate around a plane of the Earth, because they appear to do so.
Inevitably, Shenton’s argument forces him down all kinds of logical blind alleys – the non-existence of gravity, and his argument that most space exploration, and so the moon landings, are faked. But, while many flat Earthers have problems with the idea of orbiting satellites, Shenton navigates the London streets using GPS. He was also happy to fly from the US to Britain, but says an aircraft that flew over the Antarctic barrier would drop from the sky, and from the planet.
according to conspiracy theorists, man has not landed on the moon, aliens built the pyramids, paul mcartney died decades ago and was replaced by a look-alike, the jews/jesuits/(insert group of your choice) are planning to take over the world. and so on, ad infinitum.
advice for myself: stop surfing the internet looking at other opinions on issues (especially lunatic fringe and right-wing nutjob sites). they are bad for my health. start thinking nice thoughts about harmony and rainbows and everyone just getting along.
have a good weekend…