Friday, May 27, 2011

How to be open-minded

In a past blog I garnered this comment, "If any of you have an open mind, please check out this."  The obvious conclusion is that Christians are not open-minded.  Why do some atheists and skeptics assume that belief in the Christian worldview is closed-minded?  It seems that many who call themselves open-minded do so from an almost arrogant position.  It's like one does not need evidence, but it is safe to assume that the open-minded person (atheist/skeptic) somehow has it all figured out.

What does it mean to be open-minded? I would like to suggest 3 points to consider for those who choose to call themselves open-minded.
  1. The open-minded person is open to all evidence.
  2. The open-minded person does his/her own study.
  3. The open-minded person is only interested in truth.
Many times the Church is weak in its ability to be open-minded.  Too many Christians are not willing to do their own study and simply follow what they have been fed.  Atheism also falls victim to this same philosophy.  One of the charges of the New Atheists against those who hold religious beliefs is, "If you are born in India, you would be a Hindu; If you are born in the Middle-East you would be a Muslim; or If you are born into a Mormon family, you would be a Mormon."   Really?  Where is the evidence for truth in a statement like that! Richard Dawkins has made this claim before (and there is some validity to that type of argument), but isn't he offering nothing more than a red herring?  Those who make statements like this are in no way proving anything.

Ultimately, the truth question needs to be addressed.  Those with an open mind are willing to follow the evidence wherever it leads.  To be open-minded literally means to be impartial or receptive to new arguments.  If truth is absolute and objective, then one can weigh the evidence in order to decipher the correct worldview.  A truly open-minded individual cares not what others say or the direction of truth.  He/She will follow truth no matter where it takes them.  Are you willing to be open-minded or is that just an arrogant catch phrase to cover for your lack of evidence?


Faithful Thinkers said...

Very good post. I thought you might appreciate this post about the atheist's charge of a worldview being dependent upon the culture we grow up in.


Inspector Clouseau said...

Interesting; very interesting.

Arguably, the open-minded human challenges all assumptions everyday. Arguably, one who is sure of their position and reluctant to change his or her position is close-minded.

Interesting analysis on your part.

Andy Wrasman said...

Thanks for posting this Shelby.

I like the way you broke down what being "open-minded" should be.

I think anyone who throws the "close-minded" label at a Christian does so mostly because they don't like the exclusive claims of Christ. Although by doing, so they are becoming exclusive too, saying that the Christian worldview is wrong.

Logan Ginger said...

And if you were born into a 1st Century Jewish family you'd be a ... oh wait that's when Christianity started under persecution isn't it?