Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Fallacy of the Open Mind

Today I ran across an SUV with a bunch of lefty bumper-stickers, which in itself is pretty funny, but, in addition to the usual Obama campaign stickers and the “I’m already against the next war” BS, there was this gem: “Minds are like parachutes, they only function when open.”
It’s always so hilarious when I see some lefty talking about the importance of having an open mind, because they’re usually some of the most closed minded people you’ll ever meet. Every time I hear a lefty use the phrase “Keep an open mind”, it’s always in the advancement of their own beliefs. I’ve yet to see a hard core lib keep an open mind when confronted by ideas that conflict with their own beliefs. In their world, open-minded means liberal, and closed-minded means conservative.
Adding to this, they don’t seem to understand that there are times when it’s appropriate to have an open mind, and times when it’s not. Being open minded is fine when you’re approaching a question for the first time. It allows you to gather as much information as possible before you make a decision. At some point, though, you do have to make a decision, and at that point, your mind is no longer open on the issue. You’ve decided. You’ve weighed all the evidence, and come to a conclusion that fits with what you know about the universe around you. That’s not a bad thing.
Unfortunately, if the decision you’ve come to doesn’t match the lefty world view, you’re viewed as closed-minded, in a negative sense, as if you’ve just made a knee-jerk reaction without thinking things through. Their underlying assumption seems to be that anyone who gives their ideas a fair hearing will automatically see the superiority of their beliefs and convert to them, post haste. They simply can’t seem to understand that people of good conscience can come to different conclusions about the same problem in good faith. It’s like they know that THEY’RE trying to do the right thing, therefore, anyone who disagrees with them must have more sinister motivations. They seem to have developed a very simplistic us=good, everyone else=bad belief system.
Didn’t they criticize President Bush as having a Manichean view of good and evil? Is that an example of irony, or just projection?