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Open minded
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K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Open minded on 09/22/2011 09:14:55 MDT Print View

No doubt that my understanding of what it means to be open minded is different than another person's. So what is it to you?
To me it means more than just be open to hear and read what one considers progressive. You are not open minded if you are only open to hear what your already believe in, no matter how much you think your beliefs are "open minded". The moment you close that door you now belong to those close minded people.
Any thoughts?

a b
The Lotus blossom on 09/22/2011 09:29:56 MDT Print View

Admitting you are wrong to other people is hard enough.. Admitting you are wrong to yourself is hardest of all.
This is the lesson I keep having to re-learn, over and over.
Every time I put my pride aside and allow my self to be vulnerable long enough to see another persons point of view, I learn something.
However, my time atop the high peak of wisdom is usually very short and i go right back to being a pig-headed, ignorant fool quickly enough.
People are crazy; some of us just hide it better than others.

Edited by Ice-axe on 09/22/2011 09:30:42 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Open minded vs. Conviction on 09/22/2011 09:32:33 MDT Print View

Depends what the issue is.

Freezerbag cooking vs. in the pot? Yeah, I can be very open minded and polite on that one.

Religious and racial persecution?
Sorry, my open mindedness and tolerance starts to quickly go out the window.

How does one reconcile maintaining an open mind (being willing to listen to and genuinely consider someone else's beliefs) with maintaining personal conviction to certain ideals?

For example, I have a very strong conviction that women should be treated with respect and equality. Do I have to maintain an open mind when someone argues the contrary based on their own philosophical/religious belief system? At what point do we say "Sorry, I cannot accept what you preach" and no longer feign tolerance?

Is being open minded simply being polite?

Are there behaviors and attitudes in this world that do not warrant polite, tolerant responses?

I certainly think so.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Open minded or polite on 09/22/2011 10:06:38 MDT Print View

Craig, I don't advocate tollerating prejudice, violence and the like. You probably have read my numerous replies to threads/ posts that I perceived to either imply or depict women being helpless/ needy/ weak/ whiny etc. If someone posts about a study on the difference in brain size and white/ grey matter between men and women, I would hopefully be able to discern if the post is meant as a slight, or as something interesting that warrants discussion. To say that any man that discusses brain size is a sexist pig....would be close minded.
By all means, let's let each other know we don't agree, but generalized, ignorant and offensive replies to what we don't like, don't help.
Most statements that start with "anybody that" , "every single" etc, are not a productive way to address an issue.
I am writing from an iPod, keep that in mind.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Recent thread on 09/22/2011 10:10:48 MDT Print View

As far the recent gun threads, that have prompted this one, I for one would like to know how many people on the trail carry, what they carry and why. Having that knowledge is just another way of preparing oneself for what could happen. I want to know about the dangers of being out there, including this one.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Open minded or polite on 09/22/2011 10:48:55 MDT Print View

It is PC thinking that everyone should get along - and agree on everything. It is human nature to have biases. Even the most "progressive" thinking person has them - often the biases is simply looking down at those below them - a perceived notion that those who are not as enlightened are not as intelligent or haven't grown enough.

If people don't disagree life would never change - change comes from people thinking out of the box. I'd rather live with some strife and obnoxious behavior than have everyone one get along - because why would we change if everything was perfect?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 10:56:25 MDT Print View

Nothing wrong with listening to others and seeing where they are coming from generally. Weighing the pros and cons of the recent guns threads in the context of a UL backpacking website, with users counting and weighing squares of toilet paper, or figuring ways to go without it, .... when every ounce and even gram is scrutinized, firearms will get looked over as a metal object, like carrying an iPad or tuba, but esp. in terms of risk (we're more likely to get hurt in a fall, via hypothermia, or a fatal insect sting than mauled by a griz or encounter the very, very rare backcountry criminal).

However, if it's common knowledge that some law-abiding hikers carry or there's lightweight hunting rifles available, that could confer a benefit to others who do not carry to deter that rare criminal. Make him even rarer. From the recent threads, it also may teach shooters not to be a hazard to others and properly deploy those weapons (more an issue to me while I'm mountain biking btw). Solution (IMO) is BPL have a separate lightwt gun/hunting/etc... forum (maybe add personal safety) as not to mix with the gram weighers and stridently antigun folks in 'Gear'.

With other issues, we might learn something .... or do the polar opposite. Just remember, if someone is truly your enemy, give their kids a drum set for Christmas..

(My 2 centavos worth)

Edited by hknewman on 09/22/2011 14:21:53 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Open minded on 09/22/2011 10:58:26 MDT Print View

And maybe on a side note....I'll talk about my own blatant bias in life. I don't just hate, I literally despise organized religion. I had so much crammed in me as a child that I am all full up on wack-ville for the rest of my life. If there is a God, we are good to go. I made my peace with the nuts years ago. My bias is I will NOT talk religion - I don't want to hear how Jesus saved a person's life, or that I could be a better person if I let God in my life or anything connected to religion. I shut down and tune people out.

Since I was 18 I have been in my now dead families church for 6 funerals. I only went out of respect. I am polite and those who know my well enough from when I was a child/teen know better than to ever, ever talk religion with me. I have one Aunt left alive in the church, should she die I will attend hers. But needless to say at every funeral the men in the church come onto my husband like flies on manure and he isn't rude but tells them to leave us alone.

I am not open minded on that subject. It doesn't make me rude though - I am very polite and shut people down. And yeah, it is the main reason I live in a private community so I cannot be bothered by religious folks.

I don't want to hear others beliefs on religion. I am OK with being close minded though on that. Grow up in a cult and you will understand.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Open minded on 09/22/2011 12:59:43 MDT Print View

A post about guns AND religion in the same BPL thread!?!?! Now all we need is a political post and we will have the trifecta!!


Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Open minded on 09/22/2011 13:06:25 MDT Print View

I think there is a fine line between open mindedness, and political correctness. I take that back, I think what most people consider being open minded is only that if those beliefs/ideas/concepts have filtered first thru veil of PC, and passed that sniff test, thus proving a higher intelligence. I do resent the sometimes feeling anymore that being open minded means you must abandon your personal convictions, and that they are wrong. I will also admit that I find myself increasingly bigoted towards stupid people, but I'm also getting older and becoming more of a jerk, so maybe that's related. As much of an a-hole as I have been lately, I'm almost hoping I have some brain disorder to blame it on.'s really hard to be open minded.

And if you ever see me on a trail, Kat, I will not be carrying. Catch me in town, and you'll make money in the long run by taking the over.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Open minded on 09/22/2011 13:08:45 MDT Print View

Won't happen Ryan. Everyone knows it's Bush's fault.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: Open minded on 09/22/2011 13:13:10 MDT Print View

"I had so much crammed in me as a child that I am all full up on wack-ville for the rest of my life."

Well, that would explain the guns.


Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 13:18:43 MDT Print View

@ Kat P.

To help answer your question about how many folks carry guns on the trail, I think it's the vast minority really. Part of that may depend on region though. I suspect that out West it will be less than here in the South because of cultural differences - we give newborns revolvers here in TN :) I have carried while hiking before, but only on rare occasion when my family comes along. We have a one year old and a three year old and so the protective father comes out in me. Even though probably not necessary.

As to open mindedness - I think a lot people are only open minded to the issues that they don't care much about or don't hold near to their heart. Things like politics, religion, caring for the environment - no one is going to change my mind on those. Things like best vacation destination, sure let's talk about it. If that makes me wrong or shallow I can live with that.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 13:24:40 MDT Print View

Throw in open minded about global warming

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 13:32:12 MDT Print View

Ryan: "Things like politics, religion, caring for the environment - no one is going to change my mind on those."

That is your choice, but I am not even sure what that means. a political party, a few basic rights, your freedoms..? your freedom to practice it or not, the idea that you practice the right one and no one else, the idea that you let morality guide your decisions in life, the idea that morality and religion are the same thing, like what?
Caring for the environment...Like you want to preserve what we have, make it better, learn how you actually impact it vs how you think you impact it, etc?

No one can change your mind, but you could change your mind, depending on what happens to you, what you learn etc....and if one is so set and certain, what is the threat of others talking about their beliefs?
There really aren't too many beliefs, beyond not hurting anyone, that I am not willing to re evaluate.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Open Minded on 09/22/2011 13:32:37 MDT Print View

Some people seem to be more open minded than others. Maybe it has to do with our own innate character? For example... are we the naturally curious sort? Those who are may be more open minded without even thinking about it. Or are we the type who feel comfortable that we've got the world (and humanity) all figured out already? Then we may be 'naturally' more closed minded.

But innate character aside, I think we all can learn to be less judging of others -- regardless of whether we have our own minds made up or not. We can't pretend to be more curious than we really are (not continually anyway) -- but we can learn to be more respectful of others! The latter is something that I struggle with (but hope to master someday).

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 13:56:28 MDT Print View


Without opening a huge thread on my beliefs on each of those three topics, the important thing to take away from it is that on those things only I can/will change my mind. No threat in talking about those issues with others, I *love* talking about all three actually. However, in order for me to change my beliefs on topics such as those it's going to take some soul searching on my part and not a casual conversation with a friend.

I can still be open minded in the sense of understanding why someone takes the position that they do and not condemning them for it. Although, that may be more tolerance than anything else.


Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Open mindedness on 09/22/2011 15:06:16 MDT Print View

Open mindedness, for me, is trying to see the merit in the position of another side. Unfortunately, many of our deep beliefs (religion, politics, ads on BPL, etc) are set so tightly that even a barrage of reasoning from the other camp won't change anything. That's simply human nature.

For example:

You could sit me in a room with 100 Republicans for a month, lobbying their political stance, and I can pretty much guarantee that I won't walk out of that room a Republican. That doesn't mean I wouldn't be open minded to some of their ideas, and actually agree with them on select items, but as the Republican party as a whole stands right now, there is little that I can find common ground with. I wouldn't change my belief system simply to stay "open minded."

However, that doesn't make me closed minded because I didn't convert. It would, however, be closed minded to stick my fingers in my ears and sing "LALALALALA I CANT HEAR YOU" for that entire month.

There sometimes is a fine line between callously writing off another argument simply for the sake of being stubborn and disagreeing with that argument. Two open minded people can disagree and still remain open minded. It is HOW they disagree that matters.

Edited by T.L. on 09/22/2011 15:10:22 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Careful, Kat :) on 09/22/2011 15:35:39 MDT Print View

I offer this post to continue a healthy dialog and not to be a picky jerk.

Kat writes: "Most statements that start with "anybody that" , "every single" etc, are not a productive way to address an issue."

In other words, absolutisms are not constructive. And I agree.

Kat also writes in the OP: "You are not open minded if you are only open to hear what your already believe in, no matter how much you think your beliefs are "open minded". The moment you close that door you now belong to those close minded people."

That is very close to an absolutism. Or at least it's not being very open minded towards closed minded people. :) Whether she likes it or not, Kat simply has already formed her own opinions on what it means to be open minded, which may not jibe with someone else's. Does that make her closed minded towards closed minded people? Nah. I wouldn't have given it a second thought if it weren't the topic of this thread.

I'm fully aware that people could pick apart many, many of my own posts. I'm sure I've contradicted myself here and there... The point is, its incredibly hard to fully understand one another, and its incredibly hard to stand by one's convictions and not offend someone else. It's also incredibly hard to never make a rhetorical or semantic mistake, especially on the internet where you have millions of people just waiting to call you out on something.

I think the purpose of this thread is a good exercise in discussion. As I said in my previous post (in not so many words): we can all go to bed each night after disagreeing with everyone else and still wake up "good" people who can be open minded. That is, unless we disagree in a deconstructive way.

Ok, I've officially blabbered WAY too much.

Edited by T.L. on 09/22/2011 15:47:25 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Recent thread on 09/22/2011 15:42:14 MDT Print View

Open-minded doesn't only mean "willing to change one's mind." It also has nothing to do with political correctness or being accepting of all views (which is what I think "political correctness" actually means in usage...a code word for feeling pressured to tolerate things you disagree with). Open-minded only means "willing to evaluate new information in a fair manner (and if sufficient, THEN being willing to change one's mind)" (Now define "fair" and "sufficient" ;) Rejecting information as insufficient evidence to change your mind is not automatically close-minded. Refusal to consider the evidence in good faith is what is close-minded.

Open minded is evolutionary biologists pointing out that there is no evidence to support young earth creationism but ample evidence for evolution. Close-minded is creationists wilfully ignoring and misrepresenting evidence for evolution while producing no evidence to support their own POV.

Ultimately people believe what they want to, and "truth" is usually more subjective than we'd like. Perhaps being able to accept *that* is the mark of being open-minded.