Is open-ness the same as open-minded?
(Top Posts - Philosophy (General) - 070905)

In response to a poster who inquired:

> [...] Is open-ness the same as open-minded?

I replied as follows:

Maintaining an open mind does not require
that one be so open that his or her brain
falls out (paraphrase of a famous quote).

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary
evidence." (Carl Sagan)

When contemplating open minds, ask your-
self how many religionists are allowed (by
their faith) to have open minds? Muslims
say the quran is the "word of god". Chris-
tians (many) say the christian bible is the
"word of god". What kind of open mind
can one have when one's own faith is lev-
eraged off of such a belief? The word
'none' comes to mind.


Problem of all religions? If one is willing
to open one's mind to a particular magic
being or magic place, or a particular group
of magic beings and magic places, how
does one go about closing one's mind to
alternative magic beings and places?

Since they all exist in a realm called "make
believe treated as reality", once that door
is open, how does one keep anything non-
real from getting in there?


Is one justified in disbelieving in magic
beings and magic places (any or all ver-
sions) when no evidence for such beings
and places exists? Of course they are,
just as one is well-justified in disbelieving
in any claim which not only has no evi-
dence, but also has excessive baggage
associated with it.

If someone says "God exists, God cre-
ated it all, God controls everything, God
rewards believers with good things for-
ever," most would say that sounds good.

When reminded of events such as the
recent tsunami that killed over 200,000,
the goodness of the God claims falters,
however, especially when considering
the number of innocents who died, the
manner in which they died, the plight of
the survivors, the religious claims of bad
fates for those not following the 'right'
(see irreconcilable religious claims on
that) religion, the assertions by religious
leaders (some) that God did it and that
humans were to blame for God doing it.

When all the baggage of the God claims
is considered, including all that's men-
tioned in both the quran and the christian
bible (and for really open-minded reli-
gionists, as if religions and open-minds
are even possible, the vedas) of a ...

... vengeful God, a mass murdering God,
a God of torture, a God of impotence or
causality in the face of horrendous harm
to babies and boys and girls and teens
and fathers and mothers and men who
aren't fathers and women who aren't
mothers, and the aged, throughout his-

The phrase "open-mind" takes on a des-
picable nature -if- one is so open that one
is willing to believe in or leave room in
one's mind for an anti-human God, and
one attempts to justify such anti-humanism
by calling the all-powerful God justified in
allowing or causing harm to ___ (it's a long
list). ...


"God either wishes to take away evil, and
is unable, or He is able, and unwilling; or
He is neither willing nor able, or He is both
willing and able.

If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble,
which is not in accordance with the character
of God;

if He is able and unwilling, He is envious
[malicious], which is equally at variance with

if He is neither willing nor able, He is both
envious and feeble, and therefore not God;

if He is both willing and able, which alone is
suitable to God, from what source then are
evils? or why does He not remove them?"

-- Epicurus


"It is the inconceivability of a God who both
allows cataclysms and listens to individual
prayers, with no credible evidence that He
does either, that continually swells the ranks
of agnostics and atheists."

-- Professor Emeritus Anthony Ralston


"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With
or without it you would have good people
doing good things and evil people doing
evil things. But for good people to do evil
things, that takes religion."

-- Steven Weinberg


[regarding the recent tsunami] "Let's welcome
the new year without a party because now we
are filled with concern and sadness. We are
still mourning. Let's pray together and hope-
fully God will not give us another disaster."

-- President of Indonesia, Susilo Yudhoyono


[regarding the recent tsunami] "Disasters are
part of His warning that judgment is coming."

-- Anglican Dean of Sydney, Phillip Jensen


[regarding the recent tsunami] "Islam teaches
that when we do suffer some misfortune, it
is what our own hands have wrought, and we
must seek the forgiveness of God."

-- Australian Federation of Islamic Councils
chief executive Amjad Mehboob


[regarding the recent tsunami] "It really has
shaken my faith a good bit. I don't know
how to think of it yet. I haven't worked it out
yet. I honestly struggled this weekend.
I remember Saturday morning at the house,
I watched 10 minutes of the news, called a
friend, really freaking out and crying."

-- Summer Turner, daughter of a Baptist


[regarding the recent tsunami] "If you read
the Bible, it tells you we are living in the last
days. These are some of the signs that we're
living in the last days. I believe that Jesus will
come as a warrior king. This just proves that
man cannot rule without God."

-- Pamela Marriott, a Jehovah's Witness


[regarding the recent tsunami] "I think we
have a grand opportunity to explain to the
Muslim world that we are very generous and
humanitarian, and we help in times of need.
And we're doing that. ... the tsunami is one
more sign of the existence of God."

-- Muzaffar Shaikh, spokesman and past
president for the Islamic Society of Brevard


"Where was God during the tsunami? Where
is God in Darfur? Where was God in Rwanda?
Cambodia? The Holocaust? My own religious
phase ended when my father, the only one of
nine siblings who survived the Holocaust, died
12 years later of prolonged, painful cancer.

I then joined the majority of Holocaust survivors
who abandoned belief in God. No believer has
been able to convince me since then of the
existence of a just, benevolent God.

It seems hard to accept the self-evident logic:
there is no benevolent God guiding human
affairs. Some may fear a chaotic amoral uni-
verse without God. I do not believe that the
fear is justified. On the contrary, a scientific
view of disasters diminishes their chaos, and
may even give clues to the origins of morality
and religion."
-- Paul Valent


Tigers are real. God(s) asserted to have created
the universe, answer prayers, cause tsunamis,
watch tsunamis helplessly, control everything but
be responsible for nothing, be everywhere and
everywhen with no manifestation of its presence
outside the human imagination, provide eternal
life, provide eternal death, provide eternal torment,
act as an authoritarian judge of everyone but itself?

Myth, as personified by the irreconcilable attribu-
tions made regarding it, displaying it as naught
but human pretense and make believe.


If one accepts that nature is all, both good
and bad, and only by endeavoring to work
towards good can bad be conquered and
dealt with, one has a firm grounding in reality,
and in evidence, and in responsibility, a
grounding that religion (no matter how many
spins they come up with, hoops they try to
jump through, and apologies they attempt)
cannot attain by its very nature (pardon the
pun), by its insistence on suspension of
disbelief, and by its disdain towards (and
its threats against) both doubt and disbelief.

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