The 4th Humour
uninfluential words from an uninfluenced man
Bile humour Apathetic hemetic Fluent indifferent Emetic Phlegmatic

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Saturday, July 05, 2003
Close Your Mind

For generations, we've been brainwashed since childhood to be "open-minded individuals", to consider the views and opinions of others as equally appreciable despite their apparent irrationality or invalidity. I say "apparent" because people would like to believe that we puny humans will never really know "the truth". Therefore, since our own beliefs are never really true, we can't judge the beliefs of others.

Nonetheless, I do believe some beliefs are more valid than others. I think most of us do, even people who claim to "...listen carefully to everyone's arguments and then make a rational decision based on the evidence." That "rational" decision is nothing but one's own relatively powerful memeplex (system of beliefs) competing against a poor lone intruder, and usually it wins. It's also the reason we tend to think we're right moreso than others.

A good belief is a consistent belief, and any consistent system of beliefs is de facto resistant to other beliefs. A person with a consistent belief system is therefore more closed-minded than one without. This is a good thing. If your beliefs are consistent, you have less inner conflict, and you find it easier to make decisions in both your daily and long-term life. It's a matter of efficiency, of utility.

Nonetheless, in today's world you're often looked down upon if you have this attitude, if you're not "open-minded". Having an open mind is so trendy, and the concept piggybacks with amateur philosophers, drug addicts, and gay paraders, all of whom are either hyppocritical--demanding you remain open to their beliefs while they stick to theirs--or decisively confused. In either case, how can you take such people seriously? Well, you can't, which is why in rare cases, the close-minded person is at least respected for being stalwart in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Religious zealots are an exception to the open-mindedness trend, of course. They believe they ARE right (or that God is right) and don't need to be open to a challenging system. However, even modern religions accept that other views are out there, telling young people to " strong in your faith when you go away to college, because your faith will be challenged, and you will be tempted to turn away from God."

Having an open mind is a bad thing. How can you stand for anything if you stand for nothing? What identifies you as a person? How can you constantly analyze everything and decide what is right on a case-by-case basis? How do you keep from getting duped, or believing any old thing?

An open mind is like an open wound; it's ripe for infection.

My mind is closed.