I've been thinking about how often the term "closeminded" is thrown around like an insult... I've always described myself as openminded, but not so openminded that my brain falls out ;).
Here's an example: If a person tells you the sky is pink with purple polka-dots and the sun is made of cheddar cheese, is it being closeminded to tell them that they are wrong; the sky is generally blue and the sun is not made of any type of cheese, much less cheddar?
Another: If someone tells you that they believe that eating jelly beans until you burst is the only way to achieve eternal life through their diety, JoJo the Spider Monkey, is it being closeminded to (out loud or in your own head) realize that that is a bunch of hooey?
The answer is yes... it IS closeminded. You've closed your mind to the possibility that they are correct. You've decided that they are wrong about the polka dots, the cheddar cheese and JoJo the Spider Monkey.
But is that wrong?
The first two are scientifically proven. The sun isn't cheese and the sky's blue color is well "documented" by the parents of a gazillion toddlers, those little munchkins that look up and demand WHY the sky is blue.
The last? Not so much. But most people would slap the "crazy" label on the spider monkey guy lickity-split rather than think, "Maybe the jelly bean route is the way to go."
In this case, being close-minded is rewritten as "having common sense", or "not playing with the crazies".
So how does that translate into modern religion?
There are a thousand and more religions out there, each member of each religion truly believing they are correct and most other religions thinking the others are wrong. The penalty for not believing 100% in many religions is exile to some nasty place where naughty people and all those other religions go.
So why WOULDN'T they close their minds to other religions when opening their minds leaves them vulnerable to losing their much-anticipated afterlife?
Why would you ask someone to compromise their beliefs by "opening their minds" with that much at stake, unless YOU have closed your mind to THEM being right.... right? Which makes you a hypocrite...
So what I'm saying, in a nutshell, is this.... calling someone closeminded because they won't listen to you is hypocritical and disrespectful of THEIR beliefs, and makes you a hypocrite because your own mind is closed to the possibility that they might be 100% correct.
In the end, being TOO openminded means you can't really believe in anything at all. Period. Kind of a scary thought, in my book.
(general YOU, of course, not aimed at anyone specifically)
Confusing a bit? Maybe.... what do you think about these thoughts?