From: jxxl@taurus.cs.nps.navy.mil (John Locke)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Open-mindedness a good thing?
Message-ID: <2590@huxley.cs.nps.navy.mil>
Date: 8 Aug 91 16:28:37 GMT
References: <STIR.91Aug7174859@mentor.cc.purdue.edu>
Reply-To: jxxl@cs.nps.navy.mil (John Locke)
Organization: Headquarters
Lines: 43

> Mr. hubbard's definition of open minded was someone who would take the > attiitude of taking auditor training...

> open-minded : aj : receptive of arguements or ideas : UNPREJUDICED. > (unscrupulously stolen from webster) > funny how the great mr. hubbard finds it necessary to redefine the > word 'open-minded'. how many other words has the great savior of man > redefined?

One frequently encounters the term "open-minded" in the rebel literature of flying saucers, astrology, ESP, reincarnation, Scientology, etc. It's usually first encountered on the dust jacket flap or on the back of the paperback. It represents an admission by the authors that their beliefs are in the minority, reveals that they're looking for converts to their views, and blames the non- belief of the majority on an alleged character defect, the lack of open-minded- ness.

Contrast the rebel literature with real scientific research. True scientists are compelled by professional standards to publish their data and findings in public journals, so that others may either reproduce their results or discover flaws in their methods. The scientist either makes the best effort of which he is capable or unduly risks his professional reputation. It is not the most gentle of systems, but it is just, by and large.

You will have to look very hard to find the term "open-minded" in real scientific literature. A real scientist will state his doubts where they exist. He will not concoct quasi-religious arguments to justify a theory that would not otherwise make sense. There will be no appeal to "trust me," as the idea of open-mindedness really implies; the scientist's real attitude toward others is "don't take my word for it." A real scientist couldn't care less whether anyone trusts him; his strength lies in the verifiable coherence of his work.

So, while lack of prejudice is superficially a good thing, prudence dictates running in the opposite direction when the term "open-minded" starts getting tossed around. It's one thing for a child, who enters the world knowing nothing, to switch world views every few years; it's quite another for an adult, who benefits from accumulated knowledge and experience, to do so. In fact, it seems perfectly justified to become less open-minded as time goes by, and more suspicious of the newest philosophies to float through the transom.


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