I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.
Gerry Spence, How to Argue & Win Every Time (via scu)
File this under #non-sequitur. This isn’t even a coherent thought.
As Chesterton said somewhere, the purpose of an open mind is to close it on something solid. When it comes to belief, it’s not whether but what.
What sds said.
I suppose I can see how someone would say that belief closes the mind, but only in the same way as any other change in someone’s life attitude or conviction. When someone does some reflection and decides that they are a feminist or atheist or revolutionist or whatever, it is, in essence, a closing of the mind to entertaining the antitheses of these things. All conviction is closed-mindedness. What is to be feared is not a closed mind, but a mind unwilling to close on something important.
And faith is not a replacement for wonder; it is borne of it.
Yuuup. I will never tire of holding forth on this, especially the false dichotomy between science & faith.
I suspect that the posted quote is meant to criticize belief systems & faiths (like Christianity, which happens to be mine; and yes, I’m voluntarily taking this personally, probably because I’m a woman), that this man disagrees with or simply finds distasteful. Which doesn’t sound very open-minded to me, if open-mindedness means refusing to reject any idea you encounter out of respect for what you might not understand about it. Pragmatically, of course, it would be impossible to live a sane human life that way.
You might say, “Whatever, you know what he means.” And I think I do, maybe. He means that some people do ugly, destructive things; and that he would rather side with constructiveness & celebration. Fine. He’s just phrased it clumsily by mismatching his parameters & unwittingly ended up with something akin to “Cake or Death?" (which is brilliant for the same reasons the quote is absurd). We all eventually get death. Hopefully, we get to enjoy cake along the way. The two are not mutually exclusive.
By the way, about that book title.