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November 09, 2011

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There's nothing quite like personal revelation, through the medium of the Holy Ghost, to open and enlighten one's mind, is there?

To answer the question, yes, Christianity makes people closed-minded. You need only look at the popular rejection of evolution to see this.

I've blogged recently about William Lane Craig's bizarre defense of biblical genocide. Only a religious presupposition would provoke such thinking.

And BTW, I've also blogged recently about Greg's recent article about turning the tables on the atheist who brings up the Problem of Evil. Comments welcome.

Absolutely!

Atheism promotes a much more open minded view of the world than the dogmatism of christianity.

Bob,

If you view evolution as definitively true, aren't you equally close minded as those Christians who deny it?

They may be wrong, but close-minded? Does close-minded now mean the same thing as wrong? Last I heard, no, it doesn't.


Alex,

Coolest of stories, bro. Would you like to substantiate that claim with a few reasons, perhaps?

Bob,

I don’t think your blog on Greg’s article is a fair one. Greg was, mainly, speaking to a Christian audience. I’m not talking literally - he tailored his message in a way to inform a Christian. He was informing them about a different way to handle the “problem” of evil. I think for the most part, your comments equate to hitting him over the head from behind.

That said, I usually steer clear of the argument. Not because I think it’s a strong argument against God (I don’t), I just think it jumps the gun most of the time. I think you have to have a God before you can access whether he is evil or good. I say start there. In other words, “why is there something rather than nothing?” should never be answered with “why do children die of leukemia?”


Don't you just love how these militant atheists jump at the chance to post on Christian blogs, and they are welcomed?

Compare with evolutionary ideologues, such as PZ Myers and the insufferable Jerry Coyne, who routinely ban Christian contributors to their blogs.

Truly laughable irony at its best.

Thanks, Alex.

Your humor is greatly appreciated.

Perhaps close-mindedness depends on the Christian. For example, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are counseled,

"And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God"

and

"Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms—

That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you."

and

"The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

Light and truth forsake that evil one." (Doctrine & Covenants)

We are routinely counseled,

“Education is the key which will unlock the door of opportunity for you. It is worth sacrificing for. … Take advantage of every educational opportunity that you can possibly afford” (Gorden B. Hinkley, former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).

We believe so much in education that our church has organized the Perpetual Education Fund, whereby poorer members of our Church in third-world countries can take out a micro loan from the fund, and then they pay it back when they graduate and are employed; hence, the perpetual nature of the fund. You can read about it here:

http://lds.org/church/news/perpetual-education-fund-fulfills-prophetic-promises?lang=eng&query=get+education+president+hinckley

I, myself, have a 4 year degree, and my husband has a BS and two Masters. We believe in learning, "even by study and by faith."

Daughter of Eve, I used to have a Muslim friend who toyed with the idea of pretending to convert to Mormonism just so he could get a scholarship at BYU and have his education paid for.

Hmmm. Is his integrity worth so little, that he'd sell it for so cheap?

Apparently he doesn't understand how the welfare programs of our church, or scholarships to academia are handled. We don't believe in free lunches. We do believe in sacrifice and hard work. Scholarships have to be earned through hard work, and good grades. You can't have a GPA lower than a 3.7 to get into BYU Provo. It's incredibly competitive. And the micro-loans have to be repaid.

Cory C, Do I have to pull out the Christian equivalents? Bloggers can do what they want regarding content and comments. Welcome to the internet. I'm glad STR let's atheists present their view. (since I am one) But I wouldn't blame them if they didn't.

@Daughter of Eve, that is good to know that you are told to study. You do realize that can all be found in the Bible without having to go to "the most correct of any book" or the D&C. Have you ever looked at natural history or Christian history then from any other source than from inside the LDS church?

I'm not concerned with people who are "open minded" or "closed minded" - I'm concerned with the truth, wherever it (He) leads. JustChatting left a great comment a few posts back that I find particularly relevant here.

Daughter of Eve, he was a pragmatist, that's for sure. i don't think he would've had trouble getting in. He already had a degree in electrical engineering with a 4.0 gpa.

If by closed-minded we mean that Christians actually believe that their Faith represents a truthful reflection of life then I would agree that this is true - we are, and should be, closed-minded.

However, the same goes for atheists, Buddhists, or even our friendly neighbourhood new age-envirolists. We can assume that they honestly believe that their position is true too. Which makes them just as closed-minded as Christians. So, this kind of discussion really doesn't take us very far.

Instead, closed-mindedness in relation to Christianity is, in my opinion, primarily used by detractors in a mean-spirited fashion... one that seeks to intimidate and perjoratively colour a Christian position to remove it from public discourse. It seems to me that if you are open-minded about everything (which presumably is the point) then you effectively stand for nothing (because in this kind of relativistic utopia everything has an equal claim, or more precisely, there is no way to adequately differentiate between rival claims).

Curiously, no one lives their lives this way; everyone's closed-minded about something... its just that sometimes the things on which we are closed-minded move beyond being trivial and actually make a difference in the way we live our lives. And it is at this point that friction between rival ideas come to the fore. How much better would our discussion and debate be if we could honestly engage each others positions without resorting to "showstopper" labels? But, if your position is one that may not bear up under scrutiny, well, bring on the labels. To wit: "closed-mindedness" and many others. For my part, I think Christians and atheists who resort to this sort of practice do their respective positions a disservice.

I'm closed-minded when it comes to necessary truths. I'm narrow-minded when it comes to well-justified contingent truths. I'm open-minded when it comes to inaccessible contingent truths.

In all things, I at least try to be fair-minded.

Cory, I'm going to make your irony ironic by saying that I've asked Bob to not use this site to promote posts that are unrelated to the conversation. We don't mind if you guys point to stuff you've written that helps to clarify what you're arguing when it's in context, but if we allowed people to use the blog to promote things outside of that, the blog would quickly become something it's not intended to be.

So he can't post here right now, but as soon as I hear back from him, we'll let him come back.

"To answer the question, yes, Christianity makes people closed-minded. You need only look at the popular rejection of evolution to see this."

Oh. Excellent.

Bob's paragraph boils down to this:

  1. I think Christianity makes people close-minded
  2. My reason for thinking this is that many Christians hold a view that I disagree with
The responses are kind of obvious:
  1. Thanks for sharing.
  2. Who's close-minded again?

"Absolutely!"

What's absolute? Is it absolutely true that Christianity makes people close-minded?

It's nice to know that there are some absolutes after all....Relativism Refuted!

"Atheism promotes a much more open minded view of the world than the dogmatism of Christianity."

Thanks for your opinion. Since we're opening up to each other, here's mine:

Christianity promotes a much more open minded view of the world than the dogmatism of atheism.

Closed-mindedness is often a euphemism for "intolerance," that other buzzword of political rhetoric. By advocating open-mindedness, often at the business end of a PC pugil stick, people mean we should not say that anyone is wrong for engaging in lifestyle practices that we disagree with. It's about chastising anyone who says certain special interest groups are wrong for behaviors that others find offensive.

The open-minded therefore are those who do not oppose anyone else's activities. Other than the activity of opposing other people's behavior. So everyone gets a free pass on anything whatsoever, except when someone asserts moral standards upon anyone else's actions.

Open-mindedness has a way of getting tossed aside whenever some miscreant's personal decisions threaten someone's property, physical safety, or their own political agenda. It's a self-centered tactic of political control to begin with, so of course it breaks down under pressure.

it seems no one is ever wrong about anything, unless they happen to be Christian.

Even pedophilia is being framed, in some circles, and an unnecessary social stigma but being a Christian is becoming used as synonymous with child abuse.

Terribly open open minded of some folk.

Indeed the issue of closed or open minded is not the issue, its only truth that counts. If i was to base my beliefs in that frame i too am closed minded to all the philosophies, deceptions and religious views of the world (that includes atheism and evolution BTW alex) and only accept the truth of God not mens or the world's philosophies. One of the reasons the establishment hates true Christians is because we are "closed minded" to their worldview so they cannot brianwash us with their worldy philosophy. I prefer the term firmly or set minded rather than closed minded to avoid the false use of the the term closed minded. If red is red why should my mind be open to fact that red is blue for example but i am set minded on the fact that red is red not closed minded on this fact.
Of course one can be set minded in truth or mans deceptions but only the latter is a problem for the individual concerned. This set mind and faith in believers does not come from ourselves but from God, while the philosophical set minds of the natural man come from man or from themselves.

"The purpose of an open mind is to close it, on particular subjects. If you never do — you've simply abdicated the responsibility to think." - William F. Buckley Jr.

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