Tuesday, July 10, 2007

An Open Mind

I pride myself on being open-minded. I try to see both sides of every issue. Politically, I'm neither a liberal or a conservative; neither a Republican or a Democrat. Politics isn't a sporting event; the issues are too important to simply pick your favorite team and root for them to win. Generally speaking, both sides have at least some good points to make.

The polarized state of politics in the U.S. today is the main reason nothing is ever done to fix problems. No matter what the problem, as soon as one side offers a solution the other side automatically opposes it. No real progress is ever made since both sides are too busy trying to thwart the other to actually address the issue. In most cases the actual solution lies somewhere in the middle of the extreme positions the parties tend to take.

Like I said, I'm open-minded. It mean considering all aspects of a situation before making up one's mind. Unfortunately, open-minded has become a buzzword for those who believe it is a synonym for credulous. Faith is the final refuge of the religious, claiming to be open-minded is the final refuge for those who wish to believe in all manner of nonsense.

I'm talking about everything from astrology to UFOs, homeopathy to talking to the dead. A truly open-minded person would consider the possibility that these ideas are false. I'm agnostic; one of the main themes running through this blog is the danger of claiming certainty when one doesn't have sufficient evidence. However, in pretty much all cases involving pseudo-scientific claims, the evidence is so overwhelming that it is not a violation of my agnostic principles to claim that they are false.

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