Skip to content

The Evil of Open-Mindedness

June 30, 2011

A blog critic described by a former Facebook friend as “professional troll” accused me of being close-minded and a “bully” for criticizing and rejecting the “statist”, “collectivist” advocacy and social causes of some people and groups like the pro-RH bill camp and those who support and favor more economic controls, regulations and government welfare.

This critic codenamed GabbyD says:

“… you believe that you are the only source of wisdom. their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.

Here’s my updated reply to GabbyD:

There’s right and wrong in every issue, and sometimes we have to make a moral judgment.

Personally, I believe that I have nothing to learn from leftist/statist ideas and ideologies. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to ignore every idea or ideology that’s opposed to mine. Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.

Here’s what I stated in a previous blog post:

Ayn Rand taught me the cardinal value of honesty- first honesty with one’s self, and second honesty with others. This is consistent with her virtue of selfishness. A person who is not honest with his own self cannot be honest with others. Before one takes on any issue, one has to take upon himself to study the matters involved. One has to have an adequate knowledge of an issue before one can make his own moral or intellectual judgment. This is the reason why I only deal with issues that I am very much familiar with. Familiarity with or having sufficient knowledge of any issue or matter saves one’s self from committing any act of dishonesty or betrayal of one’s self, such as lying, plagiarism, smearing, and the like.

… In effect, she taught me not to rely on and use baseless and unfounded accusations against anybody. She taught me to seek evidence and proof first before making a moral judgment. Any smear or accusation not founded on concrete, solid evidence is a zero; it’s nothing but an anti-intellectual, anti-self mechanism designed to smear and discredit any person or entity. If you blackened the reputation of anybody by using baseless, unfounded claims and assertions, it is only your own self that you had betrayed. What does a dishonest person get from spreading false, ill-founded stories? The answer is artificial happiness or satisfaction, thus smearing is a cunning way to deceive one’s self and to fake reality.

I might reject the value or non-value of every theory, ideology or dogma that’s opposed to reason, individualism and capitalism, but this does not mean that such a theory, ideology or dogma does not deserve my most scrupulous attention. For how is it possible for me to make an objective criticism of socialism or communism without understanding the theory and teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels? How can I make an objective, facts-based critique of Kant’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics if I don’t have proper understanding of his philosophical theory? How can I possibly criticize the Reproductive Health bill without exposing myself to possible public ridicule and humiliation without reading and properly understanding the provisions of the anti-population measure? How can I objectively, factually debunk the illogical, anti-intellectual defense of some schooled RH bill’s dogmatic supporters without properly understanding their arguments?

For strongly rejecting some of the country’s statist political measures like the RH bill, animal rights legislation, and pro-welfare programs, many illogical and malicious critics like GabbyD called me “close-minded”. These people want me to be open-minded by simply surrendering my convictions to their whims and caprices, by making a compromise, and by accepting their moral code. In other words, open-mindedness simply means surrender and submission to the whims and desires of anyone who employs this anti-intellectual method of deception.

The problem with GabbyD, and the people who possess this kind of mentality, is their incurable ignorance. It’s not about close-mindedness. The opposite of it- open-mindedness- means we have to accept other people’s ideas no matter how evil they are- that we have to make a compromise. No, we cannot compromise basic moral principles. Do we have to be open-minded with the policies and the advocacy of the leftists and statists? What do they mean by having an open-mind? Do they mean that when a group of people seek to abrogate property rights and individual rights, I have to be open-minded? That I have to be open-minded with the RH advocacy of some pro-population control statists?

I don’t believe that open-mindedness has any inherent value at all. But I believe in the value of an “active mind”. I don’t believe that I have to be open-minded when it comes to issues and ideas. I believe I need to have an active mind. This is what these people missed… and that’s because of their ignorance.

Here’s an excellent line that critiques the openmind-closemind dichotomy:

[There is a] dangerous little catch phrase which advises you to keep an “open mind.” This is a very ambiguous term—as demonstrated by a man who once accused a famous politician of having “a wide open mind.” That term is an anti-concept: it is usually taken to mean an objective, unbiased approach to ideas, but it is used as a call for perpetual skepticism, for holding no firm convictions and granting plausibility to anything. A “closed mind” is usually taken to mean the attitude of a man impervious to ideas, arguments, facts and logic, who clings stubbornly to some mixture of unwarranted assumptions, fashionable catch phrases, tribal prejudices—and emotions. But this is not a “closed” mind, it is a passive one. It is a mind that has dispensed with (or never acquired) the practice of thinking or judging, and feels threatened by any request to consider anything.

What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an “open mind,” but an active mind—a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. An active mind does not grant equal status to truth and falsehood; it does not remain floating forever in a stagnant vacuum of neutrality and uncertainty; by assuming the responsibility of judgment, it reaches firm convictions and holds to them. Since it is able to prove its convictions, an active mind achieves an unassailable certainty in confrontations with assailants—a certainty untainted by spots of blind faith, approximation, evasion and fear.

Also, I never thought there’s a novel “fallacy” related to type of dichotomy. It’s called appeal to be open-minded. This source states:

All skeptics have heard this from someone at some point in a debate: “You need to be more open-minded” or “You’re too closed-minded”. This is presented as though it is actually a valid argument. In reality it just shows they have run out of arguments. They hide behind it to disguise the complete lack of any rational reason for you to accept what they are telling you. It’s the last resort of someone who has nothing – if they had evidence they would obviously present it.

Even so, it can seem compelling, since calling someone closed-minded is pejorative. But it’s fallacious rhetoric: doubting something is not necessarily closed minded. In fact, the closed minded ones are the believers who insist some fantastic story is true despite a complete lack of evidence to support it. They are too closed minded to accept that their fantasy might be false.

There are things that we cannot compromise, such as our rights, freedom, basic moral principles, and rational personal convictions. Observe that most statists/collectivists employ dishonest, malicious cognitive methods of deception in order to subdue their opponents and to impose their whims, desires and caprices. If die-hard Marxists or communists had the naturalistic habit of employing dirty tricks and fallacious arguments like appeal to emotion, ad hominem attack, among others, most ‘mild statists’ usually commit the fallacy of ‘appeal to be open-minded.’ Now is the right time to expose the evil of this fallacy.

However, it is very ironic that the very people who deceptively urge others or their ideological opponents to be ‘open-minded’ are usually the ones who have shut their minds off, as they refuse to properly study and understand the very ideas and ideologies that are opposed to theirs. Observe that when these people, who are mostly leftists or statists, attack capitalism, individual rights and freedom, most, if not all, of their arguments are based on baseless claims, myths and fallacies.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. GabbyD permalink
    June 30, 2011 3:38

    ” However, that doesn’t mean that I have to ignore every idea or ideology that’s opposed to mine. Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.”

    really? i actually think you dont know as much about the stuff you as you claim. the name calling is a big, honking clue. invoking names is what “bully-ism” all about. i doubt any of your intellectual inspirations ever resorted to calling people names.

    • June 30, 2011 3:38

      That means you’ve run out of arguments, comrade… Nice try. I was right in saying that “open-mindedness simply means surrender and submission to the whims and desires of anyone who employs this anti-intellectual method of deception.”

  2. July 8, 2011 3:38

    Sir, the article you have written was particularly intent on dissecting the word open mindedness. However, I think you misappropriate the term open-minded the way it has been used in this work – being open minded simply means ‘having a mind receptive to new ideas, arguments, etc.; unprejudiced.’ (As counter intuitive as it may seem, this definition is from the dictionary). It is by no means being submissive to any idea, especially the ones contrary to one’s own perspective. In fact, and this is where we would probably agree, reason should still act as a filter for an open mind. What I would like to point out, and this is where we would might disagree, is that an open mind professes self-acknowledged fallibility. An open minded person, ideally, should be willing to revise his position appropriately – for instance, if he finds an error in his reading, or perhaps if he is given more accurate information regarding a subject.

    • July 8, 2011 3:38

      I am not speaking to the word “open-mindedness” per se. I’m speaking of the fallacy of appeal to be open-minded. I’ve explained that in my article. We don’t need to be open-minded. We need to be active-minded. Like I said, when you deal with any issue you must be honest enough to give such an issue your scrupulous attention. For instance, when one deals with the controversial RH bill issue, he/she must be honest and willing enough to study and investigate the matters and sub-issues surrounding it. One must understand that the RH bill issue involves such crucial, fundamental matters as philosophy, politics, economics, legality, society and religion. But when a pro-RH bill idiot tells you to be open-minded despite giving him your arguments on the matter, that idiot would like you to make a compromise and to subordinate your will and personal judgment to his/hers. Like I said, open-mindedness is used in this context to mean “surrender and submission to the whims and desires of anyone who employs this anti-intellectual method of deception.”

      I suggest that you read the blog article again. Thanks.

      • July 8, 2011 3:38

        I have read your article. There’s the rub, sir – you speak of the fallacy of appeal of the open-minded – which is perfectly appropriate given the context in your work. But why would you use the word “open-mindedness” in this same context in a debate with another person – given that it is more likely that the same person is drawing from the definition of open-mindedness from the dictionary and not from the context you mean? Is it not possible, then, that would occurred in this debate is a misunderstanding in nomenclature or a miscommunication of terms?

      • GabbyD permalink
        July 8, 2011 3:38

        exactly jose!

        these are semantic games. you can always have a good idea, any idea, twisted to became bad if you really want to.

        i would be more symptathetic if this were true:

        ” However, that doesn’t mean that I have to ignore every idea or ideology that’s opposed to mine. Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory”

        but its not. read his arguments. before he considers it, he immediately rejects it by calling it “collectivist”. the decision to reject is done EVEN BEFORE he’s considered it.

      • July 8, 2011 3:38

        To both of you, I’d like to know what you mean by “open-mindedness”. And to GabbyD, I’d like to know what you meant when you said this: “their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.”

        There’s no such thing as open-mindedness when you try to tell your opponent to be “open-minded” despite the fact that he presented his/her arguments based on logic and reason.

        Like I said, what people need is an active mind, NOT an open-mind. Read the blog again particularly this part:

        I don’t believe that open-mindedness has any inherent value at all. But I believe in the value of an “active mind”. I don’t believe that I have to be open-minded when it comes to issues and ideas. I believe I need to have an active mind. This is what these people missed… and that’s because of their ignorance.

        Here’s an excellent line that critiques the openmind-closemind dichotomy:

        [There is a] dangerous little catch phrase which advises you to keep an “open mind.” This is a very ambiguous term—as demonstrated by a man who once accused a famous politician of having “a wide open mind.” That term is an anti-concept: it is usually taken to mean an objective, unbiased approach to ideas, but it is used as a call for perpetual skepticism, for holding no firm convictions and granting plausibility to anything. A “closed mind” is usually taken to mean the attitude of a man impervious to ideas, arguments, facts and logic, who clings stubbornly to some mixture of unwarranted assumptions, fashionable catch phrases, tribal prejudices—and emotions. But this is not a “closed” mind, it is a passive one. It is a mind that has dispensed with (or never acquired) the practice of thinking or judging, and feels threatened by any request to consider anything.

        What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an “open mind,” but an active mind—a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. An active mind does not grant equal status to truth and falsehood; it does not remain floating forever in a stagnant vacuum of neutrality and uncertainty; by assuming the responsibility of judgment, it reaches firm convictions and holds to them. Since it is able to prove its convictions, an active mind achieves an unassailable certainty in confrontations with assailants—a certainty untainted by spots of blind faith, approximation, evasion and fear.

        And it’s not simply about semantics. It’s about the reason versus accepting things on faith, intellect versus idiocy, and active mind versus passive mind.

        Also, when people try to argue by telling their opponent(s) or the target/subject of their attack/criticisms to be open-minded, that means they’ve started to run out of arguments.

        I never tell my opponent to be open-minded or accuse him of being “close-minded”. It’s because that’s a sign of self-defeatism, psychological projection, cowardice and intellectual dishonesty and laziness. In the first place, I don’t think such a person or an opponent, who has the habit of spewing/making fallacious and unrelated arguments, is close-minded; I think such a creature has passive/inactive mind.

      • July 8, 2011 3:38

        @GabbyD – Sir, I don’t think I would go so far as to call this a semantic game. Certainly there is the issue of meaning (i.e. semantics) involved – this generally is the root of miscommunication, and it might be a little presumptuous to call it a game.

        @froivinber – this is how http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open-minded defines the word ‘open-minded: receptive to arguments or ideas.’

        http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=receptive And this is how receptive is defined: ‘1. Able or willing to receive something, esp. signals or stimuli. 2. Willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas.’

        Unless both parties agree to use a different context/meaning, I imagine this is normally how people use the word. I hope this clarifies your question.

      • GabbyD permalink
        July 9, 2011 3:38

        Tou want to know what I meant by open mindedness NOW? After you write a whole blog post denouncing it?

        See what I mean by rejecting info BEFORE you know what it means?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        Like I said:

        To both of you, I’d like to know what you mean by “open-mindedness”. And to GabbyD, I’d like to know what you meant when you said this: “their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.”

        There’s no such thing as open-mindedness when you try to tell your opponent to be “open-minded” despite the fact that he presented his/her arguments based on logic and reason.

        What do people mean when they accuse their opponents of being “close-minded”?

        Also, when people try to argue by telling their opponent(s) or the target/subject of their attack/criticisms to be open-minded, that means they’ve started to run out of arguments.
        I never tell my opponent to be open-minded or accuse him of being “close-minded”. It’s because that’s a sign of self-defeatism, psychological projection, cowardice and intellectual dishonesty and laziness. In the first place, I don’t think such a person or an opponent, who has the habit of spewing/making fallacious and unrelated arguments, is close-minded; I think such a creature has passive/inactive mind.

        So it’s not simply about semantics. It’s purely about the dishonest, illogical, self-defeating purpose of anyone who employs this deceptive strategy.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        @ Jose Benjamin Mahilum Tapay,

        When “open-mindedness” or an “appeal to be open-minded” is made part of an argument, that’s when one should challenge the intent and the psychological evasion and intellectual dishonesty of the person who employs this ‘method’ of deception.

        Merriam dictionary defines open-minded as “receptive to arguments or ideas.”

        Then your second source defines the word “receptive” as: 1. Able or willing to receive something, esp. signals or stimuli. 2. Willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas.’

        If that’s the alleged definition of “open-minded”, then I ask you to re-read the blog again. Being receptive means you have to study and understand the topic or issue which you are intellectually engaged in.

        Here, being “receptive to arguments” means you have to analyze and study the arguments of your opponents and then raise/present your counter-arguments without resorting to misrepresentation, context-dropping, strawman arguments and other fallacies.

        Let me quote what I stated in my article above:

        “I might reject the value or non-value of every theory, ideology or dogma that’s opposed to reason, individualism and capitalism, but this does not mean that such a theory, ideology or dogma does not deserve my most scrupulous attention. For how is it possible for me to make an objective criticism of socialism or communism without understanding the theory and teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels? How can I make an objective, facts-based critique of Kant’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics if I don’t have proper understanding of his philosophical theory? How can I possibly criticize the Reproductive Health bill without exposing myself to possible public ridicule and humiliation without reading and properly understanding the provisions of the anti-population measure? How can I objectively, factually debunk the illogical, anti-intellectual defense of some schooled RH bill’s dogmatic supporters without properly understanding their arguments?”

        However, when you accuse your opponent of being “close-minded” for not conceding and surrendering to your whims and caprices, then I believe your intellectual dishonesty and psychological projection need to be challenged.

        I believe, you and GabbyD are taking on a strawman…

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        @froivinber If it helps to clarify, my post outside this reply function was the one addressed to the post where you started with ‘Like I said:’

        I would like to clear up a couple of points before we proceed. You mention my alleged definition of ‘open minded.’ This is not alleged, sir, my proof is in the Free Merriam Webster Dictionary.

        When you point out that [Being receptive means you have to study and understand the topic or issue which you are intellectually engaged in], I think this is something we can both agree on. A receptive person should still use his reason. Further, when you say that a receptive person should present his arguments constructively and without bias, we are both agreed here.

        The dictionary defines ‘open minded’ as ‘being receptive to arguments and ideas.’ In a logical sense, then, being open minded means having all of the qualities mentioned above – an open minded person using his reason, presenting his arguments constructively and without bias, and so on so forth.

        I think what you are pointing out, however, is that outside of this logical context, people who tell you to be more ‘open-minded’ is not using the term as defined in the dictionary, but are actually using the term ‘open minded’ in a negative way (i.e. like in the context of your work).

        My question is this – why would you think that a person telling you to be more open minded is not using the definition drawn from the dictionary? That he is telling you to further study on the topic or issue you are intellectually engaged in? Is there no particular instance where your study on a given topic could perhaps be incomplete or inaccurate? Perhaps I should clarify this further, sir: do you go to a debate with complete knowledge of the subject and with no self-professed fallibility – is your position on the subject is always correct?

    • GabbyD permalink
      July 9, 2011 3:38

      ” “their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.”

      its still not clear? by name-calling, you shut out people and their ideas even BEFORE you know what they mean.

      see, what you did to me? criticising what i said even before you understood what it was?

      see what you did to the fallacy of the not seen? using it before you understood what it was?

      i can understand making mistakes. thats human. but you even refuse to admit the possiblity of being wrong. of misunderstanding other people?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        Perhaps you need to re-read my article on name-calling. I don’t know if you’re capable of understanding basic concepts, GabbyD.

        I have been dealing with your ignorant since day 1 and you know that. Look at our previous discussions.

        First, you need to present your proof. What made you think I’m close-minded. And let me remind you that your previous definition of “bullysim” is so hilarious. And think that explains what kind of non-thinker you are.

        Now you’re resorting to equivocation…

  3. July 9, 2011 3:38

    @froivinber Sir, you just kind of copy pasted your earlier response. I already said what I meant by the word open minded – I apologize if I did not make myself any clearer. But I’m not sure how else to make it more understandable since I just quoted the dictionary. That is what I mean by the word open minded – ‘willing to consider arguments and ideas-‘ and unless I am sorely mistaken, that is normally what people mean by open minded as well.

    • July 9, 2011 3:38

      Here’s my response to your comment:

      @ Jose Benjamin Mahilum Tapay,

      When “open-mindedness” or an “appeal to be open-minded” is made part of an argument, that’s when one should challenge the intent and the psychological evasion and intellectual dishonesty of the person who employs this ‘method’ of deception.

      Merriam dictionary defines open-minded as “receptive to arguments or ideas.”
      Then your second source defines the word “receptive” as: 1. Able or willing to receive something, esp. signals or stimuli. 2. Willing to consider or accept new suggestions and ideas.’

      If that’s the alleged definition of “open-minded”, then I ask you to re-read the blog again. Being receptive means you have to study and understand the topic or issue which you are intellectually engaged in.

      Here, being “receptive to arguments” means you have to analyze and study the arguments of your opponents and then raise/present your counter-arguments without resorting to misrepresentation, context-dropping, strawman arguments and other fallacies.
      Let me quote what I stated in my article above:

      “I might reject the value or non-value of every theory, ideology or dogma that’s opposed to reason, individualism and capitalism, but this does not mean that such a theory, ideology or dogma does not deserve my most scrupulous attention. For how is it possible for me to make an objective criticism of socialism or communism without understanding the theory and teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels? How can I make an objective, facts-based critique of Kant’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics if I don’t have proper understanding of his philosophical theory? How can I possibly criticize the Reproductive Health bill without exposing myself to possible public ridicule and humiliation without reading and properly understanding the provisions of the anti-population measure? How can I objectively, factually debunk the illogical, anti-intellectual defense of some schooled RH bill’s dogmatic supporters without properly understanding their arguments?”

      However, when you accuse your opponent of being “close-minded” for not conceding and surrendering to your whims and caprices, then I believe your intellectual dishonesty and psychological projection need to be challenged.

      I believe, you and GabbyD are taking on a strawman.

      ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Give me an example wherein one deserves to be called “close-minded” and the other has the right to make such a claim.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        Here’s my style, Jose Benjamin Mahilum Tapay, I don’t call my opponent “close-minded” even if he makes fallacious arguments, misrepresentation, context-dropping and strawman argument. My style is to challenge his arguments.

        Here’s my usual online experience with my critics who loved to call me “close-minded” by being uncompromising and by not conceding and surrendering to their desires and fallacious arguments: It’s my critics who usually commit fallacious arguments, misrepresentation, context-dropping and strawman argument. These people are not “close-minded”; they are passive minded. They have an inactive mind.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        First, I’d like to apologize for replying outside the box earlier – now the responses are cluttering all over the place. I guess your are the moderator of this blog, so I apologize if I have caused any inconvenience.

        On topic though, I’d like to point out that someone who calls you “close-minded” has more than likely run out of arguments. But someone who tells you to be more “open-minded” is probably somewhat different. I would argue that in and of itself, it’s as logically useless as calling someone “closed-minded,” but suppose that he presents another argument after telling you to be more open-minded. Is it not possible he was merely saying that you should study more on the subject at hand- perhaps you should look at the subject using this parameter instead- when he presents further proof of your error? If I’m talking vaguely here, maybe you could suggest an example for a debate.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        [ADDITIONAL COMMENT: Give me an example wherein one deserves to be called “close-minded” and the other has the right to make such a claim.] I’m trying to come up with a particularly clear example. Alright, let’s suppose person A posits that ‘2+2 = 4. In fundamental algebra, this is true.’ But suppose person B presents another argument ‘2+2 = 5. This is true in alternate number system Y.’ But A insists that only his is the right claim, and says that B is wrong. B calls A “close-minded.”

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        I was engaged in a lot of debates with my critics in the past. My anti-public education blog attracted commenters who urged me to have an “open mind”. My pro-RH bill commenters urged me to do the same. Well, I’d like to urge them to have an active mind.

        Like I said, we don’t need an open mind. We need an active mind.

        If “open-mind” means we have to be receptive to other people’s arguments, then that’s just fine. But if it means more than that (like when we are forced to accept their wrong, illogical premise on faith), then that’s another story.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        What you respond to other critics is none of my affair. I merely pointed out what is possibly a lapse on your part – not everyone who calls you to be more “open-minded” is telling you to submit to their arguments without reason or rationality. What you have done in your article is to create an entirely different context of the word “open-minded” the way it is used in the dictionary – this is fine only if both parties share the same context in an argument.

        You also mention your style is to challenge your opponent’s arguments. As much as you have been doing this, you have already claimed that I am making a strawman argument. You also mention that my definition of the word open minded is ‘alleged,’ as if I have not provided any proof of this definition. I have so far tried to understand your position, without making any such logically useless phrases.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        “I merely pointed out what is possibly a lapse on your part – not everyone who calls you to be more “open-minded” is telling you to submit to their arguments without reason or rationality.”

        — How do you know? Yes, you’re right. Not all of them wanted me to submit to their arguments. There were those who urged me to be “open-minded” simply because they possessed what they allegedly reject: close-mindedness. It’s because of their ignorance.

        “What you have done in your article is to create an entirely different context of the word “open-minded” the way it is used in the dictionary – this is fine only if both parties share the same context in an argument.”

        — I disagree. When I tackled this issue, I properly defined my premise.

        TELL ME: is there a moral, intellectual evaluation of the word “open mind”? This is why I discussed in that blog the “appeal to be open-minded”, which has now become a new fallacy.

        This is what you ought to know: the dictionary definitions of words and terms do not offer any moral, intellectual, psychological evaluation.

        Take for example the word “self-interest”. Most people believe that this word connotes “evil”. That it pertains to a brute who has the habit of injuring others and trampling upon their rights. But is there any moral evaluation of the word “self-interest”? Is it inherently evil to focus on your self-interest?

        “You also mention your style is to challenge your opponent’s arguments. As much as you have been doing this, you have already claimed that I am making a strawman argument.”

        — Yes, indeed. It’s because you focused your arguments on the so-called dictionary definition of “open mind.” That reminds me of my critic who criticized by arguments for “absolute rights”. They simply focused their arguments on the dictionary definition of “absolute”, and then argued that the word was responsible for many evils in human history. But is there any moral evaluation of the word “absolute”? Perhaps they meant “absolute evil”. But other might claim: “absolute good”. What about absolute orgasm? – absolutely idiot? – absolutely ignorant?

        The topic here is logical fallacies, and I clearly defined my premise. The topic here is NOT the dictionary definition of the term “open mind.”

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        The problem is:

        “Open mind” is not even an argument. If you believe that your opponent resorted to logical fallacies, you have to point out those fallacies.

        In the first place, why is there a need to tell your opponent to have an open mind? Why is there a need to tell him that he’s close-minded?

        To tell you frankly, based on my personal observation, those who have acquired the habit of employing this new “fallacy” are IGNORANT. Like I said, it’s a form of psychological projection, and they usually employ such a trick whenever they run out of arguments.

        AND I MUST ADD: Only an idiot would employ such a trick!

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        [How do you know?]

        I don’t, sir. This is why I said it is a possibility – part of this discussion to determine this possibility.

        [When I tackled this issue, I properly defined my premise.]

        Let us examine your premise then. You say that an appeal to open mindedness is nothing but a fallacy. I would point out that this is not always true (I provided an example earlier about number systems).

        Now, this is what GabbyD said to you. [Let me reiterate that I am only bringing up other critics’ responses as pertains to the purview of this discussion. Otherwise it is none of my business.]

        “you believe that you are the only source of wisdom. their ideas/ideology have nothing to teach you. its intellectual closedmindedness, and bully-ism.” is GabbyD’s response.

        In this case, I do NOT have sufficient reason to call it a fallacy or not, because I do not know what you were arguing about.

        However, you answer with this, “Personally, I believe that I have nothing to learn from leftist/statist ideas and ideologies. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to ignore every idea or ideology that’s opposed to mine. Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.”

        It’s great that you you would study a theory or idea even if you consider it to have no value to you.

        However, your claim that ‘all ideas and ideologies that are leftist/statist have no value to you’ is what is alarming. How can you make this catch-all statement for all leftist/statist ideas – is it possible for you to know everything there is know about all of these ideologies to proclaim they have no value? Note that you use the word ALL – this includes a very, very wide field of inquiry, sir, which include everything that has been written in the past, present and future. Are you saying that you know all of them have no value to you because you know about all these ideologies? I would like to invite you to read the first edition Communist Manifesto in German, my professor says it’s quite difficult (I have not even read it myself), and I only got a 2.5 in my German class.

        As an aside, even my professor on Shakespeare admits she cannot say Shakespeare is the greatest writer of all time, because she does not know all the writers who ever lived, who are living, and who will live. Do you see what I’m trying to get at, here?

        [TELL ME: is there a moral, intellectual evaluation of the word “open mind”? ]

        I don’t know. I don’t understand what you mean by moral, intellectual evaluation. Could you define this, sir? What do you mean by moral, intellectual, psychological evaluations?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        [In the first place, why is there a need to tell your opponent to have an open mind? Why is there a need to tell him that he’s close-minded?]

        Well, actually, I don’t know. There is no need – as far as I’m concerned, telling someone to be more open minded. It can be just as pointless as calling someone close-minded, especially if that’s the last thing you say. But the idea of being open minded is not necessarily as grim as you describe it. What I’m trying to point out is that when someone tells you to be more open-minded, it’s not necessarily false. Isn’t it possible that you were wrong, that perhaps you made an error in your argument?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        Let me clarify what I understand you mean by fallacy – that something that is called a fallacy is a misleading, deceptive notion (i.e. if something is a fallacy, it is false). I hope we both agree on this definition.

      • GabbyD permalink
        July 9, 2011 3:38

        “How can you make this catch-all statement for all leftist/statist ideas – is it possible for you to know everything there is know about all of these ideologies to proclaim they have no value? Note that you use the word ALL – this includes a very, very wide field of inquiry, sir, ”

        see jose, its deeper than that. if u read the original post, he’s attempting to justify name-calling. by labelling something “statist”, — by NAME-CALLING someone, it means that one already made a judgement about something without listening to the particulars of what they have 2 say.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        @GabbyD, thanks for the response. But the problem here, is that I am constrained by my own definitions here – in his statement:

        [Personally, I believe that I have nothing to learn from leftist/statist ideas and ideologies. However, that doesn’t mean that I have to ignore every idea or ideology that’s opposed to mine. Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.]

        Nothing allows me the logical conclusion that what he perceives as statist is name calling or negative or wrong in any way – because statism by definition only means allowing the state to have a larger role in current institutions. I cannot make the claim that the ideas he HAS studied are ideas he calls statist before or after he studied them either, but see below.

        The only conclusion I can make here is that it is of no value to him. In a strict logical sense, this is not negative either. But the problem is that he makes this statement to refer to ALL possible statist (which he later calls collectivist, which is somewhat confusing) ideologies, whether known or unknown.

        [Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me. but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.]

        In a strict logical sense, it is fallacious to make a value judgement given insufficient information – unless you know all possible ideologies that may be collectivist in nature. Have you extensively studied the Auroville project, perhaps? Or the Zeitgeist Movement? What about the North American tribes who practice some kind of collective society?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        I believe Gabby is not just ignorant, but UTTERLY DISHONEST as well.

        Jose said: “Nothing allows me the logical conclusion that what he perceives as statist is name calling or negative or wrong in any way – because statism by definition only means allowing the state to have a larger role in current institutions. I cannot make the claim that the ideas he HAS studied are ideas he calls statist before or after he studied them either, but see below.”

        @ Jose, I’d like to tell you that this is the SOURCE of this blog https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/name-calling-versus-identification/ .

        There I discussed the difference between “name-calling” and “identification. I believe that you’re right in saying that “statism by definition only means allowing the state to have a larger role in current institutions.” I have to identify that which motivates my opponent. Is it wrong, or is it considered name-calling to call a person “LEFTIST” when it’s very clear that he’s espousing and supporting, although IGNORANTLY AND UNWITTINGLY, leftist ideals? Is that wrong? Should that be called name-calling?

        Like what Ayaan Hirsi Ali said, “LET’S CALL THINGS BY THEIR NAME!” That’s identification. You identify thing by their name and nature.

        Jose said: ‘But the problem is that he makes this statement to refer to ALL possible statist (which he later calls collectivist, which is somewhat confusing) ideologies, whether known or unknown.”

        It’s always between individualism versus collectivism. You have to take note of that. Examples of statist, collectivist ideals/theories: communism, nazism, socialism, fascism, black nationalism, catholic socialism, etc. Yes, they vary in terms of degree, that’s given. So what’s your point?

        Jose said: “In a strict logical sense, it is fallacious to make a value judgement given insufficient information – unless you know all possible ideologies that may be collectivist in nature. Have you extensively studied the Auroville project, perhaps? Or the Zeitgeist Movement? What about the North American tribes who practice some kind of collective society?”

        — What the heck are you talking about. That simply reveals your political naivety. You don’t have to know in detail the names and definitions of all collectivist ideologies. You only have to evaluate whether they are CONSISTENT WITH INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM. You only have to know and understand whether it is possible to live under a specific political theory without sacrificing your right.

        The Zeitgeist Movement is nothing but an ANTI-CAPITALISTIC PROPAGANDA.

        You asked: “What about the North American tribes who practice some kind of collective society?”

        Do those North American tribes respect rights and freedom? Do you understand what rights mean? Do they have property and intellectual property rights? Do they have the concept of economic freedom? Do they have the concept of separation of CULT and society? – due process of law? – equal protection under the law?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        [You don’t have to know in detail the names and definitions of all collectivist ideologies. You only have to evaluate whether they are CONSISTENT WITH INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM.]

        Sir, you cannot evaluate a collective ideology if you can’t define it or detail its aspects.

        Let me repeat what you wrote in the article.

        [Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me, but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.]

        By this line of reasoning, even if you don’t know what kind of society the North American tribes practice, as long as it’s a tribe, a collective, then it has no value to you.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        Let me rephrase that – you probably can evaluate it with respect to individual rights and freedoms, but not in a very informative way. After all, you don’t know its definition nor any of its details. Because you don’t know the degree to which it is a collective, and to what degree does it prohibit or allow individual rights and freedoms. Strictly speaking, a collective is just any group that puts the priority of the group over individual goals. Are you against all national ideologies as well?

      • GabbyD permalink
        July 9, 2011 3:38

        @jose

        ” because statism by definition only means allowing the state to have a larger role in current institutions. ”

        no.

        @froi
        really? what have i been dishonest about?

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        It seems that you’re taking on a strawman here, Jose. I should have told you this at first.

        Here’s what I said, which you commented upon: “Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me. but this doesn’t mean I don’t have to study such an idea or a theory.”

        You said: “In a strict logical sense, it is fallacious to make a value judgement given insufficient information – unless you know all possible ideologies that may be collectivist in nature.”

        I said “every collectivist idea”. Of course how can I come up with such a judgment/evaluation if I did not study or evaluate a certain collectivist idea. Do you get the drift here?

        You said: “Sir, you cannot evaluate a collective ideology if you can’t define it or detail its aspects.”

        — My goodness.

        Here’s what I said: “You don’t have to know in detail the names and definitions of all collectivist ideologies. You only have to evaluate whether they are CONSISTENT WITH INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOM.”

        I said “in detail”. Knowing any ideology in detail is NOT a must. However, this should not preclude anyone from knowing “in detail” the definition and concept of a certain idea. The most important thing is your ability to know whether such an idea or ideology is consistent with rights and freedom. This is called PHILOSOPHICAL DETECTION.

        You said: “By this line of reasoning, even if you don’t know what kind of society the North American tribes practice, as long as it’s a tribe, a collective, then it has no value to you.”

        — That’s not what I said. But if I were to investigate any tribe I have to look at the following aspects:

        1. Do they have a concept of individual rights?

        2. How do they view freedom?

        3. Do they believe in collectivism? Do they believe in collective farming, collective output, collective work?

        4. Do they have property and IP rights?

        5. Who is their leader? How do they choose their leader(s)?

        6. What’s their justice and legal system?

        7. Do they believe in free speech? Or, are they politically correct when it comes to free speech?

        8. What’s their identified political or social system?

        You said: “Let me rephrase that – you probably can evaluate it with respect to individual rights and freedoms, but not in a very informative way.”

        I’ve implicitly answered this above. It can be evaluated. Any society can be evaluated “with respect to rights and freedoms”.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        @ GabbyD

        You asked: “really? what have i been dishonest about?”

        The fact that I’ve already addressed this matter (name-calling).

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        [Yes, every collectivist idea or theory is of no value to me.]

        [Of course how can I come up with such a judgment/evaluation if I did not study or evaluate a certain collectivist idea. Do you get the drift here?]

        I think I do.

        Clearly, you have studied every (I cannot stress the word every enough) collectivist idea or theory that has been written in history, and every collectivist idea that will be written in history, thus you are allowed to make a judgement that they have no value.

        If you misunderstand the meaning of every – http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/every it means complete, entire. It does not mean a certain collectivist idea. It means all.

        I rest my case, sir. Good day.

    • July 9, 2011 3:38

      Jose Benjamin Mahilum Tapay,

      Of course in every debate one must be ‘willing to consider arguments and ideas’ of your opponent. For how can you make an intelligent, logical response if you don’t “consider the arguments and ideas of your opponent.”

      I need to repeat what I said because most people today are NOT RECEPTIVE to arguments:

      For how is it possible for me to make an objective criticism of socialism or communism without understanding the theory and teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels? How can I make an objective, facts-based critique of Kant’s metaphysics, epistemology and ethics if I don’t have proper understanding of his philosophical theory? How can I possibly criticize the Reproductive Health bill without exposing myself to possible public ridicule and humiliation without reading and properly understanding the provisions of the anti-population measure? How can I objectively, factually debunk the illogical, anti-intellectual defense of some schooled RH bill’s dogmatic supporters without properly understanding their arguments?”

      “Consider” here must mean you are willing to study and analyze the arguments of your opponent. It does not mean you must be willing to make a compromise even if you certainly believe that your opponent’s argument are highly fallacious.

      This is the essence of every debate.

      When you argue with a hard-core socialist, you need to study the fundamentals of Marxism. But being ‘OPEN-MINDED” does not mean you have to make a compromise and accept some of the tenets and principles of Marxism or socialism if you firmly believe that the ideology is evil, both in theory and in practice! I hope this is clear to you.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        I’m glad we agree on this, then.

  4. July 9, 2011 3:38

    [In the first place, why is there a need to tell your opponent to have an open mind? Why is there a need to tell him that he’s close-minded?]

    I’d actually like to go back to this point you mentioned earlier. I think it’s best attributed as when people try to explain something. When someone says ‘Please consider X and be more open-minded,’ I might be inclined to think the person says I should reconsider this argument. It’s kind of like when you said I should reread your article (perhaps I will understand something I did not understand before). It could also be likened to ‘This is my premise Y, and I believe you are making a strawman argument.’ None of these phrases ‘be more open-minded,’ and ‘you are making a strawman argument’ need be said, but we say them anyway perhaps to emphasize our given point.

  5. July 9, 2011 3:38

    Let’s define our terms. I find it very much impossible to deal with people who do not have the ability to understand and digest basic concepts. But let me educate the two of you.

    Let’s define “fallacy”. Here’s the general definition of this term. A fallacy is “usually incorrect argumentation in reasoning resulting in a misconception or presumption.” Here’s its dictionary definition. A. a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc. B. a misleading or unsound argument. C. deceptive, misleading, or false nature; erroneousness.

    Take note the evaluative words: DECEPTIVE, MISLEADING, FALSE, ERRONEOUS.

    Now, Jose Benjamin Mahilum Tapay, you said: “Let us examine your premise then. You say that an appeal to open mindedness is nothing but a fallacy. I would point out that this is not always true (I provided an example earlier about number systems).”

    First, you have to understand the definition and proper concept of “fallacy”. What makes a fallacious argument “fallacious”?

    Based on the given definition, an argument or the way one argues becomes fallacious when:

    1. One makes an incorrect, erroneous argument;

    2. there’s an intent (although to commit a fallacy the act is not necessarily intentional) to deceive or mislead. Or, when such an erroneous argument is proved to be misleading and deceiving.

    Now of course every debate is both contextual and topical. When one engages in a debate one has to know whether his opponent resorts to fallacious arguments. His judgment must then be based on how he views the arguments of his opponent. Like I said, fallacious arguments need not be made intentionally or deliberately. In fact, most fallacious arguments were made ignorantly and unwittingly.

    A fallacy is a fallacy when it meets the two criteria given above. And like I said, it need not be intentional. This means that the person has to judge whether the arguments of his opponents are not merely erroneous, but misleading or deceiving as well.

    In regard to the comment of Gabby D (the “close-minded” thing), if you STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND IT, my blog intends to present the appeal to be open-minded as a fallacy. That’s the purpose of my blog. In the first place, GabbyD never explained or argued why he called me “close-minded” and a “bully”. His stupid judgment is merely based on some statements I made in a previous blog. Thus, his judgment was based on NOTHING but on misapprehension and misinterpretation of the facts and statements I previously made.

    Now you said: “I don’t know. I don’t understand what you mean by moral, intellectual evaluation. Could you define this, sir? What do you mean by moral, intellectual, psychological evaluations?”

    Good question. The definition of a specific word or term in the dictionary does not give any moral, psychological and intellectual evaluation. For instance, the dictionary does not say whether the word “absolute” is morally bad or good, or metaphysically bad or good. The word self-interest does not include any moral evaluation. The dictionary does not tell you whether self-interest makes a person bad or good. Simple: IT HAS NO MORAL EVALUATION. The word “authority” has no moral and political evaluation. It does not say what kind of authority is bad or good. It does not say whether one kind of authority is morally good or morally bad. The evaluative task is part of the science of politics, otherwise known as political science.

    Yes, of course, the word “open-mind” is not a fallacy per se, because its dictionary definition does not provide any moral, intellectual and psychological evaluation.

    I repeat what you said above. You said: “You say that an appeal to open mindedness is nothing but a fallacy. I would point out that this is not always true (I provided an example earlier about number systems).”

    I call your attention to the following fallacies:

    1. Appeal to probability. Will you make the same arguments here? Will you tell me to look at the dictionary definition of PROBABILITY to prove your ILLOGICAL, HILARIOUS (if not stupid) argument? It’s the intention and/OR ignorance of the person who commits this fallacy that matters.

    2. Appeal to authority. Will you make the same arguments here? Will you tell me to look at the dictionary definition of AUTHORITY to prove your ILLOGICAL, HILARIOUS (if not stupid) argument? It’s the intention and/OR ignorance of the person who commits this fallacy that matters.

    3. Appeal to consequences. Will you make the same arguments here? Will you tell me to look at the dictionary definition of CONSEQUENCES to prove your ILLOGICAL, HILARIOUS (if not stupid) argument? It’s the intention and/OR ignorance of the person who commits this fallacy that matters.

    Here’s an example of the appeal to be open-minded.

    A presents his secular arguments against the RH bill. He says that the bill is not supported by rational/logical economic reasoning and that it would trample upon people’s individual rights.

    B, an RH bill supporter, argues that we need the bill to fix our growing population and to help solve poverty and address the needs of women and poor people.

    A counters that RP is not overpopulated by presenting statistics. A also says that the bill cannot solve poverty by doling out condoms to poor people. A argues that since the topic is an economic issue, the government only needs to guarantee economic liberty.

    B then tells A to be “open-minded’ to better understand the plight of the poor and the growing population in RP.

    In the above-given example, the insertion of such an “open-minded” argument is highly fallacious and should not have been made part of the debate. Such an insertion tends to obfuscate the issue and to evade the arguments made by A.

  6. GabbyD permalink
    July 9, 2011 3:38

    “You asked: “really? what have i been dishonest about?”
    The fact that I’ve already addressed this matter (name-calling).”

    what are you talkin about? i’ve never said you didnt “address” it.

    • July 9, 2011 3:38

      So what about the “statist” thing? Any problem with that?

    • GabbyD permalink
      July 9, 2011 3:38

      see, here u go again.

      you just CALLED me a liar. after u just explained that you dont name-call; you merely indentify people.

      i said i’m not.

      and now u just drop it? ugh… see? name-calling.

      • July 9, 2011 3:38

        What’s this? https://fvdb.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/the-evil-of-open-mindedness/#comment-12514

        You quoted me: “How can you make this catch-all statement for all leftist/statist ideas – is it possible for you to know everything there is know about all of these ideologies to proclaim they have no value? Note that you use the word ALL – this includes a very, very wide field of inquiry, sir, ”

        And then you made the following comment:

        “see jose, its deeper than that. if u read the original post, he’s attempting to justify name-calling. by labelling something “statist”, — by NAME-CALLING someone, it means that one already made a judgement about something without listening to the particulars of what they have 2 say.”

        — Where’s your proof that I was attempting to “justify name-calling”? You don’t even know the definition/concept of name-calling. To you, every identification like leftist, statist, communist, capitalist, etc. is a name-call.

      • GabbyD permalink
        July 9, 2011 3:38

        ah NOT EVERY. i cannot claim to have read EVERY THING you’ve written.

        only the ones you made which prompted the “namecalling” blog post (since i’ve started commenting).

        whats the proof?

        in the original post: “Yes, most of my critics and blog readers see that some of my blogs contain some fiery, combative adjectives and terms like “a bunch of idiots”, “stupid leftists”, “Filipino Freefarters”, “misguided statists”, “brainless” or “unthinking collectivists””

        these “identify” them? argh… stupid? farters?

        yeah. good job “identifying” them.

      • July 10, 2011 3:38

        Are they name-calls? Lol!

  7. GabbyD permalink
    July 11, 2011 3:38

    haha… name-calls… ahhaa.. lol so funny!

Trackbacks

  1. Name-calling Versus Identification « THE VINCENTON POST

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: