Close Mindedness

Just the other day I was in a conversation with a woman I know.  She is the spiritual type, meaning she doesn’ t believe in any religion but she says she can feel a connection with everyone and everything and even to some power greater than her.  She believes this because sometimes “strange and unexplained” things happen.  She starts telling me about how she has stopped every watch she has ever worn, and broken more computers than anyone she knows.  For some reason she thinks this is the result of the mystic energy of the universe.  You know when the TV turns on in a room than no one is in, mystic energy, and when you almost get into a car crash but stop just in time, yep energy too.  Another person chimed in here and thought that when she is using her computer and she remembers to save the document, that must be god, energy or whatever, because there is just no other explanation.

I disagreed.  I said it is much more likely that she has lost documents before and that she didn’t want to experience that again.  They said I was just being close minded.  The first lady starts bring up how she used to see a “spaghetti monster” in her room late at night.  She knows she wasn’t dreaming or hallucinating so ist must be real, despite the fact that spaghetti monsters don’t exist, despite the fact that she says she sometimes hallucinates late at night when she is tired, she knows it was real.  I brought up that lots of people think aliens visit them at night, and hundreds of years ago people thought demons and witches were having sex with them in bed.

I was again called close minded.

Why is it that wanting evidence for things  or looking for the more rational answer is close minded.  I understand that anything has a possibility of happening, but I think there is a difference between being open minded and just not thinking.  With out evidence of some kind all you can really have is speculation.  One example that I brought up was dragons.  I asked her if she thinks there are dragons exist, and she said they might, but maybe they are just invisible.

This is just dumb.  The problem this has is that it isn’t falsifiable.  Anyone can keep making up reason why dragons can’ t be seen, but it doesn’t give us the slightest bit of proof.

What is interesting is people like her think wanting evidence is close minded, but she is OK with dismissing any evidence against her claims.  I think this is much more close minded.  She already has her beliefs and nothing is going to change them, no matter what the evidence says. I on the other hand and fully willing to change my mind.  Just show me the facts.  Evidence is how we know things.  How do we know dogs exist? We see them.  How do we know France exists, even with out being there?  There are pictures, maps a language, a culture, you can in fact go there and discover it for yourself.

The thing about evidence though, the bigger the claim the more evidence you need.  Since as far as we know, spaghetti monsters don’t exist, one woman’s story shouldn’t be enough to convince anyone, not even herself.

So maybe I’m close minded or maybe not, I’m not going to lose sleep over what people think.

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One Response to Close Mindedness

  1. Josh Wittner says:

    This is an ad hominem fallacy on her part.

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