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Open-mindedness is always a good thing

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,066 times Debate No: 56931
Debate Rounds (4)
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1st round acceptance
2nd round arguments
3rd round rebuttals
4th round rebuttals/closing statement(s)

We have previously discussed debating this topic, I hope you put up a good argument.


Open-minded: willing to consider different ideas or opinions, the opposite of closed-minded. (

Closed-minded: unreceptive to new ideas or information, the opposite of open-minded. (


I accept the challenge and will argue that open-mindedness is not always as good as it appears. I also accept the definitions provided above, and look forward to an enjoyable debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate, now on to the argument.

Open-mindedness is a virtue, there is no doubt in my mind that that is true. Being open-minded has led to many societal and scientific achievements. It is also one of the traits that makes a good leader or judge. Even the very existence of this website is because of open-mindedness! With my claims now out of the way, I will prove them.

"societal and scientific achievements":

When I mean "societal achievements" I mean that society has been improved for the better of its members by changing legal and/or cultural views on a particular subject. Excellent examples of "societal achievements" would be the civil rights movement of the 50's and 60's, which ended racial segregation and the women's suffrage movement which culminated in the passing of the 19th amendment to the constitution, allowing women to vote. The only reason these movements succeeded is because people were open-minded about the idea of women and non-whites having the same rights as everyone else. If they had not been open-minded, women would probably still not be able to vote or get a proper education and non-whites would probably still be slaves and certainly not be able to vote because the people in power (white males) would still think of both of those groups as lesser beings, and would not listen to any ideas that said otherwise.

I don't feel like I have to explain why "scientific achievements" have happened because of open-mindedness, but for those of you that don't know why, I will. The scientific method relies on series of observations, hypothesizes and experiments as well as evidence in order to attempt to understand reality, as you know some of these results have gone against what was previously the explanation for something (diversity of life/origin of the universe/earthquakes anyone?). Science requires open-mindedness, it requires its practitioners to be willing to consider new and different ideas. If people were not open-minded, science couldn't happen! Nor could all the things science has done!

"It [open-mindedness] is also one of the traits that makes a good leader or judge":

What are the traits of a good leader? Let's see... Confidence, intelligence, humility... Oh, and the ability to listen to other people! No leader is always right, good or bad, and they need to be corrected from time to time. This, once again, requires open-mindedness. If a leader is not open-minded on a subject, that means that they are closed-minded on that subject (you cannot be partially open-minded on a subject, that's called selective hearing), if a leader is closed-minded on a subject, that means they are unreceptive to new ideas or information regarding that subject. If a leader won't listen to new ideas or information on a subject, they will most likely make a mistake in judgement if a situation around or including that subject changes because they are still basing their judgement off of old ideas and information which may not be the best way to make the decision. However, if a leader listens to the ideas and opinions of the people they govern/represent, they will not only avoid the problem of basing new decisions off of old ideas and information, they will also make the populace happier with their leadership!

I think it's pretty obvious why a judge has to be open-minded, but here's an argument anyway: I will take a well-known kind of case and use it as an example, how about rape accusations? Pretend that a case of rape is brought before a judge, a woman says that the defendant, a haggard-looking 40-something year old man, raped her. Now, this man looks like a rapist if anything, but the judge cannot be sure whether the man raped the woman or not on looks alone. Even if the woman says he is guilty of rape, the judge has to be open to the possibility that the man is innocent, no matter how damning the testimony or appearance, until solid evidence is brought up for one side or the other. This doesn't prevent the judge from making a decision, solid evidence may not be possible for whatever reason, but it still means that the man could be either guilty or innocent. This is why judges need to be open-minded.

"Even the very existence of this website is because of open-mindedness":

What is the purpose of debating? Why have big debates like the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate? To change the opinions of others of course! If people wouldn't consider other points of view and were unwilling to listen to new ideas, there would be no point in debate because no one would have their opinion swayed! But people (some anyway) do consider other points of view and are willing to listen to new ideas, like we are right now! And one of our opinions could be swayed! That is why websites like this exist, to make it easier for people to debate and sway each others opinions with good, well-reasoned arguments.

I hope you didn't find any of my argument to be hostile, that was not my intent, I probably should've warned you. I look forward to a good argument on your part.


Open-mindedness is a very popular concept in today's world as well as the idea of "tolerance." If you say you are open-minded, people will respect you and listen to you. While open-mindedness is good in some circumstances, it is my contention that is not good in ALL circumstances.

I. Identifying the Danger.
A fable by Aesop is as following:

" Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: "You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?"
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: "See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides."
So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn't gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: "Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along."
Well, the Man didn't know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: "Aren't you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours and your hulking son?"
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey's feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.
"That will teach you," said an old man who had followed them:
"Please all, and you will please none." "


In the above story, as you see, the man was constantly sacrificing his idea of the correct configuration to accommodate the new ideas constantly hurtling towards him. This demonstrates the danger we risk with open-mindedness; so much change in opinion that we don't even know what our own thoughts and beliefs are. Richard Dawkins once said "By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out."

II. Identifying the Situation.
Everyone, whether they know it or not, is close-minded about something. Sometimes, a person will say, fully believing it, that they are open-minded, but their actions show more close-mindedness than open-mindedness. Some people are even close-minded about being open-minded. I am not saying my opponent has this problem, I am just saying that it is common.
The things people are often most close-minded about are usually something that means a lot to them. Here's three examples of good close-mindedness:
1. Religious beliefs
2. Personal Convictions
3. A Filter for Information

III. Identifying the Circumstances.
1. Religious beliefs
Everybody needs to have what is called a "fixed point of reference." A fixed point of reference is what a person navigates through life by. If I am in a dark room with no corners and nothing in it, then I am lost in that room. I don't know where I am. But if I find a chair, then I can use it to discover how big the room is and where I am in the room. However, if I take the chair with me, then I am just as lost. I have nothing to help me navigate. If the chair has wheels and can easily move around, I would have a more difficult time finding my way around because not only do I not know where I am, I don't know where it is either.
Open-mindedness, if we are not careful, will put wheels on the chair. Right and wrong is no longer absolute. If you are too open-minded you will find yourself buffeted with trying to change your opinions to fit all of the ideas you hear.
We should not be open-minded to the point of surrendering our beliefs. There are some things that are worth being close-minded. Christian martyrs are people who were close-minded about their beliefs because they were convinced that their beliefs are true and were willing to die about said beliefs.

2. Personal Convictions.
This is an extension of my previous argument. If I believe something is right strongly, I should not surrender it for the sake of being open-minded. If I have a conviction that extra-marital relations is wrong, I should not be open-minded to someone trying to persuade me otherwise. This concept is true in a variety of different circumstances. If I am convinced that something is not right, I should not force my opinion on others, but I should stay true to my convictions. I should definitely consider all my options before making a decision, but once I've made it, I should stick to it. Nobody likes someone who is always wishy-washy, always reconsidering. There comes a point where you need to go ahead with your convictions and ignore those voices trying to deter and distract you.

3. A Filter for Information.
The fixed point of reference that I was discussing previously acts as a filter for a person's actions. Everyone uses their convictions as a lens by which they view the world with. The things you are close-minded about will determine what you are open-minded about. For example, if I am close-minded about the Bible's veracity because I have considered all the options and am convinced it is true, then I will be open-minded about whether or not a woman should wear skirts, but I will be close-minded to someone attempting to convince me that the Bible is fake. I will also behave a certain way because of the beliefs that I am close-minded about.

IV. Identifying the Parameters.
Now, I would like to make one important clarification before I close. The resolution is "Open-mindedness is always a good thing." I am not saying that open-mindedness is a bad thing in this debate. In fact oftentimes it is a very good thing indeed. However, as I have mentioned in this post, there are times where close-mindedness is a better stance. I am very much for open-mindedness in many areas, but it has a place, and we should be careful not to exalt it higher than it really deserves.

I also hope I have not offended anyone by my arguments and eagerly await my opponent's rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 2


I thank my opponent for the excellent argument and the lovely story, I will now proceed to tear them apart with cold, hard logic (no hard feelings of course).

You seem to have misunderstood the agreed upon definition of open-mindedness, "willing to consider different ideas or opinions, the opposite of closed-minded". The definition of "willing" is: "ready, eager, or prepared to do something", this excludes the idea that one must always consider other opinions or ideas like you imply, it simply means that one is prepared to take different viewpoints into account. But I will excuse this as it is a rather petty argument, I only wanted to point it out to you for future reference.

There is a problem with your story-the man did not lose his donkey because he was too open-minded, he lost his donkey because he tried to make everyone happy (""Please all, and you will please none."") without thinking about how he wanted to travel with his donkey. The man in the story was a victim of valuing others opinions over his own, that may be considered to be overly open-minded, but I think the story above would be better used in a con position in a debate titled "Selflessness is always a good thing". My opponent had a different take on the moral of the story: "In the above story, as you see, the man was constantly sacrificing his idea of the correct configuration to accommodate the new ideas constantly hurtling towards him.". I agree completely, but once again, I believe the man was not being too open-minded, but undervaluing his own opinion.

As for your three points:
1. I don't understand how being religiously closed-minded is a good thing. I do know, however, how being religiously closed-minded is a bad thing, the Spanish Inquisition (no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!) being the premier example. You don't need religion to be the chair that is your fixed point of reference, personally, I use my younger self (or as visualized in the realm of the dark room, my footsteps, lit up by memory and journals containing memory) since only I know what my convictions truly were at what point, while any number of people could move your chair either when you're not looking or before you enter the room while you were told it was in another place. I would say that my footsteps were more reliable than the chair. You seem to confuse the fact that listening to other ideas doesn't equate to changing your opinion to fit other ideas. What is wrong with 'right' and 'wrong' not being absolute? Things aren't as simple as black and white you know, there are many gray areas and no absolutes. When we choose to be open-minded, it doesn't mean we surrender our beliefs about that subject. You are open-minded on some subjects to be sure, do you still have your own beliefs regarding that subject that are different from some that you've heard? If so, you have just disproved your theory that being open-minded means changing your opinion to encompass all other opinions on that subject.

2. I do think one should stick to their convictions in most situations, but one usually changes their convictions from the time they're born till the time they die, not for the sake of changing, but because they feel they were wrong about something and want to correct it. I'm not saying that people should change their beliefs all the time, but it is equally illogical to stick to your beliefs for your whole life no matter what, you don't get everything right on the first try. And just because you're open-minded doesn't mean you have to change your beliefs all the time, it just means you are open to changing your opinion, instead of being an inflexible stick-in-the-mud (no offense intended).

3. As the agreed upon definition for closed-minded stated: "unreceptive to new ideas or information, the opposite of open-minded.". Being closed-minded on anything would certainly act as a filter for that subject-by filtering out any words that didn't agree with your opinion. If you do that, no new information will come to you and you couldn't learn about that subject and grow as an individual. Humans learn about their world like no other, it's what makes us who we are. If we can't do that, then what makes us any different from any other animal? No, being closed-minded about something doesn't determine what you are open-minded about. I do not understand how you came to that conclusion, please elaborate, who knows, you may convince me.

For your last point, that is our fundamental disagreement, you think being closed-minded in some situations is good, I think being open-minded is always the better choice. That is why we are having this debate.

I really hope you weren't offended this time, I think I went a little too far in some places. By the way, if you didn't already know, in this round you are responding only to my argument from the second round. You respond to this post in the fourth round. It really was an excellent argument you made, and I await an equally excellent rebuttal.


Per the guidelines set in place, I will at this time respond to my opponent's argument from round 2.

1. Website demonstrating open-mindedness.
This is simply not the case. True, we are here to exchange opinions and arguments, but that does not assume that every person on here is necessarily open-minded. In fact, I have had several conversations with people during which both of us were so dead-set on our opinions that neither of us shifted in our stance. But this is only a minor point.

2. Societal achievements. Yes, the example brought up is one of the times open-mindedness is good. Open-mindedness certainly could have brought these good things about, but it can also bring negative societal change. Young people who are not careful to be close-minded about certain things may find that highly praised open-mindedness to be their weak spot. They might consider drugs and alcohol and other things because they think it would be bad to openly reject such things. Eventually, they may find themselves entangled in a snare that they might not otherwise have gotten into.
Among the Nazis, there were likely many people who were open-minded to the idea that the Jews were defiling their race. They believed it, and helped Hitler commit one of the worst (if not the worst) atrocities in recent history.
The founding fathers were open-minded about slavery, and therefore, slavery persisted for about a hundred years.
Changes in society, due to open-mindedness are not always good.

3. Scientific achievements. My opponent is correct that science is, in the beginning inherently open-minded. However, once scientists come to a conclusion (e.g. the earth is round) they are close-minded to any other explanation because they have discovered the definitive proof, and do not take kindly to contradictions. I will not say whether this is good or not, I am just saying that there is as much close-mindedness as open-mindedness in science.

4. Leader.
Yes, a leader does need to listen to others, but there is a time and place for that. There are sometimes when a leader needs to just go ahead and follow his or her gut to accomplish the goal. After all, that is why they were chosen to be a leader, to call the shots. When my family and I went to Mount Rainier a few years ago, we went on a trail with a park ranger as a guide. Everything was covered in ten feet of snow, so the ranger was there to make sure we did not get hurt. The ranger instructed us exactly where to go, and was close-minded to any suggestions because he knew what was the best course of action. This type of leader may not always be popular, but I personally am glad that he was close-minded to suggestions. Otherwise, who knows where we might be now?

5. Judge.
For this argument, I think that my opponent accidentally confused open-mindedness for a lack of bias. We do not necessarily need a judge who is willing to consider different opinions, but one who is willing to put aside his or her personal prejudices and preferences and view the defendant with a clean slate.
Here is a definition of bias to consider:
Bias: an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially : a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment : prejudice
A good judge clears as many preconceived notions about the defendant out and lets the lawyers representing the defendant and plaintiff convince him of whether or not the defendant is guilty.
This debate is not about bias, so it is my opinion that this argument does not apply.

6. The purpose of debate.
If our primary purpose for debate is to convince the other to agree with their side, then we have largely failed. I have never seen either side of a debate openly agree with the other. I have either watched or read hundreds of debates, and the closest I have seen to agreement is a forfeit. Why? Because we are trying to convince you, the voter, to vote for us, not for our opponent.
It is my contention that debate is an exchange of ideas, a place where you test them out, like a great experiment. A debate comes after the open-mindedness stage, after you have digested the information, and have made a decision. That is when you debate to defend your viewpoint and broaden your defensive skills.
Pro brought up the example of the Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham debate. If you watched it, however, you might have noticed that at the end, Mr. Nye was a staunch Atheist and evolutionist, and Mr. Ham was a staunch Christian and creationist. By the end of that debate, they were both equally convinced that they were right. My opponent is an Atheist, and even if he watched the debate, he is not a creationist Christian. I am a Christian, and I watched the debate, but I am most definitely not an Atheist evolutionist.
Therefore the example brought up by my opponent does not support his point and actually undermines it.

I would like to make one last observation. Pro has the burden to prove that open-mindedness is always good all the time. What he has so far done to accomplish this endeavor was bring up six examples of times he claims open-mindedness is good. Six examples are nice, but they fail to prove that open-mindedness is ALWAYS good. Therefore the resolution at hand is yet to be upheld. My standpoint is that open-mindedness is not always good, so all I need to convince you as the voter of is one instance open-mindedness is not or was not good. I hope I have done so.

Thank you Pro, for your respectful attitude, and I hope that I have been equally respectful to you.
Debate Round No. 3


First, my counter-rebuttal:

1. Website demonstrating open-mindedness (rebuttal).
When did I say that everyone on this website was open-minded? I think all I said was "But people (some anyway) do consider other points of view and are willing to listen to new ideas, like we are right now! And one of our opinions could be swayed! That is why websites like this exist, to make it easier for people to debate and sway each others opinions with good, well-reasoned arguments.". Of course there are people here for other reasons, trolling, hating, spewing propaganda and advertising a magic witch doctor that cures relationship issues. But the purpose of this site is not for them, it is for people like us, people who want to convince others to join their world view or at least learn about the other side. Even if this is only a minor point, I feel it should still be debunked.

2. Societal achievements (rebuttal).
It is true that open-mindedness has bought about negative societal change, and you made an excellent point with the Nazis. But what has happened to Nazism? It has been deemed a hateful philosophy by the rest of the world and only persists in small numbers in the backwaters of society. Eventually hate is stomped out in favor of civility and understanding, this has been observed countless times, from the American civil war to world war two to the collapse of the South African apartheid government. Your argument about the topic of drugs (and by the way, alcohol is a drug too, so it's a little silly to refer to it as "drugs and alcohol") is very interesting and I wonder why you did not bring it up in your argument. But allow me address that argument:

No, I think young people would not do illicit drugs more often then they already do if they were not closed-minded to drugs. Why? Because the information about what happens to you both physically and mentally would still be available, and I trust that the majority of young people would not want their life either ruined or otherwise significantly impaired by drugs. So the difference between this and being closed-minded is that the people actually got to decide and weigh the pros and cons by themselves, instead of it just being told to them like they were mindless drones. The reason that the outcomes (most young people don't do drugs) of the two methods are similar is because the cons do outweigh the pros when it comes to this topic, and the 'man' as it were, says that drugs are bad for you as well. Really ,it doesn't matter whether you are open or closed-minded on the issue of drug use (for now at least), because the conclusion is often the same.

3. Scientific achievements (rebuttal).
It is a good thing that you know that science is based in open-mindedness, some people would tell you otherwise, that science is just another way for Satan to get at you. But you then go on to say "However, once scientists come to a conclusion (e.g. the earth is round) they are close-minded to any other explanation because they have discovered the definitive proof, and do not take kindly to contradictions.". While it is true that some people in the scientific community can be zealous about the current scientific model for reality, the majority of scientific persons are open-minded about other possibilities for answers to questions like, say, the shape of the earth. The only problem is that the evidence that the earth is round is overwhelming, not that the scientists are closed-minded about that topic. If we were not so sure that the earth was round scientists would gladly listen to alternative theories. The reason most scientists don't listen to all the ideas regarding important questions (and thus appear closed-minded) is because they need to have factual, solid evidence supporting the idea to believe it. It is the job of the people who think the idea to be true to find evidence supporting the idea, then scientists will examine the evidence for themselves, re-examine the evidence supporting the idea previously thought to be the correct answer, and decide whether the new idea trumps the old idea and becomes the accepted answer or the old idea remains the accepted answer. If definitive evidence or at the very least a logical explanation is not provided, scientists will have nothing to do with it. Science constantly changes its answers to questions to fit the evidence that continually comes up as time progresses, it would be against the nature of science to stick to an answer even though the evidence says otherwise. I wanted to clear this up for both my opponent and anyone reading this-science and closed-mindedness are polar opposites and the two can never mix and have it still be called science.

4. Leader (rebuttal).
Yes, it is true that sometimes a leader needs to 'call the shots' without anyone else's opinion. But in most of those situations time is of the essence and a good leader can't afford the time needed to get input on possible decisions, this doesn't mean the leader is being closed-minded in this situation, it means that the leader needs to make a decision quickly and the best way to do that is making the decision by him/herself, but this doesn't mean that the leader is "unreceptive to new ideas or information" like the definition says. The majority of leadership situations, however, would benefit from listening to the ideas and suggestions of others. That is why the President of the United States has a cabinet, to help them make a decision.

5. Judge (rebuttal).
I agree that a lack of bias is necessary for a good judge, but I'm pretty sure that open-mindedness is needed as well. As the definition of open mindedness reads: "willing to consider different ideas or opinions, the opposite of closed-minded", and as the definition of closed-mindedness reads: "unreceptive to new ideas or information, the opposite of open-minded". Here, you can see that open-mindedness is the opposite of closed-mindedness, and closed mindedness means that one is unreceptive to new information. If the judge was not receptive to new information in the rape case (such as DNA evidence that it was not the defendant who committed the rape) he/she may come to the incorrect conclusion. while it may seem like this argument is invalid, I think I have just proved that it is valid.

6. The purpose of debate (rebuttal).
I do think that we are trying to convince others to vote for us, but it is our duty to attempt to convince each other as well. Your argument for the purpose of debate only applies to this website and perhaps a few others, while my opinion on the purpose of debate covers all kinds of debate, private, public and online. It is true that debating serves as an exchange of thought and a testing ground for ideas, but I think it is untrue to say "A debate comes after the open-mindedness stage, after you have digested the information, and have made a decision.". The open-mindedness stage on a topic never really ends (unless one is mentally conditioned otherwise, by one's self or others), your opinion can sway in multiple directions before you can be definitive in your personal opinion. And even then you can be convinced to have a different opinion on that topic. You debate to do the following things:
1. Exchange ideas, viewpoints and opinions.
2. Convince others to your ideas, viewpoints and opinions.
3. Be convinced to others ideas, viewpoints and opinions.
Have you ever come to a decision on a topic? And have you been convinced to come to a different decision on that topic by someone else? Have you ever convinced someone who had a different opinion on a subject to instead share your opinion? If so, you have just proved yourself wrong, if not so, I don't know how either of these things haven't happened to you.

It is very surprising that you bring up the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate and say "at the end, Mr. Nye was a staunch Atheist and evolutionist, and Mr. Ham was a staunch Christian and creationist". In case you don't remember, here is the video of the debate. At the end of the debate, both Ken Ham and Bill Nye were asked if they could ever be convinced that the other was right, Ken Ham said he could never be convinced that Bill Nye was right, but Bill Nye said that it would only take just one piece of definitive evidence to get him to re-examine his world view entirely and possibly be convinced that Ken Ham was right after all (I wouldn't call that 'staunch'), like any good and open-minded scientist. And another thing, arguments don't always convince you, that is why I am not a creationist and Christian and you an Atheist and evolutionist after watching the debate. Also, I did not first bring up the Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye debate as an argument for open-mindedness, I brought it up as an example of a large debate that got a lot of attention and had a lot of importance placed on it, as supporting evidence that debating is an important activity. But it seems that you have forced my hand and now it has become another argument for open-mindedness.

Now that my counter-rebuttal is out of the way, I would like to say a few things.

While you may just look at the title of this debate and vote pro, I urge potential voters to read all of my opponent's arguments as well as my own and come to your own conclusion on who is right, because that is what being open-minded is all about, being willing to consider different ideas or opinions.

To my opponent: You have done a very good job in this debate and I would like to have another debate with you some other time. As usual I apologize if I have offended you in any way with my words, although I was very careful this time not to be offending. Thank you for accepting this debate and I know that you will provide this website with a wonderful counter-rebuttal. Good luck.


In this last post of this debate, I will respond to my opponent's arguments in Round 3.

1. Definitions. I don't see the distinction of willing to consider versus actually considering other viewpoints. I think they are pretty much the same. Therefore, I leave it to the discretion of the voter to decide.

2. Story. Pro may be correct that the man was undervaluing his own opinion, but even so, the man was willing to consider the suggestions, no matter how ridiculous they were, and in considering, changed his opinion until it reached the point of absurdity. Yes, the moral is different from my interpretation, but I believe that it is a story that can be applied to many different contexts.

3. A. Religious close-mindedness. My opponent said that it is bad to be religiously close-minded, and he brought up the example of the Inquisition. This example, however is not really on the subject at hand. Close-mindedness is merely "unreceptive to new ideas" it does not necessarily mean forcing one's convictions on others. My opponent is an atheist and I am a Christian. I am unreceptive to people saying the Bible is fake. However, I have never pushed my Christianity on him or treated him badly for his beliefs. I am not prejudiced against him, and we are actually friends. So my "close-mindedness" does not mean that I will persecute you if you do not completely agree with me. If I did that I would be intolerant. Therefore, as you can see, the Inquisition is actually an example of intolerance, not close-mindedness.

B. Absolutes. When right and wrong are not absolute, confusion reigns. I will not explain this further because I don't think it is really necessary to this round.

C. Does open-mindedness mean changing ones view? I believe that sometimes it does. On the subjects I am open-minded on, I have had my views shift at least a little from the feedback from others. That is why I am careful about what I am open-minded about.

4. Convictions. My opponent is correct that most convictions do shift throughout life. However that is not true of all. For example, as a Christian, I am convinced that the Bible is true and am quite unlikely to change it. Some people do change it, granted, but others do not.

5. Does what you are close-minded about determine what you are open-minded about?
For me, yes. Using my Christianity example again, the fact I am close-minded about the veracity of the Bible makes me only open-minded to things not having to do with the Bible being false. One example of something I am close-minded about it the issue of creation/evolution. You can try to convince me otherwise, but I choose not to change my opinion because I would discredit my belief that the Bible is completely accurate.

I will not address round 4 because I don't feel it would be really fair to my opponent. I leave you, the voter, to make your own decision.

However, I would like to summarize my main point. Open-mindedness is good in many areas, and I am all for it. But I don't think it is always good. As I have mentioned above, there are some situations where close-mindedness is better. Close-mindedness does not necessarily mean imposing your beliefs on others. It simply means one's mind is made up.

I would like to thank my opponent for such an interesting and respectful debate. I have enjoyed it and I trust you have too. I hope that we will have an equally enjoyable debate in the future.
I apologize for any disrespect on my part.

I would also like to thank our voters for taking the time to read this long debate and voting on it. We really appreciate it.
Debate Round No. 4
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