1/26/2009

Open Mindedness & Open Misunderstandings

Posted by Kevin |

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Open mindedness is spoken of a lot in our culture. I have many friends who speak of their ability to be open minded like the ancient Greeks used to boast of the highest virtues. In fact, I consider my self to be pretty open minded, at least on some level, but as of late I'm struggling with what people really mean by it.

I believe most people would define open mindedness as the ability to be open to new thoughts, beliefs, people and experiences without prejudice. The idea of being inclusive and not exclusive - speaking of truth from a personal perspective, not a universal or absolute one. But can truth be personal? Can truth be subjective?

I get that our culture doesn't want to talk about who's right and who's wrong and instead focus on working together. I get that - but that can not mean that everyone is right. Can it?

Yet, regardless of how subjective you believe truth is, death is absolute - you will die. And upon your death absolute truth will be known - either it will be absolutely true that nothing happens, or absolutely true there is a heaven and a hell, or you'll be reincarnated or whatever - but it will be true. It will be reality - and not how we sought to define it or believed it should be, it will just be.

So there is a right and a wrong. I mean, we all believe what we do not because we think it doesn't matter but because it absolutely matters and we think we're right. We all grapple with our own existence and the existence of God because we want to know what is right - what it should look like, what we should do with it. We are all seeking reality, not our own form - we are seeking the truest reality we can find. But what we often find is our own form of reality, which is where I submit to the subjectivity of it all - but it does not rule out absolute truth.

Taking it a step further, if we assumed truth is at it's core subjective to the individual, then we could not punish crime. Evil would be only in the subjective eye of the beholder. Is rape ever right? The same person who argues that truth is subjective, also makes a stand for the wrong done them in life and the right they want to see. How is that possible if truth is really subjective? Being open minded can not mean that everyone is right.

But an acceptance of absolute truth, though subjectively and often wrongly interpreted into everyday life, make sense of this whole thing. We all seek the better because truth does exist, because there is a right and there is a wrong. That truth is Love. No one argues with Love - when you see it and when you experience it you know it is Right. Truth exists - we all just need to chase it, pursue it, live it, be it and seek its purest form. Because the believer in God can just as easily justify their actions 'rightness' as the non believer can. Maybe we're all just afraid to be wrong? But the Truth and Love I believe in transcends all my finite understandings and exist independent of them. I'm just trying to live within reality where love and truth best co-exist.

3 comments:

Bob said...

You write this on a Monday morning? How about a "stupid things people do" video instead. I don't feel like thinking this hard, so early.

candice McGarvey said...

The picture... Really?
You make me laugh
Good stuff though. Thanks.

Kevin Davis said...

Bob - you're a pansy.

Candice - I was bored - miss you guys. We talked about you guys with Jesse and Raelyn this weekend, hope all is well - miss ya.

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