Like many millennials of my generation, I pride myself on being as open-minded as possible. My viewpoints mostly depend on evidence, not what tradition dictates. Open-mindedness is a fantastic way to live. With an open mind, you will learn to be accepting of all people, have your beliefs challenged, and be willing to be proven wrong. Keeping that in mind, when it comes time to discuss important topics like religion, politics, equality, etc., you will undoubtedly come across some rather dogmatic people.
Dogmatism is the worst. It is defined as the expression of an opinion or belief as if it were fact. These people value traditional thinking over hard evidence. Some will even be relentless in letting you know that you are wrong and they are right. Let me give you an example of a particular dogmatist in my life that pisses me off on a regular basis.
I won’t name names, but for the sake of this article, let’s call this person Steve. We disagree on the topic of climate change. I believe climate change is real and he believes it is a hoax. Here is how a typical argument with Steve goes…
Me: Steve, evidence from The Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics suggests that the huge increase in greenhouse gases and carbonaceous aerosols in the Northern Hemisphere has greatly affected the chemical integrity of our atmosphere.
Steve: That’s bullshit, nobody can see the atmosphere.
Me: You are correct. We cannot physically see the atmosphere. However, we have proven methods to measure the concentrations of certain gas particles which directly correlate to the area which those same gaseous particles are being omitted. In other words, we can measure how much smog is above New York City and determine how it negatively affects that area of the atmosphere.
Steve: You can use all the fancy science words you want. Anyone who believes that garbage is an idiot. Case closed.
… and so goes this vicious circle. I present Steve with some evidence, he rejects it by responding with uninformed answers, and then shuts down the conversation.
Domgatists such as Steve are entitled to believe whatever the hell they want. Fair enough. However, I draw the line at the name-calling and the flat out ignorance of the evidence. To be fair, not everyone has a science background and spends their time reading research journals about climate change (that’s for nerds like me). With that said, Steve still looks like an ignorant dumbass by responding with empty statements like “scientists can’t see the atmosphere”. All while claiming to be educated on the topic.
So there’s my rant on dogmatism and closed-mindedness. In closing, I would like to encourage everyone out there to stay open-minded and flexible in your opinions. Life is better that way.