Opening up to Opposing Viewpoints

Something that I’ve been working on since losing my religion and becoming involved in the skeptical movement is striking the right balance between literature that supports my new outlook, and literature that doesn’t. If you look back at some of my earlier posts (in particular the one about the debunking skeptics website), I’m sure you’ll find examples where I refused or was hesitant to look at something that did not fit into my goal to learn based on reason and science.

It’s not that I was ever afraid of being confronted with something that would force me to change my mind, I’m not, I just felt like it would be a waste of my time. Now that I’ve settled in to skepticism and I’ve honed my critical thinking skills some more I’ve begun to realize that there is value in looking at what people who don’t share my point of view are saying.

I think that one of the worst parts about religion is that it closes people off from exposure to other points of view, and I don’t want to fall into that same trap of just ignoring or dismissing things that don’t agree with me.

So I’m going to do something about it…

I still feel that I have the most to learn from skeptics and scientists, so that is where the majority of my focus will remain, but as a way to routinely expose myself to something else, whether it be the paranormal, faith, cryptozoology, UFOs, and so on, I’m going to use podcasts.

I love podcasts, and I find that it’s the medium through which I absorb information the most effectively. So, I’m going to incorporate a variety of podcasts that hold opposing viewpoints into my regular listening schedule. I’m going to keep a list in the sidebar of podcast episodes that I plan on listening to and blogging about so I can be held accountable, and I’m going to take requests!

I just have three criteria for requests: (1) the podcast should be no longer than 30 minutes; (2) I will need examples of specific episodes you think I should listen to, rather than just naming the series; (3) the podcast episode should be dealing with one topic in particular, rather than a news show or a segmented show. If you’re not sure if the podcast you like fits those criteria, send it to me anyways and I’ll make that call.

Please send me your requests either through the contact form or in the comments on this thread.

This should be fun!


4 Responses to “Opening up to Opposing Viewpoints”

  1. 1 kevinbbg December 17, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I no longer listen or read opposing views because it doesn’t take very long for them to piss me off enough to start yelling obscenities at the book, TV, etc.

    It’s better for my blood pressure to stay away from that stuff.


  2. 2 EnlightningLinZ December 17, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    lol I’m like that sometimes…if nothing else, at least this exercise will help me work on my self-control 😉 I’ve listened to a few episodes of Skeptico (sp?), hosted by Alex Tsikaris, and that one really gets my heart rate going!

  3. 3 Global Villager December 22, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    I highly recommend Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck

  4. 4 EnlightningLinZ December 27, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Barf! Do you (or anyone reading this) know about any podcasts they’ve appeared in?

    I know the podcast Irreligiosophy has done a few episodes on Glenn Beck.

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