Bracketing thoughts

I heard that the it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it. I’ve also heard a few skeptic sites refer to it as bracketing your thoughts.
I thought that being open minded meant accepting new ideas instead of calling them out as bullshit and rejecting them. That by not listening to their woo or spirituality that I’m being closed minded. But somehow that doesn’t seem right.
How does one bracket their thoughts and data that they receive? It has come to my attention that my mind is pretty credulous, I tend to believe a lot of what I read, no matter how crazy it may sound sometimes. Philosophy seems to be my Achilles heel in this case.

How would you deal with being presented with a type of, what someone presented as a “food” that you had never seen or heard of before? Just immediately gobble it down? I don’t think so.

I heard that the it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought without accepting it. I've also heard a few skeptic sites refer to it as bracketing your thoughts. I thought that being open minded meant accepting new ideas instead of calling them out as bullshit and rejecting them. That by not listening to their woo or spirituality that I'm being closed minded. But somehow that doesn't seem right. How does one bracket their thoughts and data that they receive? It has come to my attention that my mind is pretty credulous, I tend to believe a lot of what I read, no matter how crazy it may sound sometimes. Philosophy seems to be my Achilles heel in this case.
I suggest you read some books and articles about skepticism. CFI published The Skeptical Inquirer magazine and reading a few issues of that should turn you into a skeptic fast. SI was invaluable to me on my path to skepticism. Lois

I suggest staring with Carl Sagan’s book The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. It is an excellent treatise on how to spot woo.
http://www.amazon.com/Demon-Haunted-World-Science-Candle-Dark/dp/0345409469/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1456458033&sr=1-1

I actually read that book, but it didn’t answer my questions. It didn’t tell me anything about how to entertain an idea without accepting it.

I actually read that book, but it didn't answer my questions. It didn't tell me anything about how to entertain an idea without accepting it.
I'm not sure what you mean bt entertaning an idea withouy accepting it. You can certainly read about or listen to an idea with an open mind and then look at it skeptically instead of swallowing it hook, line and sinker. To learn to think skeptically, learn about critical thinking; files.ncas.org/adhoc/Six-Rules-of-Critical-Thinking-Armstrong-after-Lett.doc www.criticalthinking.org/pages/our-concept-of-critical-thinking/411 These also might help. Publications on skepticism www.csicop.org/publications Skeptical Inquirer articles available here: www.csicop.org/si/archive Other resources www.skeptic.com/resource-type/reading/ www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/skepticism en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_about_skepticism You might consider attending the Skeptics Toolbox, a workshop on thnking skeptically. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptic's_Toolbox I suggest you listen to the podcasts of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (entertaining and informative) www.theskepticsguide.org/ Also available through iTunes. Lois
How would you deal with being presented with a type of, what someone presented as a "food" that you had never seen or heard of before? Just immediately gobble it down? I don't think so.
People visiting other cultures very often do exactly that. I guess it depends on the trust you put in your own digestive system. Going back to the analogy I would suggest that some people have a robust worldview more capable of digesting a diversity of viewpoints. But in general I agree with the OP that being open minded does not mean believing whatever you are told as if you are some kind of blank slate. I suppose it does imply some ability to try looking at the world the way other people do. That would be one way of bracketing it -- to see yourself as trying to put yourself in their frame of mind in order to understand them better.
How would you deal with being presented with a type of, what someone presented as a "food" that you had never seen or heard of before? Just immediately gobble it down? I don't think so.
People visiting other cultures very often do exactly that. I guess it depends on the trust you put in your own digestive system. Going back to the analogy I would suggest that some people have a robust worldview more capable of digesting a diversity of viewpoints. But in general I agree with the OP that being open minded does not mean believing whatever you are told as if you are some kind of blank slate. I suppose it does imply some ability to try looking at the world the way other people do. That would be one way of bracketing it -- to see yourself as trying to put yourself in their frame of mind in order to understand them better. What I was attempting, was to get Titano to think for himself. My thinking was that Titano might reflect on what he would do if someone he didn't know gave him something unfamiliar, and said "Eat this." My hope was that Titano would see himself checking the item out before ingesting it. i.e., He might closely inspect the item. He might try to see if anyone else could ingest it without ill effects. He might smell it, tentatively taste it, take a tiny bit in his mouth and be ready to spit it out if it was unpalatable. My hope was that Titano could then generalize this to how he might react when presented with new ideas.

Good suggestion on the Skeptic’s Guide podcasts, Lois. I’ve been listing to it for year, and it is one of the few podcasts I make sure to stay current. The crew is intelligent and witty, and does an excellent job picking apart logical fallacies and magical thinking. They’ve even helped me change my mind about GM foods.