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Author Topic: Are you rigid in your beliefs?
Kent
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I've been thinking about this for a quite a while and I've been meaning to ask you all: Has anybody here changed their political philosophies since coming to this forum?

I admit, I am one of the most intellectually feeble individuals here; therefore I don't know a good point when I see it. Is everyone as closeminded as I am?

I may have a follow up question depending on interest.

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javelin
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Sexy!
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javelin
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Umm, yes, I've had some changes - nothing radical, but my opinion has gotten more solid in many different areas, and therefore has changed - and I've changed my position in some areas.
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Funean
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Kinda sorta. I haven't changed any of my fundamental beliefs, but I've changed some opinions on specific items (not that I can think of any at the moment, but I'm sure they're there!).

Mostly, I've been able to develop some respect for positions different from mine, since here I can find fully-articulated arguments that run counter to mine but aren't idiotic in some way. (oh, that sounds bad...but it's true)

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Kent
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I believe it is important to be upfront with your intentions, and I agree that most men find that sexy. Women find it pushy in my experience.
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Zyne
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I've evolved.
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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Zyne:
I've evolved.

So, you find it sexy too? [Wink]
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Zyne
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I like upfront. Upfront is sexy.
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Funean
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Are you sure you weren't intelligently designed to feel that way, Zyne?
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javelin
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I'm into civil unions. Anyone want to join me in a very civil "union"? [Wink]
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Funean
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If it's too civil it isn't going to be any fun.

("After you" "No, after you" "No, after YOU"...)

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javelin
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Very true. I guess I'm talking "not uncivil". Anyone up for a not uncivil union? Wow, that's a mouthful...
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Richard Dey
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Funean the Fundamentalist with fundamental beliefs [Confused] ???

I've changed my politics. I was for Bush II but right now I would take him out, tar him, feather him, and throw him down an oil well (and then llight a cigarette, disposing of the match down the hole).

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RoseAuthor
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I've changed a lot of my opinions throughout the years but it's rarely because of some 'great argument' on any BBS. Most of my opinions changed with real life experiences.
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KnightEnder
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Yeah, I supported Bush and the war when I got here. (And it is documented) Now, I hate the bastard.

KE

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EDanaII
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I can't say that this forum has changed my opinions, but my opinions have changed over the years.

That's more a product of age and experience, but, to be certain, discussion like the kind that can be found here can certainly accelerate the process. [Smile]

Ed.

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FIJC
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No, this forum has not changed my opinions. I am not as argumentative as I used to be, but that's not a result of the forum.
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WarrsawPact
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I have definitely changed. For the better. And I'm still changing, probably at an even faster pace.
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witless chum
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I haven't changed any core principals, but I think I'm open to changing the best way to get there.

The forum has made me more relaxed about politics, society, whatever, and not get too excited when arguing, more civil, I suppose. Of course, I haven't been around much lately, so maybe I'm becoming more of a bastard, I'll ask my wife.

Dan

Edit for new question:
Nope, not a bit.

[ November 01, 2005, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: witless chum ]

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Kent
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I will rephrase the question since I realize I was too general. It isn't: "Have you evolved in your political views?" It is: "Have you gone from liberal to conservative, socialist to capitalist, etc. as a result of your experience on this forum?" That is what I am particularly interested in knowing, as well as some other changes in positions that may not be so 180 degree changes (such as "I didn't support abortions at all, but now I do for people that were raped because of this comment by Pete").

[ November 01, 2005, 07:31 PM: Message edited by: Kent ]

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Rallan
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Well I wouldn't say they've changed much since I got to this forum, since it missed my formative political years. But since I started arguing in other forums like it I've gotten a much better understanding of why the other side feels the way they do (rather than just chalking it up Moore or Coulter style to them all being stupid and/or evil), as well as taking a more realistic approach to which issues are and aren't worth making a fuss about.

Apart from that though, I wouldn't say there's been any major change in my political views. Economically I'm still a moderate socialist, on foreign policy I'm still a pacifist, and socially my civil libertarian stance has just gotten stronger with age. About the only real change is that I've decided to stay strictly neutral on gun control and abortion debates on the grounds that nobody with an ounce of self respect should still be arguing about them more than a month after they get online [Smile]

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Everard
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Early on I changed fairly drastically, adopting a much more socially classical liberal stance then I had in my first months here. The poster who changed my thinking no longer posts here, sadly.
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Cytania
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This forum has certainly shaped my impressions of alot subjects. For instance your response to my RFID thread convinced my that far from there being a potential consumers revolt the public will happily accept electronic tags in their clothes. Likewise I now understand alot more why America has such a cuddly view of their military (in the UK most forces are more like the Marines in that 'Tooth To Tail' thread).
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KnightEnder
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Aside from what I've already said (being patriotic to a fault and voting for Bush the first time. Back then I wanted to meet John Wayne and OSC, now I'm sure they would both hate me.) I've also changed my mind on spanking children and late term abortions (against both, now). Also, I've learned I'm a lot more liberal than I thought I was, simply because I never gave it all that much thought until I came here.

KE

[ November 02, 2005, 09:47 AM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]

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vulture
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I can't think of any moment where I've read something and thought "that makes sense. How oculd I have been so blind before..." or any such thing. It's more, as Funean says, being exposed to people with (sometimes) radically different views and finding them able to offer defenses of them that make sense.

I think Pete is a good example of this (not that I disagree with him all that radically much of the time). At first glance, his opinions are much what you'd expect from a strongly religious person. And it's easy (if you're not paying attention) to jump to the conclusion that he's just parroting standard doctrine. If you do pay attention however, you notice that actually he has come to these positions after a great deal of thought, and often has viewpoints that others have overlooked.

Doesn't mean he's right. But is does mean he has arguments that need to be considered.

(Sorry for picking Pete as an example, but he was the first person who came to mind as an example of someone who may appear to share some positions with a knee-jerk reactionary, but get there by a much more considered route. It's intended as a compliment to Pete, so I hope he takes it that way).

The other strength of a forum like this is in exposing the weak parts of your own arguments. I've occasionally noticed people in real life saying things that I probably would have said some years ago, but now it is immediately apparent that they are just regurgitating dogma. You get used to critically analysing what people say, and noticing when it doesn't come up to scratch.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent:
I will rephrase the question since I realize I was too general. It isn't: "Have you evolved in your political views?" It is: "Have you gone from liberal to conservative, socialist to capitalist, etc. as a result of your experience on this forum?" That is what I am particularly interested in knowing, as well as some other changes in positions that may not be so 180 degree changes (such as "I didn't support abortions at all, but now I do for people that were raped because of this comment by Pete").

I haven't made any changes that significant.
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The Drake
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Before joining Ornery, I was against online discussions. [Smile]


Oh, and I helped found the Concord Party, part of an overall moderating shift from spending time here.

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Kent
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Okay, I am assuming that from this anecdotal survey that we basically are a closeminded group.
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Adjudicator
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I have modified my opinions on a number of important issues as well as gained a much greater appreciation for the moderate position. Like Drake, I believe that American politics in general requires a movement towards the center. I expect that if we continue with the current paradigm of ever-widening, oscillating polarization that fractures of some sort are eventually inevitable.

It is hard to recall exact positions I held years ago and compare them to now, but I do know that I have changed a fair bit.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by vulture:
I think Pete is a good example of this (not that I disagree with him all that radically much of the time). At first glance, his opinions are much what you'd expect from a strongly religious person. And it's easy (if you're not paying attention) to jump to the conclusion that he's just parroting standard doctrine. If you do pay attention however, you notice that actually he has come to these positions after a great deal of thought, and often has viewpoints that others have overlooked.

Doesn't mean he's right. But is does mean he has arguments that need to be considered.

(Sorry for picking Pete as an example, but he was the first person who came to mind as an example of someone who may appear to share some positions with a knee-jerk reactionary, but get there by a much more considered route. It's intended as a compliment to Pete, so I hope he takes it that way).

I'm honored to be held as an example of someone who thinks out his positions (and I do, although I've probably changed my political positions during Ornery discussions more than anyone else here). But again I'm mystified which positions I share with knee-jerk reactionaries. I suspect that it's not the actual qualified positions that I take that give this impression, but the passion and tenacity with which I defend my position.

Another reason I've been perniciously mislabeled a "stodgy conservative," is that the conservatives here seem to know when I prove them wrong on arguments like abortion rights; consequently, we don't need to re-argue the matter often [Razz]

Recently, though, I've actually had more arguments with conservatives than with liberals, since issues of homelessness, poverty, crime, rape, etc. have dominated. I guess these issues don't mark me a liberal, since those who call themselves liberals have largely abandoned the homeless, poor, and accused criminals to their fate, in search of more "progressive" issues like ssm. If I'm reactionary, it's with regard to the definition of liberal. I'd like to turn back the clock to when liberal meant concerned for the poor and disadvantaged.

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Pete at Home
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Oh -- if there's any political branch that I managed not to offend in the last note, please drop me an email and we'll work something out [Wink]
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erik the awful
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I'll take offense on behalf of the Republicrats. But yer post made good sense to me.
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Zyne
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Nobody's trying to make poor people illegal (well, not more than their ordinary efforts to make being poor illegal).

SSM, at least in Texas, isn't just about marriage. It's about illegalizing every possible aspect of homosexual relationships. Some of the people behind banning gay marriage want to make my gay neighbors unable to own their home together, and to keep them child free, forever.

So I don't think it's too melodramatic to say that the fate of a vulnerable minority is all tied up in SSM in a big, scary way.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by Zyne:
Nobody's trying to make poor people illegal (well, not more than their ordinary efforts to make being poor illegal).

SSM, at least in Texas, isn't just about marriage. It's about illegalizing every possible aspect of homosexual relationships. Some of the people behind banning gay marriage want to make my gay neighbors unable to own their home together, and to keep them child free, forever.

So I don't think it's too melodramatic to say that the fate of a vulnerable minority is all tied up in SSM in a big, scary way.

Yes it is too melodramatic, and it's also grossly untrue.

Some people who want to ban the posting of the ten commandments, like People for the American Way, also want to take away basic freedom of religion, and throw religious people in prison for various religious practices. But it would be asinine to take that and say that all religious freedoms hang in the balance with the ability to post the 10 commandments in the public space. People for the American Way are only the fringe extreme of those against the 10 commandments, just like those that want to take away basic gay rights are the fringe of the anti-ssm movement.

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WarrsawPact
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I am not rigid in my beliefs.
I am not rigid in my beliefs.
I am not rigid in my beliefs.
I am not rigid in my beliefs.
I AM NOT RIGID IN MY BELIEFS!

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pickled shuttlecock
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent:
Okay, I am assuming that from this anecdotal survey that we basically are a closeminded group.

Naw. Ornery just missed our formative years, that's all.

If ever there was a demonstration that people generally mold their perceptions of reality to fit their preconceived notions about it (rather than just religious people), this is it.

Ornery has certainly made me tighten my arguments, though, and respect other people's beliefs more. Most people in an organization (religious or political) tend to follow the crowd and spew the same tired, old arguments. Ornery has shown me that there are serious thinkers on all sides.

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javelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Kent:
Okay, I am assuming that from this anecdotal survey that we basically are a closeminded group.

Ah, the old assuming thing aye? Well, I think it's pretty clear from this that you have a very narrow understanding of the word "closeminded" - after all, everyone here has pretty much admitted that their opinions have shifted, even if not radically. Closeminded, indeed.

[Wink]

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Kent
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Jav, stop showing me up. [Razz]

Okay, so most people are saying that respect for "other's" positions is what they have gained from this forum. This realization certainly changes the way I think I should post.

Will you be kinder and gentler knowing that there is no way that you are going to change anybody's mind here? Won't you be my neighbor?

(Really I'm asking if you are a crazy person who doesn't deal with reality.)

[ November 03, 2005, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Kent ]

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javelin
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Seriously, for once - yes, respecting another's position, even if I can't change my mind - introduces new frustrations, but I'd rather deal with that then think my neighbor is some alien insane freak that is a danger to me and mine.
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Mormegil
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If I already had an opinion, it's probably unchanged, unless it's gotten stronger.

There's probably some issues that I didn't have an opinion on (like medicinal marijuana) that I now do. Does that count?

The thing is, that the people who post things that are contrary to my opinions, never challenge the foundations upon which I base my opinions, therefore their logic, based on *their* foundations, looks like illogic to me.

People make assertions about the foundations of my opinions, but never post meaningfully on the subject, so I am unlikely to change.

And frankly I'm not much interested in trying to; my foundations have been examined and reexamined countless times, and I'm satisifed they hold up. It'd have to be some pretty great new arguments or evidence.

I mean, if you don't believe in astrology, and have studied the subject for years, and every time someone offers you "proof" of why it's really real, it turns out to be something you've *already* studied... and refuted... multiple times... how likely are you to even pay much attention, let alone actually change?

So, I don't think I'm likely to change many of my deeply held opinions by reading Ornery. But not because I close my mind to new evidence. I simply haven't seen much in the way of new evidence. Unless I do, I see no reason to reopen a case that I consider closed because I believe it's based on a preponderance of evidence.

What I do learn from Ornery is how other people think (or don't). There are some viewpoints I completely disagree with that I at least understand a bit better.

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