Have you ever changed your mind?

Have you ever changed your position on an important issue? If so, what was the turning point for you?

Was there anything outstanding along the journey that impeded your change of mind, that prevented you from changing it earlier?

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7 Responses to Have you ever changed your mind?

  1. tdbwd says:

    I can’t think of an earth-shaking change of mind I’ve ever had, but my ideas have evolved over time and I can point to specific, strong influences.

    In my case, it’s almost always been books that have promoted deeper understanding or a new way of looking at things. Articles, opinion pieces, etc. have often prompted me to look deeper, but it has always been books that have turned my thinking around. And it’s not only books about issues — biographies, history, even fiction can have a profound impact on my thinking.

  2. Sopater says:

    I changed my position on many important issues after becoming a ‘born again’ Christian.

    1. Abortion – from pro-choice to pro-life
    2. Pornorgraphy – from acceptable to abominal
    3. Adultry/Fornication – from acceptable to abominal

    There are many others, but these are the three that I think were the most abrupt and extreme.

  3. Paul Bonneau says:

    Back about 20 or 30 years ago, I had an inconsistent mess of political and ethical convictions, combining a desire for personal liberty with socialism and even economic fascism. I wanted government to control people and make them better – but not to control me.

    Reading turned me around, as tdbwd put it up above. I finally understood the need for philosophical consistency. I also got over my prior Christian-phobia which had gotten in the way of my understanding these things, as the ones opposing state control of everything tend often to be Christians not shy about announcing their faith (although I am still not a Christian). One thing I recall that drove me away from socialism and economic fascism was the gradual realization that the people who promote such things simply aren’t very nice. Yes, many of them have a surface pleasantness and are easy to be with, but deep down they have a meaness to them. Their view of other people is that they must be controlled, treated like well-tended cattle. Robert Heinlein said it perfectly: “Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

    Oh, and being exposed to new ideas by watching Marshall Fritz (among others) speak, as I occasionally did in those days, certainly didn’t hurt. Marshall is a wonderful salesman for freedom!

    I can’t think of any specific turning point in this. It was a pretty gradual process. The proponents of freedom just need to be decent, to make their points calmly, consistently, rationally, and in a friendly manner – and to not expect instant conversions, because it ain’t gonna happen. Example works better than anything. It takes years for the freedom meme to come to the fore, in a given person’s brain. There is an awful lot of government indoctrination to be worked through and discarded.

  4. Paul…

    Thank you for the kind mention. It feels good to know that someone of your calibre was positively affected by something I said, wrote, or did.

    Now…. to Tammy’s question…. one instance that comes clearly to mind. In 1976 I was an unhappy Keynesian and moderate liberal. Unhappy because “stagflation” (economic stagnation during times of price inflation) wasn’t accounted for by Keynes.

    And I sure didn’t buy that WIN buttons were going to “Whip Inflation Now,” no matter how many people wore them all day.

    Along came a pamphlet by Murray Rothbard on what is inflation (increase in the money supply) and its effect (more money chasing goods, hence price increases). Think of the end of a game of Monopoly. I think it should have been named, “Monetary Inflation.”

    In any event, it was the first piece of libertarian literature, but it changed my thinking, that’s for sure.

  5. terryd says:

    We are in the process of changing our minds about whether our kids should be publicly educated. Although I am a Christian, I was at first appalled by the minimal academic prowess my kids displayed despite making A’s and B’s in “advanced” classes and doing well on our states (FL) standardized testing. Personally, my Christian faith changed my views on abortion. It’s also impacted my ideas about government involvement in every aspect of our daily life.

  6. Cindy says:

    My view on education has change totally. I sent my son to private and public schools until 7th grade. That is when I was more worried about peer pressure. But we simply did school-at-home and that was defeating and stressful. My son is very much a kinesthetic learner.

    I am now trying to homeschool him with the fact that he is an individual made by God and that his education does not have to look like “school”. We still do some school like things, but a lot less. He is learning quite a bit though and in his areas of interest he is learning a lot.

    One thing I have said is this: If I try to fit my son in a mold that he was not made to fit in, I risk cutting off the good stuff to make him fit.

    • tdbwd says:

      Cindy,

      Thanks very much for sharing your experience. I especially like your last sentence. It reminded me of a quote by John Gatto that I think you will like very much:

      “Growth and mastery come only to those who vigorously self-direct. Initiating, creating, doing, reflecting, freely associating, enjoying privacy — these are precisely what the structures of schooling are set up to prevent, on one pretext or another.” John Taylor Gatto, The Underground History of American Education

      Looking forward to hearing more from you.

      Tammy

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