All that said, I'm painfully aware that I am as capable as anyone of ignoring new facts. I like blogs and news sources that confirm my existing beliefs...any study that agrees with my current opinion is automatically correct, and any study that disagrees is probably methodologically flawed. My only real defense is that I think I have some ability, given time, to let facts bash me in the head enough to change my opinion.
But, well, let's put that to the test. If I'm telling the truth, then there must be things I've changed my mind about, right? What did I believe then and what do I believe now?
This is a quick summary of items. Originally I was going to explain each here, but that would make for an awfully mondo-sized post, so instead I'll follow up some of these with individual posts later. I may also add items if people are curious about additional subjects.
|Gun control||Fascism.||No problem with handgun control.|
|Abortion||Personal choice.||Personal choice.|
|Unfair economic trades||The government shouldn't allow people to impose unfair trades on others, such as price gouging, using low-paid foreign workers, lower pay for women, or usury.||There is no such thing as an unfair economic trade.|
|Evolution||Given genetics and random mutation, it follows that evolution occurs.||Man I was a smart kid.|
|Paranormal||Cool!||Cool, but sadly non-existent.|
|People||Everyone is the same and should be treated the same.||Everyone is different but should be treated the same, except when they shouldn't.|
|Gay marriage||People shouldn't get married.||Any consenting adult should be able to marry any other consenting adult. Marriages should be less frequent and taken more seriously. Divorces should be less frequent and somewhat difficult.|
|Free trade||Absolutely necessary for a healthy economy.||Same, only more so.|
|Death penalty||Why pay for them for the rest of their lives?||No problem with killing the guilty, but the death penalty always has and always will kill innocents as well, and that's not acceptable.|
|Government intervention||The government is necessary for moral outcomes and to save people from bad decisions. If it's truly important to the country, the government has to do it.||Government is inefficient and unnecessary for most moral outcomes, and people should be free to make bad decisions. If it's truly important to the country, the government almost certainly shouldn't be the one to do it.|
|Libertarian||The one thing I'll never be.||What I am. (More or less.)|
|Environmentalism||Save the Earth!||Leave the poor Earth alone. Most necessary improvements come naturally through economic progress, and most environmental initiatives are about feeling good, not doing good.|
|War||Never solved anything.||Except slavery, genocide, world domination.|
|God||There is something out there.||There is nothing out there.|
|Zeus||Atheist.||To paraphrase Richard Dawkins, "We're all atheists when it comes to Zeus. Some of us just take it one god further."|
Let me know if you are interested in why I hold some particular belief or why I've changed my mind. I'll say up front that I welcome debate on any of these issues, but flames will be deleted.