Author Topic: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?  (Read 13763 times)

trailrated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Bay Area Ca
  • a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
I see political arguments flare up on the MMM forums from time to time with people throwing out talking points from the right and left and at the end of the thread for the most part everyone feels how they did going into it.

Has anyone ever compelled you to change your views on a political issue with an effective argument?

Quick example for myself. The death penalty, something I was 100% for if it was deserved. Back in college we had an art gallery come through our school museum. I believe it was the innocence project http://www.chron.com/exonerees/ but essentially it had profile pictures of dozens of people that were either put to death, or locked up for years wrongly accused of crimes and later exonerated with dna evidence proving their innocence. Each picture had the persons story and the gallery ended with one person that was on death row and was later proven innocent. They talked to our class for about 45 minutes telling their story and their experiences from years in jail for a crime they did not commit. Most of the class was in tears by the time it was over.

That was a truly eye opening experience that made me question my thought process prior.
(edited to give a better example)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 08:55:05 AM by trailrated »

Financial.Velociraptor

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1701
  • Age: 48
  • Location: Houston TX
  • Devour your prey raptors!
    • Financial Velociraptor
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 09:02:53 AM »
I've gone from climate change skeptic to believer.  Took several years as the scientific data kept piling up and growing harder to dismiss.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 09:10:30 AM »
I changed my mind about the FairTax. I liked it from a microeconomic perspective because it rewards people for saving (or perhaps, punishes people for failing to save -- same difference). However, I realized that insufficiently-progressive taxation would destroy society by enabling really runaway wealth, which would give the elite too much political power. (I'd say that taxation already isn't progressive enough as it is -- we should really consider putting it back like it was in the 1930s or '40s (e.g. 80+% for incomes over $5M) -- but the FairTax would just make it worse.)

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4388
  • Location: CT
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2015, 09:24:27 AM »
Not someone else but my own research. I'm back in school and had to do a presentation on the "gutting" of the voting rights act by the Supreme Court a few years ago. Walked in thinking how terrible it was that it happened; walked out agreeing with the majority decision. I won't get too much into the why's because frankly I think the only person who can convince you to change your mind is yourself, but I'll leave it as equal treatment under the law goes for states as well as people.

I've changed my mind on many issues over my life as I've understood the issues better. Knowledge can be enlightening if you let it, or just reaffirming, sometimes it's hard to tell when it should be one when it happens to be another.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4686
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2015, 10:21:39 AM »
I changed my mind on death penalty due to it's cost and the fact that there have been a bunch of older convictions overturned due to new evidence/methods (like DNA testing). 

H changed his mind on gay marriage.  He used to think "marriage" was something special, but that gay people could have a legal designation that meant the same thing but had a different name.  Now he doesn't GAF and thinks they should have everything equal. 

I've changed my mind about universal healthcare.  I used to think it would be too expensive and that the current system was fine.  Then I was exposed to the millions of stories out there about being unable to get private insurance and the cost of many plans being totally unaffordable to a huge segment of the population.  Obamacare addresses some of this but I think we still have a long ways to go.

But at the same time I've gotten more militant about some things (abortion rights for example). 
« Last Edit: April 10, 2015, 10:24:31 AM by MayDay »

FIRE me

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1098
  • Location: Louisville, KY
  • So much technology, so little talent.
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2015, 12:05:07 PM »

Has anyone ever compelled you to change your views on a political issue with an effective argument?


No one had ever changed my mind about a major issue with a single discussion. As others in this thread have noted, change of position has come over time, after much internal consideration and never as the result of a single source of information.

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2946
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Missouri
  • Live on minimum wage, earn on maximum
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 01:03:13 PM »
In my state we have representative government and rarely have a chance to vote on a single issue.  Seems like tobacco taxes and gun control are on there occasionally.  So we essentially get to vote for party A or party B.  Now I'm a libertarian at heart so this doesn't set well with me.   (either piss away your money on failed foreign invasions or on failed social programs)

It would be very difficult to ever convince me that taxes shouldn't be substantially lower.

Years ago I was naïve about taxes so I would guess that I was ultimately convinced by others that libertarian thinking was at least a good balance to the current two party system.   In that respect my thinking was at least malleable at that time.  I would assume that if we did have 3-4 choices that I would be more open to changing my thinking at times.   

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7388
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 11:29:55 AM »
Yes. There were a lot of things that my parents believe that I adopted as a kid. Then I went out into the real world and realized that the evidence pointed strongly in other directions. And some things took me longer into adulthood to see the evidence to change on.

I thought the US was the greatest at everything. I thought the US used its military might only for good. I didn't take the time to vote in 2000, but would have voted for Bush. He convinced me I was wrong about that. I thought racism wasn't an issue anymore. I went from being opposed to affirmative action to not knowing what to think about it. I thought the war on drugs was good. I thought the justice system was pretty fair. I also switched away from the death penalty. I flipped on abortion.

In all these, it wasn't just one person that convinced me though. It was a lot of people and a lot of evidence. I'm very skeptical about new information, but still open to it. I think I'm much more open to contrary thinking than the average person, but that's hard to evaluate.

Caoineag

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 659
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Michigan
    • My Journal
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2015, 01:08:51 PM »
Yes, on more than a few issues. Not during the discussion itself per se, but it triggered me doing more research to discover that I did agree with that person in the long run. I have never had a change of opinion triggered by someone who reflexively believed something however. Its always been people who were thoughtful, listened to what I had to say and explained what they thought I had not yet considered.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7254
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2015, 03:35:22 PM »
Yes, on more than a few issues. Not during the discussion itself per se, but it triggered me doing more research to discover that I did agree with that person in the long run. I have never had a change of opinion triggered by someone who reflexively believed something however. Its always been people who were thoughtful, listened to what I had to say and explained what they thought I had not yet considered.

Yes agree with that. I've changed my mind on a few issues - boat people (accepted the right-wing view) and gay marriage (was against now ambivalent).

When a tsunami of evidence overwhelms you, I'm not one to keep standing on the shore trying to command the tides to go back.

Flyingkea

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2598
  • Location: Australia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2015, 04:47:31 PM »
I saw a discussion once on gun control in the US. At the time I (non American) kept thinking, why can they not just put some decent laws into place? I then read a very civilised discussion on this, about the american gun culture, the non tracking of the guns and was convinced that creating a law would actually have no effect.
Have become more strongly opinionated on female bodily autonomy (I'm looking at you aggravated sexual assualt by the state laws), and pro-vax and various other issues.

Kris

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6017
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 04:48:05 PM »
Yes. One person's view can't change my mind, but it can sway me to reconsider.  It happened just this week, as a matter of fact, when a Republican state politician said something on public radio that I found very well-reasoned and worthy of thought.  That said, at the time, I was caught up short and thought to myself, "That is the first time in years and years that a Republican politician has said something that didn't seem like complete and utter BS to me."  The extent to which that party has been taken over by the tinfoil hat brigade is incredibly sad. It was nice to hear a reasonable Republican again. 

Norioch

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 328
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 12:18:41 AM »
Marijuana legalization. I participated in D.A.R.E. in elementary school and as an impressionable kid, I totally bought into the anti-drug thing. I saw no distinction between marijuana and harder drugs. As I grew older I learned more about it, stuff they never taught me in D.A.R.E. I learned, unlike harder drugs, nobody ODs from marijuana, it doesn't cause cancer, and it isn't even really addictive. Also hemp is a pretty amazing crop that we could do many great things with if not for the zero-tolerance ban on marijuana. So why are we wasting time stigmatizing marijuana and throwing people in jail for possessing it? I still appreciate D.A.R.E. for keeping me away from tobacco, alcohol, and hard drugs, but I actually kind of want to try marijuana, and I resent that fact that it's still illegal federally. There's no rational reason for keeping it illegal for adults.

cakie

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 142
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Australia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 03:55:00 AM »
I changed someone's mind once on the death penalty. It was on another forum a few years ago. TBH, I think he had been ready to change his mind, I just happened to make a good argument.

In Australia, we don't have the death penalty, so nobody thinks that it is reasonable, except for a small minority. I know to a lot of people in the US, it is the opposite situation.

Sid Hoffman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 928
  • Location: Southwest USA
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 04:03:30 PM »
I changed my mind about the FairTax. I liked it from a microeconomic perspective because it rewards people for saving (or perhaps, punishes people for failing to save -- same difference). However, I realized that insufficiently-progressive taxation would destroy society by enabling really runaway wealth, which would give the elite too much political power. (I'd say that taxation already isn't progressive enough as it is -- we should really consider putting it back like it was in the 1930s or '40s (e.g. 80+% for incomes over $5M) -- but the FairTax would just make it worse.)

If "FairTax" means flat tax rate, then I'd agree on the basis that I learned what regressive taxation means.  When I was young I loved the simple sound of a flat income tax that applied the same to everyone.  It sounded like that was as good as it gets: everyone pays the same tax rate.

As I got older and started living on my own and paying my own bills, I realized that a flat tax is actually regressive because it taxes you on income you need for essentials, but then basically doesn't play much a role in people who easily have enough income for their essentials and only have decisions over what discretionary goods & services to buy next.  That ah-ha moment when I realized what regressive taxation is and how it relates to essential spending versus discretionary spending turned me very hard against flat tax rates.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5624
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2015, 06:30:12 PM »
I don't think I've ever actually changed my mind on an issue, but I have an extremely conservative Facebook friend (relic of an online degree program of mine) who honestly believes, for instance, that a pregnant woman is better off dying than having a life-saving abortion (her soul, you know).

I still think he's wrong about pretty much everything, but he's articulate and well-intentioned and I find our discussions illuminating, as, I believe, does he. (He's my Catholic Facebook friend. I'm his atheist Facebook friend.)

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2015, 07:35:21 PM »
I changed my mind about the FairTax. I liked it from a microeconomic perspective because it rewards people for saving (or perhaps, punishes people for failing to save -- same difference). However, I realized that insufficiently-progressive taxation would destroy society by enabling really runaway wealth, which would give the elite too much political power. (I'd say that taxation already isn't progressive enough as it is -- we should really consider putting it back like it was in the 1930s or '40s (e.g. 80+% for incomes over $5M) -- but the FairTax would just make it worse.)

If "FairTax" means flat tax rate, then I'd agree on the basis that I learned what regressive taxation means.  When I was young I loved the simple sound of a flat income tax that applied the same to everyone.  It sounded like that was as good as it gets: everyone pays the same tax rate.

As I got older and started living on my own and paying my own bills, I realized that a flat tax is actually regressive because it taxes you on income you need for essentials, but then basically doesn't play much a role in people who easily have enough income for their essentials and only have decisions over what discretionary goods & services to buy next.  That ah-ha moment when I realized what regressive taxation is and how it relates to essential spending versus discretionary spending turned me very hard against flat tax rates.

The FairTax is even more regressive than a flat income tax rate. It's a flat sales tax rate, which means that income used for investing rather than spending gets taxed at 0%.

In a way, progressive vs. regressive taxation is similar to stable and unstable mechanical equilibria. A progressive tax will tend to force everyone's wealth to converge at a certain level (by "punishing" the wealthy and helping the poor, if you want to frame it in those terms), in the same way that a ball placed anywhere in a round bowl will roll to the middle (bottom). A regressive tax would do just the opposite: it would force everyone's wealth to diverge (by helping the wealthy while "punishing" the poor), kind of like how a ball placed in the center of an upended bowl and perturbed in one direction will roll to the opposite far edge as one that was placed in the center and perturbed in the other direction.

The trouble is, the FairTax's name and its description as a "flat" tax make it sound like a neutral equilibrium (e.g. a flat table, where a ball could be placed anywhere and not roll at all), but that's not actually what's happening. Political arguments and terminology can be tricky like that.

forummm

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7388
  • Senior Mustachian
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2015, 07:48:17 PM »
Also gay rights. Like most of the country I guess. That's been an unbelievably dramatic national shift in attitudes. In my case, I didn't know any gays and only had my parents' prejudice. Then I met some. And a lot more. It's easy to buy into prejudice against people when you don't really know them.

Flyingkea

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2598
  • Location: Australia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2015, 08:30:43 PM »
Also gay rights. Like most of the country I guess. That's been an unbelievably dramatic national shift in attitudes. In my case, I didn't know any gays and only had my parents' prejudice. Then I met some. And a lot more. It's easy to buy into prejudice against people when you don't really know them.
When you want to turn a group of people into "the enemy" the first thing you need to do is take away their faces, and turn them into a faceless mass.

mrpercentage

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1236
  • Location: PHX, AZ
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 08:00:38 AM »
Yes,
Someone asked me how it was possible to physically earn a billion dollars. Your physical work being worth the annual livelihoods of thousands of americans. The obvious answer to me was no, even though I was arguing against that sort of thing. I realized that super rich use their money as leverage in not always ethical ways to exploit wealth from the 99. Some is habit-- some really is exploitation. Cigarette taxes come to mind.. people hopelessly addicted and Uncle Sam exploiting their weakness. They could make it illegal but that wouldn't make money. Banks and their bullshit $35 fees for a $0.59 purchase that they could refuse to authorize. Food taxes are the worst-- how could you charge someone for the right to eat? Death tax-- fishing license--camping license--on and on. Pay day loans, fucking casinos preying on the hopeful downtrodden. Dentists charging you $1200 for a root canal that they would only charge the insurance $500 for if you had some.. Seriously WTF is that!?

I guess wisdom comes with experience and you don't know unless you have hurt that way.

You don't have to agree with me but it was a revelation of mine.

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2015, 08:20:06 AM »
I don't have an example off hand, but following because of what a joy it is to read these examples of open-mindedness, humility, individual progression, etc!

When I was a kid, I adopted the ideas my parents and their church presented to me -I picketed/demonstrated and everything. Through ground-level engagement with people dealing with those issues in real life I found my own, actual ideas/values. I've also done some 180s in my mind and lifestyle as a result of listening with an open mind to another's idea and then testing it in my life. But off hand I can't think of a political debate having changed my mind on anything.

Shortly, I'll intentionally be reading a book that I imagine presents the opposite of much of what I hold dear, just for the practice of brain-stretching and values-assessing. I'm open to it changing my mind if that's what honestly comes.

Vertical Mode

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
  • Location: Central MA
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2015, 09:14:57 AM »
I guess you could say I've had someone change my mind. High school political science class, actually. There are perfectly reasonable people that identify as liberals, conservatives, green party, libertarian, etc. and I'm still somewhat fascinated by the fact that rational people can draw such different conclusions. I became much more willing to listen to opposing viewpoints when it sunk in that the underlying debate is actually a difference of opinion over what the role of government should be/do.

Do we pay more/expect more? Do we pay less/expect fewer services to be provided? To what extent does the government need to be a moral arbiter? This sums up most, if not all, political debates I've ever been involved in. As long as a certain degree of candor and intellectual honesty is brought to the table, I try to stay open-minded. People who present data from credible sources (like a lot of folks here do :-) ) are most likely to change my mind. People who bemoan 'the blankety-blank-Republicans' or similar, not so much.

I'm generally pretty against the death-penalty, but this Tsarnaev clown is difficult to feel any other way about for a Boston guy...


Louisville

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 530
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2015, 09:46:33 AM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

RunHappy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 561
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2015, 09:51:08 AM »
I've never changed my mind based upon just a discussion.  however there have been a few times where I took the time to thoroughly research their side and my mind changed based on the data I was presented with.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8202
  • Location: United States
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2015, 09:55:56 AM »
I think it was helpful that I grew up with parents who had opposing political views. I never learned to just parrot what they thought, because they always thought different things.

That said- I've changed my mind on the death penalty.  I am no longer for it.  But this was over years, not in a conversation. The system is too messed up to have an ultimate penalty.  Not to mention it costs the society a TON more than life in prison due to appeals.
I'm still undecided if I'm against it for cases like the Boston Bomber where it is cut and dry guilty- but probably because of the cost of appeals, I still am.  I don't like the idea of killing him out of revenge rather than punishment- really, isn't life in prison worse? He'll never get parole with what he did, and he's young, so it is going to be a long time.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 01:03:46 PM by iowajes »

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 18173
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2015, 12:10:22 PM »
Yes.  A good argument tends to resonate with me for a while, eventually I dig into it a bit more and realize I've been wrong.

- The death penalty was something I was very much for until being swayed by many persuasive arguments
- Really latched on to the idea of communism in my early teens as it seemed intuitively fair . . . but that's been pretty well argued to death as a failed method of ruling people.
- Religion . . . moved away from being pretty militantly anti-religious to a more 'each to his own' approach.
- At one point I believed that torture was a valid part of ensuring security of a nation.  The fact that pretty much all research on the matter shows that it does the opposite had to change my mind on the issue.


If you're not able to change your mind on an issue, you're not really debating.  You're just yelling.

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2015, 12:17:59 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

Wow! I'm honored that my writings have actually had an impact. Thanks!

Zx

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 447
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2015, 12:18:27 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

trailrated

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1136
  • Age: 33
  • Location: Bay Area Ca
  • a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2015, 12:22:53 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

Wow! I'm honored that my writings have actually had an impact. Thanks!

Kudos!

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 18173
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2015, 12:29:12 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

I'm not sure what it's like in the US, but most policing jobs in Canada have an awful lot of candidates applying for them.  When my uncle was hired as an officer in Toronto he was selected from more than 900 candidates.  If you don't want to accept the responsibility that comes with the job, it's best that you don't get the job.

skyrefuge

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1015
  • Location: Suburban Chicago, IL
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2015, 01:23:25 PM »
I see political arguments flare up on the MMM forums from time to time with people throwing out talking points from the right and left and at the end of the thread for the most part everyone feels how they did going into it.

As this thread is revealing, I believe the above viewpoint ("Internet arguments are pointless") is unnecessarily cynical and untrue.

First, the "bystanders" who are reading but not actively participating are almost surely learning something from one or both sides.

Second, while the active participants rarely show a change in viewpoint by the end of the thread, since their focus has shifted almost completely from "learning" to "winning the argument", the end of the thread is not the end of their brains. The active competition of the argument fades with time, but the ideas of the opposing party can still stay lodged in your brain somewhere. Then, when a related issue is encountered, in a new, non-adversarial setting, those ideas can rise to the fore, and result in a slight shift in thinking even if you aren't consciously aware that the shift was caused by that old argument you had with that libertard/rethuglican idiot. Rinse, repeat, and slowly but surely, minds can be changed.

People just need to be allowed a venue in which they can change their minds without feeling like that means they've "lost", and I think in most cases, a little time and distance from the initial argument can provide that venue.

Luck better Skill

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Virginia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2015, 02:23:41 PM »
  Not arguments, but discussions.  I have changed my mind on issues and influenced others.  If someone is just talking bullet points it not a real discussions.  I try to put myself in others shoes.  One big help for me was doing debate club for a bit, doing both side of an issue.
  Many times I understand others positions on an issue, even if I disagree with them, and cannot find a way to elaborate it to them.

Luck better Skill

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Virginia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2015, 02:28:43 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

I'm not sure what it's like in the US, but most policing jobs in Canada have an awful lot of candidates applying for them.  When my uncle was hired as an officer in Toronto he was selected from more than 900 candidates.  If you don't want to accept the responsibility that comes with the job, it's best that you don't get the job.

  I interact with the PD some and know we need to address how we train and police in the USA.
  So if officers were required to take a bullet or hesitate before firing staff levels would fall and then Police departments would stop patrolling high areas and responding to violent calls.  Not the way we want to create change.

Gerard

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1467
  • Location: eastern canada
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2015, 09:10:39 AM »
If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

Cops are already paid very well compared to the level of education, skill set, and actual danger of the job. I'm fine with holding them to a higher standard, and I hope/think that usually that wouldn't mean taking a bullet. All risk is gradient. That said, as a normal fearful human being I think it would be very difficult to be in that position, and I'm glad I don't have to do it.

wrt the actual thread, I haven't changed my mind on a major issue from an online discussion, but I have better understood the positions of people who disagree with me, and I appreciate the reminder that we're talking about real people with (usually) reasoned viewpoints.

MMM attracts a lot of people who like to "mansplain" things, and I find that approach less useful for politics than for plumbing.

frugalnacho

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4781
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Metro Detroit
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2015, 12:14:24 PM »
I was indoctrinated by my religious parents and held a bunch of goofy ass beliefs:

Pro death penalty
Anti abortion
Anti gay

After participating in and reading a lot of debates on various internet forums I was able to start thinking about the issues for myself and form my own conclusions.  I do remember reading about the innocence project, and all the statistics about the death penalty, which pretty much forced me to change my opinion.  Once you have all the facts about it I don't understand how you can support it. 

Yes,
Someone asked me how it was possible to physically earn a billion dollars. Your physical work being worth the annual livelihoods of thousands of americans. The obvious answer to me was no, even though I was arguing against that sort of thing. I realized that super rich use their money as leverage in not always ethical ways to exploit wealth from the 99. Some is habit-- some really is exploitation. Cigarette taxes come to mind.. people hopelessly addicted and Uncle Sam exploiting their weakness. They could make it illegal but that wouldn't make money. ...

My counter point to that is fuck you, and fuck anyone else that thinks they should be able to tell me I can't smoke, or do whatever the fuck I like to my own body.   I agree that the tobacco industry is exploitative, but a cigarette tax is not some conspiracy of the rich to hold down the poor.  Smokers gonna smoke.  Marijuana has been made illegal, and doesn't stop usage even slightly, and the government is spending billions trying (unsuccessfully) to stop it rather than benefiting from it like cigarettes.

Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

No we shouldn't.  No I wouldn't apply to become a cop under those conditions, which is why i'm not a cop, but plenty of other people have made that choice voluntarily knowing the risk/reward of the job.  I still don't understand the argument that we NEED to compensate cops more than the fair market does.  If they don't think the pay is high enough, then don't apply to be an officer.  No one is forcing anyone into the police academy.  In fact plenty of people get turned away, which to me indicates there is more demand for those jobs than there is supply even at the current market rates. 

sunday

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2015, 02:14:19 PM »
When I was young, I was pro-life, or rather, against abortions. Somewhere along the way of growing up, I changed my mind. I don't know if I can attribute it to political arguments, or just to growing up and understanding the world.

Beaker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 334
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2015, 02:39:06 PM »
Like apparently everyone else, I've sometimes had discussions that later led to a shift in position. In most cases that has been a shift away from an ivory-tower, black-and-white stance to a more realistic stance.

As an example, I still think the death penalty is in principle reasonable in some cases. But given our sadly fallible justice system I have a hard time supporting it in practice.

Someone asked me how it was possible to physically earn a billion dollars. Your physical work being worth the annual livelihoods of thousands of americans.
Of course it not possible to physically earn that much money. Nobody is that much stronger or faster than average - you'll never find someone that can dig ditches a billion times faster than the average human can.

But it's possible to mentally earn that much money. Ideas, theories, and designs can all be copied and applied many times over. A really good invention could easily make a billion people better off by one dollar. That's not to say that most, or even many, of the billionaires earned every penny - but neither can you say that they're all just robber barons.

Mississippi Mudstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2160
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Danielsville, GA
    • A Riving Home - Ramblings of a Recusant Woodworker
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #37 on: April 21, 2015, 02:40:18 PM »
I see political arguments flare up on the MMM forums from time to time with people throwing out talking points from the right and left and at the end of the thread for the most part everyone feels how they did going into it.

As this thread is revealing, I believe the above viewpoint ("Internet arguments are pointless") is unnecessarily cynical and untrue.

First, the "bystanders" who are reading but not actively participating are almost surely learning something from one or both sides.

Second, while the active participants rarely show a change in viewpoint by the end of the thread, since their focus has shifted almost completely from "learning" to "winning the argument", the end of the thread is not the end of their brains. The active competition of the argument fades with time, but the ideas of the opposing party can still stay lodged in your brain somewhere. Then, when a related issue is encountered, in a new, non-adversarial setting, those ideas can rise to the fore, and result in a slight shift in thinking even if you aren't consciously aware that the shift was caused by that old argument you had with that libertard/rethuglican idiot. Rinse, repeat, and slowly but surely, minds can be changed.

People just need to be allowed a venue in which they can change their minds without feeling like that means they've "lost", and I think in most cases, a little time and distance from the initial argument can provide that venue.

This is pretty much a spot-on description of how I ended up completely reversing my position on many issues. It wasn't long ago that I was socially conservative - pro-life, anti-universal healthcare, anti-gay marriage, climate change-denier, and devoutly religious. I honestly couldn't help it. I was raised to be a good little Republican. In the community where I grew up, Republican = middle-class white and Democrat = poor black. If I hadn't gone to college in a liberal city (Athens, GA) I would probably still be stuck in the small-minded world that I grew up in.

However, looking back, I think it was my own interest in science as a child - and my voracious reading - that created the first cracks in the thinly veneered pedestal on which my parents (mostly my father) stood. He still firmly believes in young-Earth creationism and denies evolution. I remember disregarding the young-Earth theory before I was 10 years old. Every book I read about dinosaurs mentioned that they lived millions of years ago, and I couldn't understand the King James Bible, so the dinosaur books won that debate. Then I got interested in plants, and began studying the phylogenetic history of trees in high school. By the time I graduated, creationism was out the window as well. Evolution simply made too much sense to dismiss.

I think that having the ability to reject those small (and obvious) inconsistencies in the "story" that I taught as a child opened the door for every piece of dogma and rhetoric that I consumed as a child to be re-examined with a more critical eye. It took the better part of a decade, but I'm finally a happy social liberal and a religious agnostic. And I reserve the right to change my mind about any topic at any time as more evidence presents itself.

Blonde Lawyer

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 754
    • My Student Loan Refi Story
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2015, 03:14:53 PM »
I'm a liberal who was formerly very pro-gun control but have moved pretty firmly into the gun rights club.  The people normally labeled crazies that comment on every new article in my area actually had something to do with my change of heart.  Also a few personal experiences and marrying someone in law enforcement.

I've also come to realize that there are some bad apples in law enforcement.  Just because my spouse is as ethical as they come doesn't mean that his brother's and sisters act the same.

Lastly, while I still firmly believe in a woman's right to a safe, legal and accessible abortion, law school has taught me that Roe v. Wade was a pretty horrible legal decision when it comes to interpreting precedent and the constitution. 

I would suggest that anyone analyzing major issues seek out primary sources.  Read actual court decisions not just the press on it.

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4869
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2015, 03:57:51 PM »
I'm a liberal who was formerly very pro-gun control but have moved pretty firmly into the gun rights club.  The people normally labeled crazies that comment on every new article in my area actually had something to do with my change of heart.  Also a few personal experiences and marrying someone in law enforcement.

I've also come to realize that there are some bad apples in law enforcement.  Just because my spouse is as ethical as they come doesn't mean that his brother's and sisters act the same.

Lastly, while I still firmly believe in a woman's right to a safe, legal and accessible abortion, law school has taught me that Roe v. Wade was a pretty horrible legal decision when it comes to interpreting precedent and the constitution. 

I would suggest that anyone analyzing major issues seek out primary sources.  Read actual court decisions not just the press on it.
Can you explain that in more detail?

clifp

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 547
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2015, 04:35:54 PM »
Yes I on variety of issues.  The estate tax opposed to favor, FAIR tax initially was a fan now I'm not.  Climate change although I still think it is vastly overhyped.  Forced retirement saving was philosophical opposed now I reluctantly think it is the right thing to do. Abortion I used to be totally pro choice, now I am far more nuanced.

Annamal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2015, 07:10:05 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

New Zealand police do not go about their daily duties armed with projectile weapons (they do have batons and tasers though) and I do not believe that guns would help relations between police and the community they need to maintain a relationship with.

I know this is not an option for US cops but I am glad it is true here.

It does technically put cops at more risk but it also makes situations slower to escalate and the number of people shot by police is very low.

Flyingkea

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2598
  • Location: Australia
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2015, 07:20:44 PM »
Quote
New Zealand police do not go about their daily duties armed with projectile weapons (they do have batons and tasers though) and I do not believe that guns would help relations between police and the community they need to maintain a relationship with.

I know this is not an option for US cops but I am glad it is true here.

It does technically put cops at more risk but it also makes situations slower to escalate and the number of people shot by police is very low.
Agreed, it's one thing I love about home, I remember all the fuss about whether they should be allowed to carry them in a locked box in the police cars.

Annamal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #43 on: April 21, 2015, 07:32:27 PM »
Quote
New Zealand police do not go about their daily duties armed with projectile weapons (they do have batons and tasers though) and I do not believe that guns would help relations between police and the community they need to maintain a relationship with.

I know this is not an option for US cops but I am glad it is true here.

It does technically put cops at more risk but it also makes situations slower to escalate and the number of people shot by police is very low.
Agreed, it's one thing I love about home, I remember all the fuss about whether they should be allowed to carry them in a locked box in the police cars.

I know a lot of people have had bad experiences with the NZ police but I was really impressed with how calm and friendly they were to the intruder who broke into our house covered in blood and probably suffering concussion (they were also very polite when they were trying to assess whether my partner or I were cause of the head wounds and gave us some great tips on safe blood removal after they found the pool of blood where he had fallen over our back fence).

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4869
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #44 on: April 21, 2015, 07:45:35 PM »
Jack, a poster on this forum and further upthread, changed my mind about an aspect of police shootings of civilians. I had held that a cop should shoot first if he percieves an immediate threat to his own life. Jack said that cops should be held to a higher standard, and should be willing to hesitate, even if it means taking a bullet. I got to thinking about that, and now I agree. This was during a discussion about a cop who shot a kid who was holding a gun that turned out to be a toy.

If this is the case then we should pay them DOUBLE what they are getting. Who has the ability to naturally hesitate when confronted with a deadly outcome if wrong?

That is asking one hell of a lot of anyone. Would YOU want to be a cop under those conditions? Heck, I don't want to be one even without those conditions. WITH them? You couldn't pay me enough.

New Zealand police do not go about their daily duties armed with projectile weapons (they do have batons and tasers though) and I do not believe that guns would help relations between police and the community they need to maintain a relationship with.

I know this is not an option for US cops but I am glad it is true here.

It does technically put cops at more risk but it also makes situations slower to escalate and the number of people shot by police is very low.
Certain cities have changed the amount of people shot by police, by expecting more from their officers.  http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_26482775/use-deadly-force-by-police-disappears-richmond-streets
I can't see how this is a bad thing.

Annamal

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 429
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #45 on: April 22, 2015, 12:14:29 AM »

Has anyone ever compelled you to change your views on a political issue with an effective argument?


This is kind of gross (and still makes me really uncomfortable) but a discussion I had with someone forced me to acknowledge that those with amputee identity disorder who are otherwise sound in mind and have been unable to find any other means of coping should ( by my own admittedly fuzzy ethical  framework) have the right to have their otherwise healthy limb removed.

I started off with the old "it's obvious they shouldn't" and then couldn't find a good justification for the shouldn't.

It's not a hill I would die on or anything (and thankfully is not relevant to me or anyone I know) but it was a complete reversal of opinion in a single conversation.

okonumiyaki

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 181
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #46 on: April 22, 2015, 01:25:44 AM »
Gay marriage - I used to think that civil partnership was ok, until an internet argument persuaded me otherwise.

Re cops.  From other internet forums I've learnt that the US Marines in Fallujah were better trained in how to deal with civilians, and less trigger happy in stressful situations, than US police are.  That blew my mind. 

In the UK or HK, a police shooting is A Big Deal, and he/she will be raked over the coals after a shooting (and rightly so)  Both cop killings, and killing of cops, seem to be much below US levels


zinnie

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 706
  • Location: Boston
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #47 on: April 22, 2015, 04:49:53 AM »
Yes all the time. Not arguments, but new evidence. I tend to base my "views" on what is most likely to solve a problem, given what we know now about how people operate and what we want to accomplish. Everything I "believe" is evolving over time.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2385
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #48 on: April 22, 2015, 08:56:39 AM »
Like many, I've sometimes changed my mind on topics when presented with credible information/research.  One example is the death penalty.

I'm a liberal who was formerly very pro-gun control but have moved pretty firmly into the gun rights club.  The people normally labeled crazies that comment on every new article in my area actually had something to do with my change of heart.  Also a few personal experiences and marrying someone in law enforcement.

I've also come to realize that there are some bad apples in law enforcement.  Just because my spouse is as ethical as they come doesn't mean that his brother's and sisters act the same.

Lastly, while I still firmly believe in a woman's right to a safe, legal and accessible abortion, law school has taught me that Roe v. Wade was a pretty horrible legal decision when it comes to interpreting precedent and the constitution. 

I would suggest that anyone analyzing major issues seek out primary sources.  Read actual court decisions not just the press on it.
Can you explain that in more detail?

I agree with Blonde Lawyer on this, that a woman has a right to a safe, legal and accessible abortion, but that Roe v. Wade was a stretch constitutionally.  I'll try to explain as best as I recall, but it's been a while since I studied this.

There is a seminal article in the Harvard Law Review written in 1890 by Warren and Brandeis called "A Right to Privacy", which essentially argued that we have a fundamental right to privacy.  (They were mostly concerned about reporters.)

This right to privacy was later built on for other cases, such as the right for married women to use contraceptives.  Roe states that there is a fundamental right to privacy in the due process clause of the 14th amendment as if it had been already very clearly decided and known, which until that point had not been clearly established.  The majority opinion wrote the right to liberty was "broad enough to encompass" a right to abortion.  I was taught (by a privacy law expert that supported women's rights and thus might not have incentive to say this) that the case was basically policy-making.  Many states had laws on the books prohibiting abortion.  In order to overturn those, there needs to be a constitutional challenge (or federal law, although as a side note, the federal government is only permitted to legislate in certain areas, such as interstate commerce, and the bill of rights retains the right to legislate in all others to the states - there is some question outstanding as to whether this could be a federal law), and it’s arguable whether the privacy right read into the 14th amendment was sufficient.

Another problem with Roe v. Wade is that it divided a pregnancy into trimesters, placing more emphasis on the rights of the woman versus the fetus depending on where a woman was in pregnancy.  A woman had more right to privacy/autonomy when in the first trimester (at time it was before the fetus was viable), while in the third trimester more weight was given to the state’s interest in the life of the fetus, when it could survive outside the mother.  One issue with this trimester approach is that due to scientific and technological advances, the viability of the fetus outside of the mother keeps changing.  Now we can save babies at say, 24 weeks.

But, know that Roe v Wade is no longer the case upon which the right to abortions rests.  It's Casey v. Planned Parenthood, which was a Pennsylvania case that struck down only spousal notification requirement (those women who wouldn’t want to notify their husbands were likely those whose husbands might resort to abuse if told of their plans).  This case was incredibly messy, in that there was really no majority opinion.  There was an opinion written by three justices which is taken as the lead opinion, because the other 4 justices joined different parts to reach a majority.  2 would have struck down everything and 2 would have upheld everything.  In a rare situation, this opinion overturned parts of Roe v. Wade on the trimester formula (stare decisis is latin for “to stand by that which is already decided” which is the principal that when a point has been decided, it forms precedent which generally should be followed.  SCOTUS is particularly reluctant to acknowledge it was wrong, so it often talks around how it’s not overturning a decision even when it is).  The new rule focused on viability and prohibited states from entirely banning abortions, requiring an exception for the health/life of the mother.  States were also permitted to pass laws regulating abortions to protect the woman’s health in the first trimester, although not to limit access.  The court changed the scrutiny of abortion regulations (such as reasonability of a law requiring a waiting period) from heightened to undue burden.

The decision upheld both the 24 hour waiting period (for everyone) and parental consent for minors.  To many from a privileged background, this may not seem like a big deal…but – for a parent of very low income, they are not able to take time off from work not just once, but twice, in order to be present for their daughter’s abortion.  As a result, many low income parents tell their kid that it’s their problem with which to deal.  This decision infuriated me, so in law school (in Pennsylvania where this case was), I did pro bono work helping these women to obtain a judicial bypass (many of whom actually showed up to the meeting with me and the hearing with the judge with a stepmom – but had to do this process because the dad/mom were not available).

Sorry this is long.  I found privacy law in general interesting when I was in law school, so feel free to ask questions if you’re confused and I’ll try to clarify it better.  

dragoncar

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9537
  • Registered member
Re: Political Arguments: Has anyone ever changed your mind on an issue?
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2015, 09:19:39 AM »
No, it's not possible