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View Full Version : What is the biggest change of opinion you have undergone snce adulthood?


Skald the Rhymer
01-20-2010, 10:07 AM
Are you a former homophobe who now supports gay marriage?

Were you an long-time atheist who found religion?

Did you once think that Pepsi was a vile concoction and Coke was made of ambrosia, and now think the reverse is true?

Well, tell us about it--what your former opinion was, what your current opinion is, and why you changed your mind. For purposes of this thread, the only judgment as to what is a major change of opinion is your own.

RTFirefly
01-20-2010, 10:34 AM
Are you a former homophobe who now supports gay marriage?

Were you an long-time atheist who found religion?

Did you once think that Pepsi was a vile concoction and Coke was made of ambrosia, and now think the reverse is true?

Well, tell us about it--what your former opinion was, what your current opinion is, and why you changed your mind. For purposes of this thread, the only judgment as to what is a major change of opinion is your own.Since I turned 18 in 1972, my opinions on many things have changed a great deal since then. I'll come back with some of my biggest changes when I've had time to think about it, but what interests me is which of those changes in views simply represented the changes of views of the entire culture (remember that equal rights for women was still pretty controversial in the U.S. in 1972, and homosexual acts were still criminal in most states), and which didn't.

mhendo
01-20-2010, 10:36 AM
Depends what you mean by "adulthood." Many of my most dramatic changes in opinion and political position happened in my late teens and early twenties. While this is officially adulthood, it always seems to me that this transformation was a part of my growing up.Are you a former homophobe who now supports gay marriage?Yes.

Like most of my peers in school, i found even the idea of homosexuality disgusting and perverted. Anyone at our school even suspected of being gay was hounded mercilessly. I took this attitude into my early adulthood. Of course, i had never met a gay person (at least, one who was openly gay). By my early twenties, i had been out in the world a bit more, and had traveled and met a whole lot of new and interesting people, and had come to realize that who you fuck or who you love is none of my business, and doesn't change what type of person you are.

I also grew up fairly racist. I was not some hood-wearing vigilante; my racism was the casual, thoughtless racism that was so prevalent in Australian society at the time, and that is still pretty common in many parts of the country. To me, as a kid, the Australian Aborigines were "boongs" or "coons" who were dirty and uncivilized and most likely criminal. Again, of course, i'd never actually met one. Asians were "slopeheads" who should go back to their own country, or at least learn to speak English. Lebanese were "wogs."

This sort of thing was only said amongst ourselves (i.e., among the Anglo guys i hung out with at school). We never actually taunted people openly, or called them racist word to their face. I'm not sure if this made our racism better or worse. My high school was very white, and was located in an area of Sydney with large populations of Vietnamese, Lebanese, and other immigrant groups. We played against these folks in rugby and cricket, and the sport field rivalry probably exacerbated our bigotry.

Again, this is all something i left behind in the few years after leaving high school.

Anaamika
01-20-2010, 10:36 AM
Religious to atheist.

Also idealistic to pretty cynical.

Drain Bead
01-20-2010, 10:51 AM
Up until a couple of years ago, I NEVER wanted to have children.

My daughter turns one on the 31st.

Icarus
01-20-2010, 11:04 AM
As a teen / young adult I was deeply judgmental of people, cynical, and reveled in my powers of sarcasm.

As I moved into adulthood and became exposed to more and more, traveled, etc., my attitudes softened considerably and I became much more positive about life and pluralistic about people. I no longer judge people like I did, in fact I probably go the other way in terms of acceptance.

I attribute the earlier attitudes to a deep lack of confidence and the changes to a rising self confidence.

RunSilent
01-20-2010, 11:15 AM
I spent 20 years of my adult life believing in something many dopers currently believe in: left wing ideology.... Naive and gullible, I was...

MsWhatsit
01-20-2010, 11:17 AM
I became an atheist. No particular epiphanal moment. I just realized at some point in the last few years that my ongoing "crisis of faith" that I'd been having since I was 17 and quit going to Mass was actually a complete and total inability to buy any of that stuff as reality. I'm still making peace with it but I feel much better now that I'm not telling people I'm a "weak agnostic."

Palo Verde
01-20-2010, 11:18 AM
I guess I've moved from pro-choice, to pro-life, to conflicted, but slightly more on the pro-choice side.

I grew up in a strongly pro-choice household, with my mom frequently marching or going to rallies, so I grew up being pro-choice without thinking much about it.

When my children were born, the idea of aborting any of those amazing precious children and never giving them a chance at life was horrifying and I became more strongly pro-life.

Now I'm a little older, and hopefully a bit wiser. I still think abortion is horrible, but in many cases it is the best of several bad options. I guess I support it being legal, but I would prefer for kids to get hit over and over with the best abstinence and birth control information. I really wish abortion weren't necessary, but sometimes it is.

Skald the Rhymer
01-20-2010, 11:35 AM
I spent 20 years of my adult life believing in something many dopers currently believe in: left wing ideology.... Naive and gullible, I was...

You know, it's actually possible to express yourself without implicitly insulting other persons in the conversation. I think there's a class on it at the New School. :D

cwthree
01-20-2010, 11:46 AM
Probably regarding non-monogamous relationships, including polygynous and polyandryous marriage. When I was younger, I felt that all non-monogamous relationships simply wrong in some fundamental way. At some point, I realized that this was more about my personal "ick" factor than it was about the cosmic rightness or wrongness of relationships. These days, I'd say that there is nothing wrong with poly(whatever) relationships as long as all parties are consenting* adults and there is no abuse.** I'd apply the same criteria to monogamous relationships.

*By which I mean "understanding the legal and social ramifications, and having a personal desire to be in the relationship" rather than "agreeing to the relationship in order to please a family member or religious leader."

**I do believe that there are some rights you can't give up, and the right to not by physically or psychologically abused by a partner is one of them. I don't care if your religion or culture says it's OK to smack your wife around (and that that a wife should accept being smacked around) - that's abuse, even if you think some deity approves.

Mr. Excellent
01-20-2010, 11:51 AM
You know, it's actually possible to express yourself without implicitly insulting other persons in the conversation. I think there's a class on it at the New School. :D

"Intro to Design and Management" probably covers it: http://www.newschool.edu/pdf/Parsons_student_handbook.pdf

That's just the communications program - I'm sure there are others.

I just took the joke way too far, didn't I?

Leaffan
01-20-2010, 12:09 PM
I'm much more conservative in my politics than I was in my youth. And just for the record a right-wing Canadian is probably nearer to the middle of the pack in US politics, and does not imply any religious underlying in the least.

Yeah, I could have sympathized with the socialists when I was younger, but in my grouchy old (47) age I am all for less government, more privatization, lower taxes and a focus on core services.

Noone Special
01-20-2010, 12:15 PM
I was a strong "hawk" in terms of our (Israel's) attitude to "Secutiry" and, in our case, Territorial Compromise. I'm now fairly strongly on the "dovish" (pro-getting-the-hell-outta-the-West-Bank. Preferably leaving the settlers there...) side.

I was always an atheist, though.

Skald the Rhymer
01-20-2010, 12:30 PM
"Intro to Design and Management" probably covers it: http://www.newschool.edu/pdf/Parsons_student_handbook.pdf

That's just the communications program - I'm sure there are others.

I just took the joke way too far, didn't I?

According to the algorithms we use in SmartAssery class, you took it just far enough. A single additional word would have ruined it, as would any lame attempt by another to comment on your attempt.

What?

GESancMan
01-20-2010, 12:30 PM
I used to be of the opinion that getting drunk every night was essential to my life. Now I know that staying sober is a million times better.

Diogenes the Cynic
01-20-2010, 12:41 PM
I voted for Reagan.

Skald the Rhymer
01-20-2010, 12:46 PM
I voted for Reagan.

I was too young for that, but I voted for Bush Senior over Duke. Admittedly I was trying to get into the panties of the treasurer of the Young Republicans at the time.

pepperlandgirl
01-20-2010, 12:58 PM
Once upon a time, I was a devout Mormon and very pro-life.

Today I'm an atheist and staunchly pro-choice.

Poysyn
01-20-2010, 01:04 PM
First of all, I was never planning to have children - my daughter turns 7 on Friday.

I also got a lot more patient, with life and myself.

Sattua
01-20-2010, 01:26 PM
I'm only 29 now... my biggest shift has been from thinking that education and learning and universities and knowing stuff was the most important and noblest thing there is... to thinking that any degree which doesn't directly lead to a well-paying job is a scam, and that universities are monkeyhouses for people who can't deal with the real world.

faithfool
01-20-2010, 01:36 PM
Not a homophobe, but a bible believing "hate the sin, not the sinner" stance Christian to a current staunch GLBT advocate. Also, from pro-life to pro-choice.

FallenAngel
01-20-2010, 01:52 PM
I was a screaming liberal for years. Then I figured out that liberalism is just as oppressive and ineffective as conservatism, just on different sets of issues. Now I guess you could call me a moderate anarcho-captialist or strict-interpretation constitutionalist,

sevenwood
01-20-2010, 02:03 PM
My biggest change of opinion was actually the realization that I could be wrong. Followed by the realization of just how often I could be wrong.

Zeriel
01-20-2010, 02:07 PM
I did a fairly major religion switch (Catholic to Pagan to Zen Buddhist). I can't say why I changed my mind, really, it just sort of happened.

I also have made a fairly major shift from my college days as an angry minarchist libertarian to the social lib/fiscal moderate progressive (Obama Republican, perhaps?) I am today. Grew up Republican in a town full of broke-ass white people and seeing essentially all the worst stereotypes of welfare paraded on a daily basis (my dad was so hard-up for employees that I was a full-on shift manager at his general store at age 17, bossing around ladies in their 40s and 50s who simply didn't give two shits about anything but their pin money. Literally the only full time employees to this day have been members of my immediate family, and not for lack of trying to find some.) My folks were always the kind of Republicans who didn't much care about your skin color or religion or who you were having sex with as long as you were clean-cut and responsible, and I took that away. Got to college, and between learning more about the causes and issues of poverty and watching the Clinton and Bush Jr. years go by as an increasingly savvy adult started changing my outlook--first to minarchy, when I didn't have much and wanted to keep it. As I started having more with job promotions etc it became apparent to me watching my friends and acquaintances go through life that ability and drive only go so far, and a lot of it is luck or chance--with that understanding I became a lot more in favor of setting up societally-based mechanisms that would keep the lights on and food on the table for the unlucky. The final step in my transformation was along those lines, only with the benefit of a few more years and understanding how long an unlucky streak could last--a case in point, two friends of mine who are married graduated in the same field with similar GPA, etc. Basically, qualification-wise, indistinguishable. He's a senior engineer in his field with what seems like his pick of jobs (as in, he jumped companies to a better position last year in the midst of a particularly down spike). She's been out of work for three-four years, was laid off with no explanation from her first and only job in the field, etc. When I can witness that and see someone who'd have gone from a year of $50k/yr employment and a letter of recommendation and then nothing for years, I can't blind myself and claim that she brought it on herself.

neuroman
01-20-2010, 02:17 PM
I realized that girls aren't scary.

Maybe that wasn't an articulate enough thought to qualify as an "opinion" though, so I'll say this instead:
My biggest change of opinion was actually the realization that I could be wrong.

But not this:
Followed by the realization of just how often I could be wrong.
:D

Dinsdale
01-20-2010, 02:36 PM
Are you a former homophobe who now supports gay marriage?


This one.

And I used to support capital punishment, but now do not.

The Second Stone
01-20-2010, 03:35 PM
When I was 20 I would not have accepted that utterly contradictory conditions could exist. The cat could not be both alive and dead at the same time. I now see that this is the general condition of nature except in very isolated circumstances with all sorts of conditions attached. Or as the drunks say, it is always happy hour somewhere.

I used to be against gay marriage. Then I confronted myself with the utter illogic of my position and I am now for it.

mbh
01-20-2010, 03:43 PM
I used to think we should lower the drinking age.
Now I often think we should raise the voting age.

salinqmind
01-20-2010, 03:58 PM
Disappointing experiences with church-going in my early years led to rejection of any kind of religion, making me sort of agnostic. Now I'm still against the church, but OK with God. I find myself reading about spirituality, and praying (never rejected praying). Maybe because I'm getting older and want to be on the safe side :)?

And...I've always had a bad relationship with my mother, who had her share of problems. Now we're something like friends. I feel sorry for her - but still have to push myself to man up and do the right things and be a good daughter. But I DO do the right things, and feel better afterwards.

jjimm
01-20-2010, 04:07 PM
That the government should have nothing to do with industries that are not essential to society, and should leave other ones alone (within legal constraints and taxation reasonable to society, of course).

That everything in one's life is impermanent.

That every political ideal is confounded by human nature - and rather than it being people that are wrong, if the ideal doesn't take people into account, it means that the ideal is wrong. The only good political ideals are ones that take human nature into account at the outset - the rest are crap.

tonyfop
01-20-2010, 04:45 PM
I went to a Catholic, All Male High Scool on Long Island. Homophobic epithets were thrown around all the time. It was pretty much standard practice to use all of the usual terms. I then went to college. Pretty early on, I threw out a homophobic epithet, and got a response like, "So what, I am gay". So were other people in the room. Light clicked on in my head. Gay people actually exist, and they are some of my friends. I liked them before I knew they were gay, how does that knowledge change my relationship? It doesn't. That original gay guy that opened my eyes is still a facebook friend of mine, 21 years later.

ZPG Zealot
01-20-2010, 06:26 PM
I use to be more tolerant of the extreme, extreme right-wing. I mean the crackpots provide us with so much free comedy. Then I grew up and realized some of the really looney ones aren't performance artists. They are dangerous.

ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness
01-20-2010, 06:46 PM
I realized that my parents did in fact know what they were talking about most of the time.

Yorikke
01-20-2010, 06:53 PM
When I was a kid, I didn't know (or didn't think I knew) any real gay people. I didn't like them, simply because that's what the other kids said. I've always been a liberal-type, but just didn't like the gays.

I moved to San Francisco many years ago. I have met many gay people. I am truly ashamed of how I felt before.

Joe

Yarster
01-20-2010, 06:57 PM
Homophobe to supporting gay marriage is actually a big one for me. I had a bunch of friends in high school that were nerds like me and couldn't get any women. It never occurred to me that one of my close friends wasn't actually trying to. He came out in college, but we were at different colleges, and he hid it from me for years for fear I would disown him. Truth is, had he come out in high school or even college, I probably would have. But years later, he finally told me, and the revelation that he was gay and yet such a great guy literally changed my opinion overnight.

Other things have come full circle. That is, right wing in high school, left wing in college and the first part of my career, then right wing again after graduate school.

Oh, and I was NEVER going to get married (celebrating my 13th anniversary to the greatest women in the world this year)...

breezman
01-20-2010, 07:43 PM
I used to be pretty homophobic, but I got over that in the second half of my 20s. I currently have a few good friend and many more acquaintances who are gay. There was a period of several years when I lost touch with a really good friend because of my homophobia, and I really regret that.

Also, I used to be pro-life. Looking back, I think that my view of the whole issue was a bit simplistic. Though I loathe the way that the issue has been shoehorned into a dichotomy, if I were forced to choose one of the prevalent sides, I would pick pro-choice.

vivalostwages
01-20-2010, 07:54 PM
I'm much more agnostic now than I ever was as a kid.

Procrustus
01-20-2010, 08:09 PM
I used to like dogs a lot more than I do now.

I can't honestly see any reason for pets now, other than everyone else in my family seems to like them.

jsgoddess
01-20-2010, 08:20 PM
I went from trying my damnedest to convince myself I was religious to full-fledged atheism.

But the biggest change is simply one of tolerance. One day I realized that most people are doing the best they can and if I find them annoying it's probably at least as much me as it is them. I still find them annoying, but I can at least see how bitchy I'm being!

Oh, and life is short as hell. And love doesn't conquer all, but it sure does make the battles easier.

kapri
01-20-2010, 08:24 PM
More liberal now, much, much less religious and as a result less judgmental.

I feel free now; before, I felt oppressed.

StGermain
01-20-2010, 08:29 PM
I am far less fiscally liberal than I was when I was young. I used to believe in social programs, but the longer I work hard to support myself, the less I feel like supporting anyone else. My father used to have a sign in his office that says "Failure to plan on your part does not constitute and emergency on my part", and I believe that.

Not that I don't believe that people never deserve help - I believe children and animals particularly deserve the essentials. But if you have the mental capacity to work, then you should. If you only have the capacity to bag groceries, you should do that. If you've been physically incapacitated but still have the ability to talk on the phone and type in a computer, you should be working. If you chose to get a Master's degree in 17th Century literature and the only job you can get is stocking at Wal-Mart, you'd better be willing to don a blue apron. And don't expect me to foot the bill for your education. When I was young, I probably would've loved the movie Rent. Seeing it as a 48 year old, I just wanted to tell the adults to grow up and support themselves. Adults should take care of themselves.

StG

John DiFool
01-20-2010, 08:42 PM
Change of opinion? About myself, absolutely. I've gone from a depressed (it got pretty bad yes), confused, wishywashy, directionless, shy wallflower with absolutely no clue as to whom I was to, well, where most of those things have turned around 180 degrees (or 540, or something). If I had known many things I now know about myself that I was completely ignorant of back then, well, you know.

needscoffee
01-20-2010, 09:16 PM
I can't think of anything I've changed my opinion on since adulthood, which makes me wonder if I am foolishly stubborn or if I was just right all along.

overlyverbose
01-20-2010, 11:17 PM
There are lots of things I can think of. Here are only a few:

I thought fat people were lazy slobs who didn't have any self control. Until I started working full time, had a couple kids and - voila! - overweight. I'm correcting it, but never realized how insidious weight gain can be until reality set in, along with 20 extra pounds.

I made promises to myself about what I would do when I was a parent. I'll never formula feed, I'll never cosleep, I'll never feed my baby store-bought baby food, let him/her use a pacifier, threaten to pull over the car, etc. I've broken every single one of those promises with the exception of the pacifier, but not for lack of trying (neither would take one).

I used to look down on women who chose not to work as "just housewives." Now I think that the feminist movement, while in many cases invaluable, actually backed many women into a corner with respect to their careers. Most women I know who admit to being stay-at-home moms or housewives say it kind of sheepishly like it's something they should be ashamed of, and I think that sucks.

Autolycus
01-20-2010, 11:58 PM
I guess going from Catholic to atheist.

happyrobotfuture
01-20-2010, 11:59 PM
My biggest change of opinion was actually the realization that I could be wrong. Followed by the realization of just how often I could be wrong.

This time a million.

Something that got on my nerves a long time ago, was a friend's father who always had an answer for every situation. It took me years to figure out why that truly bothered me. I thought it was just because I disagreed with his point of view at first. Then I realized that he sometimes had decent points, but I couldn't stand his approach to any argument.

Because in his mind he was never wrong. If he was wrong in the past, then surely it was just some sort of misunderstanding.

My personal opinions have been silly in the past due to youth. My opinions are silly now due to lack of experience. My opinions will continue to change with age due to my own experiences, and how I choose to view them. Anyone who thinks they are done growing by any age that doesn't kill them is an idiot.

This is coming from a 31 year old by the way.

Taomist
01-21-2010, 12:03 AM
Not going to think about 'biggest', 'cause that's too much work right now.

But...

...I can recall, relive, EXACTLY what I felt and thought as I made various decisions and did various things when I was 16, everything from first sex to first sneaking out of the house to first drink; and I thought then, and STILL THINK, that everything I did was something I'd do again, given the same information. I was fairly practical.

Knowing all of that, I still can't imagine my 16-year old niece going through any of that without my thinking 'OMG NO CRAP SHE'S TOO YOUNG AND GOING TO SCREW UP!!'

It's VERY weird having those two points of view at one time, and agreeing with both of them. O.o

panache45
01-21-2010, 12:29 AM
I had already gone through my major changes by my late teens . . . then spent the remaining years transforming from Objectivist to Recovering Objectivist. The major changes have been political, changing from Libertarian to something like a Clinton Democrat. Sadly, it looks like whichever group is in power has an equal chance of making a horrible mess of everything. I'm quickly becoming apolitical.

MrDibble
01-21-2010, 12:49 AM
I went from fairly communist in upbringing to a hardcore capitalist in university to a fairly staunch anarchist the last 10 years.
Despite my personal pacifism, I've come around to the pro-gun-ownership (for others) side of the gun control debate, as a direct result of debates I've lurked in here.
ETA; Oh, and I guess going from thinking I was gay in my twenties to being more of a slightly-bisexual-but-really-likes-the-ladies-more should be in there.

sandra_nz
01-21-2010, 09:54 AM
I used to think that it was more important to be right than to be kind.

I now think the opposite.

An Arky
01-21-2010, 10:22 AM
I can't think of anything I've changed my opinion on since adulthood, which makes me wonder if I am foolishly stubborn or if I was just right all along.

Same here.

kelly5078
01-21-2010, 10:44 AM
I guess my adult life overall could be characterized by my becoming gradually more accepting of people, and less neurotically protective of myself. If I were to live to 1000, I might have some hope of getting to where I'd really like to be.

Ruby Slippers
01-21-2010, 10:56 AM
<snip>which of those changes in views simply represented the changes of views of the entire culture (remember that equal rights for women was still pretty controversial in the U.S. in 1972, and homosexual acts were still criminal in most states), and which didn't.

Absolutely! I turned 18 in 1963 (less than a month before the assassination of President Kennedy). I was brought up to believe that being a housewife was the ultimate goal for women, that jobs were only "something to fall back on" if things got tough. And although homosexuality wasn't much discussed in my group of friends or in my family, I knew that it was unacceptably icky. Now I know that women should be as free as men to pursue the options they choose, whether that is a career or full-time momhood. And I believe that as long as marriage is the only route to some benefits and privileges, it should be available to any who want to make that commitment. Even my belief that "living in sin" was, well, a sin, has fallen by the wayside.

But I honestly don't know which of these changes were the result of my own soul-searching and which were a response to the growing enlightenment of the times. I don't know if I could have reached my current beliefs completely on my own against the tide of popular opinion.

Cumberdale
01-21-2010, 11:12 AM
I'm 43 and it wasn't until I was 40 that I got somewhat comfortable having babies and kids around. I really never had many dealings with them because my social circle was pretty much child free/less singles or if they did have kids they were older and in school. My nephews and neice have always been several hours away and I'd usually only see them for the holidays or family get togethers so they'd be busy with their parents, cousins so I really didn't see too much of them.

I recently got married and my wife has a son who has a 3 year old and another on the way. I am much more comfortable around babies now and at times even enjoy it. I still don't want any of my own and don't want to live with any, but overall, I've grown more tolerant to there presence.

otternell
01-21-2010, 12:19 PM
I used to be a republican, and spoken with pride. I disagreed with a few social issues (abortion at the time, SSM wasn't a big issue when I started down the repub road), but thought that they were more fiscally conservative.

Now, it seems like the party is all about telling everyone else how to live (abortion, SSM) and doesn't practice the fiscal conservatism they way I thought they did. Plus, its now super religious and I just am not interested in supporting a party that makes such a big deal out of a person's private beliefs.

Now, I certainly would not say I am a Dem, as they have issues that I disagree with as well. It just seems that there are fewer people over there trying to bludgeon everyone with their religion, and not minding their own damn business when it comes to people's personal choices.

cwthree
01-21-2010, 01:55 PM
I went from trying my damnedest to convince myself I was religious to full-fledged atheism.

Does it count as a change of opinion if you end up back where you started? If it does, then my other huge change of opinion is similar to jsgoddess' experience, except that I was an atheist as a young person, tried like hell to convince myself that I was religious in my mid-20's through my 30's. Only in the last few years have I accepted that I really don't believe in a deity, that I need not act as though I believe in one, and that I'm not doing anyone any favors by letting people think I do.

Shot From Guns
01-21-2010, 02:43 PM
Catholic to atheist was a big switch, but that really started in my teens, so it doesn't count.

Probably the biggest change as a more-or-less adult has been my attitude about language. I was your typical lay-grammarian: someone who'd read a lot and paid attention in school and thought they knew what was "good" or "proper" English and what was "bad" English. A dialect like "Ebonics" (scare quotes there because I hate the term, since AAVE isn't just phonetic features) was just "lazy English." Then I took my first course in sociolinguistics in college, and very quickly (by the end of the first lecture, I think) realized how ignorant I'd been. Even now, I remember that first rush of realization, feeling rather like a poleaxed cow.

TreacherousCretin
01-21-2010, 04:29 PM
Since my late teens, I felt no desire to ever be a parent. Babies had absolutely zero appeal for me (in fact, my honest reaction to a baby was revulsion); older children had no effect or interest for me; I didn't like or dislike them -- just nothing. Only when they reached their early teens could I began to relate to them as pre-adults.

My wife cared even less than I did about children, so we chose to remain childless. That was 40 years ago, we're still happily married, and we've never felt the slightest twinge of regret.

So I think it's safe to say that I never had a "Daddy chromosome" or whatever. BUT... about twenty years ago, when I hit 40, my "Grandfather" switch must have gotten turned on, and for the first time in my life I found myself enjoying the little sticky people, and that appreciation has only grown stronger since then. (Although babies still repel me.)

.

OccamsTaser
01-21-2010, 08:18 PM
I used to be judgmental and intolerant, and now I understand that everyone is fighting some sort of personal battle, and I have much more empathy, and give people more slack. I'm far slower to take offense, and far quicker to offer friendship.

I've gone from being very liberal on issues like defense and international relations, to being pretty conservative. Ten years in the military, seeing the world's trouble spots with my own two eyes, and fighting in the Gulf War had a lot to do with this.

I don't believe that any one political group has all the answers now, or ever will. If the candidate's lips are moving, they're lying, and any choice will always be the lesser of two evils.

On other issues I've become more liberal. I don't care about your sex life, don't want to know about it, and don't want the government to interfere with it. I don't believe in the death penalty anymore. Too many innocent people have died, and DNA is setting wrongly imprisoned people free everyday.

I have a much different view of marriage, relationships and women now than I did at 20. I'm happily divorced and enjoying some well-deserved solitude.

Taomist
01-21-2010, 08:41 PM
I used to be a republican, and spoken with pride. I disagreed with a few social issues (abortion at the time, SSM wasn't a big issue when I started down the repub road), but thought that they were more fiscally conservative.

Now, it seems like the party is all about telling everyone else how to live (abortion, SSM) and doesn't practice the fiscal conservatism they way I thought they did. Plus, its now super religious and I just am not interested in supporting a party that makes such a big deal out of a person's private beliefs.

Now, I certainly would not say I am a Dem, as they have issues that I disagree with as well. It just seems that there are fewer people over there trying to bludgeon everyone with their religion, and not minding their own damn business when it comes to people's personal choices.


Just remember that Republicans used to be the moderates, and there are many 'Republicans' who are pissed at the 'Republican party'. You might not have changed as much as the party has.

tumbleddown
01-21-2010, 10:10 PM
I was a very vocal proud Republican, pro-life, feminism-eschewing, Santorum-Bush supporter, and a warblogger for a long spell even after the invasion of Iraq. The only place I broke substantially with the party was on the issue of gay rights.

I'm now a very vocally pro-choice feminist, Kerry then Obama voter, anti-war, proud Progressive, registered Democrat, and even more radically pro-LGBT equality than ever before. Save that issue, I've done a full 180 from where I once was.

Shot From Guns
01-22-2010, 10:51 AM
I was a [snip] Santorum-Bush supporter, [snip] The only place I broke substantially with the party was on the issue of gay rights.

One of these things is not like the other (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Santorum#Statements_regarding_homosexuality)?

Rushgeekgirl
01-22-2010, 11:42 AM
I grew up in a Republican conservative religious family, and most of my family is/was racist.

I am nothing like any of this, but my biggest change of opinion concerns religion. I was a Creationist, for cryin' out loud! I was obsessed for years with studying the Bible and religion and history. Studying them all at once is what changed my opinion. How could it not? I'm atheist now, and try really really hard not to be one of the bitter angry ones.

friedo
01-22-2010, 11:48 AM
I used to think that Star Trek: The Next Generation was the best series in the franchise. Now, I realize that it's so obviously Deep Space Nine.

RedBloom
01-22-2010, 11:53 AM
I used to be of the opinion that getting drunk every night was essential to my life. Now I know that staying sober is a million times better.

THIS

Skald the Rhymer
01-22-2010, 12:03 PM
I used to think that Star Trek: The Next Generation was the best series in the franchise. Now, I realize that it's so obviously Deep Space Nine.

That is a reasonable evolution of thought. It't not like you were praising Voyager.

Lemur866
01-22-2010, 12:40 PM
The biggest change I've experienced in the last 5 years or so is an awareness of how transitory and fragile things can be. Friends coping with life-threatening medical emergencies. People who aren't close friends but are in my social circle dying. Watching my kids grow and seeing how helpless they are. Friends who have disabled children. Friends getting divorced and the sadness and hurt of their children. Friends in the grip of addictions or other out of control irrational behavior that they can't seem to stop. And realizing that I'm not so different than anybody else.

Everything seems much more contingent and arbitrary nowadays. I'm doing OK now, and I'm supporting my wife and kids, but who can say how long that will last? I could get hit by a bus tomorrow. And it happens all the time. I used to feel a bit superior, and much more confident in my abilities, and anyway if I screwed up what did it matter? Now I see how fallible I am, and how fallible all human beings are. Not that I was ever really egotistical, since I could see my own foibles and shortcomings pretty clearly. But all this is weighing much more heavily now.

Now I've gone and made myself a bit depressed.

Satchmo
01-22-2010, 12:55 PM
This.
Lemur, you said what I wanted to, much better than I ever could. But don't let it depress you. I've learned to be so very grateful for how lucky I've been so far. You hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Once you've done that, just enjoy the ride! Life's a scary carnival ride. Sometimes short, sometimes long. But always with it's ups and downs. Enjoy every minute of it while it lasts. Whether you get 5 years or 105, it's always over much too soon.

tumbleddown
01-22-2010, 07:08 PM
One of these things is not like the other (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Santorum#Statements_regarding_homosexuality)?
One of the big reasons for my leftward slide was watching more and more Republicans embracing Santorum's hatefulness toward non-hetero people, if not his strident way of talking about us. All of a sudden, with Santorum's lead, bigotry toward me and people like me became a wedge issue, and try as I might to take a Log Cabin Republican sort of stance, I just really couldn't do it over the long term.

ITR champion
01-22-2010, 11:10 PM
Well, tell us about it--what your former opinion was, what your current opinion is, and why you changed your mind. For purposes of this thread, the only judgment as to what is a major change of opinion is your own.

I've been through quite a lot of changes in the past ten years. Undoubtedly the biggest is that I switched from being a militant atheist to being a firm believer in the saving power of Jesus Christ. As to why it happened, it would be a long story and I've have to report nearly everything that's happened to me in those ten years, but certainly it began when I stopped taking everything that I'd learned in school or gotten from the media at face value, and instead started investigating the world around me.

Another big change would switching from a left-wing political perspective where I believed that government could fix (I voted for Nader in 2000) anything to more ambiguous politics; I now generally believe that the founding fathers were onto something when they limited the power of the federal government. This change arose mainly from learning about past failures of government, both in the USA and other countries.

And then there's a chance similar to what Sattua described. While I was in college, I felt that academics were vastly better than everyone else and that most problems were caused by the rabble not listening to us. Now I have much more trust in the everyday wisdom of ordinary people, and much less in academic snobs, many of whom, I now know, devote their entire life to nonsensical research in meaningless fields.

Khadaji
01-23-2010, 06:55 AM
When I was young I was pretty liberal, but only in a child-of-the-sixties didn't-really-understand sort of way. As I came into my young adulthood my views moved right. As I grow older, my views shift left. Mind you, I never really far from center.

I have been through several phases of religious belief from devout Christian to atheist and back and forth between to a more agnostic approach now.

FriarTed
01-23-2010, 07:19 AM
Hell.

While I still see the possibility of an eternal conscious Hell in the light of the perfect fairness & kindness of God, I lean more to the eventual extiquishing or rehabilitation of those sent there. I never believed Heaven was exclusively for Christians, though.

Politically, using a Buckley(1)-to-Bircher(10) conservatism scale, I've gone from 8 to a 5.5. Only a big shift from a Bircher perspective.

FriarTed
01-23-2010, 07:30 AM
Hell.

While I still see the possibility of an eternal conscious Hell in the light of the perfect fairness & kindness of God, I lean more to the eventual extiquishing or rehabilitation of those sent there. I never believed Heaven was exclusively for Christians, though.

Politically, using a Buckley(1)-to-Bircher(10) conservatism scale, I've gone from 8 to a 5.5. Only a big shift from a Bircher perspective.

Make that a 7 to a 4. I tend to gloss over how wacky we were.

RickJay
01-23-2010, 08:30 AM
I used to think that it was more important to be right than to be kind.

I now think the opposite.
This is a really interesting post, because to me it sort of encapsulates one of the semantic issues the OP raises: What's the difference between an actual transformative change of opinion, and just growing up?

The switch from "more important to be right than kind" to "more important to be kind than right" is so commonplace that I'm inclined to think you just matured, rather than changed an opinion. Most people become less strident and more diplomatic as they age. I'll grant that's not true of everyone, but then, some people just don't become emotionally mature.

I mean, I'm very different in attitude from where I was 20 years ago (as I am 38, 20 years conveniently covers my legal adulthood in a nice, round number) but none of that was a big personal switch, it's mostly just growing up and allowing experience to inform my judgment.

Incubus
01-23-2010, 12:47 PM
I used to believe unions were full of lazy, overpaid, self-entitled twits, then I joined a union and become one of those lazy, overpaid, self-entitled twits. Now I feel like there's two sides of the coin, but in our age of economic uncertainty, I'm definitely glad I'm in one. My Union was the reason I still have a job when other companies were shedding jobs by the boatload. My job, due to the union membership, allowed me to be able to afford to treat some persistent medical problems, get out of credit card debt, and buy a new car. In a few years down the road, it will let me be able to afford to actually try and buy a new house, and support a family :D

umop ap!sdn
01-23-2010, 03:30 PM
It's hard to say just one because there have been so many. I guess it would be a tie between converting to atheism (formerly having been "spiritual but not religious"), unlearning the racism so rampant in much of my family (of which I'm very ashamed), and finding out that mental illness really exists and isn't just people "acting up" for the sake of attention.

Yikes, I used to be a real dickhead.

umop ap!sdn
01-23-2010, 05:00 PM
Sadly, it looks like whichever group is in power has an equal chance of making a horrible mess of everything. I'm quickly becoming apolitical.
I had stopped agreeing with my parents' indiscriminate dislike of all politicians but now I'm starting to become disillusioned just like they are.

Tethered Kite
01-23-2010, 05:08 PM
That the following statement is true:

"If you aren't a Liberal when you are young, you have no heart.
And if you aren't a Conservative when you mature, you have no brain."

And this (to take some of the sting out of the above: )

"Moderation in all things is the measure of a life well-lived."

dragoncat
01-23-2010, 05:09 PM
Let's see ... here are a few ...

1. I don't have to like my family or agree with them, or even pretend I do.

2. Everyone makes mistakes, because everyone is human. Even my sister.

3. Transsexual women are really women and are not just drag queens. Trans women were just born with the wrong parts, essentially constituting a birth defect.

4. People like "us" can enjoy hip-hop music, boxing, reality shows, and other "lowbrow" pursuits without spontaneously combusting.

Kyla
01-23-2010, 05:47 PM
It's hard to put into a neat phrase, but I guess I've become a more relaxed person. I used to be very sensitive, non-confrontational, thin-skinned, and I cared a lot about what other people thought of me. Now, none of the above are true.

umop ap!sdn
01-23-2010, 08:44 PM
2. Everyone makes mistakes, because everyone is human. Even my sister.
I suddenly understand so much more about your family. ;)

rowrrbazzle
01-23-2010, 09:32 PM
Catholic Democrat to agnostic non-Democrat (Republican until a viable third party develops).

That the following statement is true:

"If you aren't a Liberal when you are young, you have no heart.
And if you aren't a Conservative when you mature, you have no brain."For reference, the original (which I agree with):A man who is not a republican at 20 has no heart; a man who is a republican at 30 has no brain. (Ne pas être un républicain à vingt est preuve de veulent du coeur; être un à trente est preuve de veulent de la tête.)

François Guizot (French statesman, 1787-1874)

CanvasShoes
01-23-2010, 10:34 PM
From very liberal to very responsible. And from churchgoing baptist to mostly non-churchgoing-against-organized religion, plain old christian.

Tethered Kite
01-23-2010, 11:08 PM
Catholic Democrat to agnostic non-Democrat (Republican until a viable third party develops).

For reference, the original (which I agree with):

Thanks for the precise version to my rough paraphrase, rowrrbazzle.

So now I'm thinking, "Oh yeah, that was back in the day when people actually were mature at thirty." Heh.

AboutAsWeirdAsYouCanGet
01-23-2010, 11:19 PM
ot a homophobe, but a bible believing "hate the sin, not the sinner" stance Christian to a current staunch GLBT advocate
It excites me that there are SO many former homophobes out there. I think in a few years many homophobes of today will be all " meh!"
It seems like it's getting more and more accepted. Still a lot of Yah Dudes (ubermasculine fratboys) and Bible thumpers but still overall people are realizing that we are human.
Mine is from thinking I was completely and totally straight at 14-15 to falling madly in love with a girl when I was almost sixteen. (summer before I turned 16)
I was insanely boy crazy, and had NO clue how two people of the same sex did it together.
Now I'm almost a stereotypical Noho lesbian type.

Spice Weasel
01-24-2010, 08:10 AM
Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but as a child I thought I was a worthless piece of shit, and now I know that I'm awesome. Why that changed is complicated, but it has to do with looking at myself more objectively.

Not that I don't believe that people never deserve help - I believe children and animals particularly deserve the essentials.
Children in the United States have the highest rate of poverty out of any other demographic. Cite (http://www.npc.umich.edu/poverty/). One quarter of U.S. children are improverished, 33% of all black and Latino kids are impoverished, and the situation is getting worse--a recent New York Times article posited that we're looking at a future where 50% of black kids live in poverty. These rates are among the highest out of all the industrialized nations. If you don't like social programs, fine, but you must realize that those children as a pure expression of proportion are the primary benefactors of government transfers. (Oh, and it's worth adding that the poverty threshhold in the U.S. is 50 years old and that if someone were ballsy enough to adjust the rates for current cost of living, our poverty rates across the board would be shameful.)

mhendo
01-24-2010, 10:12 AM
...those children as a pure expression of proportion are the primary benefactors of government transfersI think you mean beneficiaries. :)

Spice Weasel
01-24-2010, 10:28 AM
I think you mean beneficiaries. :)
I grudgingly concede that the Crayon and Applesauce Tax Initiative just isn't a feasible means of generating public funds.

TreacherousCretin
01-24-2010, 01:13 PM
"When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

Mark Twain

Cisco
01-24-2010, 01:27 PM
From extreme fiscal conservatism in my late-teens/early to 20s, to moderate fiscal conservatism in my mid-20s, to very fiscally liberal now in my late 20s. Socially very liberal the whole time.

Those are my practical politics. My ideal utopia has been, is, and always will be anarchist.