- Yes (comment with details if you want)
- No idea/can’t remember
To start the thread off, I changed my mind on gun control. I used to think America should ban guns like Britain has, but after learning how different the conditions are there (dangerous animals, wilderness for hunting, people living in isolated locations far from the police), plus the eleventy-billion guns already in circulation, I think it would be undesirable as well as impractical. That doesn’t mean there aren’t improvements to be made, though.
To some extent. I learned Canadian gun control laws are more reasonable than I would have thought.
I’m sure there are other issues where people provided a viewpoint I hadn’t heard. I’ve been here a long time and many Dopers are well informed.
My biggest one relates to consciousness and philosophy of mind. I started out with a naive view that anything could be computed just like a computer does, which includes consciousness. But after many threads and multiple good posters on the topic, I’ve learned quite a bit and am more familiar with some of the difficult issues and why it’s not just a slam dunk that a computer can do everything the brain does.
Yes, good! And I have modified my position on gun control some also, I am in favor of several background check and straw purchase laws, etc.
I joined the Dope on the web in 2000, but was also active on the AOL days.
The question isn’t just if the Dope changed my mind, but if the internet as a whole did. It did.
Today, I would do none of those and it isn’t my friends and family. It’s access to information that the internet provides and listening to people’s perspectives here that changed my views. I saw the evidence, and changed in accordance.
I said no. I’ve certainly had my ignorance fought, and have learned a lot about things I knew little or nothing about before, and have had many interesting discussions, and now appreciate and understand nuances and details about issues that I didn’t before… but I have never changed my mind. I don’t think I’m especially dogmatic or self-righteous, but it just hasn’t happened.
While not specific to the SDMB, my views have evolved over the years, through enjoying lively debates on various issues, including the SDMB
If you asked 30 years ago, if homosexuals should be cub scout leaders or in the military, I’d probably give you a different answer than i would today. Although i always thought what people did in the bedroom was their own business. But its not like i read something here that made say "wow I’ve been wrong about this issue’. But i think i just evolved along with the rest of society.
That’s more for “Great Debates”
Occasionally, I do have a “that’s a very good point” moment in other forums.
As a result of my time here, I have learned to tolerate, nay even respect South Carolina BBQ. Embrace it, no. But accept it and enjoy it for what it is as opposed to what is Right and Proper.
Nothing fundamental perhaps. But on the edges of my world view, certainly.
For example as a younger man I was a free speech absolutist. As long you were being outwardly civil and not calling for violence I figured while a person might be an idiot, their expressing of their ignorance should be tolerated. I very much valued “polite speech” over “right speech.” Nothing should be off limits.
I’m a lot more ambivalent about that absolutism these days. I probably still lean that way emotionally, but intellectually I’ve come to realize there are some real pitfalls to that approach. Not to mention that what I might consider polite and what someone else from a different background might consider polite can be two very different things.
I answered no, but with more details:
This board has changed my mind on some matters of fact. By which I mean not just learning something new, but having misconceptions corrected. But I don’t think that’s what is meant here.
In the time that I’ve been here, my biggest change in political views is that I used to oppose legalization of marijuana, but now think that it should be legalized (at least at the federal level; states can do what they want). But I don’t think that the board played a major part in that change; it’s more a reaction to national events. The current situation where several states have legalized, but the feds haven’t, but they’re not enforcing the laws in those states, but could do so at any time, is not really tenable.
This board has helped me to develop nuance and details in my opinions, but none of them has really been a complete change.
My views on trans people changed a lot from reading this board, especially because of Una Persson.
Yes. I’ve come to realize how silly the assault weapons ban was (literally banning weapons based on how they look), although otherwise my position on gun laws hasn’t changed much (still in favor of background checks, registration, etc.).
I’ve learned tons about transsexuals, but I’m not sure that counts, since I didn’t have much of a position before.
I’ve learned tons about woman’s issues and casual sexism, but again, that’s not really changing my position, just opening my eyes.
I did change my mind on some physics questions (what happens when you steer a bike, some effects of gravity), so that would count.
I’ve become even more pro-choice, due to some of the arguments here.
I’ve clarified my positions on gay marriage, abortion, guns, and other issues, which used to be more muddled.
I’ve become a better debater, even though I don’t debate all that much. Just reading the posts of some of the extremely intelligent and skilled debaters has helped me.
I have changed my views on many things, but I’m not sure it was so much the Dope itself as it was multiple sources/forums/discussions all converging to have the same effect.
I am in favor of single-payer healthcare (if it can be done in a way that weeds out fraud or abuse of the system.) Also more in favor of taxing the rich heavily, and gun control, and some form of UBI.
When it comes to things like free speech or diversity of opinion, though, some of the views I’ve read here on the Dope have only made me dig my heels in even deeper. There are some Dopers who are genuinely quite comfortable with the idea of their opponents being socially muzzled or trampled.
I’m more pro-choice than I used to be.
I used to think abortion was entirely appropriate in cases where the mothers welfare is at risk, the baby would have a painful and short life, rape/incest, but wasn’t comfortable when it was used to terminate an unwanted but otherwise healthy fetus.
I’m still very uncomfortable with the last one but I have come to accept that my uncomfort is completely irrelevant in someone else’s choices and although I don’t like it I support the idea that abortion should be available to any woman who makes that choice.
Yes…but generally small stuff. The big (and painful) ideas are a lot harder to sway. I doubt that anything I’ve said here has ever really changed anyone’s mind. I’m mostly hoping for “Hm, well, okay, that’s not totally evil” rather than “Oh, hey, I’m on board with you now.”
Being Left has changed. Used to be opposition to mandatory loyalty oaths and God on the money and Vietnam war. Now its about minority presenters on the 6 oclock news and NFL mascots and use of Urban Dictionary vocabulary… The Left has been trivialized to win a majority, which it now has. I’m as Left as I ever was, but the visible Left has become nazi – you’r either with them, or must be shouted down or muzzled, even on this board.
Even Mark Twain changed his mind: “When I find that the majority agrees with me, I rethink my position.”
There was an article about this in 2015. Basically, some people on the left (some, not all) went from opposing the military or foreign military intervention, to, “look at this badass woman in the U.S. Army fighting in Afghanistan, a win for feminism!” And it went from opposing traditional institutions like marriage, to “these two men are tying the knot, look at how lavish and exquisite their $30,000 gay wedding is.”
As many other posters have said, I’ve learned a lot on this board and it broadened my horizon eminently. The biggest change of opinion I made after reading here is my stance on GMO food. I used to be very skeptical about it without being really well informed, rather from a gut feeling. Several threads here informed me about the subject and convinced me that GMO foods are not a risk but rather a chance to improve global food supply.
I started posting in 2002. If you look back on my early postings, you’ll see I identified as a Christian.
I don’t know how integral the SDMB was in pushing me towards agnosticism. But I think it helped a lot.