When's the last time you changed your mind on something you used to strongly believe in?

i don't change my mind often. i'm not sure if this is good or bad. but here are a few hot topics on which i've changed my mind in recent years.


for a long time i didn't understand the pro life argument. to make my pro choice case i pointed to the principles of conservatism: individualism and personal freedom. the inability to "choose" (the fate of your body, future) seemed incongruent with those ideals.

then i began learning about Planned Parenthood. about how they've aborted fetuses at, say, 30 weeks. and then i heard about premature fetuses being delivered at 28 weeks. i'm no mathematician, but doesn't that mean an abortion at 30 weeks is objectively killing a live human?

once you believe a fetus is a baby, destroying it is obviously murder. and nobody disagrees with me on this. we simply disagree when a fetus is a baby. as of 2019, some legislators want to allow abortion until the very moment a fetus exits the vagina. and that's odd because if you murder a pregnant mother you are prosecuted for 2 murders.

so i changed my mind.

war on drugs

i've never done (illegal) drugs in my life. i agree with old school sentiments that they are an "escape from reality," that they are "for losers," and that they are a viable gateway to making worse decisions later. these convictions in hand i decided the addiction epidemic was not my problem, like the Walmart clerk who says so and so is Not Her Department.

then i read alternative perspectives. these took the "not my problem" mantra to its logical conclusion: if non-addicts (me) don't contribute to fixing the drug problem, the only people left are the addicts themselves. but imagine letting children decide how they should be disciplined. or medical students how well they scored on board exams. or if prisoners could hold their own parole board hearings. chaos.

so although drugs are indeed for losers, they also are my problem. look no further than the costs i'm incurring as a taxpayer, or the more serious costs we all pay when a loved one dies of an overdose. it is therefore both my fiduciary obligation and my moral duty to help however i can.

so i changed my mind.

principled conservatism

i already mentioned my interpretation of conservative principles to make the case for killing babies. this underscores the inherent problem with principles, which is: heuristics only work most of the time. yet humans are incapable of understanding which situations are too nuanced to avoid their use. so the "rub" is we pride ourselves for following principles for principles' sake, falling prey to Goodhart's Law and being less thoughtful about prescriptive solutions to our problems.

Trump's win in 2016 exemplifies this phenomenon. many "famous" conservatives were vehemently against him for the typical reasons a conservative would hate you:

  • multiple wives, divorces, cheating

  • not a bible thumper

  • owned casinos

  • cool with X group and Y group that typically weren't friendly back to conservatives

to understand what a principled conservative looks like, search "Ben Shapiro." 

but guess what: if those conservatives and their principles had their way, Hillary would be president. which they claim to not desire. thus principles have a tendency to make us "cut off the nose to spite the face." and i'd like to keep my handsome nose and face in-tact, thank you.

so i changed my mind.