Can you think of a time that you held a particular belief, attitude, or preference, and then were confronted with evidence and argument from someone else, and as a result of that evidence, you changed your mind?
Given the nature of our community, we can skip "I changed my mind about believing in religion." I'm looking for something else, especially (though not necessarily) something like a political belief.
I change my mind all the time, and l don't even need to have a conversation to make it happen. It's really strange to be 45 and still learning new things about myself, practically daily.
Let's just say I'm really grateful for therapy and journaling.
I grew up in Western Kansas. I voted for Reagan in the first election I was old enough to vote in and I've voted in every presidential election since. I went from Reagan to Bush senior to Clinton and while I've certainly moved to the left I think it speaks more to how the parties have headed to the extremes. Basically the more of the world I was exposed to the more I began to relate to my fellow man. For me, the Right became more about exclusion and the left at least panders to the idea of inclusion.
As I kid I think I did a few times. As I got older I started realizing just how fluid the way people think can be. There is no way to know everything and the more I learned, the more I realized I had a hell of a lot more to learn. Now I try to be open enough to recognize when I have an opportunity to learn a little more about the topics that interest me and to not reject or condemn the things that I'm not very well versed in yet.
It wasn't so much an argument or evidence presented by someone else that changed my political beliefs, but rather my own experience and observations.
Believe it or not, I used to be a conservative Ayn Rand-y type. I grew up in a privileged upper middle-class household and went off to a college that catered to folks like that. When I got back home with a masters degree I couldn't use, I drove taxi for two years in Durham, NC. I saw every inch of that town while I was driving, the rich parts and the poor parts sometimes right next to each other. Most of my passengers were poor whites and poor blacks who couldn't afford their own set of wheels. Some were on welfare, but most of them had jobs--often multiple jobs--but were barely scraping by. I saw how little the capitalist system I used to glorify was benefiting them, and that began my journey leftwards.
The Death Penalty, In my 20s I was 100% for the death penalty. I debated my stepfather one day, and through his argument, I started to change my mind. It didn't happen instantly it took discussing it on and off for close to a year before I even got to midground with him. I am now 90% against the death penalty. I can't get myself all the way there yet, and I'm in my 50s, but I figure I have at least 15 to 20 solid years to think it over.
Oh, yes. I grew up in the bible belt of the deep south. While living in Berlin, Germany-- cut off from contact with Americans -- German friends were frequently asking me questions about the racial problems in the American south. Having grown up in the southern culture, I took many things for granted that I should not have. In answering questions, I simply ran out of rationalizations and excuses and admitted to myself that the racist culture of the south was inherently immoral.
Happened to me today, here. A post was made saying that when we argue with someone fixed about something, our audience is not that person, but rather those around that person, so that they can understand everyone does not agree on that issue. That was a surprise to me. An unexpected surprise and I immediately changed my mind about whether, how, and if, I will argue with a zealot.