People Share The Time They Genuinely Changed Their Ethical View On Something.
One thing about beliefs, and not a lot of people consider this, is that you're free to change them based on your experiences. It might be tough, but it's always good to reflect on your beliefs, rather than just assume they're correct.
Here are seventeen people who changed their moral point of view.
Many thanks to the Redditor who posed this question. You can check out ore answers from the source at the end of this article!
1/17. I realized that as an atheist I should shut up and let people be religious if they want to.
2/17. I used to genuinely be a racist. I am from England and there is quite a common view here that Muslims are all evil terrorists and they are nothing but a disease in this country.
I used to share this same view. 80% of the people I know hate Muslims. All Muslims. It wasn't until a few weeks ago when a man beheaded a British soldier in the street that my view changed.
You cannot hold an entire group of people accountable for one person's action.
I ended up unfriending anyone who posted a racist status and got into a load of heated arguments. I lost my job because even my boss held the view that all Muslims are evil and they should all be killed. We got into a heated discussion and I told him that I didn't want to work for a racist. I've never felt so strongly about anything in my life, but I feel that my opinion change is for the better, considering how ignorant I used to be.
3/17. Used to do Tarot readings for people, half serious, half for giggles. Until one day a woman came to me asking for advice on "a tough decision". I laid the cards and worked my routine. She broke up in tears after I told her either decision would have negative consequences. Then she told me about her dilemma, her kid with cancer and whether she should go through with a treatment which was equally killing her kid.
I asked her what she was doing and why she would turn to something as silly as tarot cards to tell her what would be best for her kid. I stopped doing tarot and abhore every paranormal method since that people use for whatever means.... Forget that...
4/17. I used to be pretty apathetic toward the working poor. I grew up in an area where the vast majority of people were living below the poverty line, and my family lived right on the edge. A ton of people were living purely on government assistance. (continued...)
In my mind, if you didn't want to barely get by on low wages and be respected then you should have gone to school, gotten a professional degree of some nature, and entered into a gainful field of employment. I worked construction during high school, and did not feel anything resembling sympathy for grown men trying to support a family on $10 an hour. It seemed fairly simple. But that's before I started studying economics.
As a hypothetical, let's assume that everyone in the entire nation decided that they were going to try to gain status in one of the traditional "learned" white collar professions, i.e., lawyer (what I am), doctor, or professor. If everyone did this and pushed after it as hard as possible to get to where they were making that six figure salary society would literally cease to function. Society cannot function without people working in blue collar jobs. There would be no sanitation, no construction, no transportation; our whole infrastructure would collapse.
This realization has made me feel that these people are incredibly undercompensated and disrespected in most of the country. The argument that "well, if you wanted to get paid you should have been a doctor/lawyer/whatever" utterly ignores the reality of a society that leans on each other for support.
Furthermore, why pressure people into jobs they don't want? If a teenager says to their guidance counselor that they want to be a garbageman they are likely to get an earful about aiming higher. Why? It's sort of ridiculous considering how much we depend on these folks to make our country worth living in.
5/17. Throughout my childhood, until I was about 17, I was a Christian. I was all about the JC. Then I took a Philosophy class during my A-levels and I realised how poorly thought-through my beliefs were, and that I'd just accepted this religion without much thought.
I then became very anti-religion, and was pretty douchey about it for a while.
Now I'm 23, still an atheist, but you know what? I don't care if people are religious or not because its none of my business.
6/17. At 32 I decided to no longer hate the Turks. I'm greek and my family was run off their land by the Turks in the 30s, but Turkish people I meet today had nothing to do with that and I just couldn't justify the hate in my mind anymore.
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7/17. For me it was the death penalty. I am former military, and it always just seemed like justice served. But there is a difference between killing someone who is trying to kill you back, or shooting an intruder in your home, and a death sentence carried out months or years after the commission of the original crime.
The more I looked at it, the more macabre it seemed.
8/17. I used to think I would never get married. I didn't need a piece of paper from the government saying that I was committed to someone. It was an idealist view. But we don't live in an ideal world. We live in the real world. In the real world I want to be able to put my significant other on my health insurance.
If I'm in the hospital, I don't want him to not be able to see me because he isn't family. If I die before him, I want his standing as my husband to not be contested by my family. I want these protections. It's all well and good to want the government out of marriage, but that's just not how the world is right now.
9/17. I constantly check my moral / ethical compass. I don't know enough about anything to be satisfied that I am ever going to always be right.
10/17. Nuclear power. My parents are ex-hippies (well, I guess technically they're still hippies), and were vehemently anti-nuclear, attending various festivals, protests and demonstrations and actually being a part of having a planned power station not be built (there's actually a wind farm on that site now). I spent my whole life thinking nuclear power was dirty and dangerous and living in fear of a nuclear power plant accident.
I now realise that as long as the plant is properly designed and not manned by irresponsible people, and not built in an area of high tectonic/tsunami activity (seriously, don't do this), its probably the safest, cleanest form of power and something we really need, although I'm still a huge believer in so-called "alternative" energy sources such as wind or solar.
Now I just think we should shut down all the coal/oil-fired power plants. My parents agree with me too.
11/17. I used to think that if you were going to be receiving state aid and Medicaid, that you should have to submit to a drug test. I was arguing with this girl online about it and she completely decimated every point I tried to make. (continued...)
Since our flamewar, I've done a lot of reading on the subject. Turns out that it doesn't save any taxpayer money, the poor have a much lower instance of drug use overall, and it's hard to detect the #1 drug of choice, prescriptions. Not to mention that whole trampling on the 4th amendment thing.
12/17. I was really anti-homosexuality. I mean really. It disgusted me, I had no respect for them at all.
Then my brother came out to me. All of a sudden I had to realize that this person I loved wasn't another person just because he liked the company of other gentlemen. It was still my brother, and I love him to pieces.
13/17. Before my daughter was born, I wanted nothing to do with her. I had always told myself that if I had a child, I would not walk out on him/her. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but at the time I just didn't care, I was pretty ignorant.
About 4 months into her pregnancy, I started reevaluating things. I asked myself just what I was doing and if I really wanted to end up like my father (he walked out on me -and I swore I'd never be like him) and my father is a pretty big jerk. I also started to think of all the moments I was hurt by him and that's when it really hit me. "Do I want that for my child? Does he/she deserve that?"
For the first time in my life I was GLAD to say that I was wrong. My daughter is the best thing to happen to me. she's helped change me as a person beyond belief. I am forever grateful for her.
14/17. I used to be 100% career driven - a "climber" so to speak. All I wanted to do was get up that ladder, so when I went off to college, I set out to give myself the best chance of that possible. Made connections, gained people's trust, worked my butt off, etc. And it was working.
Opportunities to get real-world experience started cropping up via professors and other acquaintances, and it was pretty good. Then I joined a service organization on campus, and everything changed. I met many people with different lives, and I realized that there is so much more to life than a career. (continued...)
I met homeless people who had lived more fulfilled lives than I ever hoped to, and I met children with more love, laughter and happiness in their future than I would have gotten. I've now realized that strict planning is worthless because you don't know what life is going to offer. So I take it as it comes, rather than sprinting through it at the fastest pace.
15/17. I used to think that all drug addicts were degenerate lowlifes. I remember I used to shudder at the sight of them hunched in an alley on my way to school. To me, they were scumbags who couldn't control themselves.
This changed a few years ago after I read something online that put me in a giving mood. I decided to buy a sandwich from my favorite deli and give it to one of the guys in the alley. There was only one guy there at the time, a 40 something man. I had passed by him several times but always without interaction, so delivering the sandwich was admittedly a bit awkward at first.
Then we sat down on some milk crates and ate our lunch. His name was Hank, and he was impossibly charismatic. He told me things hadn't always been this bad. He used to be an industrial engineer that worked at the airport outside the city. He lost his wife to leukemia and couldn't deal with the pain, so he turned to heroin to cope.
I realized at that moment something that Russell Brand recently articulated very beautifully in an article he wrote: for Hank and presumably many others, drugs are not the problem. Life is the problem, and drugs are his solution." That's what's wrong with him. He is not a scumbag. He is a man so hurt that he constantly sedates himself to escape from his reality, if just for a moment.
16/17. Universal Healthcare. I used to believe that it was every Americans responsibility to take care of themselves. I still believe that, very strongly, however I now believe that there are some things a modern progressive society should provide it's citizens, and I believe basic healthcare is one of those things.
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17/17. Vegetarianism. I thought that people were stupid not to eat meat. We are the strongest, we can eat weaker species, there is nothing wrong with that. I am now more aware of vegetarians' concerns, and I don't judge them anymore.
I've been struggling through an issue for the past several years, and still can't bring my brain cells to consensus. I'm pretty liberal in most things, but I'm struggling with gun control.
I, personally, don't like guns. I'm not a fan of the "gun culture" (and am well-aware that I'm using a far too sweeping generalization, there), and I think we are far too violent. But I also agree that, for the majority of people who use guns in a destructive manner, gun laws/control won't do a damn thing. It's just one (or more) law(s) that they'll be more than willing to break.
I also believe that guns as self defense is just not a very workable idea. I remember a few years back, after the Va Tech shootings, 20/20 did a trial where they had a classroom full of trained and armed policemen, and how they reacted to a gunman entering the class.
They overwhelmingly failed, and killed far more "civilians" than were originally killed (iirc). I also keep in mind they swath of morons who I know who use the self defense argument, and I'd not trust them to defend me, armed or unarmed, for anything. So I struggle.
I want less guns, not more. I want solutions based on psychology, brains, and rational thought rather than brute force. But I don't want to penalize those people who love their guns, and use them safely, when criminals will have guns, regardless.
In most situations, when you're hurt by someone, it can be best to just forgive and forget. However, there are some people that can't help but hold grudges. Sometimes it can just be petty, but other times, it can be for very valid reasons.
HeySistaBrutus asked: What are you STILL mad about?