People Explain What Persuaded Them To Change A Long-Held Belief
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It's easy to be stuck where you are, to think of the world around you as an inconvenience where anything that doesn't quite match the values you have is wrong. After all, it doesn't agree with you, it must be wrong, right?

And then something happens. It could be a conversation, or maybe it's something you watched, or perhaps you just woke up one day and suddenly realized the thing you thought you knew was wrong.

And it's okay.

Learn from it.

Like these people.

Reddit user, nathan_thinks, wanted to know what finally got you to change your mind when they asked:

"When was the last time you changed your mind about an important belief, and what persuaded you?"

It doesn't even have to be anything super life-altering. Honestly, it could be a belief you've had since you were little because that's the only world you've known. It's the only path you were shown.

You Take Up Less Space?

"I was brought up to believe this:"

"Traditional funerals - with the body embalmed and buried in a cemetery 6 feet under, encased in a waterproof sealed vault - are the only way to go."

"But now, I much prefer the idea of a simple cremation with ashes (cremains) scattered or buried in a requested place."


A Huge Failure

"I used to be very anti-drugs and kind of assumed criminalising drug use was OBVIOUSLY the only sensible thing to do. Like, a world where drugs are legal? Unthinkable."

"But watching The Wire and a documentary called The House I Live In really turned my thinking upside down as they introduced me to the reality of the failures of the war on drugs."


Just Enough To Get By

"1-a couple of years ago, i realized "i don't need to do my best" Sure, i could give my best to get a better paying job, but what use will it be if i don't even have free time between working and sleeping? None. I can do my best and make a really good presentation. But is it really that much different from a "slightly better than average" one?"

"I don't need to do my best, i just need to do enough."

"2- i don't need to be optimistic. I always thought i should believe in the best result possible, but then someone broke that belief. Furthermore If i don't expect anything good, i don't get disappointed."


Doing Anything For That Cheddar

"I always wanted to become extremely rich, and was sure I would sacrifice whatever it took to achieve that goal."

"Now I want to have financial stability and have some passive income, but I prefer to enjoy life with my family and friends, or spend time doing my hobbies."

"I saw a really young son of a couple that are friends of my family lose his life to blood cancer. He did not have time to fulfill any important goals. His life vanished before he could start to enjoy true freedom."

"Time is a finite asset, and no amount of money can purchase more."


You know what helps make you a smarter person? Reading.

You know what helps make you a better person? Critical reading.

Don't believe all of it until you've done it the right way.

The Internet Being Used For Something Positive For Once

"Not the last time but the biggest change of opinion was believing vaccines cause autism. I had my first kid in the mid 00’s and most of my adult conversations were at a crunchy mom group. In 2006 we could finally afford to get a computer and internet and I dove in. Looked at stats, info from the WHO etc. and then talked to my wonderful doctor. Back before the anti vax movement was really organized online it was a lot easier to find reliable information."


"Thanks for the hope, going through this with my sister and her young family now. The amount of garbage I have to refute from her social group of also stay at home moms (not knocking the lifestyle just the credentials) is tiring."


A Switch Flipped

"I left Mormonism."

"Why? I did some reading from sources that my faith didn’t supply. It was really that simple."

"It might seem crazy, but my religious beliefs were in a special column that meant I didn’t view them through a critical lens. The same way no one critically examines if their baby is cute or not, I never critically examined my faith. Some precious things we put on a pedestal. And then one day a switch flipped and I asked, “why can’t I examine it critically? Seems like it would be worthwhile.”"

"It took a matter of hours to see it was all a sham."


Right Under Our Noses, Flouting Their Nonsense

"The last few years have really brought into focus the difference between harmless conspiracies/beliefs and those that hurt people. My dad is really into alien conspiracy and younger me would have tried to argue with him. Now I'm just thankful that he's not a Sandy Hook denier."

"You want to believe in ghosts and LoCh Ness? Cool! Just don't force your kids to eat crystals instead of getting vaccines, thanks!"


"I'm kinda the opposite. I used to think conspiracy theorists were relatively harmless. And then someone who bought into the lizard people thing blew up part of my city and people who believe in Q tried to overthrow the government within 2 weeks of each other. I'm pretty strongly convinced of the slippery slope when it comes to conspiracy theories now."


Most beliefs come from a narrow view of the world, an inability to grasp the troubles and problems of others. However, a tiny moment, calling out to you, can make everything you thought you knew change.

A Situation To Help You See Through All Lenses

"Marriage equality."

"It's not that I was "against" it, I just didn't see what all the fuss and fighting was about. In my eyes marriage was just a piece of paper and that piece of paper doesn't keep people together. So why go through all the legal fighting and expense just to be able to get that stupid piece of paper."

"Then I was living with someone. We had been together a long time. He was involved in a very serious accident and was touch and go for a bit. I was not able to provide any input on his care because I was not his wife. I was just "a girlfriend". His parents - whom he had little contact with - were allowed to make all health-related decisions while he was unconscious, even though I knew what he would want (based on our end-of-life discussions). Not having that stupid piece of paper, made a huge f-cking difference."

"That situation really clarified the fight for marriage equality for me. Our society - rightly or wrongly - affords so many rights and protections for married couples. People aren't fighting for the right to spend 50k on some stupid wedding or to use labels like husband or wife. People are fighting for the right for their union be legally protected in the eyes of the law."

"It bugs me that it took for something to happen to me for me to change my mind. I try to be better than that. But I suppose it's better than never changing it at all."


A Broken System Meant To Help Ends Up Hurting

"I was in support of the death penalty, because I (still) believe there are some crimes heinous enough to warrant it. But in learning about cases where people who have been sentenced to death were later conclusively exonerated, I realized that our justice system is not nearly accurate enough to have the death penalty. We have absolutely put innocent people to death, and that happening even once should be enough to abolish it."


"I recently came to this same exact shift in belief. I’m a corrections officer. I work with a lot of scumbag pieces of sh-t, some of the crimes they committed are almost too heinous to believe. At first, my belief in the death penalty became more and more concrete as I learned about the sh-t some of these guys did."

"And then two months ago or so, a prisoner who had done 30 years of a 65 year sentence for breaking into a woman’s house and raping her was exonerated by DNA evidence… yeah, that’s when I started doubting that belief. Even with all the advanced forensic science we have, it still took until 2022 for that guy to be proven innocent. If we had the death penalty, not only would that man be dead, his name would have been tarnished forever."

"Yes, there are some crimes which warrant death. But the possibility of faulty evidence, bad trials, lying f-cks, etc is, in my opinion, just too great for me to support the death penalty."


Always be willing to learn more, to gain as much knowledge as you can about the world and the people in the world. Never be content with stopping where you're at. That's the only way you can grow.

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