Monday, October 8, 2012

What Would Change Your Mind?

There are so many things I've been wrong about that I've been fortunate enough to discover.

There are so many things I'm still wrong about that I may never even know I'm wrong about. As Donald Rumsfeld says, "...there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know."

But once I start thinking about the possibility of being wrong, what does it take to cross over to Rightness from Wrongness?

I suppose it's different every situation and for every person.

For evolution, it took a desire to know not only what it really was (I had never been taught that), but why the scientists who accept it (and there were far more than I was told) believe it to be the best explanation for the diversity of life.

For religion, it took a desire to follow the evidence wherever it led, even if my most cherished beliefs were proven wrong.

For gay marriage, all it took was a little thought, a little bit at a time. Even before doing a little research and realizing that homosexuality was not the abomination I had been taught, I thought a little bit about what it meant to live in a pluralistic, secular society. Even while still believing it to be sinful, I realized that this was a religious position to have and that I had no right on imposing my religious view of marriage on state marriage (which are two different things).

Which leads me to the title of this post. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that you're wrong on one of these issues (or any other issue, for that matter), what will it take to change your mind? I think that's an important question to ask yourself, because if you are in the wrong about a given issue, and you don't think about how you could get out of that predicament, you never will.

What inspired this thought are an amazing collection of videos from John Corvino about the gay marriage debate in the U.S., and this ad from Expedia:

Will these be a couple of the little things that move you from one frame of mind to another?

Also, I need a recipe for Lawyer Guacamole.

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