I've meant for a long time to start a catalogue of things I believe... political, philosophical, and otherwise personal beliefs. Some of these might represent my stance on controversial issues; some of them might be mundane. Some might only matter to me. In any case, I thought it was high time I made a list, in the same way I make a list of movies I want to rent, or books I like. Feel free to comment on any you agree with, or disagree with.
I've color-coded them. ORANGE for political positions, GREEN for opinions of a more general cultural order, BLUE for matters of disputed fact, and YELLOW for miscellaneous personal convictions. I might change those codings if they end up not working.
Added in no particular order, when they came to mind and I felt like adding them:
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1) I believe in the fundamental legal and moral correctness of gay marriage.
2) I believe that the Second Amendment of the Constitution is outmoded, and misapplied.
3) I believe in gun control. Specifically, I believe the long-term goal of gun laws should be to remove guns from the hands of private citizens. I feel there may be a way to preserve a category of sporting guns available to private citizens; more research required.
4) I believe the invasion of Iraq was/is a terrible misuse of American troops, and a political blunder of the highest order.
5) I believe that the seperation of church and state is an important principle for the success of a healthy, modern society.
6) I believe in a supreme being; I suspect there is an order beyond the grasp of human understanding.
7) I believe in the fundamental correctness of the theories of evolution, natural selection, genetic mutation and the origins of species.
8 ) I believe that JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, shooting from the book depository. I believe he almost certainly acted alone.
9) I believe the greek system of sororities and fraternities is a shockingly old-school form of aristocracy, and an embarassment. Groups with specific themes, such as so-called "business fraternities," or religious fraternities, might stand as exceptions. It depends.
10) I believe Anita Hill was probably telling the truth about Clarence Thomas.
11) I believe that homophobia, and other forms of anti-gay behavior or media, are the last widely acceptable forms of bigotry left in the United States. I believe that the corellations between how modern Americans discuss homosexuals today and how average Americans discussed blacks in the 1950s in nearly identical.
12) I believe that political conservatism is (and I'm paraphrasing a vintage quote here) an eternalattempt, done in good faith, to morally, practically, and legally justify self-centeredness.
13) I believe that the slow march of social and scientific progress through history is the toppling of walls representing old orders, divisions, and willful ignorance--walls defended by conservative minds, and attacked by progressive ones.
14) I believe Judeao-Christian values are better represented, on the whole, by the nation's Left than by the Right.
15) I accept that the life standard I enjoy as an American is, in part, dependent upon the efforts of conservative political actors promoting capitalist agendas and global policies of exploitation. In other words, I recognize that the Right represents at the very least a counterbalance to revolution, and that's a valuable quality.
16) I believe the inevitable result of truly free markets is the initiation and excacerrbation of terrible social problems. I believe agressive exploitation is inherent to truly free markets.
17) I believe that global warming is occuring. I believe it's occuring at a rate fast enough to have a significant negative effect on the environment ours and successive generations will experience.
18 ) I believe that global warming, and in particular its current alarming rate, are due in significant part to human activity.
19) I believe that the extreme financial interests of the energy industry motivate the Right's attempts to promote skepticism over global warming. I find it obvious that an inudstrial/political apparatus with a massive, entrenched investment in carbon emmissions is less credible on the subject than the worldwide body of scientists studying global warming with no comparable sponsor.
20) I believe that the vast preponderance of scientific opinion on the matter supports the theory of human-aided global warming. While there are, of course, detractors, they are a tiny minority. In my observation, the only political forces calling attention to the minority voices represent persuasive economic and politicalinterests. (See no.19)