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Why Do You Believe What You Believe? - - a thread to expound on your ideological background and how it has shaped your belief system(s)

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Smooches. 

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Free KT!

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WELL FINE THEN

 

waiting!

 

edit: catofwar, you too

 

and zod actually

 

 

really everyone. i think mostly the polarizing people are the most interesting, trying to draw correlations between their experience and beliefs and understand how the former shaped the latter. 

 

edit v.2.0: nanuq and mav1234, you guys always have well-grounded perspectives on things, i'm interested in your contributions to this as well.

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personal experiences are part of it but the ability to empathize with others is p important as well. as i said, i grew up lower-middle class as an apolitical libertarian*; empathy developed later and here we are. i have no doubt that you could place, say, madhatter in my position and he would still manage to reach the same dumb conclusions that he's always reached. he lacks the ability to empathize with those who struggle; the only legitimate struggles are his own.

 

 

 

*note: many of the leftists i know were either adamant randians as kids or, like myself, apolitical but resistant to acknowledge class struggle and privilege

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Don't want to get into my whole history, but... started out being somewhat religious.  In my teens I was a theist, believed that God had to exist, though I don't even know why I felt that way anymore.  I researched a whole slew of religions trying to find one that "fit" me and I never did.  I realized my problem was not finding a religion to fit me, but a lack of faith, so that did that in.  I've always been far too questioning for any one faith to fit me.  Nothing ever did "fit," I never could take anything on faith, because I just don't have any.

 

I grew up in an upper-middle class family that experienced some extreme medical emergencies in both immediate and extended family that drained all of our savings in an extremely short period of time and left my household's primary breadwinner (my mother) unable to work.  She eventually ended up on state aid in addition to disability.  I dropped out of high school, had all sorts of issues, but got a GED, did some work, went to college, got invited into a science PhD program due to my abilities.  So that covers my life? :P I guess.

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^ cool. what do you do now? i seem to recall you mentioning working as a biologist in some context.

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Yeah, my PhD will be in biology.  I love researching, because it gives me a chance to ask a question, propose a possible answer, and investigate that answer... and even if I think that I find the answer, I can often figure out new ways of testing my question that can lead to more informative, sometimes very different, answers.  I'm deeply involved with mentoring and teaching, as well.  My actual research is multi-faceted.  I'm more or less an evolutionary ecologist studying how organisms interact with one another.  I'm funded from a couple of different grants right now to study the evolution of disease virulence and how biodiversity may buffer communities from disease, to sum it up in a way too brief nutshell.  Happy to provide more information if anyone is interested in the how, why, etc. I actually stumbled into science from a more history/anthropology/sociology angle.  I was originally thinking I would go into poli sci or sociology or something because I was fascinated by social systems of all types when I started college.  That interest was spurred in high school after becoming disenchanted with my own brand of libertarianism when I was a teenager and I realized there were likely people far smarter and more experienced than me that probably had already thought about a lot of this stuff, so I actually started reading some Marx etc and kind of had my eyes opened.

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I'm thinking about going back to school for Biotechnology and Aquatic sciences. 

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If you have the interest, and can afford it, do it.  Very good career opportunities in biotech degrees.

 

Try your best to get into research if you're talking about an undergrad degree.  It will increase your employability ENORMOUSLY.

 

I can not stress that enough... if you're going into a science degree, or have a kid going into a science degree, they really need to get into research somehow.  It makes such a huge difference in so many ways.

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nice. i'm heavily interested in physical anthropology, but i'm getting my masters in (probably) cultural anthropology and archaeology and possibly a phd if i find something i really want to latch onto. of course adopting a holistic approach to the social sciences means it's all relevant in some form or another, so it's fascinating to me.

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If you have the interest, and can afford it, do it.

 

I do have the interest, rather strongly actually. I can afford it, more or less. I qualify for various grants, and I don't currently have any real debt. 

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nice. i'm heavily interested in physical anthropology, but i'm getting my masters in (probably) cultural anthropology and archaeology and possibly a phd if i find something i really want to latch onto. of course adopting a holistic approach to the social sciences means it's all relevant in some form or another, so it's fascinating to me.

 

I really like anthropology, and archaeology is fascinating to me.  amusingly, one of the reasons I went to undergrad science instead of that direction was because I didn't think I'd want to be a professor, and it's a lot harder to be a pure researcher in those fields.  Turns out, I love teaching, so...

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