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On progress Wed, Mar 16, 2016
I guess I'm a progressive.  I say "I guess" because it's hard for me to imagine being the opposite, i.e. regressive.  What's the final outcome of moving backwards from progress?  Living in caves, crawling back into the sea, and being subsumed into the Big Crunch?  It literally makes no sense to me.  In fact many regressive ideas make no sense to me: 
  • Opposing gay marriage?  I think gay people should be allowed to legally marry, because the alternative is arbitrary, benefits no one, and hurts many.
  • Anti-abortion?  I think people should have control over their own bodies, and I think abortion should be legal.  The alternative is state control over personal freedom, which I've been led to believe is a bad thing.
  • Anti-immigration?  I think people fleeing war should be treated like people who might be criminals, instead of criminals who might be people.
I haven't always been progressive.  I used to be conservative, which is a belief system that wants everything to remain the way it is, or the way it was, or the way it used to be thousands of years ago.  Thousands of years ago, we didn't know the concept of zero.  We used to own people as property.  We used to publicly execute people whom we believed to be practitioners of witchcraft and magic.  These are all ideas that we progressed out of, rightfully so. 

Progress is sort of unavoidable.  When machines made farming and manufacturing more efficient, if you didn't jump on the bandwagon, you went out of business.  When germs were discovered to cause illness, if you didn't wash your hands, you died of dysentery.  Progress is often called a march, i.e. it's happening whether you join in or not. 

I'm a progressive not because I necessarily have benevolent feelings towards my fellow man or benevolent feelings at all.  I'm a progressive because regressivism is a ridiculous alternative and a dying ideal. #psychology


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