One thing I’ve learned is that no matter what I think, no matter how much I believe it to be true, no matter how much evidence is available to support my conclusions, I will always be confronted by new information that will alter my thoughts on any matter. It may not happen quickly. I may be entrenched in certain views for a long time, but I will be inevitably affected. I think this is a good way to be – a path to constant growth. Always being open for reflection will usually lead to an improved, more measured, or at least more rounded self. This doesn’t mean I am always flip-flopping on ideas or constantly switching sides in a debate. It simply means that as I acquire new information my views grow. This sometimes, on exceptional occasions, changes somewhat fundamental thoughts but more commonly tends to slightly shift my understanding of certain convictions. The evidence for such things as evolution or gravity, or the shape of Earth, is so abundant and clear that I cannot imagine any On the contrary, the more evidence that is accumulated on subjects such as these tends to further my conviction that they are objective truths, such as the detection of gravitational waves or the continued advancement of evolutionary genetics through DNA analysis. Still, though my views on these matters will not be overturned due to the solid and continually mounting evidence for them, my thoughts still shift as I acquire new information – it just doesn’t shift in a revolutionary, opposite direction. All reputable and verifiable evidence points to these as being objective truths, and the more I enquire about their nature the more I am reaffirmed that this isn’t a mistake; this is the way it really is. If there were ever, somehow, sufficient evidence to support a theory that gravity or evolution don’t exist, or that the Earth is not a slightly oblong sphere, I would have to accept it. For these specific examples, though, that seems about as likely as a grotesquely overweight man fitting through a tiny chimney. Moving on to more contested ideas, such as human behavior, the notion of the self, what exactly constitutes an objective truth, or what should we do about growing populations and growing resource usage, I have my views, but they can be altered a lot more by good, rational evidence presented from someone else’s point of view.
There is no limit to how much additional information I can be subjected to, from ideas as objectively proven as quantum mechanics to ideas that are as contested as pipeline construction. This will undoubtedly affect my perception, understanding, viewpoints, and approach to these ideas without changing the underlying factual nature of the way things really are.
The views change; the processes do not.