Hello! I am a European citizen – I live in the European Union, and pragmatically support its existence and aims. For now (at least until there are options that better represent my views), I largely support the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe: I am a social liberal, but not economically liberal. I am technically agnostic, (honestly believing that we can never be certain, though I am not certain on that either!), but I believe that the existence of god(s) is very unlikely (say 1%). I am studying for a PhD in mathematical physics, and like many Europeans, I am an environmentalist.
I will mainly edit articles that I am interested in – such as those linked above, and add sections about Europe to articles with a worldwide scope (such as in geography, politics, culture et cetera). Hope you all have fun editing articles, I most certainly will have fun reading and adding to them!
The nature of thought
I know that, in all situations in life, there are multitudes of differing opinions. Often, that of those that disagree is considered 'stupid', 'deluded', 'obviously wrong', et cetera; if considered at all. Even worse are accusations of hypocrisy or bias, which suffer from such themselves – as all opinion inevitably does by definition. Some, realising this, opt to distance themselves from that which they consider suffers from such bias to the greatest detriment to their argument; only forwarding or legitimising that which substantiates their cause.
This disregard for entire swathes of research not only lends no credence to their views, but also makes them less likely to be the most accurate: there is so much to be gained by considering that one may be wrong, or at least that those that have been disregarded may not always be automatically wrong. This is also true of generalisation, stereotyping and prejudice – just because some that have a certain opinion engage in hypocrisy, delusion, selective referencing and illogicality, does not mean that they are wrong, does not mean that those with differing stances do not engage in similar acts, and certainly does not mean that all with similar opinions do also.
This is inevitably the case in some articles on Conservapedia: including Liberal bias, Examples of Bias in Wikipedia and Liberal Hypocrisy. These articles are far beyond what would be considered mainstream in Europe; to many they are shocking and incredible. But it is part of the politics of the people in the United States in a way that it could not be elsewhere – it is the continuation of the traditions of rural North America, of conservative Christianity, and of its history and culture, wherever and whoever these people may be now. These notions have been abandoned by most people during the Enlightenment, revolutions, wars and secularisation of Europe and much of the western world, and hence the culture war seems foreign and possibly irrelevant or nonsensical by many in these countries.
It must be noted that although some say Wikipedia may be six-times more liberal than the average United States citizen (I'd say it wasn't that much, but I have never been to the U.S.), the average European probably sees Wikipedia as centrist or 'neutral' (basing this assumption on polls like the Eurobarometer). This is think is where the justification for Conservapedia lies: not as a protest to the more liberal Wikipedia, but as a conservative American alternative to a viewpoint that is more representative of foreign opinion.
To hear a politician say "God bless France" or "May the Lord look over Britain" would be met by bewilderment or confusion – Tony Blair had to retire before 'coming out' as Catholic, and there is no way that Sarah Palin would have been able to run for German Chancellor or Italian President. Religion is just not part of public life to most of society, nor are the views expressed in Conservapedia's articles.
However, I do not condone the removal of such articles, or demand creation of ones such as Conservative hypocrisy on this domain – we all have a right to purchase a domain and allow who we choose to contribute their views, and which of those views to keep and which to remove; once this is in place, any attempt by others to censor it are a violation of the universal freedom of speech. But, as with all views, they should always be challenged, not only does this develop argument skills, but it tests notions held on both sides and ensures that crackpot ideas are not allowed to flourish. I merely hope that readers of such articles will not automatically consider them representative of all conservatives, and I hope that the 'powers that be' will not always consider Conservative hypocrisy an invalid article or a non-existent act.
I know that the actions described above are entirely natural; they are part of what thought is – if a human does not believe that their opinions are right, then they do not have opinions. I know that it is extremely hard to overcome this seemingly logical process: to look at what others have to say, without prejudice to its validity, and to risk diluting one's own dearly held values in the search for truth. I don't expect that those that I debate with to always do this – I don't expect myself to – but I will always remember that it is possible, sometimes likely, that I am wrong and others are right, and I hope that others can at least try to also. If some do not, then it will not alter my view of their arguments, or any others which are similar, but I will be more careful when taking them at face value. I ask for you to do the same to me and those who share my views.
I will most likely disagree with many other users. Do not disregard my arguments – I will not yours. But, more importantly, do not consider me any different to you. I am not.