The assignment is simple. Write a statement of what you believe. Stream of consciousness stuff, just write down whatever comes to you. A leads to B leads to Q leads to D. Don't just concentrate on one thing, like abortion or politics. Write about anything and everything that comes to you. The only restriction is that whatever it is you write it must be what you believe. You believe that little green men visit your bedroom every Tuesday at 3:15 AM? Write it down. As long as you believe it.
Note: This piece of writing will evolve. Some comments may refer to earlier versions, and the text in the comment may not match the current text in the essay. This is not an error on the commenter's part.
I am so tempted to write,
I believe in love.but that would be silly.
Yes, I believe in music.
I believe in promises
and I believe in you.
I believe in the Big Bang and in evolution. I believe that there might be one or more deities, who might or might not be individual entities, aspects of the same entity, or reflections of human thought/desire/need. I believe that it does me no harm to conduct my life as if those deities are real. I generally believe that "God created physics, chemistry, and biology; the rest is left as an exercise for the student". I believe that Sol 3 is not unique, and that life exists in more than one place in the universe. I believe that intelligent life need not be upright and bipedal, but that it's a hell of a lot easier to costume the aliens if it is.
I believe in the golden rule as formulated by Hillel ("Do not unto others what you yourself find hateful") and as modified by someone, somewhere ("Do unto others as you believe, in your best judgment, they would wish to be done unto").
I believe in science and the scientific method. I believe in magic, by which I mean "affecting reality by force of will and/or by appealing to deities," and which some people call prayer.
I believe a lot of things that are so ingrained that I don't see them until I run into them.
I sometimes believe in reincarnation and sometimes in oblivion after death. It depends on my mood.
I believe in Ugol's Law as formulated by Spectrum ("You are not the only one") and in Murphy's Law ("If anything can go wrong, it will"). I knock on wood to avert disaster, and have been known to recite the invocation "St. Vidicon of Cathode, protect us from Murphy and Finagle" -- and mean it.
I believe in the existence of Good and Evil as forces, and that some people are just plain Evil. Some people are just plain Good, too, but they're harder to spot.
I believe that most varieties of "mental illness" are at least as much physiological as psychological, and that treating something like ongoing depression or OCD with drugs is no different from treating diabetes or Parkinson's with drugs. I also believe that many illnesses, both mental and physical, respond well to coping therapy, either alone or in conjunction with other therapies.
I believe in holistic health care/treatment, by which I mean approaching a problem from all possible useful directions, including but not limited to allopathic medicine, various cultures' traditional medicine, emotional support, and magic/prayer.
I believe that gun control means hitting your target.
I believe in approaching life from a perspective of SSC (Safe: The risks are known and minimized as far as possible consistent with the desired results; Sane: The parties are legal and mental adults capable of understanding the risks and making an informed decision; and Consensual). and YKIOK,IJNMK (Your Kink Is Okay, It's Just Not My Kink). Beyond that, I believe that "it ain't nobody's business if you do".
I believe some contradictory things: that government should regulate business and, WITHIN REASON, reduce risk to its citizens from business and each other; at the same time, I believe that government should stay out of my personal life. I like the formulation that "it is not the government's business to prevent me from being stupid, but it is the government's business to prevent me from being cheated". So, for example, I think it is appropriate for the law to require that food producers include nutritional labelling and to require that I turn on my car's headlights after dark or in the rain, but not to require that I marry no more than one person of the physical sex opposite mine.
I do not believe there are exactly two sexes in humans.
I believe that government should provide a social safety net, I believe this is constitutionally valid ("promote the general welfare"), and I am willing to pay taxes for that safety net. I believe that public health and education are common goods.
I believe that democracy is good, but that minority civil rights should not be subject to majority vote. I believe that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable.
I believe in moderation. I believe that I am a moderate.
I don't believe that love conquers all, but I do believe that having love is generally a good thing. I believe in love at first sight, in love that develops slowly from friendship, and in love that suddenly blossoms. I believe in romantic love, sexual love, brotherly love, parental love, familial love, and friendly love. I believe that many people can love more than one other person at a time, honestly and honorably, and that relationship configuration is no one's business but those involved.
I believe that
I believe that people should be equal in the eyes of the law. I believe in individual responsibility, within reason (for example, children and the severely mentally disabled should not be held to the same standards as adults of normal intelligence). I believe in the insanity defense, although not always in the way in which it is applied. I believe in making society as accessible as possible to as many people as possible. I believe in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
I do not believe that equal is the same as identical.
I believe that Robin Williams is a comic genius, and probably slightly mad.
I believe that sleep is good, and that naps are evidence that the gods love us and want us to be happy. Depending on my mood, I sometimes believe that about beer, too.
I believe that University bureaucracy will eventually drive me completely insane, but that until it does, it's still a pretty damn good place to work.
I believe that anyone who tries to give me shit about any of the above will be cordially ignored.
ETA: Things I believe about marriage.
ETA: Things I believe about feminism and BDSM.