I was two days ago at Hereticon, and wondering which views actually should be considered heretical. It seems there are some distinct categories, for instance here are a few categories of the “partially heretical”:
1. Used to be heretical, or on the verge of switching.
Favoring gay marriage, or more on the border thinking that UFOs are of alien origin. The latter view is now presented with a straight face by former presidents and CIA heads, so it is not heretical any more. In polls, it is not even so unusual amongst the American public, though some elites will mock it and it remains outside of the mainstream.
2. It’s heretical to say but the actual idea is not heretical.
Presenting “eugenics” ideas is heretical, but talking about “dating” and “matchmaking” is not. Embryo selection is on the verge of not being heretical, if it ever was. Or talking about “the feminization of society” is modestly heretical, but believing women have a much greater cultural influence is not heretical at all. You just have to talk about it the right way.
3. The idea is not heretical globally.
But it might be heretical domestically, such as saying “the CCP is great.” Or “women should have their kids really young.” Those are a special category of heretical ideas, extremely common around the world, for better or worse, but still a no-no in some locales.
4. Popular views, but heretical with many elites.
Try “Darwin is wrong,” or “Facebook is fine.” How about “autocracy is good”? NB: In all of these discussions, I am not considering whether the belief is right or wrong.
Which would be a truly heretical belief that does not fall into these “partially heretical” categories? But it can’t be absurd either, for instance it is not “heretical” for me to believe I can jump one hundred feet in the air, rather it is simply stupid. I am also not looking for beliefs that offend or insult groups per se, as that is too easy. “Group X is crummy” is not interesting for my purposes.
Maybe here are a few outright heretical views, again noting that I am not endorsing them:
5. ESP works.
6. Whales are smarter than people and deeper thinkers too.
7. In fact you can trust Congress to do the right thing.
8. Ten percent inflation a year is just fine.
9. Fortunately America has so many guns that we couldn’t do very strict lockdowns for Covid.
10. It would be better if humans never had existed, as they have destroyed more welfare than they created. Most of all because of their effects on non-human animals.
11. Non-human animals suffer more than they enjoy, and it would be better if they did not exist.
12. American TV was much better in the 1960s and 1970s.