Situational ethics has gotten a bad rep. It is not that your principles change but some situations demand a different response. Killing is wrong, most would say. Except when you are doing it in self-defense. Or if your intent was not to kill but that is what happened, you are less culpable most believe. Now the principle that killing is wrong has not changed, but the situation did. That is why in a court of law we can plea temporary insanity, manslaughter, insanity, self-defense, some states say stand your ground, second and first degree murder. The principle, killing is wrong, demands different responses in different situations.
A world full of no nuances is not a world I would find interesting and thank god it is not the one I live in. It is why I seldom engage in arguments on Facebook or other short order discussion forums. I do not do bumper stickers, not because the words are wrong, but I may read it differently from others. I do not do bumper stickers because the venue I currently find myself in is different and makes the truth needed be applied differently. And hopefully today’s bumper sticker I display will be different twenty years from now as I would have changed.
Most of my beliefs I have shown a continuity of development. But as I grow older they become more nuanced. My passion for the teachings of Jesus is not stuck in an early “praise Jesus” way but in a “how do I live” way. His crucifixion is not about “I have been saved” but a knowledge that to follow his truth may lead to persecution even to the point of death.
My belief in Jesus and his influence in my life has led me to seek truth livers everywhere, not only within Christianity. My once rabid churchgoing self now looks to not justify everything the church does, but to rabidly demand it follow closer the truths of its founder. I abhor cultural Christianity, not because it chooses to reflect the predominant culture, but because it too often submits the teachings of Christ to that culture.
So most of my beliefs hold a continuity and one or two have changed because of Damascus road experiences. That is why at any point of the continuum you may look and say “he is different”. I have hopefully grown a little, I have hopefully experienced more, I have hopefully learned more, I have hopefully become more enlightened. Too many people have lost the nuances of life, too many have not grown, too many are stuck in their views. Strange but both of these can describe me at different points of my life. Hopefully though I see the nuances more than not.