Shared reality theory proposes the idea that particular cognitions are founded on and regulated by particular interpersonal relationships, and that particular cognitions in turn regulate interpersonal relationship dynamics. In other words, there is evidence that our associations with others might have a meaningful impact on our internal thought processes and vice-versa. Our social interactions may in fact serve a crucial psychological function by creating a common (or shared) view of reality that lends a sense of objectivity to otherwise transitory and subjective individual experience. One theoretical means through which we establish shared reality is â€œsocial tuning,â€ through which we bring relationship-relevant attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors into harmony with those of others with whom we either wish to be close or must be close. Ideology is particularly implicated in these processes, both due to its salience and because ideologies can function as â€œprepackagedâ€ sets of beliefs that are useful for establishing where we stand in relation to others and their perspectives. (Social Tuning and Ideology – Part 1)
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Dale McGowan, author of Parenting Beyond Belief, gave me one more reason to dislike the pledge of allegiance. Take a gander at the original gesture for saluting the flag:
Dale’s smarter than I am, but I’m not going to take just his word for it. This set off my urban-legend alarms, so to keep up my skeptic street cred, I had to look for another source. I found a FoxNews article to corroborate Dale’s fishy story:
The original gesture when reciting the Pledge was not the current right hand held over the heart, but the “Roman salute” â€” a movement of the right hand away from the heart until it pointed away from the body. That fell out of favor when the Fascists in Italy and later the Nazis in Germany adopted the same salute.…
In 1942, soon after America entered World War II, Congress officially endorsed the Pledge of Allegiance and instituted the current hand-over-heart gesture.
To be fair, we used the straight-arm salute first, so they’re the copycats.
Actually, if you prefer your history with a hint of conspiracy theory, Rex Curry has a lot to say and provides some provocative visual aids:
Since discussion veered to neoconservatism and religion, has anyone else seen the BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares? It’s a thought provoking, eye opening look at religion, politics, and the entanglement of neoconservatism and islamism.
Both [the Islamists and Neoconservatives] were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. And both had a very similar explanation for what caused that failure. These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended. Together, they created today’Â’s nightmare vision of a secret, organized evil that threatens the world. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. And those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.
Perhaps a bit partisan (anything interesting is), but it connected a lot of dots for me.
The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.—Frank Herbert