"I pledge of allegiance to the flag of the United States"

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QuantumChemist
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21 May 2022, 11:48 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Interestingly, the phrase "under God" wasn't part of the Pledge of Allegiance until about 1956.

About the same time, "In God We Trust" was put into US currency.



Foldable currency (federal reserve notes) started adding that motto around 1957. It was on most US coins since 1864. The first circulating US coins to have that motto added was the copper two cent piece.



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22 May 2022, 3:15 pm

Fnord wrote:
While government employees (e.g., public school teachers) are prohibited from imposing their religious views on others, the students themselves may still legally pray, read their holy books (i.e., Bible, Q'uran, et cetera), and even wear religious symbols in school.[/color]

I think that raises a salient point - i.e. it seems pointless, and quite bossy, to coerce anybody to either say this pledge thing or to desist from saying it.

A promise extracted by coercion means nothing. If somebody volunteers a promise of their own free will, at least there's a chance they mean it, but otherwise all you've got is that somebody said something because somebody else made them say it.

And when you look at the words, it's hard to see anything specific that the reciter would be promising to do. It doesn't specify obedience to any particular person's commands. How can a flag or a country as a whole tell anybody what to do? Some of the people would want you to do one thing, others would want you to do the opposite. If it's simply obedience of the law, there's already this enforcement thing called policing for that, and the punishments for disobedience are no greater if the lawbreaker can be shown to have recited "the pledge."

I never did quite understand how such crude methods of brainwashing could possibly work. I was made to say prayers and sing hymns at school when I was a child, but that didn't give me the slightest urge to believe or agree with any of the content, most of which made no sense to me anyway. They could have made me say "the moon is made of green cheese" a million times, but I wouldn't have believed it. It would only have made me think there was something dodgy about them for making me say something completely stupid, and I would have resented them, like I resented them for making me say prayers. How could it be otherwise for anybody else?



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22 May 2022, 3:25 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
How could it be otherwise for anybody else?


I think it goes back to our ancestors living in small, separated tribes. We had to create cultures to allow us to identify insiders from outsiders so we could know who to cooperate with and who to rape and murder. In order to pass on these cultural practices and ensure tribe members cooperate with each other, people had to evolve to become extremely impressionable. Our instincts drive us to blindly swallow whatever we're taught because this was necessary for the survival of the tribe. If you're introspective enough, you can overcome these instincts.



nick007
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22 May 2022, 3:29 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Fnord wrote:
While government employees (e.g., public school teachers) are prohibited from imposing their religious views on others, the students themselves may still legally pray, read their holy books (i.e., Bible, Q'uran, et cetera), and even wear religious symbols in school.[/color]

I think that raises a salient point - i.e. it seems pointless, and quite bossy, to coerce anybody to either say this pledge thing or to desist from saying it.

A promise extracted by coercion means nothing. If somebody volunteers a promise of their own free will, at least there's a chance they mean it, but otherwise all you've got is that somebody said something because somebody else made them say it.

And when you look at the words, it's hard to see anything specific that the reciter would be promising to do. It doesn't specify obedience to any particular person's commands. How can a flag or a country as a whole tell anybody what to do? Some of the people would want you to do one thing, others would want you to do the opposite. If it's simply obedience of the law, there's already this enforcement thing called policing for that, and the punishments for disobedience are no greater if the lawbreaker can be shown to have recited "the pledge."

I never did quite understand how such crude methods of brainwashing could possibly work. I was made to say prayers and sing hymns at school when I was a child, but that didn't give me the slightest urge to believe or agree with any of the content, most of which made no sense to me anyway. They could have made me say "the moon is made of green cheese" a million times, but I wouldn't have believed it. It would only have made me think there was something dodgy about them for making me say something completely stupid, and I would have resented them, like I resented them for making me say prayers. How could it be otherwise for anybody else?
I think it's about displaying the apearance of being patriotic. They care about the image more than they care about substance.


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22 May 2022, 3:48 pm

ScroogeMcDuck666 wrote:
I think it goes back to our ancestors living in small, separated tribes. We had to create cultures to allow us to identify insiders from outsiders so we could know who to cooperate with and who to rape and murder. In order to pass on these cultural practices and ensure tribe members cooperate with each other, people had to evolve to become extremely impressionable. Our instincts drive us to blindly swallow whatever we're taught because this was necessary for the survival of the tribe. If you're introspective enough, you can overcome these instincts.

Ah, the primitive mind.....and small children are impressionable until their brains mature enough to realise that they aren't necessarily being told the truth, that authorities aren't necessarily all-wise, all-loving, and scrupulously honest. I suspect that the evolution you describe would have been a matter of simply holding back the children's mental development. Yet it seems odd. How could an individual survive without the faculty of doubt or skepticism, unless they were surrounded by wonderfully clever people who never let them see any evidence that they'd been lied to or that something they'd thought to be true was actually false?



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22 May 2022, 3:54 pm

nick007 wrote:
I think it's about displaying the apearance of being patriotic. They care about the image more than they care about substance.

That sounds like the Church of England. As long as you sit at the back, go through a few prescribed motions and don't make any trouble, you could be a complete atheist and they'd never suspect a thing, presumably because they have no interest in what you're really thinking. They're just grateful that your backside is on a seat.



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22 May 2022, 4:09 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Ah, the primitive mind.....and small children are impressionable until their brains mature enough to realise that they aren't necessarily being told the truth, that authorities aren't necessarily all-wise, all-loving, and scrupulously honest.


Most brains don't mature enough to realize they aren't being told the truth. If they abandon the culture their parents forced on them, most people will choose to flee to another equally ridiculous culture. Some people care about the truth and just don't have the ability to find it on their own. I believe for most people, the truth isn't what they're seeking. That's the main problem.

ToughDiamond wrote:
I suspect that the evolution you describe would have been a matter of simply holding back the children's mental development.


I think natural selection is responsible. Tribes whose people were less cultural and impressionable were less likely to survive because they couldn't agree on what to do. Which means they won't be as effective in many tasks that require cooperation like hunting, gathering, plotting against their foes. These disagreements can even lead to direct violence against other tribe members. Tribes whose people were more cultural were more likely to survive and pass their genes on to us.

ToughDiamond wrote:
Yet it seems odd. How could an individual survive without the faculty of doubt or skepticism, unless they were surrounded by wonderfully clever people who never let them see any evidence that they'd been lied to or that something they'd thought to be true was actually false?


Most new ideas are bad. It's important to mostly stick with what's known to work. The problem with only doing this is changes in your environment can force you to need to come up with better ideas in order to survive. It's also not efficient to never consider new ideas because every once in a while, someone will improve upon what already works. The best balance is to mostly stick with what's known to work, but try a few new things in small amounts to keep the risk low. If there was a way for the peasants to recognize the difference between someone that's much smarter than they are and someone that's much dumber than they are, this could maybe have worked it's way into our instincts. Tragically, this is beyond their ability, so the safest option available to them is to just behead everybody that's different before their bad ideas get us all killed.



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22 May 2022, 4:17 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
nick007 wrote:
I think it's about displaying the apearance of being patriotic. They care about the image more than they care about substance.

That sounds like the Church of England. As long as you sit at the back, go through a few prescribed motions and don't make any trouble, you could be a complete atheist and they'd never suspect a thing, presumably because they have no interest in what you're really thinking. They're just grateful that your backside is on a seat.


The only difference between religions and non-religious ideologies are their focus on answering unanswerable, existential questions though superstition.



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22 May 2022, 4:47 pm

ScroogeMcDuck666 wrote:
Most brains don't mature enough to realize they aren't being told the truth. If they abandon the culture their parents forced on them, most people will choose to flee to another equally ridiculous culture. Some people care about the truth and just don't have the ability to find it on their own. I believe for most people, the truth isn't what they're seeking. That's the main problem.

Well yes, truth doesn't have to be comfortable or to make those who discover it happy. It's accurate data, which allows them to make more prudent decisions, which would be more of an advantage if we were 100%-objective robots, but uncomfortable truth can be emotionally hard to bear. I find it hard to bear that I'm one of a group of rather unappreciated people (Aspies), that my government and most of my fellow citizens don't care whether I live or die, that I'm getting old and that my health may well be about to break and give me a painful, rotten ending to my life, that my time isn't that far from being over and that I won't wake up in heaven after I die. So I can see the motivation to cling to myths and protect the mind from depressive realism. Just that I don't seem capable of that. I'm a fool to be so wise, but short of a lobotomy there's not much I can do about it.



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22 May 2022, 4:48 pm

Twilightprincess wrote:
Sonic200 wrote:
"for witches stand"

I have read that some kids thought that was in the pledge when they were little and said it in school.


My son thought that “for which it stands” was “for Richard Sands,” and that was just last year when he was in 4th grade.

Kids are awesome. I love this stuff.

He said to me: “Who the Hell is Richard Sands anyway?”

Only by hearing him repeat the Pledge could I understand what he was talking about.


Richard Sands=Richard Sanders?

(he played Les Nessman on WKRP)



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22 May 2022, 4:51 pm

^
And now let's say the prayer that Jesus tortoise.



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22 May 2022, 4:52 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
ScroogeMcDuck666 wrote:
Most brains don't mature enough to realize they aren't being told the truth. If they abandon the culture their parents forced on them, most people will choose to flee to another equally ridiculous culture. Some people care about the truth and just don't have the ability to find it on their own. I believe for most people, the truth isn't what they're seeking. That's the main problem.

Well yes, truth doesn't have to be comfortable or to make those who discover it happy. It's accurate data, which allows them to make more prudent decisions, which would be more of an advantage if we were 100%-objective robots, but uncomfortable truth can be emotionally hard to bear. I find it hard to bear that I'm one of a group of rather unappreciated people (Aspies), that my government and most of my fellow citizens don't care whether I live or die, that I'm getting old and that my health may well be about to break and give me a painful, rotten ending to my life, that my time isn't that far from being over and that I won't wake up in heaven after I die. So I can see the motivation to cling to myths and protect the mind from depressive realism. Just that I don't seem capable of that. I'm a fool to be so wise, but short of a lobotomy there's not much I can do about it.


I remember when I was a kid I assumed that developing my intelligence would make me happier. The happiest people must also be the smartest because they can make better life choices. The truth is it's much easier to be happy if you're retarded.



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22 May 2022, 6:31 pm

Tim_Tex wrote:
Twilightprincess wrote:
Sonic200 wrote:
"for witches stand"

I have read that some kids thought that was in the pledge when they were little and said it in school.


My son thought that “for which it stands” was “for Richard Sands,” and that was just last year when he was in 4th grade.

Kids are awesome. I love this stuff.

He said to me: “Who the Hell is Richard Sands anyway?”

Only by hearing him repeat the Pledge could I understand what he was talking about.


Richard Sands=Richard Sanders?

(he played Les Nessman on WKRP)


No, it was Richard Sands.



nick007
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22 May 2022, 7:31 pm

ScroogeMcDuck666 wrote:
I remember when I was a kid I assumed that developing my intelligence would make me happier. The happiest people must also be the smartest because they can make better life choices. The truth is it's much easier to be happy if you're retarded.
Reminds me of a Teen Titans Go ep :arrow:


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kraftiekortie
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23 May 2022, 5:47 pm

I've worked with "retarded" adults.

They're usually not very happy, and are frustrated in life. They feel stymied, frequently. In many ways.

Not all people with Down Syndrome are as happy-go-lucky as their stereotype suggests. They tend to have congenital heart problems, and other health problems throughout life. They also tend to get dementia at a relatively early age. Their lifespan is somewhat reduced, though it's more than in the old days.



ScroogeMcDuck666
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23 May 2022, 8:56 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I've worked with "retarded" adults.

They're usually not very happy, and are frustrated in life. They feel stymied, frequently. In many ways.

Not all people with Down Syndrome are as happy-go-lucky as their stereotype suggests. They tend to have congenital heart problems, and other health problems throughout life. They also tend to get dementia at a relatively early age. Their lifespan is somewhat reduced, though it's more than in the old days.


By "retarded", I meant of average intelligence or below. However, I think actual retards that are too retarded to realize they're retarded can be happier than any other group of people when they have a supportive family. If they don't have a supportive family, it can be pretty rough.