why do people believe what they believe? + "rules of the road"

From: Chris S.
Sent on: Sunday, January 6, 2013 3:52 PM
It was great to be at the "Side of Psychic" lunch at Dianna's Deli today.
The question, "Why do people believe what they believe and act so mean when trying to defend or argue their stance" came up.
Proposing this situation:
"Overtaking passed cars: rules of the road":
I know that when I drive, I come up on parked cars on my side of the street, and I stop until the cars on the opposite which have no cars parked in front of them have passed me in the opposite direction.
(There might be a driver behind me who's scratching his head, wondering why I'm not forcing my way through, and he would even try to overtake ME; it happens!)
However, it has become one of the unwritten rules of the road to "play chicken." That is, when I have the un-obstructed right-of-way, I am supposed to allow the driver with cars parked in front of him to force me closer to my curb, thus allowing him to drive over the center line - barely missing me - and he can overtake his parked cars. If I don't, I'm some sort of "commie" or something.
It's become unwritten: a social "nicety." It's become so that the prevalence of drivers tend to expect that they can force their way around a parked car without resistance; that the drivers who don't yield are the "loonies" - or worse, "antisocial" in some way - that they are not "go-with people".
(There are drivers who start their overtaking a parked car 15 car lengths behind it, even - it's so obvious what they want to do; this is where that "game of chicken" comes in: "I dare you to stop me, Right-of-Way Guy, from forcing you to swerve out of my way as I overtake this parked car!")
 I could argue that this forced overtaking is in violation of the written rules of the road, and that forcing a driver who has the right-of-way to one who doesn't have that right-of-way is wrong.
This is but one of the things where what one believes versus what the law says becomes a very real, material collision between moving vehicles.
This is one of the things where "what the majority of people believe" can be so wrong, so indefensible, that you could shake the rulebook at anyone at people, and they won't believe you.

This is also one of those things that beg me to ask, "why am I the crazy one?"
Going against what has become an accepted social more as "the unwritten rules of the road" is almost like being the only atheist in a room of Pentecostals.

Chris Skurkey


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