Exploring the Social Imagination

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Has your life been Branded?

If you want to see how your life is being lived in today's social reality, then see the movie "Branded". You will want to run screaming that the sky has already fallen and could someone please help you cut your way out of the blanket of darkness that has covered all our eyes. What does that mean? It means that we may not be living a 'real' or 'our' real life. We maybe and are likely living for someone else. This is exactly what the movie Branded tries to convey. Which is that we have been sold a life and bought into it hook line and sinker. We live our lives vicariously through brands. We have the great tendency to identify ourselves, our person, through brands. This is fact recognized by sociologists today and part of the popular culture which is branded the "Youth Culture". Ironic, isn't it that we even brand our social reality, our collective social consciousness needs to be labeled. Somehow I think that makes people feel better about their life as a brand and their desire to brand.  Essentially, branding as I talk about it is naming, and that the name gives us social position as status (Max Weber recognized that), authority as it provides a sense of security, identity, and comfort.
In the movie, people are manipulated and they buy into the same thing, there is no diversity, there is only the 'brand'. They are consumers of the brand and they are being consumed by it. Thorstein Veblen wrote about this phenomenon in his 1899 book, The Theory of the Leisure Class.
Sadly, at university today, hardly anyone knows his name let alone Max Weber, Vilfredo Pareto and or Talcott Parsons to name a few who understood that people were sheeple. Parsons for instance saw social reality as having a basic functional classification which underlined the whole scheme of things 'social'. He saw the discrimination of 4 primary categories: pattern maintenance, integration, goal-attainment, and adaptation, placed in that order in the series of control-relations.Pareto saw that wealth in society is not random... the elites recruit who they need from wherever they can be found; preferably from their own pool but not necessarily.Persons of superior ability, Pareto argued, actively seek to confirm and aggrandize their social position. Thus, social classes are formed. In an effort to rise into the elite of the upper strata, privileged members of the lower-class groups continually strive to use their abilities and thus improve their opportunities and prove themselves to the elites as able to jump on their bandwagon so to spake. As a result, the best-equipped persons from the lower class rise to challenge the position of the upper-class elite. There thus occurs a “circulation of elites.” The brand helps to motivate this activity and sustain it. The brand in this case was "elite". The best way to appease the lower classes that don't make it into the higher class is to give them a sense of comfort about the place and or position that they are in or where they are. Brands, labels help the elite to do this (give a sense of comfort to those who will never be elite and yet needed by the elite) and this is exactly what the movie "Branded" was attempting to point out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Do we live in a post Christian 'imagination' society?

Do we as Americans live in a post Christian imagination - society? Many people would answer Yes. In fact, I have heard Christians say that and ask how to live as Christians in this kind of society. My answer to that would be what Jesus would say and in fact what he said as it still applies to our times no matter how modern or diverse in religions we are. Be salt and light, be the light of the world, do good and be ready to do good. Of course, debate can enter in the picture here as to what is good these days. We as Christians know what that means. So speaking as a born again Christian social scientist, I would say that it means to freely give of yourself, die to your wants/desires and praise God for all your blessings. And, in that dying to yourself, come to accept that what appears to be bad situations for us, is God's mercy and grace at work in our life. Therefore, we are not living in a post Christian society if we as Christians can live according to God's will in this 21st century society.
What about everybody else who is not Christian or deny that they are or deny any existence of God, are they really living in a post Christian society like they think they are? My answer to them as a sociologist is this. No matter how far we think we have come from our European ancestry and Judeo-Christian thought, we still live in it. What does that mean? It means that we cannot escape our socio-historical foundation or default mode program which was written though many many years ago by people still tied very closely to their European roots (George Washington was a British solider in the French Indian War) still stands as a foundation for American society and its civil religion. We cannot escape the fact that Martin Luther gave us the Protestant idea of individualism that being the idea that anyone who excepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior can have a personal relationship with Him regarding their salvation; and the Catholic idea of the victim who must overcome. Both interestingly, promote or stand up for the one 'individual' who by his/her own reaching out to God can be saved; this individual is the American hero, the underdog.
If the individual is no longer important in this country and we become a more top down society where by the masses are controlled by powers that seek to destroy the underdog... then we do live in a post Christian society. If we do live in a post Christian world, then the individual means less than it did in the Christian world we used to live in.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Diversity Today wasn't Diversity Yesterday... today's diversity isn't yesterday's

Diversity today is different from diversity yesterday. How? Diversity yesterday was when people of the same ethnicity and or race, religion, culture lived their experience, lived their uniqueness. Was there a sharing of diverse experiences among all the diversity of people's; as much as there could be. What does that mean? It means that some things are lost in translation. Diversity means different. It means that if you are raised in one culture you cannot become a member of another. Yes, you can imagine that if you speak their language, eat their food, you have some knowledge of what it is like to be them. But, you cannot be them in the same sense that they know who they are. If you think you can, then you effectively water down who they are and it would be the same if they 'try to be like you'. We can take from each other only that which we are able to. This means that we can only internalize information that makes sense to 'our culture or way of doing things;' as that new information does not exceed our comfort level or what we think of as normal... yes, what is comfortable for us. All other information that does not seem normal or comfortable to us is rejected or adopted as in make it our own. The first time I was in Poland and ate pizza out I was horrified as they brought out a pizza with corn and ketchup on it. For me, that was unimaginable. Today, pizza in Poland is more traditional as in what we accept as Italian style pizza as it comes closer to the normal idea of pizza.
You see, we can only use information that we already know have learned in social context with socialization in a place as normal and yes we can come to know something of other people and their way of living, but that does not make everyone everywhere the same. This applies to all human cultures in the world, primitive and sophisticated. Information is different as it is received in a place and shared in a place, shared in the same way so that we gain a sense of identity; who we are and are not. Hence, real diversity means being different and accepting that people are different and that will not change; less we are no longer truly diverse. Today's diversity has people thinking that diversity means people are able to have different skin color, different religious beliefs and traditions and be the same. But that diversity is essentially a false diversity. What does that mean? It means that people are different and some things that we gained in our socialization have been imprinted on us as a default mode; which cannot be deleted or changed. Americans today think that diversity means that we are the same regardless because everybody wants to be thought of as the same and liked...  in that we are the same. This is not diversity. I hear all too often the argument that people are of some universal thread... yes, to some extent we are just being human. But that does not mean we are the same. If we truly like diversity as in diverse information (that which we can look at in awe and respect as it is different...then let us take care not to change it too much from touching that which is different and certainly let us take care not erase it.

Acts 17:24  "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the world earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though He is not far from each one."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Transcendence - The Movie and What it Means For Our 'Fallen' Social Reality... a Sociological Christian Perspective

Just saw the movie, Transcendence starring Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman.  It was very interesting to me as a Sociologist/Social Psychologist and as a Christian. Let us start from the later. As a Christian, we recognize our Creator who made us in His image; He is our Lord  and Savior.  We are His program essentially; given free will to choose life and though in this fallen world, our 'information' program contains 'His' being and all we have to do is turn to him... Ps. 71 "give the command to save me".  The world thinks of death as an absolute end. However, death is necessary so we will not live in a corrupted state forever which makes death an act of grace and mercy on God's part. His plan always was to restore us to our perfect 'information' state. Now, let us look at the movie script- Transcendence.

In this movie, the scientists (namely the Depp character and his love interest) are trying to develop the technical means to use information - computer data - to extend our lives, our consciousness, into a silicon processor so we can live longer lives and no longer suffer from the weakness and frailty of these corrupted bodies. In the film, the main scientist played by Depp is killed and his consciousness is uploaded into a computer. He quickly begins to act like a god and try to transcend the limitations of the physical world. He eventually takes command over microscopic robots - nanobots - and begins to alter the physical world around him at the atomic level. Unfortunately, this power is not measured by a moral conscience and people, feeling threatened try to stop him. In some sense, the other characters in the movie seem to realize the great danger in this, ...that the scientist is trying to overcome life itself; overcome what they already are, a program written by a Creator- the one who created the heaven and earth and everything in it.
Though, this may sound like it could be a good idea, to extend lives, end suffering... it is a false assumption. In that, we are already a wonderfully created program. One (program) however that became corrupted and now in this 'fallen world - program' we have only to die to it and be saved to a higher social reality (as Jesus Christ demonstrated). If that sounds way out there, imagine then that if scientists today (those that are seriously working on trans-humanism) are attempting to do what they movie scenario depicted then they are in denial of what they already are- organic avatar's (programs) in a program created by a Creator. How can that be a 'true' statement; it is because scientists are using what is already given to them; they are not creating something new, a new heaven/earth but recreating what they already are and have. This false endeavor will entrap them in another kind of program (man-made) from which they cannot be saved, not ever. In Revelations 9,... "there will come a time when men will seek death but cannot find it, they will long to die, but death will elude them".
Final point being, going off a quote in the movie made by the Depp character when asked in the movie "Are you trying to be God", the answer by the Depp character was "Yes, isn't that what man has always been trying to do". Some may read that and think of course, man has always been trying to elevate himself to a higher sense of human being. I say, how can he imagine what that higher human being is unless he himself already has an idea of that in him. I say man wants to be like God, because man is His creation.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Race is Socially Created and God's Master Plan

Who isn't taking about racial issues today? It seems to be a global problem. Many colleagues of mine are brainstorming, trying to come up with a solution. Well, here is the problem that they must first address the fact that race is socially created. I am surprised that they fail to realize what that means. And, they are always surprised to hear that it is not the kind of problem that man can overcome with man-made top down contrived solutions. Why? Because, it is a condition of man in this fallen world. From the perspective of a sociologist, it is a condition because it is a necessary social experience that leads us back to our creator.
Strictly speaking though as a sociology, it is the way we construct social reality... knowing who you are and are not. That is why we as social scientists can say race is socially constructed. It happens through socialization which is about and only about social interaction; the experience of the exchange of information. All social encounters we experience on a daily basis is an exchange information. In all forms of communication with the purpose of information exchange, we able to socially construct our social reality. In sharing information, we are constantly affirming 'who am I and who am I not... who are we and are not'. This is built into our program so to speak through the first socialization encounter... that being with our mother. In this world, (even in a virtual world) we have to be connected to a place, persons, to the people in it in order to experience identity in a social order and to experience that in a constant form called social stability 'culture'. Why? Because, if we did not have an identity in a social order given to us through socialization in a place... we could be catatonic. We would have to live our life everyday in the same way... starting from the beginning. By the end of the day, we would not have accomplished much since most of the day we spent re-learning everything about social reality in a place. You see, the socialization of who I am and am not gives meaning to our life. We understand what it means to be 'me' and what it means not to be 'me'. We experience what it means to belong to a group as 'me' which we can recognize as 'our' group i.e. ' my family'.

Race is a feature of the socialization process. It is about making social distinctions which give us meaning. This experience of the self through others allows us to be members of group which has its identity in a sense given to it by those who find themselves in a place together; remaining there together because of like physical beauty 'features', like mindedness and likeness in general. When you meet someone for the first time, you discrimination, you make social distinctions. You are looking for how they are like you, what you have in common. In this way, we get a clear point of departure, a clear knowledge of who we are and are not and what is comfortable and possible between us. Race is socially created by all people in every culture. Social distinctions in fact create diversity.

Now, can there be racial tensions, prejudice and discrimination? Yes. We naturally discriminate. It happens through the experience of who I am and am not, who we are and are not. We make social distinctions based on the information we have and the comfort it gives us. We get into our groups and we set up boundaries for reasons of comfort and social stability... so we don't have to recreate ourselves the next day. Yes, we as a group will leave out those who are not us and embrace those who are. Can those who are not us feel left out? That is a good question. They can if they do not have a group of their own which they can experience who they are and are not...yet, if they recognize another group, they already have social identity, they already have had that experience of who I am and am not. So, what could make one group or another group of people want to be like or included by another group... a group that they are not? Good question. The other group may seem better off or somehow superior in skills in a place. Thus, another group may find value in the other group and wish to integrate. That has happened many times in our history. Most of Americans today have or are experiencing this as they become American citizens. People come to the US thinking it is a better place.
What about when a group takes over another group? What examples illustrate this?  First, keep in mind that regarding all social relationship, there are social dynamics - subordination and domination. They are working together more or less. Without them, we would experience entropy and it would all be over in the meaning that there would be no meaning as to who I am and am not. When those dynamics are at work, it is a given that one will appear to be more or less better. One may appear to carry more weight as in social connections 'clout' depending on who they are in place and who values them in that place which can be as simple as in having greater skills to overcome a particular place 'geography'. So, what about when one group takes over another... the Roman Empire was known for this. It happens most often in this way- the social dynamics being at work, set the stage of a winner and loser or one group that will submit and the other dominate. Can they both be winners? Only if they are able to completely integrate with each other as in a 'fusion' and become a new group. They could also become a new group taking positive aspects from both but favoring the one which appears to have greater evidence of sustainability in a place.
Nonetheless, this kind of take over or submission to one group can only happen through the workings of social dynamics. The results of the social dynamics are both legitimately and illegitimately perceived by both groups or more: the integrating group (s) and the host or 'winner' group (s). Can there be issues which have unacceptable preferences? Certainly, even after what has appeared to be a full integration, when the workings of social dynamics have arrived at a winner-loser. The way to deal with such issues, as one group may become dissatisfied with the other group or is disappointed with the group in which they integrated into by choice or lost the battle to, is to let them over time... work it out.
Booker T. Washington, an African American, had one of the best solutions for working it out, he called it - The Politics of Accommodation. In this solution, over time, the integrating group slowly becomes more and more like the group which they seek to integrate with. Hopefully, that group 'host group', will be accommodating. More often than not, in this way, racial issues or any kind of issue (difference) will diminish to the point that race or any issue is no longer an issue. One could apply this to corporate office dynamics.

God also had a 'master' plan. Acts 17:24 says "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And, He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the world earth and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him."
What does this mean for us, for a group? It means that God knew of man's social experiences and man's needs... in that every man needs to know who he is and is not in this fallen world, which man caused because he disobeyed God, his creator. God understands that every man as a group only understands itself as a group when it encounters other groups; which could lead to conflict. God suggested that we wait before we just jump out there seeking ways to understand ourselves through other men, we need to first understand who we are in Him. Eventually, in our knowledge of who we are in God, we will better understand others, tolerate them in letting them solve their own battles, we will pray that they seek the Lord before we try to make them like us. As Americans, we have good intentions. We like to make others like us because we think we have it better here and everybody should be like us because it is better. However, in this line of thinking, we deny other groups their experience of seeking the Lord and letting Him help them out to prosper. We also hurt our relationship with God by doing His job, our work is to rest in the Lord knowing that He made all the nations and He has a time set for them. And,when we recognize this... recognize God's purpose, we will no longer have racial issues.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Homosexuality ~ Just Born that Way or Socialized?



From the perspective of social imagination, homosexuality is socialized- can a person not be born homosexual; an interpretation of same sex preference based on the works of Symbolic Interactionist - Herber Blumer.

Sociologists today, would likely agree that gender is socially created. This is possible through social interaction, expectations of gender roles. Herbert Blumer, Symbolic Interactionism said "Humans act towards things (including other individuals) on the basis of the meanings they have for them."
This is key to understanding social reality, not just gender and gender roles.  If the idea of 'woman/female' gender is socially created as is the idea of 'man/male', it follows that homosexuality is socially created just as gender is socially created. 

In the social reality, nothing exists that is not socially created. No one is born a homosexual, as no one is born a man or woman which is the general consensus among liberal academia. One might argue that gender is in part socially created along with given at birth definite physical equipment. In this short paper, the discussion is about the socialization of homosexuality supported by the work of Herbert Blumer who advocated that all social actors are they themselves interpreters of social reality; in fact, he went as far as to say that sociologists could provide their interpretation conducting qualitative studies as social scientists trained in social theory and yet having themselves received social information over the years through participation/observation which they have been able to interpret according to their experiences and education through social interaction was valid in arriving at an objective view of social reality. 

Other American sociologists and social psychologists... not just Herbert Blumer, like Charles H. Cooley and George H. Mead (a group which I include myself being a social interactionist), have written in many related ways that social reality is socially created with meaning being the catalyst. They and Herbert Blumer considered meaning to be necessary in the understanding 'social' orientation; sex is residual.
His first premise is that human being acts toward things on the basis of the meanings that the things have for them. The second premise is that the meaning of such things is derived from, or arises out of, the social interaction that one has with ones immediate caregivers, family and peers. The third premise is that these meanings are handed in by those persons listed, and modified through an interpretative process used by the person on the receiving end used in dealing with the things and persons that he/she encounters in social interaction in a given place (Blumer 1969, pg 2: in Symbolic Interactionism- retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Herbert_Blumer.aspx).
Accordingly, Blumer emphasizes that individual and collective actions of any scale or complexity reflect the meanings that people assign to things, as these meanings emerge in and are transformed within the context of human group life; this applies to both the message sender (informer) and receiver. Blumer synthesized the pragmatist philosophy of George Herbert Mead (18631931) with Charles Horton Cooleys (18641929) notion of sympathetic introspection, particularly as it informs contemporary ethnography, to develop a sociologically focused approach to the study of human lived experience... (http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Herbert_Blumer.aspx).

For some Blumer appeared in opposition to behaviorist, structuralist, and positivist views that have dominated the social sciences; however, for me, Blumer was only able to champion being an interpretivist (like myself) when examining social life because he was already a keen behaviorist and structuralist and positivist.
Blumer contended that theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of human behavior must recognize human beings as thinking, acting, and interacting entities and must, therefore, employ concepts that authentically represent the humanly known, socially created, and experienced world (http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Herbert_Blumer.aspx).
How then would Blumer’s work help to understand homosexual behavior. The homosexual or person with homosexual behavioral tendencies being interpreted here standing on the shoulders of Blumer an interpretivist sociologist/social psychologist arises out of social relationships just as does gender identity. We can look at Blumer’s first and second premise to start and follow that more strictly using his third premise.  In that case, let us just look at this behavior through the third premise. 
The third premise is that these meanings are handed in by those persons listed, and modified through an interpretative process used by the person on the receiving end used in dealing with the things and persons that he/she encounters in social interaction in a given place http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Herbert_Blumer.aspx.)
 
Given Blumer’s third premise, whereby meaning is essential for social interaction to be experienced I would add to that meanings come out of social interaction, the exchange of information and its internalization causes social outcomes, residues and fixtures which we adhere especially when they appear to be normal or are taught to be normal. In meaning, we too find expectations... we acquire information through meaningful exchange, we retain that which is most meaningful to us as interpreted as normal and useful in social interaction. We come to expect that such meaningful information will continue to be useful, or a given as it is experienced over and over. If we did not expect anything from anyone as in expecting information to be exchanged, we would not interact. We cannot have meaning without expectations and visa versa. In fact, meaning is so important to us and is the desire to share and even control  meaning.  We want to 'own' meaning in the sense that it belongs to us and we expect that to continue; our 'choice' for sexuality is also about owning meaning.
 
Let us take that into consideration and Blumer's third premise toward an understanding of the socialization of homosexuality. In the very early stages of the socialization process; in fact, the first encounter that a person (as an infant) has with immediate caregivers is the most critical in the socialization process. It is certainly most critical on the mother’s part as she is the one who carries the child and gives birth. The infant, as studies show, is already in communication with the mother before birth, receiving information about the social world that it is about to enter. Therefore, the mother is handing in information. Since, at this stage the infant is not yet able to interpret, not yet fully interactional with social reality, only with the mother, then that information gets deeply embedded as a default mode program. 
Therefore, if we think about and interpret social reality as exchanged information with meaning and its transference, we can through the eyes of Blumer better understand how gender is socially created as well as homosexual behavior. It is thus and cannot be present before birth, so a child is not born homosexual. This statement is made basing the work of Blumer and on the social psychological message that mother sends as meaningful information to the child, information that contains the idea of two parents- regardless of sexual preference, in a two parent relationship, it has been observed that one partner takes on the feminine character while the other- masculine. Even in the situation of lesbian couples that are pregnant, the mother (the one mutually selected to carry is imparting this information naturally - two parents with one as 'mother and the other as father') this reasonable interpretation applies to heterosexual couples as well. So, now the question, why homosexuality from either homosexual or heterosexual parents? Homosexuality appears due to the dysfunctional expectations of persons engaged in social relationship; in this case, between parents.
What does that mean? Again, meaning is to be expected and it is transferred. So, what does this mean ... the above paragraph? It means this. Even in our post modern society/culture, people still come together, those who seek marriage (we see in the US the debates and civil rights movements for gay/lesbian marriage) and children with certain expectations (both homosexual and heterosexual) about their spouse and their yet to be born children. Each parent naturally hopes to have a child like them, the same sex, looks, talents; a clone so to speak. This gives the parent a sense of security and immortality; an idea which stems from the work of social psychologist Alfred Schutz; especially, in his work regarding the fundamental anxiety or fear of death. 
A parent wishes for a same sex child following the above reasoning. If the same sex child is not produced, then the parent will likely socialize the child to be like him or her and here is where homosexuality begins but it is embedded in this way. We can argue that most parents, regardless of the sex of the child will naturally socialize the child to be like him or her in regard to world view and even to encourage the same talents. We can recognize that even primitive cultures engage in this kind of socialization of their children.
This information has not yet actually told us about homosexuality. Let us remind ourselves that mother is the first to impart social knowledge ‘information’ before birth and she imparts the knowledge that there are two people who caused this child to be (even if she imagines some other kind of entity, including one that is not seen as in imagined). Until we have a physical ability to reproduce without a partner, we will not and cannot impart any other information than it takes two. 
Given that the infant has this two parent info, the child begins his/her life carrying that information and using it as the first basis of his/her interpretation which Blumer talked about. Again, we can and should ask why homosexuality? Let us remind ourselves again of Blumer’s third premise. 
The third premise is that these meanings are handed in by those persons listed, and modified through an interpretative process used by the person on the receiving end used in dealing with the things and persons that he/she encounters in social interaction in a given place.
 
If the handing in of information by immediate caregivers namely mother as the first in order, is subject to corruption of role as in corrupted information which contains gaps in meaning of role and corrupted in terms of loss of secure information (father/mother as a partner exhibiting and or transferring information that they are not capable of fulfilling their role and or to put it loosely 'not in it for the long haul )and or that that once thought secure information is now known to be unstable and non-reproducible, then the child will be socialized with that information and recognize this loss or lack of secure information; thus, likely inclined to  mimic either parent’s sexuality which is thought to be a means to redeem insecure information.
There are other social dynamics that come into play as well. It could be that the information given by the mother initially was slightly corrupt or perhaps not. What then? As mentioned, in social relationships, expectations are important for healthy social relationships. We have to be able to expect that when we call the fireman, he or she will show up to put out the fire. Hence, in a family situation where roles have been positioned with one parenting doing this and the other that, those roles and positions come to be expected so that the family remains functional and stable. 
Since we are talking namely about homosexuality, then we will move forward discussing this social phenomenon by looking at birth order in context of expectations by parents. We can interpret the phenomenon of homosexuality when expectations in the parents mind are not met. In my observations, one can observe this interesting pattern develop due to expectations with the appearance of homosexuality in a child. In the case of seemingly stable parents of the opposite sex or even the same sex, the same process applies; we can notice the first child is the ‘love’ child. In this instance, parents expect only child. Because of that, the parent’s first child has special status simply because it is the first and regardless of sex, they embrace it.  They love it for being the first born. Even if mother wanted a girl and got a boy or father wanted a boy and got a girl. This applies also to homosexual couples; one will hope for a boy and the other a girl. The instance of both hoping for the same is so low that there is no need to consider that instance. 
Now, when the second child is expected to be born, there is often the hope that it will be of the opposite sex, opposite sex to the first born. Let us look at father or the partner who wanted a boy; a child that expresses the person’s inner nature – masculine.  If that second child is again the sex of the mother ‘female’ or the sex that the first born was, disappointment can be projected. Especially in the case of the male which tends to be the dominate character in social relationships, this includes females that feel more masculine, they will impose that character more than a feminine character.  
We can imagine that more often than not males ‘father’s, especially want a son and even more so if the first born was not a male child. Mothers want a daughter and especially if the first child was a boy. As one can witness and interpret, expectations such as these that can develop in the second child a tendency to homosexual behavior.A father would like to have a son, and gets a second daughter. In this case, he is likely to socialize the second daughter as a male causing her to associate herself sexually as a male which produces the masculine lesbian. In the case of a second son, the mother will likely socialize a ‘male’ as she is likely to be outnumbered by the strong male line appearing.  However, if  the mother/female has deliverer all males up to the last baby which also is male, she will likely socialize that boy as female as expectations for a daughter appear lost. Hence, the last boy regardless of the number of brothers will be more feminine and likely a feminized homosexual male.  The other instance of daughter socialization happens when a son/male is born between girls; his life as is his father's is dominated by the female gendered person.
There is also the instance when there is a grave lack of parental expectations whatsoever between spouses; leaving the mother (selected mother parent) to feel abandoned, alone and thus the only information provider. In that case, even in a two parent situation, if the mother feels somehow alone and or her situation in jeopardy, she will likely socialize a daughter no matter what the birth order and even in the case of first born, to be a male.In the case of when the male is not happy with his wife, the male ‘father’ will socialize the girl into the woman he lacks and needs. How does this produce homosexual female? In this case, it arises out of sexually abuse of the female child which can lead the daughter toward masculine lesbianism having been sexually abused by the father as she tries to overcome or redeem the father. 
When it comes to single parents, women as single mothers are more likely to do both - socialize feminine and masculine gender roles depending on the lack of meaning and expectation (which is understood as corruption of information); and thus, filling in the need for non corrupt information the child will be socialized accordingly. However, males as single parents (imagining heterosexual or homosexual as allowed by Blumer and even Cooley) are likely to socialize their daughter into the woman that their mother was and a male child into the male that their father was; which is interesting, because this appears as the normal pattern for the male as the father and especially the father in a two parent relationship. 

Given the suggested difference between males and females as single parents, it may suggests that women ‘females’ who are able to socialize both happens because gendered females are more sensitive to corrupt social information; and especially corrupt information in the situation when they feel alone in their situation. Altogether, we have to be mindful that the female carries the baby, she is the vulnerable condition and expects to be cared for as such expectation has meaning for her and the child and for the child's sexuality.
It was hoped that this interpretative view, through the eyes of Blumer would shed some interesting light on understanding the idea of gender and homosexual socialization. From the point of view of the Christian and the sociologist, meanings and expectations function together toward role fulfillment which matter greatly regarding family stability- whether same sex parents or not. Read the Bible, family roles and their expectations have already been written down, we have already been instructed. See 1 Cor 7


Monday, May 5, 2014

Where do Atheists get their morality?

Where do Atheists get their morality?
That is a good question. I was listening to an argument given by an 'educated' person. Their argument was part of a debate being re-broad cast on the radio. The host was an apologetic and well prepared to the argument. In fact, more prepared than the atheist.  The atheist, interestingly gave this first statement "The Bible is the most important book in Western Civilization". I can't disagree with that and neither could the apologetic, in fact, that person said "Oh, thank you. And, now tell me how do you know that.? The atheist was quiet, and then said, it is common knowledge. The apologetic again said "Thank you." The atheist began his position by saying that God misled Job and this is how he knows that God does not exist. The apologetic said again thank you. The atheist said for what? The apologetic said because you just acknowledged God and in fact, you state that you know him by saying that he misled Job. The atheist did not understand. The atheist finally said that everyone knows this story and that Job was trying to do what was right and that he alone Job knew what was right simply because he was a man of conviction. The apologetic said thank you again. The atheist said for what? Because said the apologetic, you just acknowledge God by saying that Job acted on conviction. Yes, said the atheist but Job acted on his own conviction. The apologetic said no he did not. Because Job was not a relativist. Job later realized that he was so blinded by his over confidence that he failed to see God’s fairness... for that he abhorred himself and repented in dust and ashes. (Job 42:3-6). Only someone who acknowledges an absolute good and evil with an absolute source can repent. A relativist does not need to reflect on his or her life or actions and does not need to repent; because, a relativist is always in the mode of making the best decision for him/herself in the moment. Unless, they are careless about their decisions and actions which means that they are not convicted about anything let alone about their own decisions and actions. Effectively, they cannot be convicted about anything. To have conviction(s) means to have a strong set of beliefs, and such beliefs can only be strong because they have an absolute source. If Job were convicted only to himself, he would be a relativist and that would apply also to everyone else around him, convicted in their own beliefs. Relativism means that every  man/woman is an island of 'every man is his/her own universe. Therefore, every man/woman is their own source  for the  concepts, beliefs that they have. They are not absolute nor are they collective. Collective conviction among people means that they recognize one source, an absolute so that everyone agrees that this is the way and there is no other. In this way, every man/woman as part of a group can experience true conviction as it is recognized as absolute, collective agreement that there is one creator of all the heavens and earth and is eternal light. That eternal light is knowable in that it is absolute in its 'His' light, there is no other and from that light there comes one ideal of true goodness.
Atheists steal someone else's morality and claim it as their own. Whose? For this discussion... Christian morality. A moral society cannot exist without morality, this atheists understand. However, their argument is flawed as they act according to what they think is good, lawful and just. Yet, when you ask them where those ideas about what is good, lawful and just come from, they have either no answer or that everyone understands them since they are universal or that intelligent people know them. Firstly, there cannot be universal concepts for all because each man/woman is their own source. Atheists cannot recognize cultures or that cultural differences exist when it comes to understanding and practicing such concepts because there is no absolute. Yet, they still continue to argue that all intelligent people understand and practice what is good, lawful and just regardless of cultural differences. To make such a statement only means that one has projected one's one culture or world view onto someone else. Morality has absolutes. I might agree that people can be ethical if they agree on the source of those ethics.  However, when asked where are they getting ideas about what is ethical, they rely on morality, the irony is that what is moral depends on absolutes. What is fair and just and lawful 'what is ethical' is difficult for different cultures and even for the same culture of 'intelligent' people to agree on. Atheists do not understand that you cannot have morality in a Godless society. Morality comes from knowing there there exists an absolute goodness and an absolute evil. In recognizing that, you also recognize that there is an absolute source for goodness and evil. From there, you can have 'establish' morality. Atheists, do not and cannot accept that morality cannot come from a relative source. Some people who claim to be intellectuals have said that you are your own universe and likely because we are all human, have the same universals built in. That suggests an absolute source, saying something is built into a system or thing.  Random things have no need to seek out and try to understand other random things. In fact, if we understand and agree on what is random it is only because we have already agree on an absolute.
Some argue that you don't need an absolute to be kind to others, show compassion; maybe, but it will be selective basing on your own relativistic goals and desires. Some argue that it is possible to be kind and compassionate without being selective. That suggests that a person is making a choice to be altruistic. If you think that atheists are driven to the altruistic, then what end would that achieve when atheists don't believe in an after life. Some argue that they don't have to believe in an after life to be altruistic. That maybe true. However, the problem with that statement is in how they come to that decision to be altruistic; moreover it suggests that all atheists can come to the same decision which suggests that there is an absolute in being altruist. Since we can recognize altruism.  Some might suggest looking at what motivates them to be altruistic? Yes, but what is that they cannot answer. The Christian knows. Atheists argue that Christians only behave kindly or altruistically because they are afraid. Maybe, but they know what their motives are and can defend their choice because they recognize an absolute goodness and evil. Christians also know that their works will not be the only factor in their salvation; it is believing in God, the absolute creator of heaven and earth who has the ultimate absolute power, the last say. It is their fear 'awe' in this absolute that stirs the Christian to be altruistic or good rather than evil. Atheists cannot state what stirs them. Neither can they say why another atheists would make that choice; hence, they cannot make other people be moral, because what someone else thinks is moral is not the same for another atheist. Some would and do argue that the source to be altruistic is man, a higher kind of man that they strive to be... but the problem with that argument is that whose higher kind of man are we talking about? ???