Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, August 3, 2015

Toleration and Being Tolerant in the Social Imagination

Toleration and being tolerant in the social imagination can only go so far. Why? Because, tolerating anything means putting up with. Yes, that phrasal verb is used in the Webster dictionary to define the verb - to tolerate. Hard to believe. I suppose for anyone who never knew what the word meant. Do people think to tolerate means to love, to like very much, to like something or someone a lot or even enough to stand them. Or perhaps people think it means to prefer someone else's views over your own and or your group's view on life... and yes we all belong to a group. That is how we identify who we are and are not. We are after all, social creatures. We are not isolated islands of individualism though some people like to think that we are.

Sorry, but no one prefers someone else's likes over their own likes and or preferences. I told that to my students and they were so surprised. Really? Yes, really. They made lists of their likes and preferences and to their surprise, they were not the same likes and preferences that others had in the classroom. Of course, there were some that had either similar likes/preferences and or the same but this was not the case 100%.

Why? Because, we are socialized by our mothers who have their likes and preferences based on those that were passed onto them or some they formed through other social interactions. Its all information. We are given information and we choose which we like and don't like. We choose not to like some based on the encounter we had while given the information. Our mother's may have told us to eat green vegetables which is most people consider to be good information but because we did not like the encounter with that information or have a positive encounter with that information, we do not like green veggies. Yet, because it was told to us by our mother a person with authority that it was good information, we choose to tolerate some green veggies... to an extent.

Yes, as elementary an illustration as that seems, it applies to larger and even more complex information which includes other people, places and things.

This is what I consider normal acquisition of information and normal process of choosing to like or dislike information. The abnormal acquisition of information is when information is methodically programmed in by an authority outside of mother (mother= the person who gave birth and loves us as no other could and who seeks to provide for you) who have an agenda - to control you for their purposes.

Who is that 'other' authority? The State! Now, of course one can make the argument that the State must look out for others' interests who are different from yours as their mother was different. That I could agree as long as the means for and reason to provide you information other than mother's is not to control you but to open your eyes to alternatives that would be good for you and everyone. Well, in saying that, I suppose that could be the State's defense no matter what their agenda.

How to tell if they are actually looking out for you and just suggesting alternatives and not enforcing them? The means is the key. And, whatever the means, it should not decrease the amount of freedom you have should to choose or not to choose. Yes, the State can even make that promise... your freedom is not being taken away. You still have the right to choose or not to. However, can we see propaganda that is singling out your likes and preferences as bad and even intolerant of others' likes and preferences? Today, yes.

Should people be punished for their likes and dislikes, their preferred information? That is a good question. There has to be agreement on what is bad information and good information. Bad information is when the majority people are continually hurt by a particular information. Because, if the majority are being hurt... then it is really bad information.

If a minority are hurt by bad information, it is more likely that they are outside the sphere of receiving better information rather being targets of bad information. Because, bad information is never good information and never circulated unless there is an agenda.

Yet, we are being told today that bad information is now good information. Why? Because when a certain authority has an agenda, this is the strategy.

Why? Because, really good information is good for everybody and if everyone had really good information certain authorities would not be necessary.

When authority sees itself being limited or made non existent because obstacles no longer exist or threats no longer exist, it defends itself. It does so by targeting people's likes and dislikes and then claims that certain likes and dislikes and even preferences are wrong as in bad information.

This group of people 'with their bad likes and dislikes, are being labeled intolerant toward certain or even all information.

Thus, the group is targeted as being intolerant and 'by new and just law' has to conform to the authority which has set the new just standard of toleration. How? Well if they claim to know good information from bad then they must certainly claim by ultimate and absolute authority even if it is electorally instated. Otherwise, they could not know or distinguish good from bad information and certainly not know good information for everyone unless they had such authority. You see, we forget that even such electoral authority over and above us seeks to remain there and they can remain in power and authority by making them appear to be necessary givers of good information.

And, you see, if everyone had access to good information, then we would not need any such authority. You see, in a free and open society there is no need for any such power/authority to dictate what they think is good information or bad, we the people can decide for ourselves.Yes, we can make mistakes but mistakes come from bad information and only bad information gets served when someone wants to be served. This we should not tolerate.

Should we tolerate other's information? As long as they can tolerate ours/yours/mine. Is that even possible? Only when they/we agree on the source of good information. Is that possible? Only if there is God and not a State.

those who claim to be tolerant are the most intolerant...

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