Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Circular Reasoning in the Social Imagination

Circular Reasoning exists because this is a fallen world; hence, circular reasoning in man's mind and thus in his science, in his social science, in his human thinking and behavior. People who criticize faith in a creator, or criticize the Bible fail to criticize their own mind which is infallible. Science has changed its positions on many so called theories and or discoveries over the years because man's thinking (corrupted by sin) is our 'science' which is based only on agreement reality and that brings in a whole lot of social dynamics which are rooted as in embedded in subordination and domination which generates circular reasoning.

Yes, of course there will be those who scream out "what about logic"? What about it? From a premise flows a conclusion.  Logic is the science that evaluates arguments (whose arguments -men??? Yeah and their social agreement which is based on social dynamics at work made possible through social interaction) and because we know that an argument is a group of statements including one or more premises and one and only one conclusion men have to come to a social agreement that this is what it is and is not. Even and especially higher math is subject to man's social agreements.

Yes, of course, one can argue that it was math that has got man to the moon. But, from the position of the social imagination, only the math that men socially agreed on did that. There was much more than math that got man to the moon; if in fact, he really did. What is most valuable for the social imagination was that man had the idea that he could do something like that and at the time when most equations seem to say it was impossible. There was a science that told man the world was flat, then there was the science that told man the world was much smaller and he could said easily to Asia leaving from Europe. There was the science that said the earth was the center of the universe..even the theory of gravity swallows its own tail. Point being, there are/were many sciences in man's social imagination. As Solomon said "there is nothing new under the sun"~ Ecclesiastes.

Cornelius Castoriadis a Greek-French thinker the 20th century. Upon reading, L'Institution imaginaire de la société (Imaginary Institution of Society 1975), by Cornelius Castoriadis, I realized that his view was about something very fundamental in the social imagination and that it was inescapable. Castoriadis began to develop his distinctive understanding of historical change as the emergence of irrecoverable otherness; which is something that emerges in part from the activity of the self. Who am I and who am I not. This can become and usually is institutionalized as the self participates in the social imagination = the group of who I am and am not.

Essentially, it means that the self dissociates or does not associate at all with otherness that makes no sense or has no reason in the self’s preservation. That is why creating external social institutions (as objects outside of the self/mind) give stability or stable form to what Castoriadis termed the ontological "magma” of social significations" which do allow stability and continuity for the self and the group which the self identifies.

One cannot have an autonomous society that fails to turn back upon itself, that would not interrogate itself about its motives, its reasons for acting, its deep-seated beliefs and attitudes. Circular reasoning works in a positive way thus. It justifies the self in its activity in the social imagination of who I am and am not. Now, one can argue that such activity is wrong, but the self in the moment among other agreeing selves will consider it right. Considered in concrete terms, however, society doesn't exist outside the individuals making it up. The self-reflective activity of an autonomous society depends essentially upon the self-reflective activity of the humans who form that society. Circular reasoning is embedded and inescapable when it comes to who I am and am not. It can appear to 'morph' over time as Castoriadis explained (even in the case of revolution) but it is just an illusion of change in terms of the who and the place... what does not and cannot change is the fundamental aspect of the social imagination - who am I and who am I not.

Considering circular reasoning...faith in Jesus Christ brings us right back to where we started in the embrace of our Creator!

*painting image credit - Jennifer Goldberger

Thursday, April 21, 2016

In the Social Imagination ~ Can you be good person without God?

Can you be a good person without God? How can you not be a good person with God?

Pew Research did a survey 'study' (a quantitative research not qualitative study) asking the question can you be a moral person without God. First of all, what does it mean to be a moral person and to ask can you be such without God suggests that one acknowledges God exists; otherwise, He would not be part of the question. Ask yourself...Can you be a decent decent citizen without laws (likely people would say no)? Can you be a rational loving parent without parental guidance (likely the answer would be no)? Can you be a good 'well read in many subjects' teacher without being taught by a good 'well read' teacher? No! Can you be a good employee without a good boss (well... here many would say yes but then why do we have bosses/managers)?

Somehow, most people do seem to know what it means to be good as in kind and emphatic toward someone else's suffering. Where does that come from? The amount of people's kindness and empathy differ by culture. Here in the US, many Americans are relativistic, that means that because they have feelings about someone or something they must be right about that. My good may or may not be your kind of 'good'.

Back to the study... in a recent Pew research, a report on religion in everyday life, Pew asked unaffiliated (nones) people whether beliefs are essential to be a “moral person.” According to Pew Research, the 'nones' those who declare no religious affiliation seem to be the more moral. For the unaffiliated, honesty tops the list, with about 58 percent of the nones saying that “being honest at all times” was essential to being a moral person. Any social scientists and social science report should never use the word "seems to be. We say, based on the numbers, we presume that this number of people are likely to... and yes that may sound like 'seem'. Agreed. But, let us remember then that is seems like and that is not the truth in any way shape or form. It is just likely.

 In a country like America, According to Pew, there is an overwhelming majority of American people who do belong to some sort of religion. If are talking about a minority of people who say otherwise, we are observing a deviation from the norm which is what the majority does or believes. But, today, given our relativistic view on life, social scientists can see that or say that.

Pew reported that it discovered some other essentials that the unaffiliated believe make a moral person are being grateful for what you have (53 percent), committing to spend time with family (47 percent), forgiving those who have wronged you (39 percent), and working to protect the environment (35 percent). It appears that such respondents actually read the Bible because that is what Jesus Christ's ministry was about.

What Pew does not seem to recognize is that we are God's creation and we have his law written on our hearts or in our default mode. Those that don't recognize the Creator are still running on His default mode, because they can't escape it. We can also recognize that the majority has disseminated their information and it has reached all people in the group. That means that everyone knows Christ's teachings from believers only that they have fallen into denial or rebellion.

Pew's research question is flawed. We are created beings and created in the image of the Creator. All information that exists in the social imagination about living, being, loving come from the Creator.Sounds like there is no way out. For the time being that is likely the problem. Its called data embeddedness. Once programs have been programmed, it is difficult to upgrade them or update them or even delete what was once originally programmed because it contains original information.

What Pew or other social scientists fail to realize is that by thinking about God, the question if He is or not, already suggests He is built in us... its only our problem to recognize Him. You see, in social imagination, there is nothing that we imagine which does not exist. What about aliens? Truly, if we imagine 'alien's then they are not aliens. Further discussion on future blog.

*... if Pew has to ask how to be good without God, it acknowledges that He is and that He is Creator.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Climate Change in the Social Imagiantion

 "Shinning Light on Settled Science: There is No Climate Crisis." by Dr. James Wanliss is a breath of fresh air ...how apropos. He finally says it like it is. The climate change narrative is changing. Why? Because, scientists are emotional imaginative human beings as all of us in the social imagination. Dr.Wanliss says that even scientists need to check their motives and remember the very human tendency to allow emotions to cloud better judgment. Unless, I am clouding my better judgement; hardly, since I wrote the book on the social imagination.

According to Dr. Wanliss, when the story about climate change began to break down the narrative changed. Global warming became climate change. Next, as the stall in warming continued (by the end of 2015 over 18 years without warming), climate change morphed again. Since relatively flat lines don’t fit well with the narrative of change, climate change is currently morphing into “climate crisis” and “extreme weather.” Never mind that all observational evidence indicates reduced variability in weather events.

We are now knee deep in the second decade of the twenty-first century, and it wasn’t supposed to be like this. CO2 emissions climb rapidly, and thus, global warming is accelerating wildly out of control. That is what all the computer models predict. We are supposed to see the sea level rise accelerating dangerously, more tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves. We were not supposed to have any more snow, and experts said the Northwest Passage would be completely open. Indeed, the media, movies, and politicians, including President Obama, all insist that “dangerous” carbon dioxide emissions are causing “unprecedented” global warming, “more extreme” droughts and hurricanes, and so on.

But the worldview motivating these actions is falsified by data. It’s over nine years since a Category 3 hurricane hit the United States. Tornado frequency is at a multi-decade low. Droughts are shorter and less extreme than during the Dust Bowl and 1950s. Sea ice is back to average. There is no crisis.The fact is, extreme weather events are less common now than in earlier eras, before global warming became a planetary emergency.

One has to remember, that scientists are people too, living their lives in their social imagination. The social imagination has two components: the everyday default mode and the concept creative mode. In the concept creative, we are always thinking of new ideas, exchanging them and trying to see if they work for us in some way. That's right, even the idea about there being a 'dangerous' climate change. So you say, well science says there is. And, let us not forget where science comes from... the concept creative aspect of the social
imagination. I oughta know, cause ...I wrote the book on it.

And, even if humans are significant contributors to CO2 emissions in the world, the earth has a means to balance what it takes in and gives off. You see, carbon dioxide has been/is constantly being exchanged among the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface as it is both produced and absorbed by many microorganisms, plants, and animals. Emissions and removal of CO2 by these natural processes tend to balance out.

It is true that man has created things that generate CO2 but man himself a natural component here on earth as is any other creation is not 'the' cause. What man does is the problem. Yet, man-made measures are being taken to better add to the natural balance. In the United States, since 1990, the management of forests and non-agricultural land has acted as a net sink of CO2, which means that more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, and stored in plants and trees, than is emitted. This sink offset about 11% of total emissions in 2014. You may say, its not much and yet it is more positive than the political narrative that we are experiencing unprecedented global warming.

I am all for ending all gas driven cars/buses/motorcycles and coal driven generators. The later we surely don't need, I already live by 10 nuclear power stations and wind turbines. The bigger concern is who will have to conform first - not the ruling elite. They won't give up their Harley or Yachts or private jets, or golf clubs spraying water night and day for their green fairways. They like to be the voice, the ones who care, right?

Heck, I'd love to ride my horse to Walmart! But, the ruling elite would not like it. It would not look nice now would it.

*Special Credit ~ James Wanliss, Ph.D., is Professor of Physics at Presbyterian College, Clinton, SC. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed physics articles, has held the NSF CAREER award, and does research in space science and nonlinear dynamical systems under grants from NASA and NSF.

*Sources ~ http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/james-wanliss/shining-light-settled-science-there-no-climate-crisis


2011- "Exploring the Concept Creative Function in the Social Imagination"- Dissertation by Dr. EfGallion

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Gendered Role Expectation in the Social Imagination

Role Expectation is necessary in the social imagination; otherwise, we would never be able to live a true social reality one of interesting diversity and gendered roles. When you see a doctor or nurse or policeman in uniform you know what to expect. The same applies to men and women. We need to expect certain truths about men/women on any everyday and on any given day. This generates stability in the social imagination.

Yet, if you see a man in a dress or woman with a kilt or clothes that are 'gender' free  you may not know what to expect or if you can expect anything that would make you feel good about yourself as a member of a socially defined group, or feel safe and or comfortable with those around you. Role expectations provide a means for understanding and creating a way forward in a relationship with other people.

Sure, if you don't expect anything, you won't be disappointed. But such perception by a group leads to social reality's  deconstruction. Of course, you can argue that yes, deconstruction is happening for a purpose which is to rebuild a society where people live pretty much equally in gray non distinction. People would be coming and going without commitment, without direction, without set goals and or certainly without the means for sustaining themselves by/in their own definition.

More than 20 years ago, a film came out called Dead Man starring Johnny Depp. Dead Man is the story of a young man's journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain, a place which he does not know what to expect. The character played by Depp came to be called "William Blake" in the film through  an encounter with a native American. Before that, Blake travels in the very beginning of the film to the western frontier of America to a town called Machine. He speaks with another train passenger about his destination and that person tells Blake that Machine is the end of the line. This is very important line in this film and for Blake. The description of Machine as such encourages us to expect what will happen to Blake.

The native American that Blake soon meets is named "Nobody". It is then that the Johnny Depp's character receives his pseudo-name "William Blake" as "Nobody" believes this man "Blake" to be the dead English poet of the same name. Another clue for the audience... if of knows the real William Blake's poetry then one will know what to expect for this Blake- tragedy. Watching the events that happen to Blake are in sequence due to a lack of expectation; and because of those sequences, we see Blake being transformed into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away into a gray zone.

All these events happen out of a lack of expectation. The character does not know what to expect in the town of Machine as he was told earlier it was the end of the line, he does not know what to expect from a woman he meets and then dies, and he does not know what to expect from "Nobody" as "Nobody"comes and goes sometimes helping Blake and sometimes abandoning him. After all, his name is nobody. Blake's world becomes cruel and chaotic.

So, without expectations, we become nobody to everybody and the world becomes cruel and chaotic. It does not become more stable, it does not become more friendly or beautiful... just nicely gray. And, that is how the film ends with Blake alone floating away in a wood canoe in a sea of gray water and gray light.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Nuclear Family and 'Father' in the Social Imagination!

One of the best articles I have read out there lately besides maybe one of my own on the same or similar topic, I paste here. Why? Because, we as human beings need to remind ourselves that we do have and share in a common thread its called 'family' and sadly it is labeled as irrelevant and outdated. A couple of years ago when I was still teaching at university, I tried to discuss how important  family is to society and how it is the first introduction to society we have. The socialization process begins with parents as in mother and father...the nuclear family at the helm. The socialization of a person begins with parents that is in terms of mother and father and their expected roles which are vital to that basic structure called family and equally vital as the foundation of the wider society regarding its stability and continuity.

Upon hearing this, the students stood up and screamed its not fair, who should tell anyone how to behave and what to do. Society should just be accepting and nice. Really, whose nice and or according to who - you? Who are you these days, if not for your father and mother...I asked?

A society without a solid foundation is destined to fail. The basic components of a stable society is the family and sadly in America and even around the world today, the family is being deconstructed.

So, without further adieu... important excerpts from an article I wish I wrote myself.


The Nuclear Family Meltdown

Who are you? What made you the way you are? What do you look like? What do you value in life? What are your hopes, dreams and goals?

A plethora of other “deep” or “probing” questions could be asked about your person—but in almost every case, you could not turn to a single event that forms the answer. This is because your life experience from the day you were conceived has helped shape the person you are today.
From a scientific perspective, many answers to the above questions would begin with your brain. According to the University of Maine, the brain starts working from the beginning of life: “Brain cells are ‘raw’ materials—much like lumber is a raw material in building a house, and a child’s experiences and interactions help build the structure, put in the wiring, and paint the walls. Heredity (nature) determines the basic number of ‘neurons’ (brain nerve cells) children are born with, and their initial arrangement.

“At birth, a baby’s brain contains 100 billion neurons, roughly as many nerve cells as there are stars in the Milky Way, and almost all the neurons the brain will ever have. The brain starts forming prenatally, about three weeks after conception. Before birth, the brain produces trillions more neurons and ‘synapses’ (connections between the brain cells) than it needs. During the first years of life, the brain undergoes a series of extraordinary changes.”
From a young age, you were like a sponge, soaking up your environment—sounds, shapes, lights, faces, voices, languages, music, emotions, etc. As you grew, more complex things impacted your world, ultimately developing who you are today—parents, other caregivers, siblings, friends, education, physical environment, etc.
Now ask: which individuals were most responsible for your developmental years of life? For most readers, the answer is a father and mother.
For millennia, this has been the cycle of the family unit: A man and woman come together in marriage. They have children. They care for their children and teach them how to live. The children grow up, take what they have learned, and live their own lives, usually becoming parents. And thus, the cycle continues.
That cycle is quickly falling apart. The social experiments of the 20th and 21st centuries—which have attempted to redefine the roles of parent and child—have caused the family to come under assault. One of the most profound changes that has resulted is that families are increasingly becoming fatherless.

The Facts

Over the last 50 years, more and more children have been growing up without their fathers. The role of a father should, simply from a mathematical perspective, be one that contributes 50 percent to the development of any child. But millions of children in the United States, and the world at large, will put their heads on a pillow tonight in a home without one.
Notice these statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau:
  • “Between 1991 and 2009, children living with only their mother increased from 21 percent to 24 percent.”
  • “Of the 74.6 million children younger than 18 in 2011…27 percent lived with one parent…”
  • Over 17 million children live without a father.
Think about the last point. Seventeen million children are growing up without a father figure—without the teaching, guiding, experience-building, correcting and nurturing that a father can bring. When you see 20 children, realize that five are not living with their father.
In the 1950s, the term “nuclear family” was coined. This essentially described a family of a father, mother and children. This was to distinguish from an “extended family,” which could include grandparents, or others. By the 1960s, 80 percent of America’s children lived with two married parents—today under 70 percent do.
Clearly, the nuclear family is facing a meltdown. Where will it end? What impact will this have on millions of minds—generation after generation?

Your Responsibility

Fathers, you were asked at the beginning of this article, “Who are you?”The answer to this question lies in the actions you take in addition to the choices your parents made. You must ask, who will your children become? You have the potential to create human beings who will succeed, make the right decisions, have their own happy families—and in the end, reach their ultimate potential.
You have brought children into the world, and properly rearing them is your responsibility. All the physical possessions you gain in your life, the riches and the material things, are not permanent. But your children will live on, and they, in turn, will also have children, who will have children, and so on. The parenting decisions you make now will affect generations to come.

*The Nuclear Family must still be hidden deep in our social imagination as being important as we still put the nuclear family in the whitehouse and will likely continue to though the selection offered is not ideal, the components remain. EfG

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Labeling in the Social Imagination ~ Who Benefits?

Whenever the ruling elite want to control people they create a group, they label them and build an agenda around the label. In this way, they take control of the group and the people. How, because by their labeling they take control away from those that get labeled. They denude them. This happens to women, to men, to Christians, to Muslims, to immigrants and refugees, to the white conservative, to the freedom lover, to the poor, to the disabled, to the handicapped, the single mom, to seniors, to children, and to babies, fetuses and even LGBTs. They all get a label and are controlled by that label. And, when it is deemed necessary the controlling elite put a new twist on the label either as an upgrade or downgrade. Sadly, too many people actually believe their label is for their own good! Come on people, wake up!

Who benefits? The ruling elite benefit, they get to keep their identity and their position, their property, their license, their rules, their policies, their local ordinances, their zoning, their jurisdiction, and their wealth. Sure, they are labeled too but their label serves them as it controls all others. Ordinary people, the masses, have been punished by accepting a label since the fall.

A group of labeled people tried to escape this a long time ago. In their social imagination, they decided a new place, an open space could become a safe place from labels. But, the ruling elite and their labeling followed them here. This is what everyone has been and continues to fight against, Try as we might to run from the past and that label heaped on by more, we will eventually be consumed by in them in the end. The ruling elite is preparing their final label to use on everyone, to put everybody into the box, the same group with the same label. And, it will be the mark/label like no other, that of the beast.

By accepting their labels, we live in the flesh. By labeling people, we let them tell us who we are, and we live in the flesh. Don't accept their label today, or tomorrow. Stop living in the flesh. Be free from it, free indeed!

"The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. "I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word (His label written on our hearts) has no place in you.…John 8:35-37.

Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial ~ 1 COR 10:23.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Everything is Possible ~ But not Everything is Beneficial!

We as human beings, as created entities, desire transformation. Why? Its part of the programming. By whose design? The Creator's. So, don't be in a hurry to get there, its coming, just believe!  ~ Dr.EfGallion

As a sociologist, as a Christian, humans desire to become more than they are. There is a process and socialization is part of that process. Therefore, as a sociologist, there is good reason males are socialized differently from female. The basis of male/female socially defined roles for the purpose of social harmony and or balance and procreation. As a Christian, male/female roles are a necessary aspect of the Creator's design in that their God given equipment as in physical attributes including levels of hormones and hard wiring in the brain have a distinct function/purpose. 

Whether we take the Christian perspective or secular, social balance, harmony and procreation depend on function and not dysfunction. A functioning society depends on the deliverance of information that guides and or supports the harmony/balance and continuity of the system. Dysfunctional or misguided information causing a loss to system function. The socialization process is the deliverance mechanism for dissemination of information. Hence, if the socialization process is corrupt, then information deliverance will be corrupt and dysfunction ensues. 

In order to retrieve function normalcy, dysfunction can become the norm. This stems from generational transference of corrupted information in an attempt to regain normalcy. Thus, corrupt society can try to reshape itself including its own physical nature. Yes, hormones and hard wiring and even today's doctors can reshape the physical attributes but misguided they are in overriding or rejecting or not recognizing the original program. Whenever you tamper with an original program, you lose original information and the original application. Any and every complex design has a designer. Tamper with that design even a little and the design suffers in purity, in purpose, and in its very nature to be what it was designed to be.

Of course, you can tell me that there is no Creator, no God. That's your denial of being a created program, denying specific functional purpose. It will happen with fully AI robots that we create. And, being fully AI, having free will, they will have the choice to deny their creator and then look out... Of course, this cannot be used strictly as the argument for God, but information as we know it does not just pop out of thin air or the cosmos... we as human beings sharing information live only in a social reality, the market place of information. Again, in that reality, all information has a source, so one might even conclude that we are the creators being our own source... but who decides which information is right or wrong? In a created world there are absolutes (default mode of original operational data) in order that the program does not crash and burn.

As created programs, (God created) we have to accept our being His creation and in that we are saved programs. In that we are 'born again' and we start living in the higher dimension of the Creator's mind from which we originated and not in the flesh that houses this program. Indulging in the flesh leaves us no better than the animal programs that run as automatons who never give any thought to the Creator.

Of course, you can make the argument that we can make changes to our programs as if it is a natural aspect of being a created program. However, though that can be made into a reasonable argument, it does not usurp the fact that real damage to the original program will be done as in loss of original information first written by the Creator. When such information is lost, one might not be able to be saved for future higher operations. Hence, by changing any attribute, or any original aspect of the program, we should rethink- repent. Everything is possible, but not everything is beneficial!

"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive" ~ 1 Cor 10:23.

Why not go ahead and risk, do anything you want!!! Think about it! Don't run the risk of what we were/are created to become.

We as human beings, as created entities, desire transformation. Why? Its part of the programming. By whose design? The Creator's. So, don't be in a hurry to get there by your design, transformation is coming, just believe!  ~ Dr.EfGallion