Exploring the Social Imagination

Monday, May 16, 2016

Fish out of Water ~ What's that in the Social Imagination

as if you didn't know...

 The phrase 'fish out of water', means someone or something out of place. Let's focus on someone. A person who is called a 'fish out of water' means that this person is not from here or from there or does not get fit in here or there or is odd or is not with it, not in with the group, not in the mainstream of things, not able to position him/herself in a specific location. Literally, a fish out of water cannot breathe. So, let's look again at what a person would be as a fish out of water in a literal sense.

They would be 'out of breath'. They would not be able to breathe as in be comfortable in a place that was not their own place, not their own people, not of their education level or income status, not of their race, their religion, their faith, their spiritual view on the world, their ethnicity, their country, their state, their circle of friends... Yes, the border of our comfort are as broad as they are narrow.

You cannot be everything to everybody! Have you ever heard that? Well, if you have then what is that it seems no one else has??? It seems that people think every person can be the 'right' person to anyone if we just make the right laws and bathroom labels.

Is it nice to be a fish out of water? No, but aren't we all at some point in some place on some issues? Yes, I think so. What to do? Should we through out the safety net and catch all those who can't breathe, well that would be everybody as we just agreed that we all are fish out of water at some point, in some place and on some issues.

Does that mean we should round up all those you can breathe that aren't fish out of water in order to make room for those who are fish out of water? No... since again that would be everybody; because, everybody can be fish in water at some point in their life, in some place and on some issues.

When and where were you a fish out of water? Does that mean there is something wrong with you? No, it just means when you had and have such an experience, you were not in the right water, the kind you like.

That is how our social imagination works. When we feel comfortable, we are in a social imagination that is the 'right' water for us, for our school of fish. Yes, one fish or a school can be starving for oxygen.

And, those of you who know what its like trying to live out of water... well, its like trying to live on dry land, beating your head against a dry dock... This is not good for anyone's social imagination.

Can we make people fit in? Can we make them like the water that is not 'their' water? It can take generations or at least the best and most submersible means of integration; either letting newbies get used to different water slowly or just throwing them in the deep end... sink or swim.

Even so, what is interesting for the sociologist is that by the third generation, the grandchildren fish will be asking where was our original water?  * Third Generation Principle ~ Marcus Hansen

Thursday, May 12, 2016

No Godless Universe in a God Created Social Imagination!

 All scientists and theologians can do is mount their best possible arguments and try to convince each other and everyone else what caused the universe we perceive to be out there. That's right, perceive. As a sociologist, that is all man does - perceive his reality which is a social reality.

Man takes in information, processes it and through social interaction concludes what it is likely to be; but, not absolutely as man cannot know anything absolutely. Through experience, social experience in a place, man can and does perceive himself and the world round him/her and his/her place in it. We come to conclusions as to what is and what is not and what it means. Yes, meaning is everything and it usurps just about anything you or I can consider as concretely real. It means that when you or I perceive something to be real it happens only through social interaction. In that condition, what we gain in perception we also gain in meaning. When something has meaning and it does only because of social dynamics at work in social interaction, then it becomes something concrete in our mind. It has shape!

For us, the only time it changes shape is when we have additional social interactions whereby social dynamics (subordination/domination) change and we conclude different meaning and when that happens, the shape of something in our mind changes.

This is true for all human groups. That is why the shape of something even something abstract like 'freedom' has a different shape for you and different for me (if we are of different groups) and or any other person outside of one group and or from another. This is true for all things, all ideas and beliefs. Science is only agreement reality and one can say the same about having a Creator.

What we can all agree on is that both science and believers in a God Creator require information; and, that such information has an absolute point of departure 'source' or what we have to conclude which is its existence. If information is treated as real, it has a source. Man does not think of something without social interaction and in our social interaction we find who we are and are not. Why do that at all? That is the question. If we were just plants or lower life forms, we would not ask that kind of question. But, we are not such life forms. Why should we be such life forms, the kind that asks questions? If this were a world organized by itself it would not need anything higher than itself to continue its organization.

It can be argued that man is not higher than a self organizing universe and if that is the case, then man would be a mere animal... so, why does he seek to know his place in the universe? This means that the universe is much more than just a cosmos. If it were, man as we know him/her would not be necessary in such a universe asking questions.

Our perceiving can be argued as just demonstrated concerning 'perception'. But, fundamentally, information has a source. We cannot always pinpoint the source but we know it exists necessarily; otherwise we would not seek its source nor would we be able to. Which leads us to perception of God the Creator. So many ask if God created the universe then who created God.

A number of skeptics ask this question. But God by definition is the uncreated creator of the universe, so the question ‘Who created God?’ is illogical. So, a more sophisticated questioner might ask: ‘If the universe needs a cause, then why doesn’t God need a cause? And if God doesn’t need a cause, why should the universe need a cause?’ In reply, people and especially Christians should use the following reasoning:
  1. Everything which has a beginning has a cause.
  2. The universe has a beginning.
  3. Therefore the universe has a cause.
The universe requires a cause because it had a beginning. God, unlike the universe, had no beginning, so doesn’t need a cause. Taking a look at Einstein’s general relativity, which has much experimental support, shows that time is linked to matter and space. In that theory, we come to the understanding through perception that time along with matter and space have a beginning. Since God, by definition, is the creator of the whole universe, he is the creator of time. Therefore He is not limited by the time dimension He created, so has no beginning in time...therefore He doesn’t have a cause.

In contrast, there is good evidence that the universe had a beginning. This can be shown from the Laws of Thermodynamics, the most fundamental laws of the physical sciences.

  • 1st Law: The total amount of mass-energy in the universe is constant.
  • 2nd Law: The amount of energy available for work is running out, or entropy is increasing to a maximum.
If the total amount of mass-energy is limited, and the amount of usable energy is decreasing, then the universe cannot have existed forever, otherwise it would already have exhausted all usable energy—the ‘heat death’ of the universe. For example, all radioactive atoms would have decayed, every part of the universe would be the same temperature, and no further work would be possible. So the obvious corollary is that the universe began a finite time ago with a lot of usable energy, and is now running down.

Now, what if the questioner accepts that the universe had a beginning, but not that it needs a cause? But it is self-evident that things that begin have a cause—no-one really denies it in his mind. Why? Because, we as created beings understand fundamentally that we were caused to be.  All science and history would collapse if this law of cause and effect were denied. So would all law enforcement, if the police didn’t think they needed to find a cause for a stabbed body or a burgled house. Also, the universe cannot be self-caused—nothing can create itself, because that would mean that it existed before it came into existence, which is a logical absurdity.  

As a sociologist, this is the one truth that most scientists ignore and that is if cause and effect were denied, then all information has no source and has no meaning. But, you say that man gives meaning. I am not saying he does not... but his/her idea of what something means is acquired through social interaction which has a source as Einstein said, There is no such thing as no thing."  That means that someone/thing is providing us with information. The Creator is a plural (three in one) which makes Him a social and eternally social entity.

We could not understand let alone perceive what it means to be social without Him. His program is designed as a social  program and its up and running. All we have to do is follow and be steadfast. In this way, we can be saved and uploaded... if the program rejects the creator, then why should the creator keep it.  Logically, scientifically, it would likely be considered a corrupt program and be permanently deleted.

The Song of Trust in God's Provision ~ "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because He trusts in You" ~ Isaiah 26:4.

'Bolded' text * Source ~http://creation.com/if-god-created-the-universe-then-who-created-god

This same text can be read on the 'social quantum analysis' blog.