Monday, February 16, 2009

Social Construction, the Human, and Outcomes

Social structures are to benefit man in giving a social context. Social context makes meaning out of life. These contexts all have different authoritorial rules that make the groups distinct from one another.

Sometimes social structures can be limiting to human development. These social contexts hinder human flourishing because of their limited viewpoints, understanding, or "world". A human must leave these contexts, so that growth can occur, but it is done sometimes at great costs emotionally. These contexts are the contexts of family, religion, and culture. While family may not necessarily be a "bad" environment, the young adult cannot grow fully without coming to the full realization of "self" apart from familial identities.

Religion is also a limited view on understanding one's "self", as religion contains the ways of understanding God, which impacts ways of viewing life. Ways of viewing life are contained within cultural systems that understand history in certain ways. So, culture is also limiting to understanding a broader view of the world.

While none of the traditional roles of social construction are necessarily bad, they can hinder the fullness of development, if it confines understanding to them. Free societies allow the young adult the ability to learn and grow beyond the intial ways of life in childhood.

Some Christians would believe that this would be anathema to the "gospel" as the "gospel" is about culture, the "right" culture. Culture being the rules of dress, and specified behavior in speicific situations. There is a narrow understanding of life in its vast diversity, and even then, there is a determination to convert other "worlds" into their limited view.

These Christians understand family in ways that do not allow diverse viewpoints, as the parents are to teach what is "right" and the children do not question, but respond in obedient submission. Children in these environments have difficulty leaving their absolute understandings behind because of their enculturation at an early age.

The Muslim woman who wrote a book on her struggle to come out from under the brain washing of her culture within her family talks about this. Even after being educated at a European university, and having a career in government, she struggles with what was engrained on her memory. Cults of all kinds work this way, as they are mind-control ways of social control. These cults have many ways of shaming and controlling their subjects. These subjects are not allowed freedom of expression because the heirarchal leadership hold the reigns of power concerning "rule-breaking". Humans have a herd mentality, for the most part.

Our country seeks to free countries who have repressive regimes, because individuals within these countries suffer. Suffering is not a virtue in American society. Suffering is considered a hinderance to a free person, because suffering means subversion of independence in self-governance.

Self=governance is only useful when character has been formed where the young person has come to understand that his life is one among many. That his convictions, while valid, are considerate of another's different convictions. Free societies can only survive if citizens understand their duty to the nations' "good". The military trains and teaches these concepts of duty, honor and country. The respect for truth telling is evident in West Point's motto, of non-tolerance to those who lie. The military system of respect for authority is one born out of a realization of our country's values that depend upon it. Freedom is not won without sacrifice.

Evil must be resisted, as evil does not quietly die, is not done away with education, or undermined by diplomacy. Evil is determined to subvert, intentional in its goals, and disregarding and disrespectful of anyone who gets in the way. Evil breeds deception, suffering, and intolerance. Evil must be stopped.

So, while social structures are natural means useful for human flourishing, they may hinder human flourishing due to "outcome based" goals that are deterministic, which hinder individual freedom and choice. Outcomes are the goals that subvert independence, and creativity, because they are specified beforehand. Parents who choose their children's vocations, hindering their child's self-determination, get in the way of the child's development. Evil subverts like that and it must be resisted.

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