Monday, May 23, 2005

Just for the Record...

From time to time, people like to take cheap shots at people. For whatever reason, people think it's necessary to put others down for no reason. Not that I care to address peoples' opinions of myself, but I simply cannot stand by and let people believe that I'm a "ditz" or have nothing of particular value to say... that my brain is some void personified by vapid stares, swathed in Hollywood gossip and cute clothes. For those people that doubt the validity of my "smart chick" claims, I present to you some thoughts I had over the weekend, and challenge you to have some thoughts of your own. For some, this is a boring post, and tomorrow I'll get back to something more entertaining. Until then... I ran across this paper from college, and decided to add a few things to it, and possibly publish it somewhere. If not somewhere, then here, because at least then it's out there. Consequently, I present to you my Sunday morning thoughts on how Man is essentially a social product (maybe the meanies will learn something!), based upon some claims made by myself in an essay written April 30, 1997.

Society is a human product. Society is an objective reality. Man is therefore a social product.
In order to fully understand the claim that Man is a social product, a few terms must be defined. According to Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, human means "susceptible to or representative of the sympathies and frailties of human nature." Society is "an enduring and cooperating social group whose members have developed organized patterns of relationships through interaction with one another." Because we are susceptible to human nature and are therefore involved in relationships, man is a social product created to perpetuate the success of society. This propagation of man, by man, is achieved through conscious recognition, or reality.

Without something called "logic," it would be impossible for man to comprehend any type of reality. In order to continue as people in society, we realize that we do exist, as this "reflective consciousness superimposes the quality of logic on the institutional order." (Berger & Luckman, 64) Basically, because we are human and living in a collective society, we are able to reflect upon our existence and therefore live harmoniously in our self-created societies. This is why we have people who deviate from society and commit crimes against society. They do not develop the ability to fully rationalize, and therefore cannot logically comprehend what they must do in order to exist along with everyone else.

If a person understands their place in society, is is assumed they have a certain amount of knowledge. In turn, they become socially acceptable. "Since the well-socialized individual 'knows' that his social world is a consistent whole, he will be constrained to explain both its functioning and malfunctioning in terms of his 'knowledge.'"(64) Knowledge is a learned function defined by the society of which a person belongs. If people do not have general knowledge of how society works, they generally end up in a system of sorts, with the hopes of relearning how society works. The goal is these people can learn to become a product of society in order to exist, though without further discussing the problems in our prison systems, many times hardened criminals cannot be rehabilitated...

I could continue, but since this was mainly a coffeehouse daydream, I figure this is sufficient. On purpose, I left no conclusion. However, if anybody is wanting to challenge my claim that I am not, in the immortal words of Cher in "Clueless," a "ditz with a credit card," I urge you to buy me a double hazelnut latte, skim milk, and sit down for a little debate. Oh, and I paid my way through school with a scholarship split between the newspaper and debate team, so it's up to you. Now that we all have nothing to prove, wouldn't we all rather read more of the "fun posts?"