Posts Tagged ‘social sciences’

The “Devil” Is In The Details and Delayed Outcomes

December 6, 2012

The “Devil” Is In The Details and Delayed Outcomes

Yes, our thoughts about happiness, freedom, and the right to do what we want, whenever we want,  are pleasant to contemplate. We find it logical that we should be able to do whatever we want with our own bodies, or that of others, so long as they are in consent with what we do together.

We feel so good and excited, immediately, when we act upon such thoughts and plans. Unprincipled politicians who grovel and prostitute themselves are eternally inclined to feed the wants and pleasures of the masses in return for more  votes and personal power .  We construct Political action groups to represent our fondest desires for pleasure and freedom from traditional cultural restraints on our behavior patterns; formerly labeled immoral, unethical, elicit, or vices.

In so many cases, the social sciences have not been able to prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that such behavior patterns are greatly damaging to society. Our traditional moral values are all we have had to protect us from various deadly temptations. The moral precepts of our religions have lost much of their strength to govern the thoughts, voting preferences and personal actions of America’s population.

And so….as our Democratic Republic mutates more  into a thing guided by base licentiousness, we will find that the “devil” is in the details and the delayed outcomes of our increasingly self-centered behavior patterns. I cannot tell you about hell in the after-life, and I do not need to tell you about hell on earth, because we are all beginning to feel what it is becoming in America.

Of course there are many causes for the many painful socioeconomic changes that we have increasingly suffered in America–escalating since the 1960’s.  I judge that certain of our elective cultural changes have been a significant stimulant to various damaging complex causal chains and outcomes. Such chains of cause and effect interact with each other and then fold back upon themselves in synergistic causal cycles, with each passing generation.

My experiences as a professor/researcher and practicing psychologist have given me a perspective that those who work exclusively in these  domains are less likely to gain.

My concerns relate to the following and much more.

No-Fault divorce has wreaked havoc upon the stability of our families and the mental health of our children. From what I can tell, when it comes to marriage, easy out also leads to easy in which leads to more easy outs.

The legalization of pornography has contributed to increasing sexual behavior in our children and youth. It has also contributed to sexual aggression in adults as well as sexually transmitted disease, infidelity in relationships, and  sex crimes against our children.

Closely associated with the deregulation of pornography is the deregulation of profanity and explicit,  florid violence in our entertainment media. Science has clearly demonstrated that flooding a population with violent portrayals will increase rates of violent behavior within that population.

The legalization of gambling has led to a new wave of compulsive/addictive gambling problems.  This has contributed to the instability of families, increasing rates of bankruptcy, the development of compulsive gambling in children, and increasing suicide rates among problem gamblers…as well as many more social woes.

The decision to mix women and men in close combat situations, on ships and in submarines has contributed instability in families, increased separation of primary care-takers from children, and a host of social/sexual problems within our military.

The inclusion of flagrantly homosexual individuals in our military has further increased the number of social/sexual problems with which our military must contend.

Our military must out-perform all other militaries in the world. It must be the very best at killing and intimidating our mortal enemies. Increased energies expended to manage internal family/legal/social/sexual problems is a detriment to our military’s primary mission and our long-term survival.

This nation’s growing welfare programs have directly increased the rate of learned helplessness behavior patterns within our population. This population is increasingly irresponsible, hedonistic, lawless, undereducated, unemployed, and (with few exceptions) shows higher procreation rates than the rest of our population. This segment almost exclusively votes for politicians who will further their useless and socioculturally damaging life-styles. This population of takers will soon outnumber the population of makers.

States are increasingly legalizing marriage between homosexuals. I expect this revolutionary change in humankind’s social structure will significantly increase the costs and stresses upon participating sociocultures. This new practice is likely to increase the rate of homosexual experimentation among our youth.  It must also destroy the core meaning and purpose of marriage (sexual fidelity between husband and wife, procreation and familial stability for children). It will certainly increase the burdens on our legal and court systems with new demands for mediating spousal  abuse, divorces, child custody and visitation disputes. The costs of these problems will be passed on to the population-at-large.

Washington State and Colorado  have recently legalized marijuana. These states look forward to the revenues that they will be able to collect as a result of the new and taxable sales of this addicting substance. With respect to the many problems caused  by the new legal drug, consider this.  The legal drug of alcohol = 1. The legal drug of marijuana= 1. The sum of the damaging effects of these two legal drugs will be greater than 1 + 1 = 2.  The combined damaging effects could well be 4 to 8. The whole of the damage to our socioculture will be greater than the sum of its parts. You can expect increases in polysubstance abuse and dependency; damage to families, children and youth; increased employment, health, industrial problems and transportation accidents; increased demands on law enforcement, jurisprudence, and rehabilitation services and  increased tax money expenditures. The costs of all of this will be passed on to tax paying americans (now only 51-54 percent of the population).

I expect to see legalized prostitution soon. This will bring an increase in its own set of social and economic problems.

The damage from all of  these cultural  changes are catalyzed through the numerous psychological mechanisms of Behavioral Contagion, which I have defined and explained in other blogs under that title. You may wish to look-up Behavioral Contagion in my search window above.

You can be sure that devil is in the details and the damaging delayed consequences of our own behavior.  I fear that America is about to relearn some historically obvious lessons in painful and traumatizing  ways.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology

Health Services Provider in Psychology

The Forces Will Not Wait

September 17, 2009

The Forces Will Not Wait

Few things are either all good or all bad–they are often both. A strength often masks a weakness. A mountainous strength causes an abysmal weakness elsewhere.

One is reminded of the physical law that for every force, there is an equivalent and opposite force. Could this law manifest itself in the psychology of individuals and groups of individuals?

In individual affairs, the logician is often poor at matters of the heart. Those who are ruled by their emotions are frequently impaired by their illogical approaches to problems.

Perhaps this same difficulty can be seen in the methods of modern social sciences.

The “true” social scientist must refrain from taking or advocating action until the action is totally analyzed, its consequences completely understood, and it is tested in conditions which successively approximate the real world.

Social science, which is so strong at leisurely analysis , is frozen in the face of a demand for rapid adaptation. Like the once exquisite dinosaur, social science is presently mired in its own methodological tar pit.

Clearly, it is time to consider what it is we think we have learned after one-hundred years of analysis; it is time to integrate this information into a logical whole; and it is time to quickly make the best social adaptations available at this point in our evolution.

Let us beware of too much analysis and too much cautious vacillation. Individuals who over-indulge in these cognitive modes are frequently diagnosed as suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I believe the same diagnosis can be made of societies that behave in similarly incompetent and self-defeating ways.

The first concrete fact to remember is that individual species that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The second concrete fact to remember is that individual societies that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The forces of natural selection that determine the evolution and life-span of America will watch, but they will not wait.

Billy Budd, 1989

Forces of Natural Selection Will Not Wait

August 6, 2009

Few things are either all good or all bad–they are often both. A strength often masks a weakness. A mountainous strength causes an abyss elsewhere.

One is reminded of the physical law that for every force, there is an equivalent and opposite force. Could this law manifest itself in the psychology of individuals and groups of individuals?

In individual affairs, the logician is often poor at matters of the heart. Those who are ruled by their emotions are frequently impaired by their illogical approaches to problems.

Perhaps this same difficulty can be seen in the methods of modern social sciences.

The “true” social scientist must refrain from taking or advocating action until the action is totally analyzed, its consequences completely understood, and it is tested in conditions which successively approximate the real world.

Social science, which is so strong at leisurely analysis , is frozen in the face of a demand for rapid adaptation. Like the once exquisite dinosaur, social science is presently mired in its own methodological tar pit.

Clearly, it is time to consider what it is we think we have learned after one-hundred years of analysis; it is time to integrate this information into a logical whole; and it is time to quickly make the best social adaptations available at this point in our evolution.

Let us beware of too much analysis and too much cautious vacillation. Individuals who over-indulge in these cognitive modes are frequently diagnosed as suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I believe the same diagnosis can be made of societies that behave in similarly incompetent and self-defeating ways.

The first concrete fact to remember is that individual species that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The second concrete fact to remember is that individual societies that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The forces of natural selection that determine the evolution and life-span of America will watch, but they will not wait.

V. T. Mawhinney

1989


%d bloggers like this: