"Drug abuse, violent crime, teenage delinquency, family breakdown, welfare dependency, poor urban environments, educational failure, poverty, the loss of traditional values, teenage pregnancy, dysfunctional families, binge drinking, children who kill: all have been cited as proof that we have a broken society."
"For some, the state of society as they see it points towards moral decline and a collapse in community spirit."
"By implication, therefore, policy can help to “mend” it. But the causes of many social problems are unclear and/or disputed, and the evidence that government policy can influence behaviours in the intended direction is patchy at best."
Quotes from "The problems of British society".
Something is happening. Something big is happening. I cover this in other articles on my site (Electric Universe, Breakthru Technologies). But anyone covering the changes might regard the debate as an entirely academic argument. Observers might regard the observations and research as an interesting but sweetly deluded waste of time. They might try and draw attention to the serious problems we have as a society (I write from Great Britain here). Many areas that have high populations have depressed housing estates where there are problems with drug abuse and crime. Serious crime involving the abuse of children by perpetrators acting independently and as part of institutional systems has recently come to light. There seems to be a tendency to discount this kind of behaviour entirely as some people choosing to be evil. Nothing can excuse the actions of those that act abusively towards others or break the law, however that behaviour always has causes. However analysing those causes seems to suffer from a disconnect. Are activists and campaigners lacking the correct tools and information ?
So much in our society is determined by the Scientific outlook. Some would claim that Science has replaced superstition and even Religious ways of looking at the world. That is a debate for another time. Either way we are left with a Science that determines much of the way people look at the world. It's a Science that has much going for it, but it does have its problems. One of them is how to deal with what happens when there are large shifts in Scientific assumptions. This is exactly what is happening right now. That shift could be easy to, as I said above, mistake for a purely academic argument. However that shift has a direct connection with public policy and the assumption about the way people act and what exactly they are as human beings.
These are some of the characters who in their fields have defined and are defining these changes in Science. That new paradigm is an inclusive one when it comes to human beings and their inner life. We only have to look at things like "cultural relativism" and its ilk for signs of a failing paradigm.
"'Behind this line is fine' is fine, says the relativist. 'As long as you keep your opinions to yourself then we'll all get along' But does the relativist stay behind the line when he tells you to?" "That’s true for you, but not for me." (Relativism), Paul Copan.
There a persons perception is only ever "their truth" and not "THE truth". When people cannot agree that they are seeing the same thing, if it be a rock on the beach ... or a comet then we get a disconnect between observation ... and areas like public policy over housing estates. There is rampant cynicism created from the illusions of a failing paradigm ... and conversely the promise of a more healthy one.
The old paradigm created compartmentalisation and a schism between materialistic, reductionist "truth" and peoples everyday experience. They are told either directly or by suggestion that their experience is "not real" or "not of value" due to the materialistic paradigms habit of ...
This creates despair and lack of direction which is excused as "depression" or lack of motivation or vision. Crime is looked at entirely in terms of people doing "bad things" rather than including CAUSES. Many people successfully tackle causes such as poverty or bullying, but due to the Scientific atmosphere, seriously discussing causes that might come from an old out-moded scientific paradigm gets seen as "unrealistic".
The western materialistic paradigm is assumed to be "the best of all possible worlds" ... "west is the best". Investigating alternatives is seen as as "deviant" or "subversive" due to major assumptions made about the now looking increasingly outmoded paradigm. Because research areas such as consciousness studies (Parapsychology and so forth) as well as new physics and cosmology such as Electric Universe cross over into areas deemed to be "archaic", or "superstition" by the old paradigm, those areas get suppressed. But those areas are exactly what we need to be looking at. The "old" paradigm simply swung too far in the other direction, completely obliterating ideas about "God" or Holism. There can be serious problems with a purely Religious or "New Age" led paradigm. So maybe its time for some balance ? After all these issues reach far beyond purely academic discussions in University departments or Physics conferences. Here we reach important issues to do with human welfare, human rights, and how to actually approach solving so many social ills.