2. Social Thought Throws Light on Social Problems: No society is free from problems. Any society experiences many types of problems. Social thought usually finds its initial expression during social crisis.
When “social conditions are marked by gross injustices or when social changes come rapidly due to inventions, wars or other basic disturbances, then thinking about social life and problems is highly stimulated and new ideas or systems of ideas, that is, ideologies are originated. ” 3. Social Thought Helps Solve Social Problems: Social thought not only provides information about social problems encountered in different societies and different times but also about the efforts made by these people to solve them. This knowledge can be of great help in solving the problems of our own age.
Indeed, no contemporary social problem can be grasped fully without an extensive knowledge of the social history of thought. 4. Social Thought Helps Common People Also: It is true that “the developing and perfecting of new social ideologies are usually the work of scholars somewhat removed from the turmoil of the hour.” [Bogardus – 8.] But in our practical life, the common people are also involved in fighting against the social problems [such as corruption, divorce, dowry, environment pollution, youth unrest, etc.] 5.
Social Thought has Lessons to Teach: Social thought helps man in rectifying the blunders committed in the past. Both man and society are falliable. Mistakes are committed both at the individual and social level.
These misdeeds or erroneous acts can be rectified by experience. Neither an individual nor any collective group can have all types of experiences. Social thought, indeed, is nothing but a narration of the experience of societies at different points in history.
6. Social Thoughts Influence Our Life, Our Thoughts, Values and Ideologies: Thoughts have tremendous impact on our life and doings. Hence Plato said long back “ideologies rule the world.” J.M. Keynes had recognised this fact when he said: “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else” It is an acknowledged fact today that social thinking has its impact on religious, philosophical, psychological and even physical thinking.
7. The Unfading Influence of the Old Thoughts: In the realm of the physical world normally new knowledge completely dominates the old knowledge and sometimes its traces are washed away. Such a thing does not happen in the realm of social thought. Age old thoughts relating to the subtle topics such as God, ideal conditions of the state, man’s ultimate purpose in life, role of spirituality in life, etc., still hold their sway. Very often we make references to them in our discussions and debates. 8. Old Social Thoughts may give Rise to New Ones: Progress in the field of social sciences does not automatically and inevitably lead to the destruction of the old social thoughts.
On the contrary, many a times, old thoughts may trigger new ones, or new interpretations are given to the old ones. No society finds it relevant to reject out rightly the old thoughts to accept new ones.