Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

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Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
It's a central theme here that women are the problem. I fanatically agree with this notion. However in review of the traditional societies that are often championed here like Amish, Hasidic Jews, ect. It's become clear that none of these societies maintain high quality women, without also placing very strict standards on their men.

Let's take clothing for an example to start this discussion. It's obvious that modesty is chiefly applied to women, or at least thought of as being "chiefly applied to women". I have a straightforward conception of what modesty should be for women. This includes long dresses, none-shapely clothing, a good amount of skin coverage and something to cover hair. Yet I'm at a loss for words, for how to even define or approach a similar value for men. Someone's initial response may be "men don't need to be modest" or "who cares how men dress". My response to that is I know of no arrangement, whereby modestly dressed women live with men like this:



I don't think we can improve women without improving ourselves. I think improving ourselves means fostering our own version of masculinity separate from the bastardized omega "alpha" that plagues society today. Similarly I think improving ourselves means finding a moral system to make us good men in general.
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

fschmidt
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Of course I agree, but I would go even further.  In really successful groups, the dress code for men is even more strict and uniform than it is for women.  This makes sense for a few reasons.  First, men shouldn't really care about how they dress, so should feel less resistance to following a dress code than women would.  By dressing the same, men create a feeling of unity among themselves and a feeling of being apart from other cultures that dress differently.  This also has an impact on women who then can clearly identify the men that belong to the group.  I would like to see this happen with CoAlpha eventually.

Oddly enough, I am not that concerned about morality right now since I think men who are likely to be interested in CoAlpha are likely to be moral enough.  I am more concerned about behavior patterns and the general tendency of modern men to not be action oriented, and so do nothing.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
By dressing the same, men create a feeling of unity among themselves and a feeling of being apart from other cultures that dress differently.
 

Yes, dressing the same builds cohesion. Which is exactly why the military employs it.

fschmidt wrote
I would like to see this happen with CoAlpha eventually.
How can we apply this idea without conflicting with different customs? This is the problem I see. Let's suppose we recruit people from America, China, India, Middle East, ect. Everyone will come from a different background, which has dressing customs that reflect their local region.

The only way I see ourselves creating a dress code is if the dress code is sophisticated enough to blend in with multiple backgrounds. This can be achieved by employing small ornaments like an armband, ring, hat, ect, that don't overpower people's local fashions.

The other way would be to force people to give up their local customs. This has it's pros and cons. This is part of what I was getting at in On Jews And Free Masons. It's basically a question of cohesion vs individuality.

fschmidt wrote
This also has an impact on women who then can clearly identify the men that belong to the group.
Something I didn't think of.

fschmidt wrote
Oddly enough, I am not that concerned about morality right now since I think men who are likely to be interested in CoAlpha are likely to be moral enough.  I am more concerned about behavior patterns and the general tendency of modern men to not be action oriented, and so do nothing.
Bad apples are likely to be turned away from CoAlpha. But I think part of creating a CoAlpha community, is to rely on men in a wide variety of ways. For example let's say we let a member in our community who agreed to not sleep with other men's wives. Yet in every other way he was morally bankrupt. For instance he'd steal, bully people, disrespect others, lie, ect.
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

fschmidt
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We are a long way from these issues, but on men's dress, yes maybe instead of a strict dress code, there could just be some identifying symbol.  For example, the Jewish yarmulke/kippah serves this purpose.  But then that leaves room for guys dressed like the guy in your original post.  In some ways, a dress code for women is easier because all that is required is to restrict what is revealed.  The Orthodox Jewish rule of not revealing from the collarbone to the knees is what I use for my daughter.  For men, it isn't about what is revealed.  The only obvious rule that I can think of for men is no tattoos.

For throwing someone out of CoAlpha, it isn't required that they break the rules.  Only that 2/3 vote him out.  That should take care of the case you mentioned.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
The only obvious rule that I can think of for men is no tattoos.
Here's the basic problem I see: Conservative/traditional customs aren't universally the same. What we think are "conservative/traditional" customs, may in fact just be "western conservative/traditional customs".

For example look at Mehndi tattoos:



Or Polynesian Tattoos:



Both of these tattoos are deeply ingrained parts of traditional cultures.

As much as our goal is to create "an alternative subculture based on patriarchical values", we have to come to grips with the fact that within our "alternative subculture", we'll have additional ethnic "sub cultures". These ethnic sub cultures may clash on many issues. It will be a difficult task to incorporate many different ethnic cultures under one single "alternative culture". If our alternative culture is too centralized and rigid, we will alienate certain ethnic people. If we're too open, our organization will be meaningless and ineffective. This is why I felt the Freemason model was brilliant. The Freemason model is very open, yet still manages to retain organizational cohesion.
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

fschmidt
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The swastika had many different historical meanings in different cultures, but since the 1930s it has generally been associated with Nazism which has made it largely unacceptable.  Tattoos are a similar story, now widely being associated with bad-boy culture.  Everything in life is a compromise and if we lose a few obscure groups in order to distance ourselves from bad-boy culture, that seems like a reasonable compromise to me.  The Freemasons require a belief in God, which seems to me to be a more stifling requirement than no tattoos.  I am not proposing banning tattoos at this point, but I do want to push the idea of sensible compromises.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
The swastika had many different historical meanings in different cultures, but since the 1930s it has generally been associated with Nazism which has made it largely unacceptable.  Tattoos are a similar story, now widely being associated with bad-boy culture.  Everything in life is a compromise and if we lose a few obscure groups in order to distance ourselves from bad-boy culture, that seems like a reasonable compromise to me.  The Freemasons require a belief in God, which seems to me to be a more stifling requirement than no tattoos.  I am not proposing banning tattoos at this point, but I do want to push the idea of sensible compromises.
My concern is we're unknowingly applying western values to all members, some of whom will still be good candidates but have non-western practices, which will clash with our western values.

A much simpler example is beards. Are beards good or bad? Under Hasidic culture they're considered good. Yet in American society an unshaven beard has come to be associated with thugs, badboys, ect.

Freemasons particular rules aren't my concern, it's just their approach. They're able to shelter many different faiths under a single banner. This differs from Hasidic Jews whom require practicing only one single faith. If we can tweak the Freemason model, I think it applies better to our members than the Hasidic Jew model. We need a model that's flexible enough to shelter many different ethnicitys under one single banner.
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

fschmidt
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I think the best argument against a rule about tattoos is that it isn't needed.  I would vote against membership of anyone who has a tattoo and I would urge others to do the same.  No rule needed.  Too many rules make things inflexible.

The core of the Freemason idea is secrecy, so of course a dress code wouldn't fit their model.  I don't like the secrecy model.  At some point I think requiring all members to wear some identifying symbol would be a good idea, but we are far from that.

Here is a related question.  The seven laws of Noah include a prohibition of blasphemy.  I have been thinking about the laws of Noah as being useful to us, especially if we want to attract religious people.  But this may upset some atheists.  What would you think of a rule against blasphemy (cursing God)?
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
The core of the Freemason idea is secrecy, so of course a dress code wouldn't fit their model.  I don't like the secrecy model.  At some point I think requiring all members to wear some identifying symbol would be a good idea, but we are far from that.
By Freemason model, I mean their tolerance of different religions and their policy of not discussing politics or religion in lodges. This allows people of opposing views to be members of the same organization.

fschmidt wrote
Here is a related question.  The seven laws of Noah include a prohibition of blasphemy.  I have been thinking about the laws of Noah as being useful to us, especially if we want to attract religious people.  But this may upset some atheists.  What would you think of a rule against blasphemy (cursing God)?
If the point of the rule is to attract religious people, I think it serves it's purpose. I don't think a rule against blaspheming god will be hard on atheists, because not cursing god doesn't require acknowledgment of a god anymore than cursing god does. I would think an atheist would consider it a concession to curse god, because that's a form of acknowledgment.

I think the bigger problem will be integrating different religions plus atheism under one single roof. The question is what type of framework do we need to successfully house Christianity, Jewdism, Islam, Budhism, atheism, ect, all under one roof? Freemasonry addresses this conflict by forbidding discussion of religion and politics in lodges.

I've thought a lot about the role of religion or a pseudo religion being incorporated into CoAlpha Brotherhood. I have an idea of what needs to happen, but this idea is based on fantasy and may be pure fluff. The idea I've been toying with goes something like this: we need to harvest the power of religion into a secular format. We need to break down the mental mechanisms that enable religion and recode these in secular terms.

Harvesting the power of religion would start with an investigation into what gives religion power. Off the top of my head it's a) a belief in an omnipotent father figure who provides unconditional love and protection, b) an afterlife, c) an absolute right and wrong. Once we identify the list of mental mechanisms that make up religion, we'd find corresponding examples in secularism that can serve as surrogates. Like I said, this is probably pure fluff.

The main reason I think we need to discover the mechanism of religion is because I think women need religion. Men can do without religion. But if women need religion, then this means as a couple, a wife's religious practice will be best enforced by her husband also practicing whatever she's practicing.
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

fschmidt
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First on Freemasons, consider the point that Freemasonry isn't a stand-alone culture but is meant to complement existing culture.  Freemasons were very actively involved in mainstream culture.  We are aiming for something quite different, a stand-alone culture.  I am not sure what this difference requires, but I suspect that if we are successful, we will have to address issues like proper dress, religion, and other things.

Now about the purpose of God, I think I can answer that.  God is the virtual alpha-male of the tribe.  It is a natural primate instinct to follow an alpha for most males (except pure co-alphas) and all females.  It is far better to have a virtual alpha that doesn't exist and therefore cannot abuse power, than to have real alpha who will most likely be a tyrant.  So belief in God reduces the likelihood of tyranny.  I honestly can't see a good secular alternative to God, so I strongly support belief in God for most people.  I think that instead of looking for an alternative to religion, we need to think about how we can get atheism and monotheism to complement each other.  To give an example, I talked to Buddhist monks in Tibet about all the minor Gods that the common people worship.  The monks don't believe in any of that, but they believe that these minor Gods are good for the people, so they support this and they build temples for these Gods to satisfy the people.  This is the kind of attitude we need to instill in CoAlpha atheists, to get them to support religion.  At the same time, we need to encourage a slight modification in religious believers to be more tolerant of atheists.  To really figure all this out, we need to get a strongly religious member and include him in this discussion.
Following the Old Testament, not evil modern culture
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Re: Can We Achieve Our Goals Without Improving Ourselves?

Drealm
fschmidt wrote
First on Freemasons, consider the point that Freemasonry isn't a stand-alone culture but is meant to complement existing culture.  Freemasons were very actively involved in mainstream culture.  We are aiming for something quite different, a stand-alone culture.  I am not sure what this difference requires, but I suspect that if we are successful, we will have to address issues like proper dress, religion, and other things.
I think this means we need to purge cultures. People will need to make sacrifices in order for our greater mission to survive.

fschmidt wrote
Now about the purpose of God, I think I can answer that.  God is the virtual alpha-male of the tribe.  It is a natural primate instinct to follow an alpha for most males (except pure co-alphas) and all females.  It is far better to have a virtual alpha that doesn't exist and therefore cannot abuse power, than to have real alpha who will most likely be a tyrant.  So belief in God reduces the likelihood of tyranny.  I honestly can't see a good secular alternative to God, so I strongly support belief in God for most people.
 

God described as a "virtual" alpha male is a good explanation. I support belief in god for most people also. My desire to find a surrogate to god, is not aimed at religious folks, but rather atheists whom want the benefits of religion but find religion mentally irreconcilable with atheism in their personal lives. I also don't currently see any good secular alternatives to god.

fschmidt wrote
I think that instead of looking for an alternative to religion, we need to think about how we can get atheism and monotheism to complement each other.  To give an example, I talked to Buddhist monks in Tibet about all the minor Gods that the common people worship.  The monks don't believe in any of that, but they believe that these minor Gods are good for the people, so they support this and they build temples for these Gods to satisfy the people.  This is the kind of attitude we need to instill in CoAlpha atheists, to get them to support religion.  At the same time, we need to encourage a slight modification in religious believers to be more tolerant of atheists.  To really figure all this out, we need to get a strongly religious member and include him in this discussion.
Being tolerant of religion by restricting certain actions (blasphemy), seems easy to me to achieve. The problem only comes when people need to make concessions to their personal beliefs. Maybe I have an easier time being tolerant towards religion. I think militant atheists are the only ones whom find working with religious people irreconcilable.