Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 1

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4[ The original posting date of this was July 30. It was updated with a substantially rewritten version on Oct. 15. ]I had a request for more information on Beta Culture, to help readers better understand where I was going with the idea. Coincidentally, I've been asked to contribute a chapter on the subject to an upcoming book written by Patheos Atheist writers.I worked for weeks to get that chapter-piece complete, to make it so that it introduced the … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 2

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Full Culture Already described above, full cultures cover every aspect of life, providing both game and gameboard for living. They present an elaborate social framework with all the details worked out.In New York state where I live, full cultures include the Amish and Hasidic Judaism. However confining or silly they might look to those of us outside them, from the inside they provide a place of warmth, safety and familiarity, which most would only … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 3

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 Culture’s Gifts The Home-feeling — which I call “Place” — is only one of the assets of a home culture. Cultures also offer Values, Ways and Goals.Values serve as the guides and arbiters of good behavior: Honor your mother and father. Be generous to the less fortunate. Never lie to a child for any reason (which apparently is not a widespread cultural value!).Ways are all the outward physical displays of culture: Wear a cowboy hat and a big silver belt bu … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: New Intro — Part 4

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 The Flaw in Unbelief Compared to religion, atheism is really rather fragile. It has sprung up and died out several times in the U.S. alone. Its recent resurgence is probably due to the existence of the Internet. Outside that, there’s really not a lot to support and preserve it.Here’s the eye-opener I realized a few years back: Under the lash of strong emotions, humans become less intelligent.Scary, right? But true. If the Internet goes down for some rea … [Read more...]

Randall Eades: Culture and Chaos

This guest post by Randall Eades follows an online conversation about Beta Culture. ---------------Okay, I've read enough of your Beta Culture to get an idea of where you're going with it. It's interesting. But before I get into that, I'd like to back up a bit to where we began — the end of the world as we know it— to fill in a little history of my point of view.Twenty-five years ago I read a piece by some science fiction writer in which he described some predictions for the future he … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Culture Itself

In pursuit of my Beta Culture concept, I've been thinking a lot about Culture over the past couple of years, and I've recently been making some interesting connections. I like to think I'm getting close to understanding the meat of it. Here's a recent thought:Your culture offers you Values, Ways, and Place.VALUES are obvious: Honesty is the best policy. People are suckers and deserve what they get. Hard work is the stuff of life. Honor your mother and father. Family above all. Never stop … [Read more...]