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Old 10-03-2009, 07:49 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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This thread went off on a tangent about 12-step-based groups. We have been informed time and again to keep those sorts of comments confined to the secular 12-step forum.

Obviously someone bringing up the subject of a god will talk about said god/gods/whatever...but 12-step related comments here are verboten.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:37 PM
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:21 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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So I finally just got around to reading the actual link in the OP. Pretty interesting. To me, people who believe absolutely that there is no God can be lumped into the same group as people who believe absolutely that there is a God. Neither of them have evidence for their beliefs. Richard Dawkins does make a good point though: intelligence has evolved as species have become more complex and is subject to the laws of physics. Basically, if something intelligent created the world around us, where'd its intelligence come from? To suggest it was just *there* violates the way we understand the world to work. Of course, maybe we don't understand it properly yet. Maybe our intelligence hasn't evolved far enough.

So I don't especially believe in God, but Karen Armstrong made a great point in the first article: cosmology was meant to help deal with the world around us, not explain how it works. By asking religion to conform to science, we ask it to do something it was never meant to do, and probably can't do. Whether that matters is up to you individually.

Now, since this is a recovery forum, put that in the frame of achieving your sobriety goals. However you choose to get and stay sober, maybe there's a little element of Armstrong's argument in it. A particular program works for someone because it helps them make sense of their addiction, the circumstances under which they use, and their plans to remain sober. And in some way it gives them comfort when they are tempted to use. Even in the most strictly rational brain, little traces of Mythos can be found, helping deal with the external environment. And likewise even in the mind of the most deeply religious people, Logos floats around somewhere to analyze the external environment.

That took a long time to write. I wonder if this thread was locked in the meantime?
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:57 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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To me, people who believe absolutely that there is no God can be lumped into the same group as people who believe absolutely that there is a God.

What bothers me is the theme of 'absolutist' thought that permeates both ends of the spectrum.

Ago does make some good points, but is it really necessary to be divisive and create an 'us vs them' mentality here?

I think we are all here for the same reason, aren't we? Sometimes it's good just to subjugate our egos, take a step back, and try to respect what the other person is saying...even if we think they are an idiot.

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Old 10-04-2009, 03:13 AM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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Discussions of 12 step programs are off topic for this forum.

Here is the forum description.

Secular Connections
Alternatives to 12 Step Recovery
LifeRing-Smart-SOS, CBT, Problem Solving, Self Management, Self-Empowerment, Rational Thinking, Positive Lifestyle Changes, Self Assessment, Commitment and Follow-Through, Self-Acceptance, Motives and Goals, Peer Support.
12 Step Programs are off topic for this forum and posts discussing 12 Step Programs will be removed. Please use the Secular 12 Step Forum for positive topics on Secular 12 Step Recovery.

Use the Secular 12 step forum for those topics.

If you want to discuss the different reasons that you don't believe in a God in a respectful way that's fine. Debating that there is a God on this forum is off topic. We have a Christian forum and a Spirituality forum for those topics. This is a safe place for secular members to discuss their beliefs and recovery issues.

There are also members who use this forum who do believe in a higher power, but use secular recovery. We need to be respectful and keep them in mind also.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:19 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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MG, so is it wrong for me to even say I am in AA? My only mention of AA was to say that I am in AA and an atheist.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:28 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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I'm hoping Alera will see this soon and be able to answer your question. I don't want to give an answer because she might see it differently than I do and she is the moderator of the forum.
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Old 10-04-2009, 03:29 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by morning glory View Post
i'm hoping alera will see this soon and be able to answer your question. I don't want to give an answer because she might see it differently than i do and she is the moderator of the forum.
ok.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:22 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Has anyone seen my marbles? I appear to have lost them
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:10 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Hey ago I have just read a post from you telling someone who had posted in the 12 step forum that they had no place there and should post somewhere else

Do you ever take your own advice ?
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:06 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
So I finally just got around to reading the actual link in the OP. Pretty interesting. To me, people who believe absolutely that there is no God can be lumped into the same group as people who believe absolutely that there is a God. Neither of them have evidence for their beliefs.
The difference being that in one case, no evidence that a thing exists ends in the conclusion that the thing exists. In the other case, no evidence that a thing exists ends in the conclusion that the thing does not exist. My beliefs are grounded in the lack of evidence, as surely as my belief that Russell's teapot is not orbiting the sun. To put it in more serious terms, my lack of belief that there were WMD in Iraq was based on the lack of evidence of WMD in Iraq.

Richard Dawkins does make a good point though: intelligence has evolved as species have become more complex and is subject to the laws of physics. Basically, if something intelligent created the world around us, where'd its intelligence come from? To suggest it was just *there* violates the way we understand the world to work.
Dawkins is restating a theme from a slightly different angle. Proclaiming the existence of god simply leads to a more complicated question: Where did god come from?

Of course, maybe we don't understand it properly yet. Maybe our intelligence hasn't evolved far enough.
It's possible (can't disprove a negative), but I suspect we haven't evolved far enough to let go of the comfort religious belief brings people. I think that human beings are fearful critters who don't want to die - nothing illogical about that. These giant brains developed a wonderful mechanism for managing that fear - our imaginations. I can't not love that very adaptable and astonishingly unique evolutionary trait, but it can (and has) gotten away from us with destructive results.

On the one hand, I discovered the show "Heroes" recently during my long nights, and I love it. It's a great escape - lots of opportunity to explore hope, fear, defeat and triumph though the safety of fiction. On the other hand, really believing that the fiction is real, or could be real, is a frightening prospect. The election of a U.S. President who took biblical prophesy seriously was simply terrifying to me.

So I don't especially believe in God, but Karen Armstrong made a great point in the first article: cosmology was meant to help deal with the world around us, not explain how it works. By asking religion to conform to science, we ask it to do something it was never meant to do, and probably can't do. Whether that matters is up to you individually.
Actually, I think that religion in general was meant to explain the origin of world, the origin of human beings and the numerous natural events that people experienced but could neither control nor explain. Religion was science. For many people, it still is. It is not the fault of science that science has been, and still is, perceived as a threat to religious beliefs. Conforming to belief is a characteristic of religion. Science is skepticism. I think it is fair to demand that religious adherents provide evidence when those adherents make statements such as this:

YouTube - Fox News shows murder and blames it on the godless

Now, since this is a recovery forum, put that in the frame of achieving your sobriety goals. However you choose to get and stay sober, maybe there's a little element of Armstrong's argument in it. A particular program works for someone because it helps them make sense of their addiction, the circumstances under which they use, and their plans to remain sober. And in some way it gives them comfort when they are tempted to use. Even in the most strictly rational brain, little traces of Mythos can be found, helping deal with the external environment. And likewise even in the mind of the most deeply religious people, Logos floats around somewhere to analyze the external environment.
Is there any harm in Linus's security blanket if the blanket actually provides comfort for Linus? No, but Linus's blanket does not attempt to describe the world, its origins or dictate moral behavior. Linus's blanket does not require Linus to ignore evidence in favor of myth, abandon critical thinking or attack other blankets. It hasn't been trying to designate who has the right to marry, or trying to control stem cell research, and no war was ever waged in its name. Linus's blanket does not offer the promise of life after death in exchange for loyalty, does not discriminate against anyone for any reason and is not an anchor for FOX news. Possession of Linus's blanket is not insisted upon as a prerequisite for holding public office, and it does not care to try to compete with science. I have no problem with Linus's blanket.

That took a long time to write. I wonder if this thread was locked in the meantime?
Me too.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:24 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by allport View Post
Hey ago I have just read a post from you telling someone who had posted in the 12 step forum that they had no place there and should post somewhere else

Do you ever take your own advice ?
evidently not

welcoming little corner of SR you have here, I didn't bring up the VERBOTEN subject, my entire contribution was wondering what part of the discussion was off-topic, whether it was the original topic or the responses, which seemed on topic because quite frankly I found the article amusing and was following the ensuing discussion, since the anthropomorphizing of God has amused me greatly since I could read, I consider it the single most vast self centered man thing has ever done in a history of self centered idiotic behavior which included systematically destroying Mother Earth, was creating a God in his own image.

I will leave you to your forum, I am sorry I caused any disturbance, as an atheist and a person of non religious orientation I felt I "qualified" to be here, but evidently was unaware of the "Party Line" and the fact that there were actually subjects that were absolutely not allowed to even be mentioned here.

I was also unaware that merely asking questions would be considered offensive and would make me the subject of some pretty nasty attacks, which I actually responded to with humor, so once again, I leave you to your forum, be well
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:38 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Ago you may be an atheist but your recovery is in no way secular and you know it.

I don't know why you came here but I suspect it was to cause a little bit of trouble, if it was you failed
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:50 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Ago View Post
evidently not

I will leave you to your forum, I am sorry I caused any disturbance, as an atheist and a person of non religious orientation I felt I "qualified" to be here
I've been formally "warned" about my posts and - despite the enormity of my hurt feelings - I came to realize that the warning had nothing to do with my beliefs, which are no "qualification" to post here or on any other forum. It had to do with failing to behave in civil fashion and failing to avoid making personal attacks . . . oh yes, and making a statement about a recovery group that has multiple forums already dedicated to that very subject.

There is no party line, no cabal and no conspiracy against you.

Your "sig line" diet sounds really unhealthy and not very tasty. Try this:

Country Apple Dumplings - All Recipes

It's terribly unhealthy but it is very tasty.

Last edited by mistycshore; 10-04-2009 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:56 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I've read a few books by Dawkins, and I enjoy his witty writing style. Matter of fact, I recently ordered his newest release, Greatest Show on Earth is the title (I think . . . ) Anyway, it hasn't arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

However, I found Karen Armstrong's short essay equally compelling. I completely agree with this:

what we call "God" is merely a symbol that points beyond itself to an indescribable transcendence, whose existence cannot be proved but is only intuited by means of spiritual exercises and a compassionate lifestyle that enable us to cultivate new capacities of mind and heart.
That very much agrees with my own spiritual journey, and by Webster's standards, I am an atheist.

I think what happens is that there are many grey areas within the spectrum of atheists and believers. Say there was some scale to chart faith or the lack of it. If atheist is 0, agnostic 10, and your most fanatical fundamentalist a 20then there's quite a bit of elbow room in between.

I'm interested to hear more of Armstrong's thoughts on this matter, so I ordered her book. Maybe I'll read her and Dawkins side by side, just to amuse myself.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:57 AM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by allport View Post
Ago you may be an atheist but your recovery is in no way secular and you know it.

I don't know why you came here but I suspect it was to cause a little bit of trouble, if it was you failed
I repeat, it was NOT to create trouble THE SUBJECT MATTER INTERESTED ME why is that so hard to understand?

My 'recovery' is ABSOLUTELY secular, in that it entirely rejects religion, and an anthropomorphic God, I just happen to have an open mind in discussing ALL topics, it just so happens it's forbidden to discuss some of my views here, which you will note I AM NOT THE ONE WHO BROUGHT THEM UP AND STILL HAVEN'T here.

So I am unwelcome here just because of the program of recovery I practice although I have never once mentioned it here? not once. Why don't you just reject me on my skin color while you are at it, I mean lets get honest shall we?

I didn't come here to cause trouble, I do apologize if that's how it appeared, and I was unaware that by simply asking what portion of this subject was off-topic that would be considered "trouble-making"

I wasn't aware that asking questions and asking for clarification would have caused such a large rumpus, I wasn't aware that asking questions or following a topic I found interesting was discouraged here.

It won't happen again, I assure you.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:00 PM
  # 37 (permalink)  
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I think what happens is that there are many grey areas within the spectrum of atheists and believers.

Exactly!

Unfortunately, some get so wrapped up in their version or definitions that they tend towards the extremes.

While 'moderation' is a dangerous concept when applied to addiction, it is a wonderful tool to apply to thoughts, ideas, and other conceptualizations of the abstract.
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Old 10-04-2009, 12:06 PM
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You keep saying it won't happen again and yet here you are

Relax I'm kidding

Sorry to everyone if I have been a bit objectionable but I'm human and I get goaded into behaving badly sometimes.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:07 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by stone View Post
I did not attack you.
Stone, call it what you will.

I replied to the article and rather than addressing my points, you replied with off-topic attacks of what you seemed to percieve my beliefs were.

That amounts to an Ad Hominem attack as I see it.

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Old 10-04-2009, 01:13 PM
  # 40 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by allport View Post
Forget god (and how I wish you all would) my point was that that a discussion that involves any 12 step program is not appropriate for this forum.
I completely agree.

The only reason I brought up the 12-steps was in response to Stone saying, "Believing in god may help your recovery, but it does not prove that a god exists."

His response is to an argument that I never made in the first place. LOL

Reguardless, it's not my intention to try to foist the 12-steps on anybody in this base and I would not have even mentioned it had it not beeen for Stone's off-topic Ad Hominem.

Morning Glory's post was right on.

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