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Athiests in AA??

Old 01-20-2007, 12:13 PM
  # 221 (permalink)  
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Hi Zencat

I think that the point that everyone (of any belief) has to remember is that most people in AA screw up and never make it and what they believe about HP does not have anything to do with it. The desire and need to be sober has to be there.

For people that has used HP to stay sober, I can find people that did it without HP.

For people that did not use HP to stay sober, I can find them people that use HP to stay sober.

The problem is a dogma/doctrine that says one group of people are bad.

AB



Originally Posted by zencat View Post
"Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William G. Wilson, page 174.

"At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God..."
The Big Book, William G. Wilson, page 77.


Hey, I just want to recover from alcoholism. It sounds like my prospective recovery is going to be fraught with danger as an atheist. Not very encouraging to me!
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:56 PM
  # 222 (permalink)  
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Hi

I do not know how many people I have seen relapse over and over depending on their HP. Still if they believe in it, it is a great tool, but it is not a absolute law and the statement below is out place by saying that a spiritual experience is the only answer.

AB

"If, when you honestly want to, you find you cannot quit entirely,
or if when drinking, you have little control over the amount you take,
you are probably alcoholic. If that be the case, you may be
suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will
conquer."

~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, We Agnostics, pg. 44~
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:12 PM
  # 223 (permalink)  
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absolutely!

In my 16th year I'm at least an agnostic, and I know plenty of people in AA who don't believe in God. I have a higher power (a tree) and I turn my will over all the time. Keep it simple......you don't have to believe in anything. One day at a time we don't pick up a drink.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:41 PM
  # 224 (permalink)  
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Perhaps we should remember the time period that the book was written.
Because, unless I'm really wrong here, AA was the first "program" to help the alcoholic. So, that last statement Abbadun posted would have been correct - AT THE TIME - for those who did indeed get sober, no?

I do agree it's not so today. But, as an historian, it's important, to me anyway, to keep things in their time. We cannot change yesterday's truths just because they are no longer true today, ya know?

As and example, I'm thinking this will serve.
Once, we couldn't fly to the moon. Today we can.
Once people couldn't get clean and sober without AA. Today, they can.
Does that make sense?

Just don't take the book's content out of it's time period is my real point here.

Shalom!
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:14 AM
  # 225 (permalink)  
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HI HT

Even at the time the books were written the success rate of AA was not that great and historically there has always been people that got sober on their own. AA and HP was never the only way.

As for forgetting the past, we can't AA keeps reusing the same Ole dated thinking from 70+ years ago and expects people not to punch holes in the program.

Ab


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
Perhaps we should remember the time period that the book was written.
Because, unless I'm really wrong here, AA was the first "program" to help the alcoholic. So, that last statement Abbadun posted would have been correct - AT THE TIME - for those who did indeed get sober, no?

I do agree it's not so today. But, as an historian, it's important, to me anyway, to keep things in their time. We cannot change yesterday's truths just because they are no longer true today, ya know?

As and example, I'm thinking this will serve.
Once, we couldn't fly to the moon. Today we can.
Once people couldn't get clean and sober without AA. Today, they can.
Does that make sense?

Just don't take the book's content out of it's time period is my real point here.

Shalom!
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Old 01-24-2007, 02:35 AM
  # 226 (permalink)  
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Well, I guess you can punch holes in the program.
But, you cannot doubt that AA helps many people today, jsut as it did years ago. Too many of our members here are testiment to that reality.

Your original quote, (#222), says only a "you may be
suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will
conquer."
It does not say that AA and HP are the only way. That's what I was responding too. And many, even atheists and certainly agnostics, could agree to that statement today.

I'm not looking to argue. But, I stand by my statement that we have to keep things in their historic place, and not put today's mores and believes onto yesterdays truths.

Personally, I am THRILLED that there are options for people today. The goal is health and serenity. However you get there is irrelevant; getting there is what's important!

Shalom!
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:20 PM
  # 227 (permalink)  
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Hi HT

I am the first to say that AA helps people, but there are also many people that the program fails and it is not because they are defective or imoral people. HP and the 12 Steps simply do not work sometimes, just as selfwill does not work sometimes.

AB


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
Well, I guess you can punch holes in the program.
But, you cannot doubt that AA helps many people today, jsut as it did years ago. Too many of our members here are testiment to that reality.

Your original quote, (#222), says only a "you may be
suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will
conquer."
It does not say that AA and HP are the only way. That's what I was responding too. And many, even atheists and certainly agnostics, could agree to that statement today.

I'm not looking to argue. But, I stand by my statement that we have to keep things in their historic place, and not put today's mores and believes onto yesterdays truths.

Personally, I am THRILLED that there are options for people today. The goal is health and serenity. However you get there is irrelevant; getting there is what's important!

Shalom!
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:22 PM
  # 228 (permalink)  
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If one has a problem with the "God Idea"....I have heard oldtimers suggest GOD Good Orderly Direction
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:33 PM
  # 229 (permalink)  
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Hi

There is quite enough written in AA Texts that show that the HP in AA is not "Good Orderly Direction" or a Doorknob. I have no problem with that and I stick to what works for me.

There are so many of these slippery sayings in AA that are meant to keep the wary newcomer coming until he/she can be turned around.

I am glad that in these modern times people can just do what is right for them.

AB


Originally Posted by thejig View Post
If one has a problem with the "God Idea"....I have heard oldtimers suggest GOD Good Orderly Direction
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:40 PM
  # 230 (permalink)  
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I'm not an athiest, never was. I'm too lazy to be one. But at one time, when I first got sober in AA, I was a very skeptical agnostic.

When someone suggested that my higher power (I don't like that term) could be a light bulb or a doorknob, I thought "geez don't insult my intelligence."

I might be an alcoholic but I'm not an idiot, and any approach to a spiritual way of life, whether it be thiestic or non-thiestic that doesn't challenge a person to stretch their mind and encourage one to think for themselves is pretty shallow, IMO.
Jim
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:05 PM
  # 231 (permalink)  
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Hi Jim

I tell them that I do not worship Doorknobs either

AB


Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
I'm not an athiest, never was. I'm too lazy to be one. But at one time, when I first got sober in AA, I was a very skeptical agnostic.

When someone suggested that my higher power (I don't like that term) could be a light bulb or a doorknob, I thought "geez don't insult my intelligence."

I might be an alcoholic but I'm not an idiot, and any approach to a spiritual way of life, whether it be thiestic or non-thiestic that doesn't challenge a person to stretch their mind and encourage one to think for themselves is pretty shallow, IMO.
Jim
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:17 PM
  # 232 (permalink)  
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Lightbulb

Originally Posted by Abbadun View Post
Hi Jim

I tell them that I do not worship Doorknobs either

AB

Hey AB,
I tell them same thing. And I don't worship lightbulbs either.
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Old 01-25-2007, 05:21 PM
  # 233 (permalink)  
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As an athiest, coming up on two years of sobriety, only through the program of A.A., I'm here to tell you that as long as the h.p. thing is not you, you can make this work. I'm too much the scientist to buy into this god stuff, which the big book is just crammed with . Anybody that tells you that A.A. is NOT a religious based, christian faith based program, is full of s*$t, and does NOT know thier A.A. history. Never mind the judeau/christian god thing, I have, AND have been VERY successful in putting the good stuff to work for me. My h.p. is the quantum nature of the Universe (capital U).....Go figure!!
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:34 AM
  # 234 (permalink)  
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I keep saying, as long as it's "not you", you're in possession of a HP!

What I like about the AA philosophy is that it's cogent. It has internal consistency. The philosophy says - an alcoholic is a self-centred egotist. This is their condition. It is an ontological condition. To address this the alcoholic has to become able to look - to live beyond themselves. They first have to learn that this is possible, and then they have to live this way daily or they can go back to the way they were. I couldn't possibly have decided to make this change, and then undertaken it. The only way for me to undertake the change was through alcoholic crisis. I only have some comprehension of what I went through by looking back on it. I don't expect anyone else to do it because of what I say. But it works, for this alcoholic, in ways that other programmes couldn't have worked - because I couldn't have stopped based upon a rational assessment of my situation. For all the people who can - good on you! Without reservation I am happy that people get sober using SMART or RR or any other programme that encourages a volitional change! AA is, for me, the place where those of us incapable of volitional change end up. I don't doubt that other programmes are cogent too. But they're not - nor do they have to be - cogent to me.

I still don't know if there's a huge cultural thing going on, but here in the UK I don't recognise the portrait of AA that includes things like "slippery sayings" which are there until we can "turn" the newcomer. It's not cogent. It's not consistent with my experience at all.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:52 PM
  # 235 (permalink)  
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hi Paul

AA is off key even when it stereotypes all Alcoholics as being self-centered, nothing in "real life" is as absolute as the scenarios and imagery that the AA doctrine creates. When people do not fit this one mold fits all logic of AA they are not "in need of some controlled drinking" or any of the other "answers" that AA tradition has created.

AB


Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
I keep saying, as long as it's "not you", you're in possession of a HP!

What I like about the AA philosophy is that it's cogent. It has internal consistency. The philosophy says - an alcoholic is a self-centred egotist. This is their condition. It is an ontological condition. To address this the alcoholic has to become able to look - to live beyond themselves. They first have to learn that this is possible, and then they have to live this way daily or they can go back to the way they were. I couldn't possibly have decided to make this change, and then undertaken it. The only way for me to undertake the change was through alcoholic crisis. I only have some comprehension of what I went through by looking back on it. I don't expect anyone else to do it because of what I say. But it works, for this alcoholic, in ways that other programmes couldn't have worked - because I couldn't have stopped based upon a rational assessment of my situation. For all the people who can - good on you! Without reservation I am happy that people get sober using SMART or RR or any other programme that encourages a volitional change! AA is, for me, the place where those of us incapable of volitional change end up. I don't doubt that other programmes are cogent too. But they're not - nor do they have to be - cogent to me.

I still don't know if there's a huge cultural thing going on, but here in the UK I don't recognise the portrait of AA that includes things like "slippery sayings" which are there until we can "turn" the newcomer. It's not cogent. It's not consistent with my experience at all.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:09 PM
  # 236 (permalink)  
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"It does not say that AA and HP are the only way. That's what I was responding too. And many, even atheists and certainly agnostics, could agree to that statement today." HT

"I will center my thoughts on a Higher Power. I will surrender all to his power within me. I will become a soldier for this power, feeling the might of the spiritual army as it exists in my life today. I will allow a wave of spiritual union to connect me through my gratitude, obedience, and discipline to this Higher Power. Let me allow this power to lead me through the orders of the day."
Daily Reflections; A Book of Reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1990, August 27, page 248.

..."we know we have an answer for you. It never fails...
Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!"
-- "A.A. co-founder Doctor Robert Smith, writing in The Big Book, 3rd Edition," Doctor Bob's Nightmare, page 181.

"Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 174.

No it dosent say AA is the only way, it only sounds like it.
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Old 01-27-2007, 01:49 AM
  # 237 (permalink)  
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Zen;
Keep the book in it's day. Otherwise, you're being ahistorical. Already addressed that, remember?

Furthermore, you took my statment out of context. I was refering to a specific statement made directly before my post you quoted. Please be fair when quoting me and others.

I just don't see the purpose of trashing a program that works for many. Just because it doesn't work for some, does not make it worthless. And as we've seen on this thread alone, it works for some atheists too!

But, finally, the issue here is atheists in AA; not why AA doesn't work.

Shalom!
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:40 AM
  # 238 (permalink)  
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There are transcendental HPs and there are functional HPs. Mine is functional. Depending on the day, its either my bike, or the traffic, or me-on-my-bike-on-the-traffic: it’s a very complicated philosophical question...:o). If others in AA don’t get that, fine. I suspect a lot of them don't. I don’t really always “get” their “God” thing either. But as long as there’s a degree of honest respect for the common ground of what we’re experiencing, does it really matter?
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Old 01-27-2007, 11:20 AM
  # 239 (permalink)  
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nope, it doesn't matter

But why let that get in the way of a good argument? Or even a poor argument??
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Old 01-27-2007, 03:55 PM
  # 240 (permalink)  
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ZenCat

This aspect of AA writings is so slipper that a Snake Oil salesperson would be proud.

I am very straightforward in my statements that everyone in AA deserves respect and that include respect in the AA Literature.

AB

Originally Posted by zencat View Post
"It does not say that AA and HP are the only way. That's what I was responding too. And many, even atheists and certainly agnostics, could agree to that statement today." HT

"I will center my thoughts on a Higher Power. I will surrender all to his power within me. I will become a soldier for this power, feeling the might of the spiritual army as it exists in my life today. I will allow a wave of spiritual union to connect me through my gratitude, obedience, and discipline to this Higher Power. Let me allow this power to lead me through the orders of the day."
Daily Reflections; A Book of Reflections by A.A. members for A.A. members, Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1990, August 27, page 248.

..."we know we have an answer for you. It never fails...
Your Heavenly Father will never let you down!"
-- "A.A. co-founder Doctor Robert Smith, writing in The Big Book, 3rd Edition," Doctor Bob's Nightmare, page 181.

"Unless each A.A. member follows to the best of his ability our suggested Twelve Steps to recovery, he almost certainly signs his own death warrant. His drunkenness and dissolution are not penalties inflicted by people in authority; they result from his personal disobedience to spiritual principles."
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, William Wilson, page 174.

No it dosent say AA is the only way, it only sounds like it.
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