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Athiests in AA??

Old 01-27-2007, 05:01 PM
  # 241 (permalink)  
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Hi HT

Just because the program works for some does not mean that it is right or ethical or moral. There are many organizations in this world that work for some, this is no way to validate a organization. Judge a organization by its statements and beliefs. Using this standard AA (Its teachings) is often unethical, nasty and out of date.

AB


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
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, 06:02 PM
  # 242 (permalink)  
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Well, I guess I agree to totally disagree with you.
I see NOTHING unethical or immoral about any of the AA teachings.
Although I agree it's not the "only" way -- TODAY.
Once it was; and we ought to be very greatful that someone, once believed that drunks could get better. Remember there was a time when people just gave up on those human beings.
So, no. I see NOTHING immoral or unethical at all.
We'll just leave it at an agreement to disagree, ok?

Shalom!
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:27 PM
  # 243 (permalink)  
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A gentle reminder, please:
http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...7-welcome.html
... Posts that flame or mock another recovery method, spiritual belief, sexual preference, race, disability, mental illness, moderator, or member etc.. are inappropriate....
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:45 PM
  # 244 (permalink)  
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unethical, nasty and out of date.
1. Surrender
2. Hope
3. Commitment
4. Honesty
5. Truth
6. Willingness
7. Humility
8. Reflection.
9. Amendment
10. Vigilance
11. Attunement
12. Service

What about these is unethical, nasty or out of date.
Am I missing something here ?
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Old 01-28-2007, 04:34 AM
  # 245 (permalink)  
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I would request - once more - that this thread get back to the topic;
Atheists in AA.

The statements bashing AA - or ANY method of getting clean and sober - are not welcomed here. At all. Thanks for your attention to the rules.

Getoverit;
As an atheist, successful in AA, how do you manage your sobriety?

I have been to alanon. It's supposed to be a spiritual program but, it is very Christian based indeed. As a result, I stay silent when it comes to communal prayers about Jesus. But, when individual members speak of Jesus as their HP, I listen respectfully. I don't have to agree. Take what we need...ya know?

Of course, as an individual, I certainly have the right to go to the chair, or to a meeting, and request that a more generic communal sharing be offered. I can request a group conscience be held on the matter. I can leave and find another group if that fails. There's many options for me.

How do YOU manage? I'm honestly interested, and think you may have a lot to offer. Many people live in areas where AA is still the only option.

Shalom!

Last edited by historyteach; 01-28-2007 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:15 AM
  # 246 (permalink)  
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Hi HT

AA was never the only way even in 1935 there were then plenty of people who quit on their own or used the Church or used some other means to quit.

These absolute scenarios of AA have never been true.

AB


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
Well, I guess I agree to totally disagree with you.
I see NOTHING unethical or immoral about any of the AA teachings.
Although I agree it's not the "only" way -- TODAY.
Once it was; and we ought to be very greatful that someone, once believed that drunks could get better. Remember there was a time when people just gave up on those human beings.
So, no. I see NOTHING immoral or unethical at all.
We'll just leave it at an agreement to disagree, ok?

Shalom!
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:17 AM
  # 247 (permalink)  
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HT

How can you discuss Atheists in AA without addressing AA's teaching about Atheists?

This is not AA bashing, but discussion about what AA teaches daily even today

AB

Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
I would request - once more - that this thread get back to the topic;
Atheists in AA.

The statements bashing AA - or ANY method of getting clean and sober - are not welcomed here. At all. Thanks for your attention to the rules.

Getoverit;
As an atheist, successful in AA, how do you manage your sobriety?

I have been to alanon. It's supposed to be a spiritual program but, it is very Christian based indeed. As a result, I stay silent when it comes to communal prayers about Jesus. But, when individual members speak of Jesus as their HP, I listen respectfully. I don't have to agree. Take what we need...ya know?

Of course, as an individual, I certainly have the right to go to the chair, or to a meeting, and request that a more generic communal sharing be offered. I can request a group conscience be held on the matter. I can leave and find another group if that fails. There's many options for me.

How do YOU manage? I'm honestly interested, and think you may have a lot to offer. Many people live in areas where AA is still the only option.

Shalom!
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:24 AM
  # 248 (permalink)  
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Hi GP

I think of AA's Prejudiced words and statements like these:

1. belligerent
2. savage
3. plagued by fancied self-sufficiency
4. prejudiced
5. defiance
6. militant
7. lacking honestly
8. close minded
9. intolerance
10. lacking Willingness
11. lacking open mindedness
12. having intellectual pride
13. cynical
14. when we might have observed that many spiritually-minded persons of all races, colors, and creeds were demonstrating a degree of stability, happiness and usefulness which we should have sought ourselves......
15. we thought of ourselves as the alpha and the omega, the beginning and end of all.

To condemn a group of people not on their actions but a single belief is prejudice at the extreme.

AB


Originally Posted by GlassPrisoner View Post

1. Surrender
2. Hope
3. Commitment
4. Honesty
5. Truth
6. Willingness
7. Humility
8. Reflection.
9. Amendment
10. Vigilance
11. Attunement
12. Service

What about these is unethical, nasty or out of date.
Am I missing something here ?
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:31 AM
  # 249 (permalink)  
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Hi HT

As I said before much of AA's statements are so slippery that it is hard to reply efficiently to them.

Some Atheists may believe that you need a spiritual experience to become sober, but AA's use of "Spiritual Experience" is not what most Atheists would agree on. In real life a cigar is just a cigar, but in AA as we know a doorknob is not just a doorknob!!

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 01-28-2007, 07:32 AM
  # 250 (permalink)  
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I've not posted on this thread until now because even though an atheist, I've chosen not to participate in AA.

There's a lot of things I like about the AA program that is not available in most areas for others notably the group participation.

I've read most of the big book. It seems to me that when it was written it was the authors' attempt to help as many struggling alcoholics as he could by sharing what worked for them. Thats exactly why I participate here, to read how other alcoholics deal with their issues in the hope that it will keep me sober. And it has, for which I am very grateful.

I really doubt that when the book was written the authors had an agenda to belittle atheists or other non christian groups. It was in the spirit of helping all people with an alcohol addiction.

Ab, please share with us how you've managed to stay sober, especially if you've participated in AA. This information could turn this into a valuable thread instead of one which is going absolutely nowhere.

The quotes from the big book have been read by all now, I think. No need to keep bringing them up. The original poster asked how one could use AA even in a secular way and there were a lot of insightful responses. It would be a shame if this thread were locked and sent to the bottom.

Just my thoughts.

Ron
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Old 01-28-2007, 02:08 PM
  # 251 (permalink)  
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Hi Ron

I have tried not to focus on the Founder’s intentions, we have no idea if they were truly for good or bad, we only have what is left to us and we can only judge what is written on the literature pages. I am not asking one to judge if the intent of the Founders was to help or hurt Atheists, just look at what they wrote and judge that by today’s standards because it is taught daily in meetings in today’s world not just 70+ years ago.

The need to focus on the worse of AA is because it is still being taught as if it was something of excellence.

Oddly enough all these problems in AA did help keep me in AA and sober. Once I recoginized that so much of the foundations were simply wrong or not fair/honest, I could then focus on what AA had to keep a person sober. Fellowship with other addicted people is one, newcomers who can be like the Forrest Gump of recovery is another and that what is in the foundation and based on wisdom from the ages is a third. An example is “one day at a time”, you can trace that back to early Greece.

The BS in the foundations is simply BS thought up by the founders.

Even-though I do use more than one step, I could use Step One to stay sober, I could use it as a spring board to all the knowledge in the world and history that says what AA does without any prejudice teachings. In my area AA does have a monopoly on the fellowship of addicted people and that is another reason that I use AA.


Ron, I ask you how can you answer the original question without addressing all the negative BS in AA in regards to secularism and Atheism?

AB



Originally Posted by Mongo View Post
I've not posted on this thread until now because even though an atheist, I've chosen not to participate in AA.

There's a lot of things I like about the AA program that is not available in most areas for others notably the group participation.

I've read most of the big book. It seems to me that when it was written it was the authors' attempt to help as many struggling alcoholics as he could by sharing what worked for them. Thats exactly why I participate here, to read how other alcoholics deal with their issues in the hope that it will keep me sober. And it has, for which I am very grateful.

I really doubt that when the book was written the authors had an agenda to belittle atheists or other non christian groups. It was in the spirit of helping all people with an alcohol addiction.

Ab, please share with us how you've managed to stay sober, especially if you've participated in AA. This information could turn this into a valuable thread instead of one which is going absolutely nowhere.

The quotes from the big book have been read by all now, I think. No need to keep bringing them up. The original poster asked how one could use AA even in a secular way and there were a lot of insightful responses. It would be a shame if this thread were locked and sent to the bottom.

Just my thoughts.

Ron
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Old 01-28-2007, 06:16 PM
  # 252 (permalink)  
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I think the point here is not to point out everything that is wrong. I'm not an athiest, am an active sixteen year sober member of AA, and I can still manage to find everything that is wrong and I'll point it out to you, most likely unsolicited. I don't that serves any useful purpose.

I want every alcoholic, regardless of belief or non-belief to have the chance I had. And if I can help them have that chance, that's my reason for being in AA in the first place.

I sponsored a man in AA who couldn't swallow the God stuff. I sponsor right out of the Big Book, so there is a lot of the God talk. This man helped me to see that my job isn't to convince him of anything. It is to help him find what it is that he needs so that he won't have to die of alcoholism. One day, when he became upset when reading Chapter 4, I suggested that he & I explore some possibilities. I wasn't familiar with any of the secular approaches, but I know a few athiests in AA who are sober a long time and good AA members and productive, useful members of society in general. So I introduced him to one of them and it worked. Like they say "there's a wrench for every nut." Who knows, had I continued to attempt to sponsor him in the way that I know, I might have killed him.
Jim

Last edited by jimhere; 01-28-2007 at 06:18 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-29-2007, 03:45 AM
  # 253 (permalink)  
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Great post Jim, thanks
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:18 AM
  # 254 (permalink)  
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abbadun;
You ask how to address atheists in AA without addressing what you consider "negatives."
By focusing on what YOU have DONE to stay sober in AA.
What has worked for you and others in your shoes.

There is NO bashing of other programs here. Nuff said now.

Shalom!
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:34 AM
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HI

What works for me is acknowledging all the negative teachings in AA and know what parts of AA to avoid. Speaking on the negative teaching of AA helps a lot also, silently agreeing with the prejudice teaching would not be healthy either.

Also talking about the negativity written in black and white in the AA Literature is not "Bashing". Most "healthy" organizations would change things so people would not have anything negative to point out.

AB


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
abbadun;
You ask how to address atheists in AA without addressing what you consider "negatives."
By focusing on what YOU have DONE to stay sober in AA.
What has worked for you and others in your shoes.

There is NO bashing of other programs here. Nuff said now.

Shalom!
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Old 01-29-2007, 04:41 AM
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Hi Jim

What useful purpose does ignoring negative and prejudice teachings and thought serve? By not point these facts out is not the membership agreeing with the original writings?

You go back to talking about the "God Stuff" which is meaningless compared to demeaning descriptions of Atheists in AA material. It is not the "God Stuff" in Chapter 4 that hurts Atheists.

AB


Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
I think the point here is not to point out everything that is wrong. I'm not an athiest, am an active sixteen year sober member of AA, and I can still manage to find everything that is wrong and I'll point it out to you, most likely unsolicited. I don't that serves any useful purpose.

I want every alcoholic, regardless of belief or non-belief to have the chance I had. And if I can help them have that chance, that's my reason for being in AA in the first place.

I sponsored a man in AA who couldn't swallow the God stuff. I sponsor right out of the Big Book, so there is a lot of the God talk. This man helped me to see that my job isn't to convince him of anything. It is to help him find what it is that he needs so that he won't have to die of alcoholism. One day, when he became upset when reading Chapter 4, I suggested that he & I explore some possibilities. I wasn't familiar with any of the secular approaches, but I know a few athiests in AA who are sober a long time and good AA members and productive, useful members of society in general. So I introduced him to one of them and it worked. Like they say "there's a wrench for every nut." Who knows, had I continued to attempt to sponsor him in the way that I know, I might have killed him.
Jim
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Old 01-29-2007, 06:23 AM
  # 257 (permalink)  
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I think we've had this discussion before AB, and I don't care to go there again. I didn't come over to the Secular board for this. Let's just agree that we disagree and let it go at that, OK?
Jim
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Old 01-29-2007, 08:38 AM
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Hi Jim

I am not sure which point you are asking my to agree to disagree on, there are so many. I still say that both the good and the bad in AA teachings should be focused on and shown for what they are. Ignoring that there is parts that are wrong in AA's teaching is simple not what organizations call "best practices"

AB


Originally Posted by jimhere View Post
I think we've had this discussion before AB, and I don't care to go there again. I didn't come over to the Secular board for this. Let's just agree that we disagree and let it go at that, OK?
Jim
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:26 AM
  # 259 (permalink)  
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I admit my emotions have gotten the better of me regarding the subject of AA. I went off topic. I did not participate accordingly to the subject, I stand corrected.

My experience’s in AA have been mixed. The program, as explained in the BB, as been used in a way ( admittedly, only by a few members ) to belittle my beliefs and to disparage me personally. I may have developed a thick skin yet those remarks still hurt. So I would advise one to censor their personal remarks that challenge the BB philosophy. In addition to that, do not expect to have your atheist beliefs honored or validated in the AA meeting’s that I go to. Alto there is a chance it may be different somewhere else.

What I find useful is the friendships I developed with free thinking individuals that attend AA meetings and AA social functions. I also utilize the meetings as a way to physically symbolize my personal commitment to sobriety.

I recognize that my views have been prejudiced by long years of religious cult programming. And from time to time those excruciating memories resurface when I here God talk. Especially when I hear some members use slogans in a malicious or demeaning way towards me.

Actually I was hoping to find a minimal of religious or God talk on this thread and yet what did I do, man I’ve got a lot to learn. Oh well, I try to keep an open mind but not so open that my brains fall out. Z
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Old 01-29-2007, 10:48 AM
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Changing the program of AA is beyond the scope of these forums. The debate can and has gone on for years. This forum is for personal recovery. The original thread starter was asking for advice because he/she was going to attend an AA meeting. Bringing up everything that is wrong with AA goes beyond personal experience and beyond the topic of this thread.

The forums are intended for personal recovery. We are not going to change the program of AA on these forums so the discussion in general terms does not have a solution here.

Atheists and others have voiced their frustration against AA because there are no other options or because they think AA is harmful to others. Again that is beyond the scope of the intended purpose of these forums unless you are sharing your personal experience and seeking solutions or offering solutions that can help others who are posting on these forums.

There are some options.

Start a LifeRing Recovery Meeting
http://www.unhooked.com/msk/index.html

Start a SMART RecoveryR Meeting
http://www.smartrecovery.org/meetings/start.htm

Here is a list of some AA meetings for agnostics and atheists. Start your own.
http://www.agnosticaanyc.org/worldwide.html

If you want to debate about whats wrong with AA there are other forums for that purpose. If you want to change the program of AA you will need to take that up with them. If you want to change the attitude of everyone who attends AA I have no suggestions.
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