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Athiests in AA??

Old 01-29-2007, 02:31 PM
  # 261 (permalink)  
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Hi Morning Glory

I do not think that I have called for a change in the AA program, I know that will never happen, but talking about these negative items that will never be changed is just a valid a topic as "Don't drink and go to meetings"

Talk about the negativity in AA does not have to be about changing AA, rather showing the true nature of the program and letting Atheists decide how much of the program to use. For Atheist Newcomers to be able to make a informed decide on what to do they need to hear the good and bad of AA.

AB

PS I would still recomend that any Atheist new to recovery find a good AA group if there is nothing better in their region.


Originally Posted by Morning Glory View Post
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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Old 01-29-2007, 03:06 PM
  # 262 (permalink)  
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Hey AB,
I'm really not asking you to agree with me about anything. But we've had the sort of round and round type discussions (yes I consider them discussions rather than arguments) about this subject before. You know that I don't agree 100% with your views and I know that you don't agree with mine. I was simply sharing one my very good experiences with working with an alcoholic who also is an athiest, and that although I am a God guy and he isn't, he was able to find spiritual power within himself as a result of the program. And not only get & stay sober, but is living a happy and productive life.

As MorningGlory has stated, I believe that discusions of this type are outside the scope of these forums, so to carry it further would be pointless and helpful to no one, especially the athiest alcoholic who is investigating AA. Perhaps the best you & I can do here is to point them towards a more secular approach if they find AA isn't for them. I've stated before that all for any approach that helps an alcoholic to recover.
Regards,
Jim
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Old 01-29-2007, 05:00 PM
  # 263 (permalink)  
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In Chicago there is Quad A - Atheists and Agnostics Alcoholics Anonymous. I have only attended one of their meetings but I do plan on giving it another try since the religiosity that I encountered in AA made me uncomfortable. Quad A is listed in AA's Chicago meeting directory as it satisfies the only requirement for an AA meeting.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:43 AM
  # 264 (permalink)  
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This thread has gone way off track.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the first post.
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:33 AM
  # 265 (permalink)  
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Hi Doug

At the risk of being banned

I think that comments in regards of what is written in AA Literature about Atheists is dead on the question asked. People can take or leave AA's suggests in the Literature, but statements and stances by the Authors have to be addressed if the program is going to mean something to secular people.

AB


Originally Posted by Doug View Post
This thread has gone way off track.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the first post.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
This thread has gone way off track.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the first post.
Although I often disagree with Abbadun on the general issue of AA, I think he's right here. I'm certain that many atheists and agnostics outside the program read the literature and run a mile. Now that it's available on the internet, I'm sure there are people who never set foot inside a meeting because of it. (I'm saying this as an atheist who gets a lot from the fellowship and finds the literature - often because of the God stuff - useful and thoughtprovoking.)

Things only become a problem if a thread like this descends into "there is a God/is not/is too" or "AA is bad/no its not/yes it is". Thoughtful, and even strongly critical discussion on the detail of Bill W.'s book "Alcoholics Anonymous" is absolutely needed.

Having said all that, the thread is enormous! So it might be worth closing it. it's not like the issues will go away, so they'll come back again in other threads.
peace, nl.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:33 AM
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You guys missed my point.

One person, asked one question. Think about it, re-read it. Or not.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:36 AM
  # 268 (permalink)  
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And I haven't said anything about the issues one way or the other, I didn't even say anybody was wrong.

Re-read the first post, and pay attention to it. Then re-read my post and pay attention to it.

Or just keep doing what your doing....
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:07 PM
  # 269 (permalink)  
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My experiences were mixed. I found some help in the rooms, but I did find I needed to be a little more aware than the average person who entered their first meeting.

Now I was a strange bird when I was in NA/AA. I am religious but I did not find it helpful for me to work my religion to my recovery. Naturally I fell into the friendships of the athiests.

The only time we were uncomfortable was in meetings that ended in the Lord's Prayer. Luckly, we have enough meetings where I live so I can avoid those, and attend the ones that end in the 3rd Step "prayer".
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:37 PM
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Hi

I close many meetings in the Lord's Prayer if I am reading and with no problems, I feel the benefits comes from the human input into the Prayer. I also could never expect people to respect my own beliefs if I do not respect theirs. If 12 Step work is not maligning others I have no problems with eventhough I personally place little worth in it.

AB


Originally Posted by Alera View Post
My experiences were mixed. I found some help in the rooms, but I did find I needed to be a little more aware than the average person who entered their first meeting.

Now I was a strange bird when I was in NA/AA. I am religious but I did not find it helpful for me to work my religion to my recovery. Naturally I fell into the friendships of the athiests.

The only time we were uncomfortable was in meetings that ended in the Lord's Prayer. Luckly, we have enough meetings where I live so I can avoid those, and attend the ones that end in the 3rd Step "prayer".
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Old 01-31-2007, 02:49 PM
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Hi Doug

Looking at my post I did point out a lot of issues with AA, but also gave recommendations for books to read and suggestions like for a secular person to severely filter out many AA suggestions.

AB




Originally Posted by Doug View Post
This thread has gone way off track.

If you don't believe me, take a look at the first post.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
And I haven't said anything about the issues one way or the other, I didn't even say anybody was wrong.

Re-read the first post, and pay attention to it. Then re-read my post and pay attention to it.

Or just keep doing what your doing....
Hi Doug. It might be helpful if you could be more specific about what the problem is. You seem to have some very clear ideas, but aren't saying what they are. Could you be more explicit? I think that might be helpful for everyone.
thanks, nl.
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:09 AM
  # 273 (permalink)  
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The first post

Originally Posted by **** ma View Post
Has anyone who considers themself an atheist or pagan on this site ever gone to AA? I have been sober for 44 days, and I think I am going to make my first attempt at going tonight. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. I know that you are supposed to take what you seem is prevalent and leave the rest, but does anyone have any more advise? Thanks.
Shalom!
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Old 02-01-2007, 03:27 AM
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Hi

To summarize my many messages.

I would recommend to go to meetings for the human benefits of fellowship.

I would reccommend that you filter out mentally any AA message (I am not talking about HP) that is directly prejudice and demeaning to Atheists. Later in your sobriety you can simply skip some meetings.

Understand that unlike most organizations these issues in AA will never be changed. Some of the teachings of AA are substandard in regards to Atheists, but the good will of individual people will always insure that there are some benefits for all people in AA.

AB


Originally Posted by historyteach View Post
Shalom!
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:29 PM
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Dear all,
I gave my – constructive and thoughtful, at least I hope so – views on the topic at various times in the last few weeks. I gave my thoughts on the thread in a post a couple of days ago. I don’t have much to add to either. But I do want to say, for the record, that I think Doug’s intervention here was not helpful and did not match up to my understanding of an administrator’s responsibilities.

The thread may have gone on too long, it may have (occasionally) become a little too heated, but that’s what happens among human beings when they discuss things they care about. I was a little tired of the topic, but not offended by anyone’s position or attitude. Then the administrator arrived, telling us – as if we were in school or in the army – that we had taken the thread “way off course.” He didn’t tell us what the course was supposed to be, or who decided on that course, or what specifically anyone had done to take it off course. Instead, he relied on dark insinuations and thinly veiled threats.

I might also point out that there are threads all over Sober Recovery which have wandered far from their original topic, and which have been a lot more heated than this one. So why has it been singled out like this? And what gives an administrator the idea to parachute into a discussion, not for a friendly word of advice, or to make a suggestion, but to announce that they know the correct “course” of a discussion, they won’t tell us, but expect us to follow it, or else face consequences they will decide on.

After this, things have suddenly gone very quiet on the secular forum.

I waited for an answer to my polite questions above before posting my opinion on this, but the answers never came.
peace to all,
nl.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:47 PM
  # 276 (permalink)  
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AB said:

To summarize my many messages.

I would recommend to go to meetings for the human benefits of fellowship.

I would reccommend that you filter out mentally any AA message (I am not talking about HP) that is directly prejudice and demeaning to Atheists. Later in your sobriety you can simply skip some meetings.

Understand that unlike most organizations these issues in AA will never be changed. Some of the teachings of AA are substandard in regards to Atheists, but the good will of individual people will always insure that there are some benefits for all people in AA.
Morning AB!

There's not a great deal that I disagree with in this, but I have a completely different take on it. Here's my version.

The human benefits of meetings confirm that alcoholism is a condition of isolation, and staying close to others who have similar experience is a big part of the solution to that isolation

Learn to filter out any messages, or the shares of any individuals, which cause you consternation. In the future you never know when they might be useful or pertinent. But just now let's train ourselves not to get resentments about other people just because they don't think the way we think they should. That was part of our problem in the first place.

Understand that the primary purpose of AA is to keep drunks sober, and to help drunks achieve sobriety. Understand that they think that escaping the hell of alcoholism is more important than anything else. Understand that life and the fellowship isn't perfect, and that the most important skills we learn in life are to do with tolerance, compassion, willingness to be of use to others and openmindedness. Understand that in practice and training we learn how to benefit ourselves as we benefit others, and support them even when we don't agree with them. When we do this, we find genuine fellowship, in spite of our differences.

Have a good 'un!
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:31 AM
  # 277 (permalink)  
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Excellent post paul
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:58 AM
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Hi Paul

Well the reason we have to filter the messages in AA is that they were created by people so they were even not perfect 70+ years ago and add to that the messages really have not been changed in all these years even increases the need to filter out parts of the AA message.

Also there are (non-HP) AA messages that were derogatory statements against secular people even when they were written. There is no need for secular people to attend these meetings, the HP messages in these meetings is not for them anyway.

I think that the Founders of AA may have intended the Primary Purpose of AA to be to help the Alcoholic but when implemented the AA message has so much more dogma that a member has to deal with.

I do not recommend for a newcomer to skip meetings but there comes a time when you have to follow this suggestion below. After a person has looked at the teachings of AA they will know the right thing to do. The Founders were not Omniscient.

I use Buddha's suggestion and after reading most of AA texts none of their claims prove that Secular people are bad people or have that they have a immoral way of life and those types of suggestions are in the AA texts and it is something a Secular person has to deal with and the most used method (denial) by Secular people in AA is not healthy. That is why most secular people in AA are "still in the closet".

Buddha said:

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in Anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is Conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

---Buddha. Gautama Siddharta, (563 - 483 B.C.)






Originally Posted by paulmh View Post
AB said:



Morning AB!

There's not a great deal that I disagree with in this, but I have a completely different take on it. Here's my version.

The human benefits of meetings confirm that alcoholism is a condition of isolation, and staying close to others who have similar experience is a big part of the solution to that isolation

Learn to filter out any messages, or the shares of any individuals, which cause you consternation. In the future you never know when they might be useful or pertinent. But just now let's train ourselves not to get resentments about other people just because they don't think the way we think they should. That was part of our problem in the first place.

Understand that the primary purpose of AA is to keep drunks sober, and to help drunks achieve sobriety. Understand that they think that escaping the hell of alcoholism is more important than anything else. Understand that life and the fellowship isn't perfect, and that the most important skills we learn in life are to do with tolerance, compassion, willingness to be of use to others and openmindedness. Understand that in practice and training we learn how to benefit ourselves as we benefit others, and support them even when we don't agree with them. When we do this, we find genuine fellowship, in spite of our differences.

Have a good 'un!
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:30 AM
  # 279 (permalink)  
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Well i guess that means that i can ,follow what Buddhas said,and disregard what he says,too.Just because he says it doesnt make it so...smile.
Anyways,,my dear AA does not endorce anyone relgion.Buddhas,teachings are,an, --out-side issue.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:06 AM
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Hi

I do not think that Buddha was talking only about Religions and his statement directly relates to movements like AA. A organization's doctrine and teachings has to make sense to be useful to people. Slogans like "fake it until you make it" hide the fact that some suggestions simply should not be taken.

Also most of what is written in the Foundations comes from outside sources, this stuff did not just pop into the Founders heads, trails and errors from the Oxford Group contributed to AA. Buddha's statement is just as relevant as any of the other imported ideas in AA.

AB



Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Well i guess that means that i can ,follow what Buddhas said,and disregard what he says,too.Just because he says it doesnt make it so...smile.
Anyways,,my dear AA does not endorce anyone relgion.Buddhas,teachings are,an, --out-side issue.
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