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Athiests in AA??

Old 07-28-2006, 08:38 PM
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I didn't mean for this thread to be an AA basher. I just wanted some advise about going to my first meeting. Sorry to everyone who got slammed in the meantime. I went to my first meeting tonight. It took a lot to walk in the door, and I was a nervous wreck, but I did speak a little, and took what I needed (which was a lot of support) and left the rest (the prayer at the end weirded me out a lot.) Mainly, it was a breath of fresh air to hear some of things people were saying. They were all very supportive, and they all welcomed me with open arms. I will definitelly be going back. I love you all at SR, but I don't think that it alone will keep me away from my beloved
V-O-D-K-A. Thanks again for the posts.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:00 PM
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I'm glad your meeting went well. I'm not surprised there were a few things that weirded you out. I think that is to be expected. I got to where those things just didn't bother me anymore. What really bothered me was the idea of getting drunk again. That is why I kept going back.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
I'm afraid they do.

You're a fan of David Hume. He also said "any man who makes a study of religion, regardless of his conclusions, is a religious man".

Pride - defined as "putting one's self on a level with God" - is a medieval way of describing an egotistical condition. This condition has many manifestations - grandiosity or self-pity, self-righteousness or chronic uncertainty, excesses of fear or of anger - the list goes on and on. What they have in common is an overinlfated sense of self. Self-obssession. The individual ceases to remember the functional truth - the universe doesn't need us to endure, but we need the universe.

To believe that you know the nature of the universe is to believe as a God. That's Pride.
Wow! So atheists are self-obsessed, prideful, egotists? Who think they are gods? No wonder you don't feel comfortable in this forum.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by **** ma
I didn't mean for this thread to be an AA basher. I just wanted some advise about going to my first meeting. Sorry to everyone who got slammed in the meantime. I went to my first meeting tonight. It took a lot to walk in the door, and I was a nervous wreck, but I did speak a little, and took what I needed (which was a lot of support) and left the rest (the prayer at the end weirded me out a lot.) Mainly, it was a breath of fresh air to hear some of things people were saying. They were all very supportive, and they all welcomed me with open arms. I will definitelly be going back. I love you all at SR, but I don't think that it alone will keep me away from my beloved
V-O-D-K-A. Thanks again for the posts.
I'm glad your meeting went well too. I'm not bashing AA, or trying to discourage anyone from going. There are a couple of meetings I like to drop in on around here, for the same reasons you are going back.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:29 PM
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by doorknob
What does the literature say the distinction is?
the distinction is that a religion is an institution and a set of practices and dogma relating to a diety or dieties.

Spirituality can come from practice of a religion or it can be completely seperate. I have no religion, how ever I consider myself a spiritual person, why? Because I practice spiritual principles such as honesty, openmindedness, willingness, tolerance, faith, trust, humility, love, etc... I do this b/c when I live by spiritual principles, my life is better, it has nothing to do with religion.

THats awesome about your first meeting **** ma...it does work and you don't ever have to become religious for it to, you just have to believe it can work for you.
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Old 07-28-2006, 09:58 PM
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Thanks Blake. Seriously.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:13 PM
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I was an atheist when I attended my first meeting.

I took offense to all the God stuff I heard. I stayed because I had nowhere else to go and only because I was constantly reminded that I did not have to believe in any God to remain a member.

I kept an open mind.

I no longer consider myself an atheist but then again I still do not align myself with most of the beliefs of western religions (or any other religion for that matter)

I do believe however that there is a universal singularity common within all matter and energy that is the creator of all life and from which thought originates.
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Old 07-28-2006, 10:27 PM
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**** Mai - Re: you question about Religion or "god" in AA...They told me that a
Higher Power can be anything - as long as it is NOT ME - I've already proven to myself that I am Powerless over Drugs and Alcohol and by myself my life is Unmanagable...Step 1 starts with the words WE admitted..... That is a
higher power...the Power of the group - instead of "facing the battle" all alone... Keep reaching out, you will meet others you can identify with..Lotsa Luv
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Old 07-28-2006, 11:47 PM
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Yes, there is room for you. When I attended AA/NA (I still have an AA group I will attend every now and again as its 6am*), I was very put off because I am religious. I feel that religion and recovery are two very different things. I felt that the Lord's Prayer had not place in my recovery, unless I was saying it, in private or in my church during Mass.

I ended up in a program with a lot of secular folks, and I'm okay with that. I think it just depends on the person what program works for them.

What ever program you choose, remember, it only works if you work it!


*This meeting is almost anti-AA. They do read literature, but no talking about past drinking, or passing out chips and counting days. Its basically a bunch of buisness guys giving each other good support to start their day.
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:01 AM
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Don S said:

Wow! So atheists are self-obsessed, prideful, egotists? Who think they are gods? No wonder you don't feel comfortable in this forum.
What a piece of obfuscation.

The thread is about going to AA or not. Yet again, there is a bigotry among people that AA is religious. Yet again other people try to come out and suggest that for the alcoholic who wants to recover it is important to see beyond the language, and find the action.

In response to you Don - it's in the nature of how we hold a belief. Religious beliefs - and secular beliefs - are a source of comfort and warmth to lots of sane, well-balanced people. Religious bigotry - and secular bigotry - are a source of confirmation of righteous anger for a lot of less well balanced people. Some people hold a belief and understand it to be personal. Some people hold a belief and imagine it to be knowledge. It doesn't matter whether it's theistic or atheistic. If it's held as confirmation of prejudice it's unhealthy. And for this alcoholic, yes, I was and am a self-obssessed, prideful egotist. If you're not, good for you. Bu claiming to be a secularist doesn't automatically rid anyone of their religious prejudices.. If one claims to "know" the nature of the universe, I think we can call that Pride though. And incidentally, claiming to know that it's ~NT G*d or ~OT G*D or indeed ~bowl on the back of a tortoise is stretching "know" into realms of useage where "know" doesn't belong. As is "I know that G*D doesn't exist so that's a good reason for you not to go to AA"

And to come back to the point of the thread. **** Ma asked about a first AA experience. Yet again someone said they don't go because it's all about G*d. So yet again I say - it's all about therapy. Lol, SECULAR therapy!
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:22 AM
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I'l bite on this and come back. If AA does not require any religous beliefs, how come you have to believe in a God that has a will, that removes defects of character, who you pray to, who you have to be humble to, who you have to get honest to.

A door knob cannot do them things.

"the athiest of savage mind".
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Old 07-29-2006, 02:34 AM
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I think whether AA is religious or not is beside the point; the key is that some people do not find AA comfortable on a many levels and are not willing to 'come to believe'. That is the problem. And that is why a secular movement has grown. There is not problem now, as there are many sources out there that can help anyone.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:11 AM
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**** Ma

I think it's really fabulous that you may have found a niche in AA. I'm very grateful to people like you and Blake, and other forward-thinking individuals who might be able to help people like yourselves find a niche there also. I really, really wish I were quite that flexible, because it would be nice to be able to help others adapt to the program also, with so little else available.

I don't think this came out sounding the way I intended, since I didn't mean to imply that anyone else is backward-thinking or that I'm rigid.

Anyway, good luck!
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:06 AM
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It can be hard going to overcome that prejudice can't it Five.

I'l bite on this and come back. If AA does not require any religous beliefs, how come you have to believe in a God that has a will, that removes defects of character, who you pray to, who you have to be humble to, who you have to get honest to.
AA works because of the changes it encourages the individual to embrace. This works independently of the nature of the universe. We try to be humble and honest, for ourselves, not "to" anything. We try to understand what we have power over and what we don't and in the same way that a Catholic would put it in God's hands, or a Taoist would be serene in trying to live according to the Tao rather than fighting against it - oh and incidentally, a mechanical determinist would be calm in the face of the universal unfolding - so we leanr to have a more balanced, less struggling - less egotistical -attitude towards the universe. As for defects of character, yes I do pray to have them removed. It is an emotional preparedness for "letting go" of them. I don't expect to have them taken away by G*d, and accroding to most of the people I meet in AA neither do they.

It is an honest response to the disease of alcoholism. It is the start of a process of going beyond one's own prejudices and bigotry and isolation, and making one's self vulnerable - and open - to change. It is a recognition that I own my condition, and I will do what I can to offset it's effects.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:16 AM
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Take what you want and leave the rest, you say?

My addict mind automatically thinks of the phrase: "Do not use, no matter what."

Ok ... here goes ....

"DO ... USE ... "

Well, that's all I really want!!! Guess the AA philosophy works just fine for me!!!

Seriously, though, as an athiest I find AA and NA teachings harder to swallow than tequila on a stomachful of redhot chili sauce. I came ... I tried ... I failed ... I left.

While I respect that the program works for many people, I am not convinced that it could ever help me. First of all, I believe that my work is my salvation. And dammit, if I'm a workaholic ... then that's the best "aholic" I can think of to be. At least I won't be homeless, and if I get sick I have plenty of money to fix myself, and unlike most people, I actually love my job (which is what a person spends the majority of their time doing, anyway).

So, work is my solution to my addiction. I'm pretty happy with my solution today.

I do take some advice from AA and NA, though ... such as taking it day by day, being grateful for what you have, faking it until you make it, and having close friends. This is practical, good advice to live by.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:46 AM
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Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to persuade people to go. I'm trying to stop people misrepresenting it. If it's not for you, great. But if people are telling others not to go because they have an unjustified prejudice, then they harm others.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
Hey, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to persuade people to go. I'm trying to stop people misrepresenting it. If it's not for you, great. But if people are telling others not to go because they have an unjustified prejudice, then they harm others.
Oh, I know what you're saying. I should have quoted the person who started this thread, because that's actually who I was addressing my post to. I wasn't saying anything bad about you.
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Old 07-29-2006, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by **** ma
...took what I needed... and left the rest. I love you all at SR, but I don't think that it alone will keep me away from my beloved...
I've just spent the first 2 hours of this morning reading multiple times over the three new threads on this forum and all subsequent posts of the past 12 hours. And am feeling even more schizophrenic than usual as a result. BUT, a moment of clarity has arisen in this most recent read-through of this thread. Found in this:
Originally Posted by 2dayzmuse
I know I can learn to adapt to fit my needs.
It ALL comes down to that in the end. Discovering a new way of thinking, incorporating ALL that we can process, and engaging all-inclusive REASON over selective-exclusive dogma/ preset constraints of any one viewpoint, recognizing that NEED to adapt...to fit one's changing needs. That which changes and adapts to the changing environment, survives. That which does not, perishes. That is the law of nature. It applies to all things physical, mental, spiritual, secular. It is evolution, and how that works is REAL. The importance of keeping an open mind, in action.
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Old 07-29-2006, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Five
I'l bite on this and come back. If AA does not require any religous beliefs, how come you have to believe in a God that has a will, that removes defects of character, who you pray to, who you have to be humble to, who you have to get honest to.

A door knob cannot do them things.

"the athiest of savage mind".
okay 5, this is how I deal with all those things

God's will- for me this means getting rid of self will, I try to look at a situation and what ever is best for all people involved, regardless of my own interests is "god's will"

Defects of character- "god" doesn't remove defects of character, but the the 6th step says we became entirely ready for "god" to remove these defects of character, which means that our defects become visible to us....through meditation and journaling, a defect is a patern of behavior. the next sted talks about asking to have our "shortcomming" removed, which is about growing enough personally to not have to act out on our usual paterns of behavior (the acting out on a defect of character is the definition of a short comming). Through mediation, writing and discussion with our sponsor, we learn to act correctly in situations and try to do "god's will" instead of reacting and living in self. All the actions of these 2 steps come from individual participation and self searching.

Praying- I am not religious, like I said. So when I "pray" it is more of a way to get intouch with my conscience and is about settleing my mind and resembles meditation more than religious prayer.

Getting humble- I get humble not to impress a diety, I get humble because there is a lesson in it. Humility retards my ego and puts me back into check. I get humble for the benifit of blake, not "god". "get humble or get humiliated" is a maxim I have found to be true in a lot of situation.

Honesty- If you did believe in a god that was omniscient, what would be the need to get honest with it, it already knows everything. The honesty called for in the program is for individual growth, I have to get honest with myself and get honest with the people I trust. Lying is like a wildfire, If I stat being dishonest with people, it spreads and grows and sooner or later I start lying to myself till I start believing "I can go just have one bag of dope, I can handle it" and I end up strung out again.



these are all just the ways I have grown in my program to be able to work it with out religious belief.....just my opinion.
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