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Athiests in AA??

Old 11-14-2006, 04:00 AM
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Hey we know that God can always be found in a Group Of Drunks.

Paul, question. Why do you keep censoring the word God with "G*d"?
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Old 11-14-2006, 04:26 AM
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TCD:
Many people use G*D for multiple reasons. Some believe that it is wrong to spell out the name of G*D. It limits that which is unlimitable. Others do so in respect to those who believe it is wrong to write out the word for theological reasons. So as not to denigrate the word. And there are those who don't do so because they truly believe that it is wrong to do so, again for theological reasons. Those people sincerely believe that if one writes out the name of G*D, that name itself is holy and if it falls on the floor or is thrown in the garbage, then it denegrates the Holy One.

I don't mean to answer for Paul. Sorry if I step on your toes, Paul.

I personally write out G*D's name this way in respect to those who honestly believe that way, and also, because, philosophically, I think it's impossible to limit the Unlimitable.

Shalom!
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by paulmh
Don't you agree abadun? I know you don't like some of the references to atheists and agnostics - though I think you do take them out of context quite deliberately - but can't we non-theists simply learn the benefits of tolerance and forgiveness from our theistic peers?
I don't believe that theists are any more privy to those qualities than non-theists. They are separate issues. I took those passages the same way as Abbadun. The bias against secular beliefs in AA literature and culture is quite salient, IMO.
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Old 11-14-2006, 06:13 PM
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Hi Paul

Messages in AA Literature about Atheists are always negative (in the older texts), it does not matter if you take them out or in context. The simple fact is that when ever the word Atheist is used in AA texts (the older texts) a negative description will be used about them. If you count the Authors of AA texts as theists then they show very little tolerance. I have never felt the need to condemn a fellow member in AA because they express themselves in a religious way, I would call that tolerance that the texts do not show.

AB



Originally Posted by paulmh
That is a perfectly fine way to use it, but it's not necessarily the only way for someone who is non-theistic to use HP as a part of their recovery. If the problem for an alcoholic is "themself", then the solution is "not-themself". The fact that some of the early members run off with the notion of "a loving G*d" does not diminish the therapeutic power - in fact the life changing experience for an egotistical drunk like me - that power to change can be derived from outside one's self. That's all. Acknowledging a power greater than one's self is the starting point in recovery, not arriving at a conclusion about it's height, weight and superpowers. That's why AA is so good for so many different people - because it actively discourages people from bringing their notion of G*d to the forefront - "you've got the benefits of a power greater than yourself? Good. Then we don't need to know anything else"

Don't you agree abadun? I know you don't like some of the references to atheists and agnostics - though I think you do take them out of context quite deliberately - but can't we non-theists simply learn the benefits of tolerance and forgiveness from our theistic peers?
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Old 11-14-2006, 08:06 PM
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It is tough for agnostics and atheists in AA. At first you be encouraged to continue to come but they hope you will find some higher power.

I have heard numerous disparaging comments by AA members towards Atheists and Agnostics in AA.

I am not a member of AA but I use to go, I occaisionally go back for a friend's medallion. I attended the last International AA convention in Toronto and I went to the Agnostic/Atheist forum. I heard many people complain about the closed mindness and non-acceptance by AA members.

I am not saying you can't go to AA and be an atheist but you had better be a strong person with a tough skin.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:08 PM
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Hi

For me to be able to go to AA I consciously filter the suggestions of the program and just use what applies to the problem of Addiction and living.

AB



Originally Posted by Taiman
It is tough for agnostics and atheists in AA. At first you be encouraged to continue to come but they hope you will find some higher power.

I have heard numerous disparaging comments by AA members towards Atheists and Agnostics in AA.

I am not a member of AA but I use to go, I occaisionally go back for a friend's medallion. I attended the last International AA convention in Toronto and I went to the Agnostic/Atheist forum. I heard many people complain about the closed mindness and non-acceptance by AA members.

I am not saying you can't go to AA and be an atheist but you had better be a strong person with a tough skin.
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Old 11-14-2006, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Taiman
I am not saying you can't go to AA and be an atheist but you had better be a strong person with a tough skin.
That's tough in early sobriety.
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Taiman
It is tough for agnostics and atheists in AA. At first you be encouraged to continue to come but they hope you will find some higher power.

I have heard numerous disparaging comments by AA members towards Atheists and Agnostics in AA.

I am not a member of AA but I use to go, I occaisionally go back for a friend's medallion. I attended the last International AA convention in Toronto and I went to the Agnostic/Atheist forum. I heard many people complain about the closed mindness and non-acceptance by AA members.

I am not saying you can't go to AA and be an atheist but you had better be a strong person with a tough skin.

Yep.

I quit going to AA about a year ago. AA helped in early sobriety in that I needed support of other recovering dopeheads. I never understood the religious part of AA and the higher power stuff. The meetings got overrun with drug court people and there was lots of dope floating around...so I quit.

I found a lot of the old timers to be smug and whatnot anyways.

Now I just do my own thing.
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Old 11-16-2006, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by historyteach
TCD:
Many people use G*D for multiple reasons. Some believe that it is wrong to spell out the name of G*D. It limits that which is unlimitable. Others do so in respect to those who believe it is wrong to write out the word for theological reasons. So as not to denigrate the word. And there are those who don't do so because they truly believe that it is wrong to do so, again for theological reasons. Those people sincerely believe that if one writes out the name of G*D, that name itself is holy and if it falls on the floor or is thrown in the garbage, then it denegrates the Holy One.

I don't mean to answer for Paul. Sorry if I step on your toes, Paul.

I personally write out G*D's name this way in respect to those who honestly believe that way, and also, because, philosophically, I think it's impossible to limit the Unlimitable.

Shalom!
Deeyamn! See there? Ya learns something all the time!! -and that's a new one on me. Thanks Teach. You're pretty cool.

Now if I may just spill my initial reaction and kinda apolopigize ahead of time if it offends, ok? Here goes:

That's crazy! Shoot, the Bible spells out God. The WatchTower and Awakening published Jehovah's "very own" Witnesses and most other publications spell it out with no qualms at all.

Strange (to me)!
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:25 AM
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"agnostic atheism"; "atheistic agnosticism," etc., etc.

doorknob's explanation is a direct quote from Wikipedia which cites one of the origins of the term as emanating from Robert Flint in his "Croall Lecture" from the nineteenth century.

It is identical to the "strong" -vs- "weak" flavors of agnosticism that I already described. It actually predates my explanation I gleaned from this page on About.com. I believe the term "agnostic atheist" so forth are just terribly confusing personally.

TCD John
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by doorknob
The bias against secular beliefs in AA literature and culture is quite salient, IMO.
Conspicuous and pervasive - yes. I think it's in the 12 & 12, but Bill Wilson makes a veritable argument against straight atheism; and in the Big Book in the chapter We Agnostics, there appears:

"When the perfectly logical assumption is suggested [...] that there is an All Powerful, Guiding, Creative Intelligence, right there our perverse streak comes to the surface. [...] We read wordy books and indulge in windy arguments..."

(Underlining added)

LOL - Wilson is in fact arguing against philosophy right here. (Hey personally, I've never read a non-'wordy' book!)


Anyway - I remember we used to sit around the tables and smirk, nodding in agreement.

Now, that's not tolerance; that is an out-and-out silly brand of haughtiness.

Nahh, little room in AA for atheist, least wise as _I_ can see it.

Oh - and Windy said something that deeply resonated:

Originally Posted by windysan
The meetings got overrun with drug court people and there was lots of dope floating around...so I quit.

I found a lot of the old timers to be smug and whatnot anyways.
My Lord how I can relate to this!! What's that? "We are not affiliated with any outside organizations..." in the Traditions?

It's not AA or NA's fault, but "not affiliated" my ass!

When the judge tells you: "30 days in jail or...." -guess what? That's a veritable mandate, and states have been successfully sued for pushing religion on people this way.

Ten
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Old 11-16-2006, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Ten Chips Down
When the judge tells you: "30 days in jail or...." -guess what? That's a veritable mandate, and states have been successfully sued for pushing religion on people this way.
Another thread on this topic:

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...-meetings.html
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Old 11-16-2006, 02:39 PM
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Good catch DK; thanks, i'm all over it.
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:23 AM
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Hi **** Ma

I think that being an atheist/pagan wouldn't preclude you from getting what you need from AA. If it sits right with you then - great!

I think that AA is a powerful organisation that has saved/changed many lives.

But it isn't the right thing for me. I didn't particularly have a problem with the religious aspect and I can easily adapt the serenity prayer to suit me. What I can't accept (personally) is the Programme or the 12-Step approach and I think there is more than one way to kill a horse.

I personally don't see alcoholism as a disease or as a moral defect. I view drinking alcohol as a privelege that I no longer have because I drank far too much for far too long.

What I do love about AA is the community spirit and the get-togethers. I wish there was some kind of organised, free thinking fellowship of ex-drinkers that I could go to and have a coffee and make some sober friends. Swap ideas, organise a new non-drinking social life. For me that is the toughest part of not drinking.

Anyway, I hope you are well.

Best wishes
Jane
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:50 PM
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Hi Jane

I think that London might have meetings of organisations other than AA. If you look at the sticky

http://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/...cular-web.html

you may find alternatives which offer the community benefits of the fellowship but with less baggage.

AA was pretty much the only option open to me but it's served me very, very well.
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Old 01-07-2007, 01:58 PM
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I was an agnostic when I attended AA meetings, and am an atheist now. I DEFINITELY had problems with the religious side of it. Everyone told me, it doesn't -have- to be "god," but it had to be something OUTSIDE OF ME, and I didn't believe anything could cure ME but ME - if something else did it, it would always be tenuous.

So, in an odd way, AA cured me - because I knew it was the only KNOWN workable option, I had to come up with my own workable option - which turned out to be simply STOPPING. I still don't know how I was finally able (I'm sure some of the zealots would say it was the hand of god at work against my will, or somesuch bull) - all I know is I just stopped.

Now, if only I could get my AH to do the same.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:37 PM
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I took that "Which religion is right for you?" test. I scored pretty evenly (at the top) on Buddhism & Paganism, and I can see that, though I don't put a name on what I believe. Definitely don't practice in any organized, religious way. Yet, I'm a member of AA and it works for me.

Just because the way I define "god" is very often much different from others in the world doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong or vice versa -- or that we can't all get maximum benefit from the program that advocates finding a "god of our understanding." The hardest part for me is the word "Him" in the steps. I don't personify my god, so I substitute "It" in my head. It's not important enough for me to reject all the rest over one word.

Peace & Love,
Sugah
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:28 PM
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I took the quiz too:

Mine came out as the following:

Satanism - 96%

But they say that satanism is the following:

Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Satanism! Before you scream, do a bit of research on it. To be a Satanist, you don't actually have to believe in Satan. Satanism generally focuses upon the spiritual advancement of the self, rather than upon submission to a deity or a set of moral codes. Do some research if you immediately think of the satanic cult stereotype. Your beliefs may also resemble those of earth-based religions such as paganism.

This is why I found out the NA doesn't work for me. I don't really believe in giving it up to a higher power. I want my own spiritual advancement. I do consider myself spiritual. I was also Wicca/Pagan once so that part makes sense.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:05 PM
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Though my spiritual beliefs often seem to contradict something I felt yesterday or the day before, certain things remain consistent with me. I believe in a "higher consciousness" that I can only access when I let go of the "lower consciousness" and connect with the "collective consciousness." I believe that what I feed into that "collective consciousness" will improve the overall condition of It and return it to me many times over. I don't believe that I have to remain in a constant state of meditation in order to do that...no belly-button gazing here...but that with practice, my thoughts and actions can be informed by that higher self, well fed by the collective.

To go into my feelings on nature in the physical realm would further confuse this, but my point is....I don't hold any belief of a personified god (except sometimes, when I need the comfort of a personification! there's a contradiction, eh?)

So...many would say that I'm atheist because I don't (except sometimes!) have any concept of a diety, per se. But I do believe that both my higher self and the collective consciousness is a higher power than the lower self that is concerned only with self-seeking and pleasure -- and, of course, avoidance of pain.

What do you think? Am I an athiest?

Peace & Love,
Sugah
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Old 01-07-2007, 06:31 PM
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Inspiringmind-

Satanism is really just objectivism. Read Ayn Rands The Fountainhead and/or Atlas Shrugged.
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