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Tags alcoholics anonymous , alcoholism , treatment programs

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Old 11th August 2010, 03:34 AM   #561
Hallo Alfie
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Evidence ?
I think Albell is half right here.
Just as an example of what he/she is saying would be breathing: that is not something we do conscientiously, so where does it come from?
We have thousands of mind and body functions that happen without conscious intervention. As such, if one chose, this could be used as a higher power too.

Albell, I think that is an example of the point you are making, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Oh and Belz, Albell's post is more relevant than many, many others imho.
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Old 11th August 2010, 04:12 AM   #562
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
I think Albell is half right here.
Doesn't matter. Most of the actual decisions we take we do so consciously. And even if we bring neurology into the equation, it doesn't change the fact that, in the end, it is the person who quits drinking, not the group that makes him do it.
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Old 11th August 2010, 04:16 AM   #563
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Most of the actual decisions we take we do so consciously.
Evidence?

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 11th August 2010 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 11th August 2010, 08:49 AM   #564
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Your post is entirely irrelevant to the discussion.
On the contrary, it is at the very heart of the discussion. The whole thing turns on this business about a "power greater than one's self" and whether that necessarily implies something supernatural. It seems to me that the logical first step toward answering that is to inquire as to just how great a self is. "The sum of things that are your body" strikes me as rather weak, but at least pointed in the right direction.

Quote:
Most of the actual decisions we take we do so consciously.
The first obvious counterexample that comes to my mind is the experience refered to as "falling in love". Implicit in the use of that metaphor is that it refers to something that just sort of happens to you (or doesn't) regardless of whether you choose it; in fact, it strongly implies that you may be powerless to resist it.

Quote:
doesn't change the fact that, in the end, it is the person who quits drinking, not the group that makes him do it.
I don't disagree with that as far as it goes, but I don't think it goes far enough; you are overlooking the extent to which it is possible that it can be a bit of both. Other people DO make us do things, and to deny that is to deny one of the most fundamental aspects of our nature as social animals.

The ability to win and maintain the approval of others was as vital to the survival (and reproductive success) of our protohuman ancestors as is an eagle's ability to fly, and we inherited our equipment from them. Consider: The olympic athlete sets a world record before a wildly cheering crowd of thousands. The energy of that crowd, and his awareness of them, has an effect on his ability to perform -- but it's not a supernatural effect; it's a physiological effect. Perhaps the basis of that physiology can be more clearly appreciated using football as the example, where the tradition originally featured male athletes performing their feats of physical prowess before scantily-clad female cheerleaders, the implication clearly being that these were prizes for the winners. Successful memes are those which touch on something primal.

I submit that regular participation in discussions on this forum can serve a similar role. We challenge others, and allow them to challenge us. It's like the critical thinking olympics; knowing that we're performing before a crowd inspires us to make our best effort (ideally, anyway), and doing that makes us stronger. When we win those struggles, it feels good -- and part of the reason that it feels good is that there are some cognitive submodules telling us that if we get good enough at this sort of thing we will be rewarded with respect, perhaps so much that we will be exempted from the obligation to hunt, or fight, and possibly even with enough to give us privileged access to the most desireable mating partners. (One of the limitations of cognitive submodules is that they don't realize that they're no longer on the African savannah, and can't always see the big picture).

Attending AA can do the same thing for a person seeking sobriety that joining a gym can do for a person seeking better physical fitness, or that joining JREF can do for a person seeking to become a better critical thinker. Deliberately placing yourself in a setting where others will push you to excel -- to put forth a level of effort you might find unattainable when you are by yourself -- might even be thought of as a matter of tapping into a power greater than yourself.
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Old 11th August 2010, 09:09 AM   #565
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
On the contrary, it is at the very heart of the discussion. The whole thing turns on this business about a "power greater than one's self"
It's only relevant if you consider the unconscious processes to be "not you".

Quote:
The first obvious counterexample that comes to my mind is the experience refered to as "falling in love".
Yes, but that's not a decision, therefore not covered by my statement.

Quote:
Other people DO make us do things, and to deny that is to deny one of the most fundamental aspects of our nature as social animals.
People only MAKE us do things under the threat of force. Otherwise they may influence us, true, but only the individual makes the decision.
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Old 11th August 2010, 10:29 AM   #566
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I thought I'd add a bit to this discussion, because I just attended my first(and last) AA meeting a few days ago. I have recently stopped drinking, and heard from many friends that though their message is *somewhat religious* the steps can still work for an atheist such as myself.

What I saw in that room was completely bonkers. Here is a direct quote from one of the organizers of this particular meeting, which was labeled as being non-religious: " I believe in God as I understand him, it ain't my momma's God, and it ain't my grandmomma's God, it ain't even no religious god or no bible god; I choose to call him Jesus Christ."

I wanted to stand up and tell her that I just had to make a mental note; the "dumbest thing that I had ever heard in my life" had just been revised! About half of the participants that spoke brought up some kind of wacky deity, and they all kept repeating the same phrases like "My name is <name>, and I am an alcoholic." Really, <name>? Because you have said your name 6 times now, and declared yourself an alcoholic 6 times also... We get the point eh? The entire thing didn't make very much sense, and I don't see myself being helped much by a bunch of people who found their "cure" by investing in a bunch of woo woo about wishy-washy deities or watered down higher powers in the place of what was clearly intended to be some sort of spiritual(code word for woo) God. I don't think that I could buy into this if my life depended on it.

I understand that it is just one meeting, and others may be different... but Jesus Christ man.
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Old 11th August 2010, 11:50 AM   #567
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Cheer up. They're probably praying for you.
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Old 11th August 2010, 12:34 PM   #568
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Originally Posted by Gate2501 View Post
I thought I'd add a bit to this discussion, because I just attended my first(and last) AA meeting a few days ago. I have recently stopped drinking, and heard from many friends that though their message is *somewhat religious* the steps can still work for an atheist such as myself.

What I saw in that room was completely bonkers. Here is a direct quote from one of the organizers of this particular meeting, which was labeled as being non-religious: " I believe in God as I understand him, it ain't my momma's God, and it ain't my grandmomma's God, it ain't even no religious god or no bible god; I choose to call him Jesus Christ."

I wanted to stand up and tell her that I just had to make a mental note; the "dumbest thing that I had ever heard in my life" had just been revised! About half of the participants that spoke brought up some kind of wacky deity, and they all kept repeating the same phrases like "My name is <name>, and I am an alcoholic." Really, <name>? Because you have said your name 6 times now, and declared yourself an alcoholic 6 times also... We get the point eh? The entire thing didn't make very much sense, and I don't see myself being helped much by a bunch of people who found their "cure" by investing in a bunch of woo woo about wishy-washy deities or watered down higher powers in the place of what was clearly intended to be some sort of spiritual(code word for woo) God. I don't think that I could buy into this if my life depended on it.

I understand that it is just one meeting, and others may be different... but Jesus Christ man.

My higher power was sobriety. It helps to identify the process people talk about (and ignore the window dressing), I really recommend rational recovery the book is good, Trimpey is a little over the top. And there is more to an AA meeting than meets the eye, listen to the stories, especially when peopel talk about dealing with staying sober.

NA meetings are evn a little wackier.
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Old 12th August 2010, 12:39 PM   #569
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
It's only relevant if you consider the unconscious processes to be "not you".
The size of the "self" seems critical here regardless of whether one includes unconscious processes.

Quote:
Yes, but that's not a decision, therefore not covered by my statement.
Special pleading. And tautological at that: "Decisions are made consciously; therefore, nothing which happens subconsciously qualifies as a decision". You really don't think falling in love reflects some kind of decision-making process taking place somewhere?
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Old 13th August 2010, 02:42 AM   #570
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
Special pleading. And tautological at that: "Decisions are made consciously; therefore, nothing which happens subconsciously qualifies as a decision". You really don't think falling in love reflects some kind of decision-making process taking place somewhere?
Nope. The decision-making is whether you follow through on your feeling. I didn't decide whether I like beef or not; but I decide whether I eat some. It's not tautological: it's a definition.
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Old 14th August 2010, 10:22 AM   #571
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
Yep. I know plenty.
One former sponsor of mine is now some 30 years sober - an atheist to boot.
Another man, 40 plus years - the is a theist.

The steps are suggested, not compulsory as can be clearly seen by tradition three.
Then what you are doing is decidedly NOT AA.

The rest of us are talking about the AA that is obviously religious in nature...so your comments to the contrary are irrelevant.
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Old 14th August 2010, 12:53 PM   #572
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"Decisions are made consciously; therefore, nothing which happens subconsciously qualifies as a decision".

"AA is religious in nature; therefore, that which is not religious is not AA".

"Critical thinkers recognize the errors which lead to logical fallacies such as begging the question and the no true Scotsman, and avoid making them; therefore, no one committing such an error is a true critical thinker".


(The last one is mine).
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Old 14th August 2010, 04:48 PM   #573
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
"Decisions are made consciously; therefore, nothing which happens subconsciously qualifies as a decision".

"AA is religious in nature; therefore, that which is not religious is not AA".

"Critical thinkers recognize the errors which lead to logical fallacies such as begging the question and the no true Scotsman, and avoid making them; therefore, no one committing such an error is a true critical thinker".


(The last one is mine).
"Duplicitous Debaters abuse Logical Memes when it suits their purposes, and ignore them when they undermine their own arguments."

(Who am I quoting?...Oh, that would be me )

GB
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Old 16th August 2010, 12:11 AM   #574
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
Then what you are doing is decidedly NOT AA.

The rest of us are talking about the AA that is obviously religious in nature...so your comments to the contrary are irrelevant.
Which religion?
How is it taught, precisely?
What are the prerequisites for membership?
Why are all religions (and none) made welcome?
Why are the steps and traditions suddenly irrelevant - especially when we talk about "membership rules"?

And how do you know these things?
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Old 16th August 2010, 12:37 AM   #575
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
Which religion?
How is it taught, precisely?
What are the prerequisites for membership?
Why are all religions (and none) made welcome?
Why are the steps and traditions suddenly irrelevant - especially when we talk about "membership rules"?

And how do you know these things?
You and DOC should get together and start a thread about "how to repeatedly ignore all refutations and evidence that contradict your point of view" (not to mention "how to conveniently ignore the textual evidence of your own literature" ).

No matter how many times you repeat your questions, the answers (repeatedly given in previous posts by a plethora of posters) will remain the same.

GB
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:36 PM   #576
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Getting back to the original post, we could look at AA in Europe. For instance, Sweden (often touted as the country with the most people who do not believe in God) has AA, as does Britain and France (France ranks high on the 'don't believe in any spiritual powers at all' scale).

They've managed it somehow.
No, we haven't. The AA in Sweden is just as woowoo and aggressively pro-religious as anywhere else, and Minesota Method treatment facilities with strong ties to AA are given huge amounts of money to fail to treat alcoholics.

My dad did four or five turns at a Minnesota facility and then was shipped off to AA. He did not get sober, but he _did_ learn to use "Sobriety comes first" when he didn't want to keep promises or show other people consideration.

Oh, and he also went pentacostal after having been an atheist and a raging communist his entire adult life, because the group was so strongly pro-religious his ethanol addled little brain couldn't stand the peer pressure.

Meanwhile, his older sis who was just as deep into alcoholism as ever he was, turned to psychiatry instead and got the bipolar diagnosis I have predicted for my dad since I learned to spell it. Guess what? The meds removed all her urges to drink. So while she re-entered life, my dad just swapped the bottle for the freaking group, and then religion. And even then he couldn't stay sober for more than a year at most.

Not that it made any difference since he was actually even less appealing on 12-steps than on teh booze. No, I am not kidding you. Because he added to his pre-existing raging egotism and self pity the sense of entitlement, self righteousness and sanctimoniousness that even religion can't give as well as AA.

Not. A. Fan.
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:57 PM   #577
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Originally Posted by Rasmus View Post



Yes. If it is true, as others have suggested here, that AA offers no benefits over simply quitting cold turkey by yourself, then AA would actually be counter productive in at least some cases.
I have at least one example where this was the case. As I posted above, my dad is quite likely to be bipolar, is definitely dyslexic (which only matters inasmuch as he obsesses over his failed schooling) and also probably has adhd. He would probably have done better on Concerta or an SSRI than on AA and AA was in fact obscuring the possibility of alternative help for him.

AA gave my dad the tools to keep feeling sorry for himself and to take no responsibility for his actions. He grasped them with both hands.
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Old 16th August 2010, 07:59 PM   #578
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
Which religion?
How is it taught, precisely?
What are the prerequisites for membership?
Why are all religions (and none) made welcome?
Why are the steps and traditions suddenly irrelevant - especially when we talk about "membership rules"?

And how do you know these things?
You seem to believe that your sobriety is the most important thing in the world.
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Old 16th August 2010, 08:37 PM   #579
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Originally Posted by godofpie View Post
For a very long time AA was the only hope for hopeless alcoholics.

Wrong again. Before AA, from the early 1800s, there were several types of temperance movements. Both religious and non-religious. They are too old for there to be any good data of their effectiveness but it is generally taught as history that the Swedish temperence movements (Godtemplarna and IOGT/NTO - "God" means "good", and not "gawd" in Swedish. Gawd is called "gud".) had a profound impact on a population that was drinking itself to death.

Godtemplarna were more like a chapter group or Freemasons light in their outlook, with little singsongs and chapter meetings etc. IOGT/NTO was/is a youth movement. They do complete abstinence and are very socially active. Participate in charities etc and hold festivities to provide an alternative.

These groups still exist, but they are barely heard of as AA takes precedence on the power of their amazing spin and of course Godtemplarna will sell you raffle tickets to fund their activities instead of getting cash-on-demand from the government.

My experience of them differ in that they have actually kept someone I know sober. I am old enough that my dad is far from the only alcie I know and the only ones I have ever seen regain their lives have either gotten proper help from psychiatry for an underlying cause (two adhd friends managed to stop drinking on Concerta), quit cold turkey on their own or joined a temperence movement.

Of the approximately 20 or so alcies I know 0 have gone sober with AA. Those who have sought out AA have all become impossible to be around since I'm allergic to raging and drunken self righteousness.
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Old 16th August 2010, 08:49 PM   #580
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post



So the alcoholic should just abandon all hope, keep treating himself and those around him like ***** and make no effort at recovery at all.
Great idea.
Actually, I have plenty of anecdotals where alcies _start_ treating everyone close to them like **** first when they join AA. It's the self righteousness. It gets them every time. It's sweeter than booze and warmer than kittens. But my absolute favourite is the faux humility. You know what I'm talking about guys. The one where you* say: "I'm just happy to learn", but run through the translator it's more like: "I want to talk condescendingly to you until you worship my new found wisdom!"

That's the general "you". The one that translates to "one".
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Old 16th August 2010, 11:23 PM   #581
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Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
Not that it made any difference since he was actually even less appealing on 12-steps than on teh booze. No, I am not kidding you. Because he added to his pre-existing raging egotism and self pity the sense of entitlement, self righteousness and sanctimoniousness that even religion can't give as well as AA.

Not. A. Fan.
Actually the 'program' of AA will/should do the exact opposite of what you say: to remove ego, to remove self pity and to remove any sense of entitlement, expectation, self-righteousness etc.

Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
I have at least one example where this was the case. As I posted above, my dad is quite likely to be bipolar, is definitely dyslexic (which only matters inasmuch as he obsesses over his failed schooling) and also probably has adhd. He would probably have done better on Concerta or an SSRI than on AA and AA was in fact obscuring the possibility of alternative help for him.

AA gave my dad the tools to keep feeling sorry for himself and to take no responsibility for his actions. He grasped them with both hands.
AA is a tool to remove self pity, not give more.
Also AA recommends that people seek outside help for outside problems.
Comorbidity is rife amongst alcoholics and to expect and/or suggest AA to have tools here is ridiculous. People are encouraged to seek outside expertise wherever necessary.

If your father chose not to do these things, then just like his sobriety, he is responsible, not AA.

Originally Posted by tsig View Post
You seem to believe that your sobriety is the most important thing in the world.
To me, it is.
Nothing else can/will happen without it.
It is seriously and literally life and death for me.

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 16th August 2010 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 17th August 2010, 12:23 AM   #582
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post

If your father chose not to do these things, then just like his sobriety, he is responsible, not AA.
How was he responsible for a choice, that according to the First Three Steps, he had no power to make on his own?

Quote:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become
unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to
sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we
understood Him.
And by the way, ignoring an opponents argument is a sign of your own unsupportable arguments. If you can't take the intellectual heat, why are you even in the kitchen AAAlfie?

Does it make you feel safer to have me at number 2 on your ignore list?

I think I know why you ignore my arguments. It's because I stick mostly to analyzing the evidence of AA's history, literature, and socio-political influence, rather than anecdote (but I do have some of those too). These things are undeniable. That you choose not to face them says a lot about you and AA.

I guess this means I won the argument.

GB
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Old 17th August 2010, 02:52 AM   #583
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
Actually the 'program' of AA will/should do the exact opposite of what you say: to remove ego, to remove self pity and to remove any sense of entitlement, expectation, self-righteousness etc.
Yeah. Replace all that with self-loathing. How very Christian.
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Old 17th August 2010, 04:24 AM   #584
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yeah. Replace all that with self-loathing. How very Christian.
And yet again, so totally wrong:

You replace all that, with self-esteem.
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:23 AM   #585
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Originally Posted by whatthebutlersaw View Post
Actually, I have plenty of anecdotals where alcies _start_ treating everyone close to them like **** first when they join AA.
The concept that alcoholism affects entire families is by no means exclusive to AA, but the shift in family dynamics that so often takes place during the early stages of sobriety -- including the effects your anecdotes would no doubt relate -- was regarded by the authors of the Big Book as important enough to warrant two entire chapters: "To Wives" and "The Family Afterward". Of course, it's not a religious concept; therefore, those chapters are not "part of AA" (or so some posters here would need to argue in order to be consistent with arguments they've made earlier).

Quote:
But my absolute favourite is the faux humility. You know what I'm talking about guys. The one where you* say: "I'm just happy to learn", but run through the translator it's more like: "I want to talk condescendingly to you until you worship my new found wisdom!"
I usually take that sort of thing to really be mostly a matter of people talking condescendingly to themselves until they come to worship their newfound wisdom (whether they realize it or not). Alternatively (or perhaps simultaneously) it may be a matter of them seeking the approval of others whom they perceive to be in possession of wisdom to which they aspire.

Of course, I try to remember that all of these analyses are subject to challenge on the basis that my mind-reading abilities are not always as reliable as I may suppose; that the father of psychoanalysis himself is reported to have once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"; and that taking someone's words at face value is an option I may want to at least be willing to consider. Call me self-centered, but if what they're saying is something that may be useful to ME, (and no one but me gets to decide that) then it really doesn't matter much what their motives are.
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Old 17th August 2010, 09:55 AM   #586
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
And yet again, so totally wrong:

You replace all that, with self-esteem.
Self-Esteem doesn't seem to rhyme with Christianity. Not when everything that happens to you is the will of some invisible creator.
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Old 17th August 2010, 11:39 AM   #587
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Self-Esteem doesn't seem to rhyme with Christianity. Not when everything that happens to you is the will of some invisible creator.
Excellent point. I wonder if you'd be willing to go so far as to say that if it's about self-esteem rather than self-loathing, it's not Christianity?
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Old 17th August 2010, 11:54 AM   #588
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Religion isn't the only thing that I would have concerns about in the AA program. A big one for me is the "disease" theory of alcoholism. A disease is something that happens to people, not a decision that they make. You can't get rid of your tuberculosis by going to a meeting. Yet perpetrating the disease theory, along with the "once a drunk always a drunk" concept, would seem to provide a permanent excuse for the alcohol abuser, and make it harder for them to both change and gain self-respect.

The disease theory focuses on the symptom (abuse of just one specific substance) rather than the problem (maladaptive coping). Maybe people would be a lot better off if the actual problem were addressed, instead of giving people a bunch of bromides.
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Old 17th August 2010, 02:04 PM   #589
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Originally Posted by Cheri_T View Post
A disease is something that happens to people, not a decision that they make. You can't get rid of your tuberculosis by going to a meeting.
Yes, exactly. You don't have a choice to be an alcoholic, but you DO have the choice of how you deal with the effects it has in your life, just like any other disease. People sometimes get diabetes. Milder forms can be controlled with diet adjustments alone. A smaller set of those people choose to eat whatever they want but take insulin instead. They have chosen not to make lifestyle changes which would help control the effects of the disease. For others, this is not the case but as with all analogies, this one is imperfect.



Quote:
Yet perpetrating the disease theory, along with the "once a drunk always a drunk" concept, would seem to provide a permanent excuse for the alcohol abuser, and make it harder for them to both change and gain self-respect.

In what way?



Quote:
The disease theory focuses on the symptom (abuse of just one specific substance) rather than the problem (maladaptive coping). Maybe people would be a lot better off if the actual problem were addressed, instead of giving people a bunch of bromides.
Umm.... read the steps again. They DO focus on maladaptive coping and try to teach more effective ways of dealing with life than through drugs.
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Old 17th August 2010, 04:38 PM   #590
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
Excellent point. I wonder if you'd be willing to go so far as to say that if it's about self-esteem rather than self-loathing, it's not Christianity?
Oh, I'd even be willing to go that far for any religion.

But right now I'll just claim that, in the context of AA, self-loating is certainly an integral part of the 12 steps. Otherwise you wouldn't need to give in to a higher power, and you could just solve the problem yourself (with help, of course).

And abdicating any form of responsibility to a higher power is very typically reilgious. Specifically Christian, in this case.
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Old 17th August 2010, 04:44 PM   #591
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Self-Esteem doesn't seem to rhyme with Christianity.
Excellent. Then you see it is not Christianity.
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Old 17th August 2010, 04:47 PM   #592
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Oh, I'd even be willing to go that far for any religion.

But right now I'll just claim that, in the context of AA, self-loating is certainly an integral part of the 12 steps. Otherwise you wouldn't need to give in to a higher power, and you could just solve the problem yourself (with help, of course).

And abdicating any form of responsibility to a higher power is very typically reilgious. Specifically Christian, in this case.
And again just so very, very wrong.
What you claim and what you can prove or show, are poles apart.
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Old 17th August 2010, 04:54 PM   #593
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But right now I'll just claim that, in the context of AA, self-loating is certainly an integral part of the 12 steps.
That's not merely wrong, it's exactly wrong. It's one hundred and eighty degrees wrong. Self-loathing is an integral part of alcholism, the very thing the 12 steps are intended to address.
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Old 17th August 2010, 05:53 PM   #594
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
And abdicating any form of responsibility to a higher power is very typically reilgious.
Huh? I'm not understanding your point here. Try steps 8, 9, and 10 for example:

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do
so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
admitted it.


Those steps require accepting responsibility for actions taken, whether drunk or sober.

From my understanding of the program, there is no control over alcohol once the first drink is taken. What the person does up to that point before taking that drink is completely within the control of the person.

Another analogy: you are unable to swim for whatever reason. Once you find yourself in a large body of water, you'll drown. You simply have no tools or skills to prevent your drowning. But you DO have control over how close you come to the water, wearing a life-vest, etc. Similar concept that many people in recovery believe applies to the addict/alcoholic.
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Old 17th August 2010, 06:07 PM   #595
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Huh? I'm not understanding your point here. Try steps 8, 9, and 10 for example:

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make
amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do
so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
admitted it.


Those steps require accepting responsibility for actions taken, whether drunk or sober.

From my understanding of the program, there is no control over alcohol once the first drink is taken. What the person does up to that point before taking that drink is completely within the control of the person.

Another analogy: you are unable to swim for whatever reason. Once you find yourself in a large body of water, you'll drown. You simply have no tools or skills to prevent your drowning. But you DO have control over how close you come to the water, wearing a life-vest, etc. Similar concept that many people in recovery believe applies to the addict/alcoholic.
The problem is, the FIRST THREE STEPS completely and utterly contradict the Steps you quoted. As do most of the OTHER Steps which are entirely religious in nature.

Quote:
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature
of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with
God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us
and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to
carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our
affairs.
Thus, MOST of the Steps actually advocate the abdication of responsibility to God, and is a clear call for the Sinner to Confess his/her Sins so that God can bless the Sinner with "His" Grace, and then to Proselytize to others having achieved this State of Grace.

GB
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Old 17th August 2010, 07:51 PM   #596
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Originally Posted by Gandalfs Beard View Post
As do most of the OTHER Steps which are entirely religious in nature.
Does this "textual evidence" in the form of bolded quotes represent the substance of your argument? Is the mere mention of God sufficient to render something "entirely religious in nature"? If so, what do you make of the fact that the words "In God We Trust" appear on our currency? Is the U.S. Treasury a religious organization?

The question "Is AA religious" cannot be answered without making at least some attempt to answer the question, "What is religion"? Though I haven't seen any non-trivial attempts to do that in this thread, others have made that effort in other recent threads, such as this one:

Is Reiki a religion?
In which the OP asks what I find to be the question most pertinent here:
Quote:
What makes a religion?

and this one:
Christianity without religion-the new religion
Among the interesting arguments there is this one, with which I happen to agree:
Quote:
The "essential principles of Christianity" transcend the religion, or any religion.
It's just common sense to treat others as you would like to treated. No need to bend one's knee to anything/anyone other than common decency.
Do you also agree with that, or do you side with those religious fundamentalists who consider religious belief to be the only possible basis for morality?

Quote:
Thus, MOST of the Steps actually advocate the abdication of responsibility to God, and is a clear call for the Sinner to Confess his/her Sins so that God can bless the Sinner with "His" Grace, and then to Proselytize to others having achieved this State of Grace.
I swear, this is like "my thoughts on surfing" from a person who has never been within a hundred miles of the ocean, but maybe watched a couple of movies about skateboarding. You are so completely confused about what goes on in AA (and what doesn't) that it's hard to know where to begin, but here's a small sample from the Big Book chapter on Step Four:

"We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault? What should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it."

Before we discuss the step which follows and how it differs from a roughly analogous practice in the Catholic church (with which you appear to have AA confused), can I assume from your omission of this step from your analysis above that we agree that there is nothing religious about asking one's self these questions (or -- gasp -- writing them down)? Is it your position that some of the steps are religious in nature and some are not?
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Old 17th August 2010, 11:20 PM   #597
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
Does this "textual evidence" in the form of bolded quotes represent the substance of your argument? Is the mere mention of God sufficient to render something "entirely religious in nature"? If so, what do you make of the fact that the words "In God We Trust" appear on our currency? Is the U.S. Treasury a religious organization?
I have already addressed your specious analogy in a previous post on this thread. "In God We Trust" does not belong on secular currency. But it is, as you put it, a "mere mention." The 12 Steps are not a "mere mention". They explicitly refer to the Christian Deity in 8 out of 12 Steps. And the key components of Confession of Sins, and accepting the Grace of God are Christian tenets.

Quote:
The question "Is AA religious" cannot be answered without making at least some attempt to answer the question, "What is religion"? Though I haven't seen any non-trivial attempts to do that in this thread, others have made that effort in other recent threads, such as this one:

Is Reiki a religion?
In which the OP asks what I find to be the question most pertinent here:
Quote:
What makes a religion?
AA is not a religion in and of itself, but it is a religious organization founded and based on Christianity. For all practical purposes and in a Nutshell, a religion is the worship of a Deity.

Quote:
and this one:
Christianity without religion-the new religion
Among the interesting arguments there is this one, with which I happen to agree:
Quote:
The "essential principles of Christianity" transcend the religion, or any religion.
It's just common sense to treat others as you would like to treated. No need to bend one's knee to anything/anyone other than common decency
Do you also agree with that, or do you side with those religious fundamentalists who consider religious belief to be the only possible basis for morality?
The quote is problematic. First it presumes that morality is the "essential principle of Christianity." The essential principle of Christianity is not Morality, but the Divinity of Jesus. Hence Christianity is a Religion in the most basic definition of the word.

However, I do agree that some of the Moral tenets mentioned by Christ are Universal; and that those tenets which are Universal do not require a Deity, but can be reached through Reason.

But another problem with the quote, is that some of the alleged Morals espoused by Jesus are NOT Universal, and Moral contradictions abound throughout the Christian Bible.

Quote:
Quote:
Thus, MOST of the Steps actually advocate the abdication of responsibility to God, and is a clear call for the Sinner to Confess his/her Sins so that God can bless the Sinner with "His" Grace, and then to Proselytize to others having achieved this State of Grace.
I swear, this is like "my thoughts on surfing" from a person who has never been within a hundred miles of the ocean, but maybe watched a couple of movies about skateboarding. You are so completely confused about what goes on in AA (and what doesn't) that it's hard to know where to begin,
If you had bothered to read any of my earlier posts on this thread, you would have discovered that I have experienced AA and NA, up close and personal.

But I prefer not to argue from anecdote, but rather, empirical evidence and analysis. A textual analysis, and an examination of AA's historical record demonstrate that the Steps of AA are precisely analogues of Christian Doctrine.

Quote:
but here's a small sample from the Big Book chapter on Step Four:

"We reviewed our own conduct over the years past. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Whom had we hurt? Did we unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion or bitterness? Where were we at fault? What should we have done instead? We got this all down on paper and looked at it."

Before we discuss the step which follows and how it differs from a roughly analogous practice in the Catholic church (with which you appear to have AA confused), can I assume from your omission of this step from your analysis above that we agree that there is nothing religious about asking one's self these questions (or -- gasp -- writing them down)? Is it your position that some of the steps are religious in nature and some are not?
Precisely. And again, if you had bothered to read some of my earlier posts on this thread you would already know that. But the fact is, only 4 out of the 12 Steps are non-religious, and they contradict the other 8.

By the way, in Catholicism Confession is taken by a priest. Public Confessions, Confessions directly to the injured party, and/or Confessing directly to God are decidedly Protestant in origin, as is AA.

GB
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Old 18th August 2010, 03:15 AM   #598
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
And again just so very, very wrong.
What you claim and what you can prove or show, are poles apart.
Not sure I understand what you mean by "what you claim and what you can prove or show".
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Old 18th August 2010, 03:16 AM   #599
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Huh? I'm not understanding your point here. Try steps 8, 9, and 10 for example:
See Gandalf's Beard's post. The fact that some steps don't mention what I'm talking about in no way erases what the other steps say.
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Old 18th August 2010, 03:18 AM   #600
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
That's not merely wrong, it's exactly wrong. It's one hundred and eighty degrees wrong.
180 degrees wrong would not make it exactly wrong, would it ?

Quote:
Self-loathing is an integral part of alcholism, the very thing the 12 steps are intended to address.
Yes, and isn't it quite an amazing coincidence that both alcoholism AND Christianity result in you seeing yourself as worthless ?
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