Alcoholics Anonymous is based on religion

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Skeptic

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#1
Jun 1, 2007
 
The twelve steps of AA:

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.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
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.
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.
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.

http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/geninf...

“ I Am She SaHum”

Since: Apr 07

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#2
Jun 25, 2007
 

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@Skeptic I love AA. It helps people. You have a problem with them.

ps. Yes i did follow you off the Hindu Forum.
Skeptic

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#3
Jun 26, 2007
 

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Want to be Hindu wrote:
@Skeptic I love AA. It helps people. You have a problem with them.
ps. Yes i did follow you off the Hindu Forum.
I'm glad you like AA. However, I think that preying on the sick and offering them conditional relief by indoctrinating them with religion is deeply wrong.

Addiction to alcohol is a physical and psychological illness. Doctors don't give out prescriptions that say "take two three times a day and believe in god or you'll go to hell"?.

So why do they add God in the equation?
New48er

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#4
Jul 5, 2007
 

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I am an AA member, and an atheist by the views of most religious people. Philosophically, I am agnostic - the existence of "God" can be neither proven nor disproven. I definitely do not believe in a "person" god, the all-knowing, all-powerful designer of the universe whose will determines all things.

AA literature clearly stipulates "God as we understood Him" and the basic text, the "Big Book," states this:

"When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honetstly asking yourself what they mean to you." (p. 47, all editions)

Also, AA does not prey on anyone. No one in AA makes money from it; anyone is free to leave AA at any time, and people often do, to prove it's non-coercive.

What remains for atheists to explain is this: Religion is a phenomenon of human experience. It shows up in every culture, and in every historical period. We know it has something to do with the psychological power of metaphor and symbolic language. There is a psychological and sociological phenomenon in religion that remains unexplained. And, this power is used in A.A. to help people.

However, this is not to say that AA is "religious."

AA literature clearly states:

"A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

No one makes money, no one is driven to join some church, each member decides for themselves what "God" and other terms mean for them.

Please stop spreading misinformation about AA, because it saves peoples' lives, and releases tortured families from their sad condition!

“ I Am She SaHum”

Since: Apr 07

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#5
Jul 6, 2007
 

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Skeptic wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm glad you like AA. However, I think that preying on the sick and offering them conditional relief by indoctrinating them with religion is deeply wrong.
Addiction to alcohol is a physical and psychological illness. Doctors don't give out prescriptions that say "take two three times a day and believe in god or you'll go to hell"?.
So why do they add God in the equation?
The proof is in the pudding. I know lots of people who dont drink any more. I think that all that matters.
AA works sponsors dont

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#6
Jul 7, 2007
 
A.A itself is not a religion its Spirituality is freer, more personal, broader for fun and for free.
Now people in A.A. who label them self as a sponsors try to turn A.A. into a religion that is more structured and external.
A.A. is clear people, places and things can easily divert a soul from its goal.
Clean house and trust in who we come to call by name God.

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#7
Jul 9, 2007
 
New48er wrote:
I am an AA member, and an atheist by the views of most religious people. Philosophically, I am agnostic - the existence of "God" can be neither proven nor disproven. I definitely do not believe in a "person" god, the all-knowing, all-powerful designer of the universe whose will determines all things.
ok.
New48er wrote:
AA literature clearly stipulates "God as we understood Him" and the basic text, the "Big Book," states this:
"When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God. This applies, too, to other spiritual expressions which you find in this book. Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honetstly asking yourself what they mean to you." (p. 47, all editions)
The crux of this is that they are asking you to believe in a God, whatever form it may be. This is not healing, but creating a psychological barrier through indoctrination.
New48er wrote:
Also, AA does not prey on anyone. No one in AA makes money from it; anyone is free to leave AA at any time, and people often do, to prove it's non-coercive.
Thats why I called it a religion.
New48er wrote:
What remains for atheists to explain is this: Religion is a phenomenon of human experience. It shows up in every culture, and in every historical period.
Yes, and so is Santa Claus and Ronald Mcdonald when we are 6 years old, what does this prove?
New48er wrote:
We know it has something to do with the psychological power of metaphor and symbolic language.
No, we know that people 1) chidren are brought up to believe in god and forget to question its existence. and 2) people have experiences but then they interpret the experiences themselves as being religious.
New48er wrote:
There is a psychological and sociological phenomenon in religion that remains unexplained.
It's not unexplained, check out psychology papers on the subject, they have the chemical changes in the brain in the 'religious experience state" down to a note.
New48er wrote:
And, this power is used in A.A. to help people.
What power? the power of deception? the power of masking real problems by offering a false deity as a solution?
New48er wrote:
However, this is not to say that AA is "religious."
Count the number of times a reference is made to religion in the 12 steps and then come back to me on this please.
New48er wrote:
AA literature clearly states:
"A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
so why mention god?
New48er wrote:
Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."
so why mention god. What has god got to do with Alcohol addiction?
New48er wrote:
No one makes money, no one is driven to join some church, each member decides for themselves what "God" and other terms mean for them.
Why should these poor people be forced to deciding about god wihout questioning its existence if they are trying to beat a physical addiction?

New48er wrote:
Please stop spreading misinformation about AA, because it saves peoples' lives, and releases tortured families from their sad condition!
I'm not arguing about results here, I'm arguing about the method used to get them. THis is not misinformation. What have I stated that is factually wrong?

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#8
Jul 9, 2007
 
Want to be Hindu wrote:
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The proof is in the pudding. I know lots of people who dont drink any more. I think that all that matters.
Doesn't truth and honesty matter?

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#9
Jul 9, 2007
 
AA works sponsors dont wrote:
A.A itself is not a religion its Spirituality is freer, more personal, broader for fun and for free.
We need a free alcohol program that does not involve religion.
New48er wrote:
Now people in A.A. who label them self as a sponsors try to turn A.A. into a religion that is more structured and external.
A.A. is clear people, places and things can easily divert a soul from its goal.
What does god and spirituality have to do with physical addiction?
New48er wrote:
Clean house and trust in who we come to call by name God.
I see you are indoctrinated already.

“ I Am She SaHum”

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#10
Jul 10, 2007
 
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
We need a free alcohol program that does not involve religion.
There are some behavior drug programs that are not 12 step programs.

“ I Am She SaHum”

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#11
Jul 10, 2007
 
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>

What does god and spirituality have to do with physical addiction?
<quoted text>
I see you are indoctrinated already.
It works. You dont have to believe in God. There are meetings for Atheists. Your time is better spent in other places.

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#12
Jul 10, 2007
 

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Want to be Hindu wrote:
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It works. You dont have to believe in God. There are meetings for Atheists. Your time is better spent in other places.
I think if AA wants to be a responsible and fair organisation, it should change its twelve steps and omit religion as it has no place in treating physical addiction.

“God is Dead.”

Since: Jun 07

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#13
Jul 10, 2007
 
-Skeptic- wrote:
<quoted text>
I think if AA wants to be a responsible and fair organisation, it should change its twelve steps and omit religion as it has no place in treating physical addiction.
AA isn't supposed to be about religion, it's supposed to be about spirituality. That being said, it has followed down the same path as normal religions. It's a bunch of sheep leading each other around on strings of lies; in fact, it may be more dangerous than religion because the untangible threat of heaven/hell is now the very real threat of 'relapse'. It's a good idea that all too often goes wrong. Too many people in the rooms want to use Jesus!(always said with the exclamation mark) to fix other people's problems. It can help alot of people, so I think it's worth it. I decided (after my experience with AA) to look at it realistically: Granted, these people are brainwashed, BUT: they're way better off. Undeniably. There are a few side effects, like dependency on the rooms, but these aren't serious. Some more dangerous complications, like fundamentalist christianity, are also common. But hey, I'd rather they beat a bible than get drunk and beat their wife! Many people who go to AA go on to be sober and live better lives, and more power to them--Nothing's free. I can't handle AA, and I decided to do my own thing in my own time. But I hope it continues to help people get sober.

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#14
Jul 11, 2007
 

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I'm not denying the fact that it helps people. What I am questioning is whether this is real help or simply just masking the underlying problem with a made up story about and absolute power that can control your behaviour.

I mean seriously - one of the steps is recognising that you have no control and giving it up to the god? what does this teach you?

reminds me once of a teacher inn achurch school who found a girl swinging dangerously on a pole ."Don't do that - you'll hurt yourself!"

to which the girl replied "it's ok, god will save me"

a nomination for the darwin awards if anything.

“ I Am She SaHum”

Since: Apr 07

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#15
Jul 11, 2007
 
-Skeptic- wrote:
I'm not denying the fact that it helps people. What I am questioning is whether this is real help or simply just masking the underlying problem with a made up story about and absolute power that can control your behaviour.
I mean seriously - one of the steps is recognising that you have no control and giving it up to the god? what does this teach you?
reminds me once of a teacher inn achurch school who found a girl swinging dangerously on a pole ."Don't do that - you'll hurt yourself!"
to which the girl replied "it's ok, god will save me"
a nomination for the darwin awards if anything.
They need to get off Drugs before they get to the underlying problems. If you have be around someone who has this problem. It is clear they have lost control of there life. Read the Big Book and go to a meeting. See if you still think the same thing. AA\NA has saved the life of a few of my friends. AA folks work hard at living a good life.

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#16
Jul 13, 2007
 
Want to be Hindu wrote:
<quoted text>
They need to get off Drugs before they get to the underlying problems. If you have be around someone who has this problem. It is clear they have lost control of there life. Read the Big Book and go to a meeting. See if you still think the same thing. AA\NA has saved the life of a few of my friends. AA folks work hard at living a good life.
Thanks Want to be Hindu, but my point is subtle: is this real help? I'm not convinced it is.

There are more than one ways to get people off physical addiction, which is a biological condition and not a spiritual one.

“God is Dead.”

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#17
Jul 13, 2007
 
-Skeptic- wrote:
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Thanks Want to be Hindu, but my point is subtle: is this real help? I'm not convinced it is.
There are more than one ways to get people off physical addiction, which is a biological condition and not a spiritual one.
I'm with you on this, but I was wondering what you think 'real help' is?

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#18
Jul 16, 2007
 
lord_jesus wrote:
<quoted text>
I'm with you on this, but I was wondering what you think 'real help' is?
I mean help that is based on things that are rational, tested and meaningful. For example, drugs to overcome physical addiction and its symptoms. Behaviour modification therapy, counselling, mentoring and coaching.

Just following an alcoholic around for a couple of weeks and looking out for them could have benefits.
some1elseisme

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#19
Sep 17, 2007
 
I've been sober for 22 years (took 6 years to settle down in AA). I have been deeply involved in politics and philosophy since a young student. I am an admirer of RD Laing, Sartre, Hegel, Jung & Marx. I never accepted God or Higher Power, but didn't mention it. For the past 10 years I have not been to 1 AA meeting because I saw the route it was taking - much like the Evangelical Christian right. I read a post today from AA in the UK. They were reporting that increasingly days were being lost in industry due to heavy drinking. When did AA start worrying about how the bourgeoisie economy was faring? I must say I enjoyed the friendship of others at meetings (and outside of them) but being lectured to by guys claiming welfare about my left wing politics gave me a sense of alienation. I manage well, and some of my friends still visit. AA would do well to stick to the basics of acting as an all welcoming support network for people to stay sober.
Whyarepeopleblin d

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#22
Dec 2, 2008
 
"A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

-So why do groups close with a prayer from the holy bible? It seems to me they are affiliated with religion, and I don't understand how the government can force someone to go to these meetings. What ever happened to separation of church and state?

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