ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 13th June 2019, 01:49 PM   #41
carlitos
"ms divertido"
 
carlitos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 20,293
It would be great if evidence-based recovery were more popular, but it's a long way away. AA has a decades-long head start, and people still culturally turn to religion when it hits the fan. Thankfully, many of the inpatient rehab places do CBT and REBT, but they still tend to send people to AA meetings, because there are just so many of them.

Evidence-based recovery - https://www.smartrecovery.org/
carlitos is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 02:08 PM   #42
Babbylonian
Penultimate Amazing
 
Babbylonian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 11,694
The 12 steps are a straight logical mess. If I declare that I'm powerless and give myself over to a "higher power," why should I bother, for example, making amends to those I've wronged? Why isn't my higher power taking care of this kind of crap?
Babbylonian is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 02:26 PM   #43
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Saying I am powerless and appealing to a mythical being is not my thing. If it works for you ....fine but I say "go screw yourself" if you think you should be able to tell me it has to be mine as well.
Similar sentiments are probably being expressed in AA meetings right now, although perhaps more politely. Truthfully, in AA as elsewhere most people are probably too self-absorbed to really care what your "higher power" is.

There's a paradox. When your brain has been rewired by a substance addiction it's very hard to think your way out of that addiction. Your brain thinks it needs this stuff and it may be right, in the moment. Your conscious mind may be very invested in preserving the status quo. So, many of us have to come at it from a different angle, to find some aspect of ourselves beyond our ordinary conscious will. With me, I discovered more or less by accident that prayer "worked" in a situation where I was going insane with fear and that was pretty much all I could do. It did not change external reality but it changed something in me.

I routinely stick up for AA, because I know in a couple of hours I could be in a room with 30 people, relaxing during the opening rituals and absorbing what people share about their own experience. Maybe I come back to that meeting, maybe I don't. Strictly up to me. Making people attend is probably counterproductive and may be dangerous. I thought that practice was on the wane.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 02:53 PM   #44
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 3157'S 11557'E
Posts: 14,564
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
That's easy. Pick a religion, any religion.

For followers of that religion non belief of every other religion's gods is sacrosanct.

For Abrahmic religions it's actually in the text.
That is just so much word salad. By definition, if you believe in a particular religion then you DIS-believe all other religions.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 02:55 PM   #45
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,559
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
Similar sentiments are probably being expressed in AA meetings right now, although perhaps more politely. Truthfully, in AA as elsewhere most people are probably too self-absorbed to really care what your "higher power" is.

There's a paradox. When your brain has been rewired by a substance addiction it's very hard to think your way out of that addiction. Your brain thinks it needs this stuff and it may be right, in the moment. Your conscious mind may be very invested in preserving the status quo. So, many of us have to come at it from a different angle, to find some aspect of ourselves beyond our ordinary conscious will. With me, I discovered more or less by accident that prayer "worked" in a situation where I was going insane with fear and that was pretty much all I could do. It did not change external reality but it changed something in me.

I routinely stick up for AA, because I know in a couple of hours I could be in a room with 30 people, relaxing during the opening rituals and absorbing what people share about their own experience. Maybe I come back to that meeting, maybe I don't. Strictly up to me. Making people attend is probably counterproductive and may be dangerous. I thought that practice was on the wane.
As I said before if, it is what you need, I have no problem with that.

Here is my conundrum though. Can I take responsibility for my thoughts? Part of me says yes and the other part, says "hell no". I don't know the answer to this question and frankly I don't think anyone else knows either. If you're hanging on by a thread, letting go of the thread may be the only rational thing to do. But I also think it is dangerous to declare oneself powerless, especially when your own mind says there is no higher power.

The religious connections is incredibly troublesome to me as I see the Bible as the most immoral and evil book ever written. (The Qur'an is a close second)
If you think differently, I am of the belief you've never read them.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 04:59 PM   #46
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Here is my conundrum though. Can I take responsibility for my thoughts? Part of me says yes and the other part, says "hell no". I don't know the answer to this question and frankly I don't think anyone else knows either. If you're hanging on by a thread, letting go of the thread may be the only rational thing to do.
I like that.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
But I also think it is dangerous to declare oneself powerless, especially when your own mind says there is no higher power.
Well there's a power greater than me. I'm just not sure it's "loving" or "jealous" or any other anthropomorphic quality.

A lot of people have narrow definition of that word "powerless." It has to do with what happens after they drink, not before.

I can't speak for the practices of AA everywhere, but it's not about a bunch of people telling you that you're powerless. That's for the individual to determine based on their own experiences.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The religious connections is incredibly troublesome to me as I see the Bible as the most immoral and evil book ever written. (The Qur'an is a close second)
If you think differently, I am of the belief you've never read them.
If AA is a religion, it's the most insipid one ever invented with the possible exception of Unitarian Universalist. It's a deliberately bland pastiche overlaid with some soothing words for agnostics. There's the Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer and a couple of others that are AA's invention.

I'm sure there are some people who feel like they've been preached at but that hasn't been my experience. Just the opposite, really.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 05:04 PM   #47
Myriad
Hyperthetical
 
Myriad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: A pocket paradise between the sewage treatment plant and the railroad
Posts: 15,033
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That is just so much word salad. By definition, if you believe in a particular religion then you DIS-believe all other religions.

That's pretty much exactly what 3point14 was saying.

(It's not actually true of all religions, but the religions it's not true for are minorities throughout North America.)
__________________
A zmbie once bit my sister...
Myriad is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 05:22 PM   #48
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,559
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I like that.

Well there's a power greater than me. I'm just not sure it's "loving" or "jealous" or any other anthropomorphic quality.

A lot of people have narrow definition of that word "powerless." It has to do with what happens after they drink, not before.

I can't speak for the practices of AA everywhere, but it's not about a bunch of people telling you that you're powerless. That's for the individual to determine based on their own experiences.

If AA is a religion, it's the most insipid one ever invented with the possible exception of Unitarian Universalist. It's a deliberately bland pastiche overlaid with some soothing words for agnostics. There's the Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer and a couple of others that are AA's invention.

I'm sure there are some people who feel like they've been preached at but that hasn't been my experience. Just the opposite, really.
It's not that for me. I have no desire to tell others how to run their lives. But I don't want to give a religion that tells people they're immoral if they happen to be gay or gives preachers of any kind authority over others.

I cannot for sure say there isn't a creator. There may have been. Although I doubt it. But what I can say is THAT NO ONE on Earth knows the mind of that being. That an ignorant goat herder a few thousand years says he did is not evidence that he actually did.

Your knowledge of that goat herder's scribbling does not mean you are enlightened.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 06:42 PM   #49
whoanellie
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 444
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The 12 step program is not just religious, it's a con. They have NEVER proved the effectiveness of their programs.
What is the point of the con? To get people to throw a buck in a basket?
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I CARE. TRUTH MATTERS. Whether it's an alcoholic or the President.

Forcing people to tell lies is not good for anyone. What right does anyone have to put you in a position to choose to be a phony or choose recovery? How can an alcoholic who is told these step are essential for recovery when he believes one of those steps is crap?

And by all available evidence it is crap.

How can the alcoholic take it seriously, when it's based on a lie?
I don't believe that any one should be force to go to AA and AA doesn't force any one to go to it. I do believe that the atheist in the OP has a valid argument but I wonder if he's tried AA with an open mind or simply rejected it on principle.

There are a lot of people in recovery who would say it isn't crap, that AA is a life saver.

Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm not sure if we do. We're all not alike. We have different strengths and weaknesses. I feel you're demonstrating the same arrogance as the AA people. You cannot walk in another person's shoes. You will never know what it is like to be them.
Tesla, isn't that what you're doing? You're not an alcoholic, never had a drug problem, but have a very strong opinion about what such folks should be doing? Have you ever been to an AA meeting?
whoanellie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 06:44 PM   #50
whoanellie
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 444
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
I like that.

Well there's a power greater than me. I'm just not sure it's "loving" or "jealous" or any other anthropomorphic quality.

A lot of people have narrow definition of that word "powerless." It has to do with what happens after they drink, not before.

I can't speak for the practices of AA everywhere, but it's not about a bunch of people telling you that you're powerless. That's for the individual to determine based on their own experiences.

If AA is a religion, it's the most insipid one ever invented with the possible exception of Unitarian Universalist. It's a deliberately bland pastiche overlaid with some soothing words for agnostics. There's the Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer and a couple of others that are AA's invention.

I'm sure there are some people who feel like they've been preached at but that hasn't been my experience. Just the opposite, really.
If you ever want to start a fight, go to an AA meeting and start talking about Jesus. There's a good chance you'll have one on your hands.
whoanellie is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 07:04 PM   #51
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
If you ever want to start a fight, go to an AA meeting and start talking about Jesus. There's a good chance you'll have one on your hands.
I always find that a discordant note but I've never seen anyone fight about it. Maybe they took it to the parking lot
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th June 2019, 07:19 PM   #52
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,559
Originally Posted by whoanellie View Post
What is the point of the con? To get people to throw a buck in a basket?

I don't believe that any one should be force to go to AA and AA doesn't force any one to go to it. I do believe that the atheist in the OP has a valid argument but I wonder if he's tried AA with an open mind or simply rejected it on principle.

There are a lot of people in recovery who would say it isn't crap, that AA is a life saver.


Tesla, isn't that what you're doing? You're not an alcoholic, never had a drug problem, but have a very strong opinion about what such folks should be doing? Have you ever been to an AA meeting?

I have strong feelings against the promotion of theistic nonsense. Especially when the secular government violates the separation of church and state and orders it. Or an employer orders it. Individuals may embrace whatever they want as long as it doesn't infringe on other people's rights. I may be wrong, but I do believe that some 12 step programs are often government and church supported. There is a reason that some churches support it. It's an investment. Part of the long con. The cure being their mythical god. So in the future, you find yourself tithing.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 03:01 AM   #53
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I have strong feelings against the promotion of theistic nonsense. Especially when the secular government violates the separation of church and state and orders it. Or an employer orders it. Individuals may embrace whatever they want as long as it doesn't infringe on other people's rights. I may be wrong, but I do believe that some 12 step programs are often government and church supported. There is a reason that some churches support it. It's an investment. Part of the long con. The cure being their mythical god. So in the future, you find yourself tithing.
By baked-in tradition AA groups are never government or church sponsored. They're not affiliated with any sects or denominations and are fully funded from member contributions. No one gives you the stink-eye if you don't put a dollar in the basket.

That hasn't stopped churches from adopting their own versions, but that's not AA. And the treatment industry tends to lean heavily on the 12-step model, but that's not AA, either. AA will NEVER adopt any form of tithing. The encouragement to find a higher power does not specify what that power should be although many members do call that power God as does the literature. Some will call GOD an acronym for "good, orderly direction." It's entirely up to the individual.

Don't mean to preach but many people simply have an inaccurate understanding about what 12-step programs are and what they do. They're not based on the Bible and they asks nothing of their members except voluntary and quite modest contributions. The higher power can be the process itself as theprestige suggested. You could call it your own better self, the part that wants to heal, survive and thrive. Just probably not the part of your brain you use to rationalize your addiction.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 03:06 AM   #54
3point14
Pi
 
3point14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 17,774
Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
That is just so much word salad.
I disagree. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" makes disbelief in those gods sacrosanct. It's explicit in the text.


Makes perfect sense. Or, at least as much sense as any other aspect of religious doctrine.


Quote:
By definition, if you believe in a particular religion then you DIS-believe all other religions.
Well, yes.
__________________
Up the River!

Anyone that wraps themselves in the Union Flag and also lives in tax exile is a [redacted]

Last edited by 3point14; 14th June 2019 at 03:08 AM.
3point14 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 05:45 AM   #55
8enotto
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 779
Most people with court ordered rehab are going through the motions to stay out of jail or keep their jobs.

They don't want to be fixed, they like the bad habits. They will dilute the best efforts of any program.

Anyone who wants to break an addiction has s far better chance at making a success of any program. Especially if he is capable if breaking with old friends and making a new start.

And you don't even need a rehab center or AA if the willpower exists to stay on track.

But if it helps the person should seek the flavor of rehab center he will respond to best. Even if it is a church run program.

This is real life experience from living in areas like thus. They were my neighbors and friends. Were....
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 06:24 AM   #56
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,553
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I disagree. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" makes disbelief in those gods sacrosanct. It's explicit in the text.
Not really. The ancient Hebrews were monolatrous, not monotheist. They believed multiple gods existed, but only worshipped one of them. The "no other gods before me" only makes sense if there are other gods to be jealous of.

True monotheism was a much later idea.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:14 AM   #57
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 82,692
Originally Posted by Babbylonian View Post
The 12 steps are a straight logical mess. If I declare that I'm powerless and give myself over to a "higher power," why should I bother, for example, making amends to those I've wronged? Why isn't my higher power taking care of this kind of crap?
I think that's part of why 12 step programs don't work.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:17 AM   #58
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 82,692
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
True monotheism was a much later idea.
Also much more boring.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:26 AM   #59
pgwenthold
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 18,092
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Not really. The ancient Hebrews were monolatrous, not monotheist. They believed multiple gods existed, but only worshipped one of them. The "no other gods before me" only makes sense if there are other gods to be jealous of.

True monotheism was a much later idea.
Also, when God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, he says, "I am the god of your father, Abraham." As opposed to the god of the tribe down the street, etc. Again, an implicit acknowledgement of the existence of other gods.
__________________
"As your friend, I have to be honest with you: I don't care about you or your problems" - Chloe, Secret Life of Pets
pgwenthold is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:33 AM   #60
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 35,760
Well, an implicit acknowledgement of the existence of belief in other gods, at least.

---

Fast zombies are real. Worry about fast zombies, not slow zombies.

Ha! You just acknowledged that slow zombies are real!
theprestige is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:38 AM   #61
TragicMonkey
Poisoned Waffles
 
TragicMonkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Monkey
Posts: 49,553
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Well, an implicit acknowledgement of the existence of belief in other gods, at least.

---

Fast zombies are real. Worry about fast zombies, not slow zombies.

Ha! You just acknowledged that slow zombies are real!
Arguments by analogy always fail.

There's a great deal more than two quotations on which to base the interpretation that the ancient Hebrews were monolatrous. I think it would be a derail to pursue it further here. But it's not something I just made up, it's a pretty standard belief in religious studies. Academics with credentials, etc.
__________________
You added nothing to that conversation, Barbara.
TragicMonkey is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 08:02 AM   #62
angrysoba
Philosophile
 
angrysoba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Osaka, Japan
Posts: 25,075
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Which higher power would an atheist place his or her life into the hands of? Darth Vader? Stephen Hawking?
Entropy. In fact, it is the supreme power.
__________________
"The thief and the murderer follow nature just as much as the philanthropist. Cosmic evolution may teach us how the good and the evil tendencies of man may have come about; but, in itself, it is incompetent to furnish any better reason why what we call good is preferable to what we call evil than we had before."

"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
angrysoba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 08:09 AM   #63
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 29,117
Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Entropy. In fact, it is the supreme power.
According to Wikipedia, though, 'It is frequently stipulated that as long as a higher power is "greater" than the individual, then the only condition is that it should also be loving and caring.' I think that kind of rules out entropy.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 08:33 AM   #64
Joe Random
Graduate Poster
 
Joe Random's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,955
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
According to Wikipedia, though, 'It is frequently stipulated that as long as a higher power is "greater" than the individual, then the only condition is that it should also be loving and caring.' I think that kind of rules out entropy.

Dave

"And Chaos so loved Her creation Matter that she sent her only begotten daughter Entropia to spread it all out in a thin uniform goo across the whole of Heaven and Earth that none might say 'behold, for my palace is sturdier than thy hut', and all would enjoy Matter equally [or rather would have, had they themselves not been spread into a uniform goo as well] ...".

Wonder if that would fly in a 12 step?
Joe Random is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:02 AM   #65
applecorped
Rotten to the Core
 
applecorped's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 19,463
Well there's that pesky problem that AA doesn't work regardless of whether or not you believe in a higher power that should really be the topic here
__________________
All You Need Is Love.
applecorped is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:11 AM   #66
isissxn
Rough Around the Edges
 
isissxn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deep Storage
Posts: 5,912
I've always thought that the "make amends" step is a bad idea more often than not. Especially for narcotics addicts. If you're deep enough into hard dope that you're coming to meetings (especially involuntarily), then you need to just break ties with almost everyone you know. Also, most of the time, seeking people out and digging up old wrongs only makes those wronged people uncomfortable all over again. Has anyone here ever been "step 9'd" by somebody you know who's working a program? It's sooooo awkward. It just feels like empty theatre, when I would have preferred to just never talk about the time you stole $20 off my night stand ever again.

Apologize to your family and close friends if you got 'em, but for the most part, the world moves on. Also, apologize to the people you need to just because you want to apologize. Don't be like "I'm at the step where I make amends." Call up your mom, and say, "Mom, I'm sorry I've hurt you. I'm ready to get better. I'm even in a program." See the difference? **** Step 9. I am anti step 9.

Again, these are my opinions. They are pulled from my (slightly educated) butthole.

Last edited by isissxn; 14th June 2019 at 10:17 AM. Reason: elaborated on my point a bit
isissxn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:14 AM   #67
The Greater Fool
Illuminator
 
The Greater Fool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Scottsdale, AZ, USA, North America, Earth, Sol, Milky Way
Posts: 3,865
Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I've always thought that the "make amends" step is a bad idea more often than not. Especially for narcotics addicts. If you're deep enough into hard dope that you're coming to meetings (especially involuntarily), then you need to just break ties with almost everyone you know. Also, most of the time, seeking people out and digging up old wrongs only makes those wronged people uncomfortable all over again. Has anyone here ever been "step 9'd" by somebody you know who's working a program? It's sooooo awkward. It just feels like empty theatre, when I would have preferred to just never talk about the time you stole $20 off my night stand ever again.

Apologize to your family and close friends if you got 'em, but for the most part, the world moves on. **** Step 9. I am anti step 9.

Again, these are my opinions. They are pulled from my (slightly educated) butthole.
The out for step 9 is there is a caveat: ... unless doing so would cause additional harm (or something to that effect, I'm not inclined to look it up).
__________________
- "Who is the greater fool? The fool? Or the one arguing with the fool?" [Various; Uknown]
- "The only way to win is not to play." [Tsig quoting 'War Games']
The Greater Fool is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:17 AM   #68
isissxn
Rough Around the Edges
 
isissxn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deep Storage
Posts: 5,912
Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
The out for step 9 is there is a caveat: ... unless doing so would cause additional harm (or something to that effect, I'm not inclined to look it up).
Right, but my argument is that it almost always causes harm. The caveat isn't referring to the subtleties of harm that I'm trying to get across. (It's a bit abstract, so I may not be doing a good job of wording things.)
isissxn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:21 AM   #69
isissxn
Rough Around the Edges
 
isissxn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Deep Storage
Posts: 5,912
I've been kind of being deliberately vague in this thread, but full disclosure - I have been on all sides of this thing. I have been on the counselor's side, the (er) client side, and the loved one of client side. So my opinions are sort of a half-formed mishmash based on all that. It's interesting to discuss, but I do not want anyone to think that I'm certain about anything I'm saying.
isissxn is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:37 AM   #70
Dancing David
Penultimate Amazing
 
Dancing David's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 39,699
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post

I quit drinking heavy by just not drinking booze.
This is similar to Trimpey's Big Choice
__________________
I suspect you are a sandwich, metaphorically speaking. -Donn
And a shot rang out. Now Space is doing time... -Ben Burch
You built the toilet - don't complain when people crap in it. _Kid Eager
Never underestimate the power of the Random Number God. More of evolutionary history is His doing than people think. - Dinwar
Dancing David is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 10:43 AM   #71
psionl0
Skeptical about skeptics
 
psionl0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: 3157'S 11557'E
Posts: 14,564
Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I disagree. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me" makes disbelief in those gods sacrosanct. It's explicit in the text.


Makes perfect sense. Or, at least as much sense as any other aspect of religious doctrine.




Well, yes.
Your words were "non belief" as in "lack of belief". (Telling an atheist here that they DIS-believe in gods is like waving a red flag in front of a bull).

Only a "belief" can be sacrosanct. Not having a belief can't be regarded as a sacrosanct position otherwise atheism would be a religion.
__________________
"The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
psionl0 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 11:17 AM   #72
Senex
Philosopher
 
Senex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: School for Rumpology, CT
Posts: 5,793
Here is a link to "The Orange Papers," a detailed explanation of the history and shortcomings of AA. I doubt anyone who has drunk the flavor aide already will have any epiphany but it should provide insight for those who are unfamiliar with the organization.
Senex is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 02:45 PM   #73
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Right, but my argument is that it almost always causes harm. The caveat isn't referring to the subtleties of harm that I'm trying to get across. (It's a bit abstract, so I may not be doing a good job of wording things.)
The most meaningful amends IMO are the ones made by a daily and hopefully lasting change in behavior. The point is to blast through the shame many addicts feel about the past. It's useless or worse to try to rush through the process on some kind of apology tour. Bill cribbed the 9th step from an Anglo-Catholic movement that was big on auricular confession but it's a sensitive issue and at the least it requires (IMO) time for reflection about the harm caused, if any, and how to remedy it.

Did anyone just give you your $20 back? IMO that would be meaningful, even if done covertly. Apologizing without restitution is pointless. IMO.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 03:20 PM   #74
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Don't be like "I'm at the step where I make amends." Call up your mom, and say, "Mom, I'm sorry I've hurt you. I'm ready to get better. I'm even in a program." See the difference? **** Step 9. I am anti step 9.
What makes you think that the highlighted is not a meaningful expression of the 9th step? It's a valid thing to say if it helps repair some of the harm, but actually following up with changed behavior is probably more important.

There are people who think Bill conveniently decided on the 9th step wording in order to avoid confessing infidelities to his wife (because it would only hurt her worse, you see). I don't know if that's true, but it's a heck of a workaround. Believing he had covered his spiritual bases probably helped him not drink. He had other problems though.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 03:28 PM   #75
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,559
My understanding of 12 step programs is all second hand. As I said before, I may have my own demons, but drugs or alcohol has never been one of them.

I know people who swear by these programs and others who found them useless. I know atheists who said that religious overtones was just too much for them. But I can't say what it is like.

Admittedly, I have a bone to pick with all the charlatans, bigotry and religious influence in our lives. I see pastors as con artists. It's insidious and makes me sick. It's an issue in prisons, our military and it is an issue with mental health. Mythology is not an answer.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 06:13 PM   #76
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
My understanding of 12 step programs is all second hand. As I said before, I may have my own demons, but drugs or alcohol has never been one of them.

I know people who swear by these programs and others who found them useless. I know atheists who said that religious overtones was just too much for them. But I can't say what it is like.

Admittedly, I have a bone to pick with all the charlatans, bigotry and religious influence in our lives. I see pastors as con artists. It's insidious and makes me sick. It's an issue in prisons, our military and it is an issue with mental health. Mythology is not an answer.
As I read more about his situation this stood out (from the link in the OP):

Quote:
The 12 steps require members to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him," admit their faults and make amends with those they've hurt.
No they don't.

ETA: Had to add this:
Quote:
But leading addictions researchers have long questioned the overall effectiveness of AA and its requirement for absolute abstinence.
There is no such requirement. You can go to meetings toasted if you want. No one kicks you out of AA if you drink or use. If you're unduly disruptive, someone might have a word with you.

Last edited by Minoosh; 14th June 2019 at 06:25 PM.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:26 PM   #77
acbytesla
Penultimate Amazing
 
acbytesla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 21,559
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
As I read more about his situation this stood out (from the link in the OP):

No they don't.

ETA: Had to add this:
There is no such requirement. You can go to meetings toasted if you want. No one kicks you out of AA if you drink or use. If you're unduly disruptive, someone might have a word with you.
I'm not sure that every 12 step program is run the same way. Attitudes regarding religion vary a great deal. So while 12 step programs in SF definitely may be more secular, it could be very different in Missouri or South Carolina.
__________________
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
― David Hume
acbytesla is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 07:58 PM   #78
8enotto
Muse
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mexico
Posts: 779
I used to live near a locale where a step 5 group met and they were the most foul mouthed lot. The guy in charge found it worked to keep his group comfortable. Now after work I pass another. It used to be a bar but now a quite christian group (all neighbors to my work ) meet and I have heard prayers there.

And not one foul word.

The local hq of AA rents an office directly over the biggest liquor store in town. I find that funny.
8enotto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 09:14 PM   #79
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Id be lying if I said that AA didnt save my life, but it also towards the end left me in a state of overwhelming cognitive dissonance.

As far as I can tell, this is a fairly typical statement among people who benefited from AA but who ultimately decided on another path.

And that's fine.
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th June 2019, 09:16 PM   #80
Minoosh
Philosopher
 
Minoosh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 9,374
Originally Posted by 8enotto View Post
The local hq of AA rents an office directly over the biggest liquor store in town. I find that funny.
At a meeting I noticed tables were equipped with bottles of hand sanitizer - i.e., ethanol.

I find that funny!
Minoosh is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:11 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.