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Tags alcoholics anonymous , alcoholism , treatment programs

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Old 7th August 2010, 10:04 AM   #521
Malerin
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Context is king. "Classification of Diseases", probably has a long prolouge and description of what the usage is.

And then there is the dual nature of the classification.

AA Alfie provided his reasons for calling it a disease rather than a mental disorder, which was the fallacy I was responding too.

So I again ask because it also depends upon how you define the term disease, in the DSM-V and in the ICD 9/10 (used by WHO) it is characterized by the behavioral components and I can demonstrate that, it is a behavioral disorder under both those systems and not generally considered a 'disease' in the common sense.

So now you sling out the AMA, so how and why do they classify it the way that they do?

Or are you just using argument from authority?
Of course I'm arguing from authority, as neither of us are doctors. It's not a fallacy if you use a reputable authority (e.g., NASA to support a global warming claim).

Anyway, here's what AMA says:

H-95.983 Drug Dependencies as Diseases
The AMA:
 endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases
and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice, and
encourages physicians, other health professionals, medical and other health related
organizations, and government and other policymakers to become more well informed
about drug dependencies, and to base their policies and activities on the recognition
that drug dependencies are, in fact, diseases. (Res. 113, A-87)

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upl...atementuad.pdf
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Old 7th August 2010, 10:56 AM   #522
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
If you are so interested, and think it will help alcoholics overcome their personal problem, why not do the research and enlighten us?

Do you think your "skeptical" JAQing around is assisting someone with overcoming alcoholism?
Excuse me , it is not my role to support other people claims, maybe you should use the link arrows to read the origins of this sub-thread.

Addiction is not a disease per se, it is a behavioral disorder. It is much less of an illness than schizophrenia.

ETA: Thanks for just reading none of the thread and acting all huffy like!
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Old 7th August 2010, 11:11 AM   #523
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Originally Posted by Malerin View Post
Of course I'm arguing from authority, as neither of us are doctors. It's not a fallacy if you use a reputable authority (e.g., NASA to support a global warming claim).

Anyway, here's what AMA says:

H-95.983 Drug Dependencies as Diseases
The AMA:
 endorses the proposition that drug dependencies, including alcoholism, are diseases
and that their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice, and
encourages physicians, other health professionals, medical and other health related
organizations, and government and other policymakers to become more well informed
about drug dependencies, and to base their policies and activities on the recognition
that drug dependencies are, in fact, diseases. (Res. 113, A-87)

http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upl...atementuad.pdf
Thanks you, so now, in response to what I stated they are still not diseases under the common usage of the term, which I know you didn't read, but that is my originals statement.

They are 'diseases' as something that is a focus of treatment, and something that medical personnel should be involved in, and that governments and social structures should address.

I can agree with that, they are a set of behavioral disorders, that in many cases have a serious physical consequence. However in terms of the common definition of disease as a infectious or biological system failure they are not. And in fact there are plenty of people who become alcoholics that are not Type II alcoholics , they have other co-morbid factors that drive their dependence. And there are alcoholics who do not have any withdrawal symptoms. Hence, I believe that alcoholism is a behavioral disorder.

So see it all has to do with definitions, I do not myself refer to schizophrenia, depression or anxiety as a disease either.

Now do I believe that the sanctioned use of alcohol, the lack of treatment and societal approval of addiction are serious problems, you bet I do!

Now do I refer to my morbid obesity (I am 30% over my ideal body weight) as a disease? No, I do not, so that is just my context.

Now we can get to the cool question, is compulsive gambling, that meets all the criteria of dependence, except it has no physical withdrawal a disease? If you would say yes under the above definition then I would say that is self consistent.
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Old 7th August 2010, 11:25 AM   #524
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Now you will also note that the only instances of the use of the term (on-line) of H-95.983, refer to congressional testimony and not the AMA itself.

Now I did find this
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upl...alhandbook.pdf
pg262
Quote:
H-30.977 Alcoholism as a
Disease
The AMA urges change in federal laws and regulations to require that
the Veterans Administration determine benefits eligibility on the basis
that alcoholism is a disease (Res. 112, A-88, I-98)
Retain
You will also find that the AMA opposes the funding of the training of physician assistants.
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Old 7th August 2010, 11:41 AM   #525
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Originally Posted by Dancing David
Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
If you are so interested, and think it will help alcoholics overcome their personal problem, why not do the research and enlighten us?

Do you think your "skeptical" JAQing around is assisting someone with overcoming alcoholism?
Excuse me , it is not my role to support other people claims, maybe you should use the link arrows to read the origins of this sub-thread.
Yes, I know quite well the role you and most here choose to play is "Show me evidence." even though many have actual data they could easily provide concerning a question under discussion.

Quote:
Addiction is not a disease per se, it is a behavioral disorder. It is much less of an illness than schizophrenia.
This thread is about AA, not addiction nor schizophrenia.

Quote:
ETA: Thanks for just reading none of the thread and acting all huffy like!
I've been here since the beginning. My interest is not making an atheist alcoholic who could be helped by AA decide not to at least see what an actual AA meeting might be about.

Your interest is much less clear.

On the topics of obesity & gambling addiction, I would not classify either as a disease, unless brain chemistry changes associated with those behaviors are identified. Schizophrenia I would classify as a disease.

As to alcoholism, http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/36/5/357 for example.

I'd say at least some alcoholics suffer from a disease.
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Old 7th August 2010, 12:15 PM   #526
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
Thanks you, so now, in response to what I stated they are still not diseases under the common usage of the term, which I know you didn't read, but that is my originals statement.



Originally Posted by biology-online.org
Disease

Definition

noun, plural: diseases

An abnormal condition of an organism which interrupts the normal bodily functions that often leads to feeling of pain and weakness, and usually associated with symptoms and signs.

A pathologic condition in which the normal functioning of an organism or body is impaired or disrupted resulting in extreme pain, dysfunction, distress, or death.


Supplement

It may include state of injuries, disabilities, disorders, syndromes, infections, isolated symptoms, deviant behaviors, or atypical variations of structure and function.

Synonymous with the words: affection, ailing, ailment, disorder, distemper, illness, malady, sickness. However, in strict sense, disease is usually protracted or prolonged, sometimes permanent. It differs from disorder that means a slight, partial or temporary irregularity in the system. Distemper is mostly associated with diseases of animals. Malady is more of a literary term than a medical or technical term. Affection refers to a part, organ, or function (as in: affection of the lung).


Word origin: oe. Disese, OF. Desaise; des- (L. Dis-) _ aise ease.

Originally Posted by thefreedictionary.com
disease /dis·ease/ (dĭ-zēz´) any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any body part, organ, or system that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs and whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown. See also entries under syndrome.

Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster
Main Entry: dis·ease
Pronunciation: \di-ˈzēz\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English disese, from Anglo-French desease, desaise, from des- dis- + eise ease
Date: 14th century

1 obsolete : trouble
2 : a condition of the living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that impairs normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms : sickness, malady
3 : a harmful development (as in a social institution)

— dis·eased \-ˈzēzd\ adjective


So, looks like it can be reasonable to include addiction under the concept of disease.

And, I think that this is why the term "the disease concept of addiction" is often used -- to help make it distinct from the earlier ideas that addiction is a spiritual malady or a moral failing.

I'll post more on this topic a bit later.
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Old 8th August 2010, 06:09 AM   #527
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
So, looks like it can be reasonable to include addiction under the concept of disease.

And, I think that this is why the term "the disease concept of addiction" is often used -- to help make it distinct from the earlier ideas that addiction is a spiritual malady or a moral failing.

I'll post more on this topic a bit later.
I know the common definitions are not as inclusive as the medical ones, and I agree with that. I just happen to feel that it is a nomenclature that gets abused by the addicts quite frequently. So I tend to recategorize it to avoid that hook. Alcoholism is not like type I diabetes. A diabetic will have the homeostatic problem of being unable to regulate their blood sugars regardless of their behaviors.

Some behaviors will benefit the status of the diabetes, taking prescribed medication, avoiding carbohydrates, etc...

Now that I can agree with those definitions, I would just say that it is a behavioral disorder and that it has biological consequences. In addictions the key is that there is a behavior that is the sole trigger of the event, some people will have a biological predisposition, some will not, some will have physical withdrawal, some will not. All will have a change in body state as a consequence of either exposure to the substance or engaging in the mood altering behavior.

So I feel that it is not helpful to say "I have the disease of alcoholism" (for the addict), I feel it is more helpful for them to say "No matter what the best choice for me is to not use."
Now this is a huge grey area, as there are physical syndromes like type II diabetes that can be controlled by behaviors.

I agree the moral falsity is a real issue, people are not unable to cope with life, they are not weak.

They are unable to control their use of a substance or behavior once they begin that use.

So the solution is simple, the 'Big Choice' , you choose not to use. There is no moral failing, there is a choice.
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Old 8th August 2010, 06:15 AM   #528
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Yes, I know quite well the role you and most here choose to play is "Show me evidence." even though many have actual data they could easily provide concerning a question under discussion.
That just shows that you did not actually read my posts, if you had then you would know exactly what I have stated and why. And why I asked for the clarification that the AMA somewhere said that alcoholism is a disease.
Quote:


This thread is about AA, not addiction nor schizophrenia.
Um, wow, that also shows a lack of reading the thread, there are usually sub threads and comments made to clarify positions.

AA is about addiction, isn't it?
Quote:


I've been here since the beginning. My interest is not making an atheist alcoholic who could be helped by AA decide not to at least see what an actual AA meeting might be about.
You didn't really read my posts did you, or you have confused me with someone else.
Quote:

Your interest is much less clear.
It is rather transparent.
Quote:

On the topics of obesity & gambling addiction, I would not classify either as a disease,
then that is inconsistent.
Quote:
unless brain chemistry changes associated with those behaviors are identified.
Unless you believe in some duality where the mind does not reside in the brain and is a result of the brain, then of course mood altering behaviors have an impact on brain chemistry.
Quote:
Schizophrenia I would classify as a disease.

As to alcoholism, http://alcalc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi.../full/36/5/357 for example.

I'd say at least some alcoholics suffer from a disease.
Fair enough, many alcoholics suffer serious physical changes due to their use.
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:43 AM   #529
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Originally Posted by hud View Post
This is partly why there is AA and other self-help groups. We could be talking about anything.

Personally, if I was a fat guy, I could just eat less....

Personally, if I was dyslexic, I could just focus better...

Personally, if I was a kleptomaniac, I could just steal less...

Anytime someone says, "well I'm not one, but if I was, I would just do this, it's easy..." I quit paying attention.
You misunderstand. I don't mean that people can't help you to reach your goals, but ultimately, YOU are the one making the steps towards recovery, not some imaginary higher power.
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:44 AM   #530
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
Hilarious. The efforts some will go to.....
Indeed, since you seem to be denying that religious organisations have mandatory requirements for participation.
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:46 AM   #531
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
This thread is about AA, not addiction nor schizophrenia.
So we are not allowed to make analogies or comparisons for the sake of argument, ever ?
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:54 AM   #532
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Indeed, since you seem to be denying that religious organisations have mandatory requirements for participation.
I wouldn't know, not being part of any religious organisation.

But what I do know is that AA has only one requirement for membership and that is a desire to stop drinking.
That's right, nothing else! Just a desire to stop drinking.

Have you yet understood?

Just in case you didn't hear me:

A desire to stop drinking, that is the only requirement.
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Old 9th August 2010, 04:11 AM   #533
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
I wouldn't know, not being part of any religious organisation.
You've never even heard of one ?

Quote:
But what I do know is that AA has only one requirement for membership and that is a desire to stop drinking.
Your claim.
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Old 9th August 2010, 05:11 AM   #534
Hallo Alfie
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
You've never even heard of one ?
Oh, I've heard of them. I've just never been in them. And as such I feel unqualified in any way shape or form to comment

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Your claim.
No, it is tradition three's claim: Here it is, linky, explanation and all

http://www.io.com/aamen/trad.html

Quote:
Why did A.A. finally drop all its membership regulations? Why did we leave it to each newcomer to decide himself whether he was an alcoholic and whether he should join us? Why did we dare say, contrary to the experience of society and government everywhere, that we would neither punish nor deprive any A.A. of membership, believe anything, or conform to anything? The answer, now seen in Tradition Three, was simplicity itself. At last experience taught us that to take away any alcoholic's full chance was sometimes to pronounce his death sentence, and often to condemn him to endless misery. Who dared to be judge, jury, and executioner of his own sick brother? As group after group saw these possibilities, they finally abandoned all membership regulations.

WOW!
See that?

Neither deprive any AA (alcoholic) of membership, make them believe anything nor conform to anything. And "abandoned all membership regulations"

Clear now?

Last edited by Hallo Alfie; 9th August 2010 at 05:15 AM.
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Old 9th August 2010, 09:10 AM   #535
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Why do you never quote Tradition 2 AAAlfie?

Quote:
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but
trusted servants; they do not govern


Maybe because it belies your denials that you are participating in a Religious organization.

GB
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Old 9th August 2010, 09:11 AM   #536
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
,,,what I do know is that AA has only one requirement for membership and that is a desire to stop drinking.
That's right, nothing else! Just a desire to stop drinking.

Have you yet understood?

Just in case you didn't hear me:

A desire to stop drinking, that is the only requirement.
So someone who desires to stop drinking may join AA...can completely ignore the 12 steps, and expect to successfully stop drinking??
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Old 9th August 2010, 09:16 AM   #537
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
So someone who desires to stop drinking may join AA...can completely ignore the 12 steps, and expect to successfully stop drinking??
According to AAAlfie, yes. But not according to more honest members of AA.

GB
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:04 PM   #538
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Originally Posted by R.A.F. View Post
So someone who desires to stop drinking may join AA...can completely ignore the 12 steps, and expect to successfully stop drinking??
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.
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Old 9th August 2010, 04:02 PM   #539
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Originally Posted by Gandalfs Beard View Post
Why do you never quote Tradition 2 AAAlfie?



Maybe because it belies your denials that you are participating in a Religious organization.

GB

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

...

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
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Old 9th August 2010, 04:02 PM   #540
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If only 1 Step or Tradition is needed, why all the other 11?

This is just more sophistry. Sure, the 12 Steps are just "suggestions", except that if you're not doing them, you're not doing AA.

In which case, why waste your time (assuming you have a choice)? Again, Non-theists with alcohol problems, check out Rational Recovery or some other non-theistic recovery organization with no basis in the 12 (religious) Steps.

GB
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Old 9th August 2010, 04:49 PM   #541
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Originally Posted by Gandalfs Beard View Post
Sure, the 12 Steps are just "suggestions", except that if you're not doing them, you're not doing AA.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:51 PM   #542
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post


Sure, the 12 Steps are just "suggestions", except that "if you're not doing them, you're not doing AA*."

* as most straightforward AAer's will tell you. feel free to pass on the "Scotsman" link to them.

Fixed it.

In other words, they may be "suggestions", but the 12 Steps are ALL considered necessary for any measure of "success" within the definitions of the program (which rather begs the question of the "suggestive" nature of the Steps).

A lot of AAer's, like AAAlfie, will try to deny that their tenets are religious in nature and/or suggest that one can ignore the God-stuff if you want to, but AAAlfie is the first AA zealot I've ever heard that has suggested that you can ignore the 12 Steps and still be "successful."

GB
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Old 9th August 2010, 11:17 PM   #543
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I've got to jump in and agree with Gandalfs Beard (and probably the rest of him too, if it shows up).

In my experience, it has always been derisively scoffed at if you "worked your own program" even though they all stand around and exclaim "take what you want and leave the rest". Hmmm. Okay, I'll just take 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, and 12 and call it good. If I said that now, I'd get (especially from the old timers) grave looks and sad shakes of the head at my eventual (if not imminent) slide back into drug use. Frankly, I think the true power comes from those steps I just stated; they are action-oriented, focused on changing old, dysfunctional behaviors, and are a much healthier way of living life. Kinda reminds me of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in a way, just with free meetings and coffee.

Some of you may find this interesting, but I didn't actually fully 'out' myself as an atheist until I got sober. While in treatment, the whole god thing was irritating and I was seriously pissed off at reading the Chapter to the Agnostics because it was blatantly obvious to me that Bill (or whoever wrote that) had literally no idea what he was blathering on about.

My roommate not only happened to be a computer geek like myself, but also was a much more practiced atheist than I was. Our room assignment was completely random, BTW; we even arrived on the same day. He was a big help to me. There was someone there to share our little 'conspiracy' against all the bible-beaters. Anyway, when the counselors said that spirituality was different than god, was different from religion, I took that and ran with it. It was the last vestige of any woo remaining, but it did help me make the transition to full atheist.

Now that some time has gone by, I am turning a more sober and critical eye towards the program and I do get tired of all the god-talk that goes on in meetings that I attend. Heck, one meeting didn't close with the lord's prayer and it was kind of startling because the meetings in my area all close with the lord's prayer.

So, my point is "is AA religious?" You bet. Did I get help from AA? You bet. Am I now ready for something less religious, Big-Book Thumpy, in your face, if you're not workin' the steps you're not gonna maintain sobriety, support network... a big hell yeah.
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Old 10th August 2010, 02:43 AM   #544
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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.
Well, "I know a few people with only nine fingers" doesn't prove that humans don't have ten.
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Old 10th August 2010, 03:05 AM   #545
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Worst metaphor ever!

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Old 10th August 2010, 04:03 AM   #546
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That's what everyone says when they hear or read a metaphor.

Your counter-argument doesn't impress me.
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Old 10th August 2010, 04:13 AM   #547
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And your original was lucky to get any response, but there it is.
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Old 10th August 2010, 07:10 AM   #548
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Originally Posted by Gandalfs Beard View Post
Sure, the 12 Steps are just "suggestions", except that "if you're not doing them, you're not doing AA*."

* as most straightforward AAer's will tell you. feel free to pass on the "Scotsman" link to them.
I won't deny that there are those in AA who would not only take that position but who would (if only tacitly) take the position that no one is "doing AA" who is not doing the steps exactly the same way they did them. These are often the same fanatics who would argue (or at least imply) that AA represents the only hope for recovery from alcoholism. But as a twenty-year veteran of AA and an atheist, I'm as much of a problem for them as I am for you, and for precisely the same reason. It may be worth noting that I never seem to hear any objections from anyone with more time in the program than I have.

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In other words, they may be "suggestions", but the 12 Steps are ALL considered necessary for any measure of "success" within the definitions of the program
Being a mental giant is NOT a requirement for AA membership; individuals may consider lots of things. If I declare that I consider to be successful only those who limit their consideration of what is necessary (and while we're at it, sufficient) for their own success, does that redefine "success in AA"? If your answer is no, then why not?

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A lot of AAer's, like AAAlfie, will try to deny that their tenets are religious in nature.
One of the things I've often found the most obnoxious in fundamentalists is an inability to appreciate how an atheist could possibly have a sense of morality -- lacking, as he does, a prescribed code of ethics. Without such a sense, how could an atheist know whether his actions were wrong? How could he know what he needed to make amends for? What could possibly motivate him to make the effort to try to help others? After all, these are religious tenets, are they not?

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AAAlfie is the first AA zealot I've ever heard that has suggested that you can ignore the 12 Steps and still be "successful."
The point at issue is whether one can do that and still be a member of AA.
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Old 10th August 2010, 08:54 AM   #549
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Originally Posted by A.A.Alfie View Post
And your original was lucky to get any response, but there it is.
Yes, how silly of me to expect you to understand it.
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Old 10th August 2010, 09:55 AM   #550
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I don't mean that people can't help you to reach your goals, but ultimately, YOU are the one making the steps towards recovery, not some imaginary higher power.
We should define 'YOU', perhaps.

Nearly all, if not completely all, the behaviors performed by your brain/body systems are beyond any conscious (can we say ego?) control.

"YOU" are just along for the ride. That sounds like a higher power to 'YOU" as I see things, and I don't see that as imaginary.

As to your comment on 'addiction and mental illness' rather than alcoholism, AA groups I've attended tend to relate to drunks like themselves. People that have other addiction problems are welcomed, but tend to remain outsiders to group dynamics.

NA groups I've been to tend to have very different personalities and dynamics.

AA takes no position on mental illness, and a drunk schizophrenic would be treated as just another drunk assuming his behavior at a meeting was not highly disruptive.
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Old 10th August 2010, 03:43 PM   #551
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Alcoholics use any excuse to keep drinking.
"I refuse to go to AA because it's a religious cult" is by no means limited to atheists. Plenty of believers find the same argument conveniently changes the topic of conversation. Instead of acknowledging the serious nature of his/her deadly self-destructive behavior, switch to an endless argument about something comparatively trivial. An introductory level sociology course quickly disqualifies the definition of "cult."

Would there be even a slight hesitation to drink the favorite type of liquor from a bottle because the label contains that word with a capital G? Or if the winery was founded by an order of nuns? If the best place to hide the stash was inside or behind a Bible (or even an AA big book), doesn't bother an atheist's conscience.
Nope! Those treasured critical thinking skills fail to produce logical actions for an alcoholic.
When a JW refuses a life-saving blood transfusion, the self-proclaimed skeptic quickly points out the senseless risks. When a child dies because his parents believe that prayer is the sole intervention, it's negligent homicide. But they,themselves refuse the established standard treatment that physician's, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, social workers, etc officially endorse because of their deeply held anti-religious convictions. They continue to allow their families, loved-ones, and society suffer. I wonder if they are the same skeptics who denounce those who are unconvinced of CAGW as "deniers."
Anyway, AAAlfie and a few other patient souls have been tirelessly explaining the fact that AA welcomes and is effective even for atheists.
It's strange that the JREF forum obsesses on the topic of religion and a god that doesn't exist. But this long and redundant thread is remarkably similar to trying to argue with someone who's drunk.
Anyone in AA, understands that fear is the underlying emotion that drives irrational behavior. The majority of alcoholics have a big problem with God. But how is it possible for a fictitious being have any power over atheists? What are they afraid of?
(everything, that's why the need to self-medicate).
Back to the endless argument.........
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Old 10th August 2010, 04:33 PM   #552
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Originally Posted by laursaurus View Post
...AA ...is effective....
Evidence, in the form of studies?
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Old 10th August 2010, 04:35 PM   #553
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Originally Posted by calebprime
Originally Posted by laursaurus View Post
...AA ...is effective....
Evidence, in the form of studies?
Who cares? Have another drink.

ps. Given the 'strict anonymity' provision that is a central tenet of the program, how would you suggest a valid study be run?
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Old 10th August 2010, 04:53 PM   #554
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Is the Vaillant study--that was linked to previously--valid?

p.s. I don't drink.

Here's something that seems to mention some studies.

http://hamsnetwork.org/effective.pdf
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Old 10th August 2010, 05:03 PM   #555
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Originally Posted by laursaurus View Post
Alcoholics use any excuse to keep drinking.
"I refuse to go to AA because it's a religious cult" is by no means limited to atheists. Plenty of believers find the same argument conveniently changes the topic of conversation. Instead of acknowledging the serious nature of his/her deadly self-destructive behavior, switch to an endless argument about something comparatively trivial. An introductory level sociology course quickly disqualifies the definition of "cult."

Would there be even a slight hesitation to drink the favorite type of liquor from a bottle because the label contains that word with a capital G? Or if the winery was founded by an order of nuns? If the best place to hide the stash was inside or behind a Bible (or even an AA big book), doesn't bother an atheist's conscience.
Nope! Those treasured critical thinking skills fail to produce logical actions for an alcoholic.
When a JW refuses a life-saving blood transfusion, the self-proclaimed skeptic quickly points out the senseless risks. When a child dies because his parents believe that prayer is the sole intervention, it's negligent homicide. But they,themselves refuse the established standard treatment that physician's, psychiatrists, mental health professionals, social workers, etc officially endorse because of their deeply held anti-religious convictions. They continue to allow their families, loved-ones, and society suffer. I wonder if they are the same skeptics who denounce those who are unconvinced of CAGW as "deniers."
Anyway, AAAlfie and a few other patient souls have been tirelessly explaining the fact that AA welcomes and is effective even for atheists.
It's strange that the JREF forum obsesses on the topic of religion and a god that doesn't exist. But this long and redundant thread is remarkably similar to trying to argue with someone who's drunk.
Anyone in AA, understands that fear is the underlying emotion that drives irrational behavior. The majority of alcoholics have a big problem with God. But how is it possible for a fictitious being have any power over atheists? What are they afraid of?
(everything, that's why the need to self-medicate).
Back to the endless argument.........
Very nice Laursaurus.
Welcome aboard

Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Evidence, in the form of studies?
I have been asking for studies on the other forms of recovery for days and pages. Why haven't they yet been produced?

Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Given the 'strict anonymity' provision that is a central tenet of the program, how would you suggest a valid study be run?
They just don't get it, and because they don't, they think there is something hidden.

Why, in short (very short) for two reasons:
- the protection of the individual. Those new to recoverty alcoholics just wont turn up if they are or there is a possibility they will be identified publicly - they have a hard enough time admitting a problem in the first place.
- the protection of the fellowship and the future recovery of others.
Let's say a high profile person became the public face of AA (e.g. a prominent actor, sportsman or such) - what happens if they have a bust? - a very public bust. People will say things like " see! AA doesn't work, I'm not going. Things are hopeless and I have no chance at recovery ever". Obviously this could undermine the future chances of others as well as casting a negative or more doubtful light on AA in the larger public domain, whilst ignoring the many that do get recovery in the rooms.
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Old 10th August 2010, 05:04 PM   #556
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Is the Vaillant study--that was linked to previously--valid?
Whether AA's effectiveness is zero, or one hundred percent, or somewhere in between, it's irrelevant to the question raised by the OP of this thread.
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Old 10th August 2010, 05:11 PM   #557
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Narrowly true, but it doesn't matter--threads can and do drift.

You could humor someone's curiosity.

Seems like a fairly basic question, and it wasn't hard to find some info, after all.

Also, to be a little more forthcoming, at JREF, factual discussions turn on evidence, as they ought to.
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Old 10th August 2010, 05:12 PM   #558
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Originally Posted by Dymanic View Post
Whether AA's effectiveness is zero, or one hundred percent, or somewhere in between, it's irrelevant to the question raised by the OP of this thread.
Moreover it is an advertisement against AA to solicit alcoholics to buy their product rather than something else (i.e. AA). Whilst there is nothing necessarily invalid with that, it paints a very one sided view and could hardly be described as an unbiased study.
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Old 10th August 2010, 09:52 PM   #559
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Narrowly true, but it doesn't matter--threads can and do drift.
It does matter. Discussions devolve into chaos when the participants collectively fail to distinguish that which is relevant from that which is irrelevant. In the absence of any argument which represents at least a token attempt at tying the question of whether AA is effective to the question of whether it is religious, it's not drift; it's a derail. Yes, that does happen -- and when it does, those who prefer to discuss the topic at hand (rather than any of the countless others that might arise tangentially) can and do ask for a return to that topic. Starting a new thread is always an option for those who prefer the tangent. The JREF forum does not consist of a single free-for-all thread in which we discuss everything all at once, and there's a reason for that.

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Also, to be a little more forthcoming, at JREF, factual discussions turn on evidence, as they ought to.
Not merely on evidence, but also on the logic used in interpreting the evidence. In philosophical discussions -- that is, those involving the sorts of questions which, being presently outside the scope of empirical science, are likely to appear in a subforum titled "Religion and Philosophy" -- arguments sometimes have to stand solely on the merits of their logic. Presenting evidence not related to the subject at hand does not seem to me like the best way to demonstrate one's ability to either think or argue logically.
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Old 11th August 2010, 02:47 AM   #560
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Originally Posted by AlBell View Post
Nearly all, if not completely all, the behaviors performed by your brain/body systems are beyond any conscious (can we say ego?) control.
Evidence ?

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"YOU" are just along for the ride. That sounds like a higher power to 'YOU" as I see things, and I don't see that as imaginary.
Semantics. YOU is the sum of things that are your body. That's not a higher power, that's still you, no matter what percentage of your actions are due to your own choices. Your post is entirely irrelevant to the discussion.
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