"God as you understand him"

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"God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:21 am

Within the AA organizations 12 steps, they have referenced, "god as you understand him" as being important to recovery from Alcoholism. Since 1935 this has been a key point to countless recovery stories and I was curious to hear opinion on this. Thanks in advance.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby Lausten » Sun Aug 25, 2013 2:52 pm

There are no-god versions of AA. I hadn't really thought about it until someone pointed it out, it might have been on AAE, but it is basically a substitution strategy. Take the power of alcohol and replace it with a "higher power". I'm not sure about all the psychology but it seems like a short cut to me. Obviously alcoholism is a difficult disease, so, if something works, I don't want to dismiss too easily, but there are alternatives.

AA uses a "behavior modification" strategy. Figure out what triggers lead you to having a drink, and avoid those triggers. I'm not sure why god has to enter to into that.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:56 pm

Hi Lausten and thank you for your reply, .. the term "higher power" or "power greater than oneself" comes from step 2, .. many who first come into AA will use the people, meetings or steps as a power greater than themselves. I've not met an Alcoholic yet that wants anything to do with a "god". It's pretty clear that whatever they have or have found works when presented with a meeting room full of sobriety going on 5, 10, 20 and 30 years plus .. so adopting the group or AA as a whole as a power greater than you is pretty plausible to the individual. In step 11 you'll find "prayer and meditation" to deepen a conscious contact with "god as you anderstand him", seeking only knowledge of his will and the power to carry that out.

I've heard of many who get sober and remain that way by the fellowship and meetings alone .. I heard of a chap who when asked to speak at a meeting would only say, "I'm living proof you don't have to any further than step 1" I never met the fellow but hear he was quite the character.

But I hear near all talks speaking of a spiritual experience and having the obsession to Acohol being taken away, and without that happening they would never have been able to remain sober. I know the power of craving and the obsession to Alcohol very well, it's not a memory ever too far from mind.

I don't know the psychology of it all either other than I've seen some terribly messed up people become happy and fully productive in life due to AA. I haven't had to pick up a drink since August 26 1986, and some time after August 28/29 or so haven't experienced that obsession or felt any craving for Alcohol .. and for that I am forever grateful.

I realize that not being able to produce evidence to connect a god to anything is not reason to add one in, but the early days of AA without that, there was little in way of results. It's just something that I've been thinking about lately.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:55 pm

KennC wrote:Within the AA organizations 12 steps, they have referenced, "god as you understand him" as being important to recovery from Alcoholism. Since 1935 this has been a key point to countless recovery stories and I was curious to hear opinion on this. Thanks in advance.

It's one of my basic beefs with Christianity in general. Christianity, and AA in particular, teach people that they are born sick, that they are powerless, and only by submitting oneself as a slave to a celestial dictator can one be happy. I think that's a miserable way to live your life.

I also think AA doesn't work. The evidence is pretty slim, but what little I've seen indicates that AA is about as effective as no treatment at all. Of course, it's hard to tell because AA refuses to let actual scientific studies be done on its members. (It would not be hard to do a properly anonymized survey, so that's no excuse.)

So, it makes one feel helpless and makes one into a slave. That does not lead to personal happiness, and it does not lead to a happy society. Christianity and AA teach you how to be dependent, not independent.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:47 pm

Might help to honestly look into AA and it's actual success, .. and AA is not associated with any Faith or Church
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Tue Aug 27, 2013 9:56 pm

KennC wrote:Might help to honestly look into AA and it's actual success, .. and AA is not associated with any Faith or Church

First, it's spelled "its". The possessive form lacks an apostrophe.
Second, as I said it's hard to look at that, because they refuse to publish their internal member surveys. What little I've seen indicates that it's useless.
Third, the central group of AA calls itself "The Interchurch Center", was founded by two Christians, and has overwhelmingly Christian motifs, and yet you say it's "not associated with any faith or church". So, are we going to play the "No True Christian" game?
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:24 pm

Then it would be a help to you to go educate yourself on it at least somewhat, .. little wonder Dawkins won't meet meet with Comfort
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:50 pm

KennC wrote:Then it would be a help to you to go educate yourself on it at least somewhat, .. little wonder Dawkins won't meet meet with Comfort

I have to the best of my ability AFAIK. I don't know what you expect me to do. Break into The Interchurch Center to steal their private internal member surveys? This might be readily resolved if they have numbers which show that AA is effective, and how effective. They might have those numbers, but we don't know because they don't publish the numbers.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:39 am

... and you can drop the interchurch thing because there isn't one, whether you educate yourself on this or not make little difference to me.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:05 am

http://www.interchurch-center.org/?q=tenantagencies
Tenant Agencies

Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine 1040 aagrapevine.org
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services 1100 http://www.aa.org/


http://www.interchurch-center.org/node/144
Alcoholics Anonymous Grapevine
Website:
aagrapevine.org
Suite:
1040


http://libertarianviewpoint.com/blog/al ... bertarian/
AA’s headquarters are located in the Interchurch Center in New York,


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interchurch_Center
Its concentration of religious organizations has led some to nickname the building the God Box.[2] Samuel G. Freedman describes the building as the closest thing to a Vatican for America’s mainline Protestant denominations. The mainline churches include the Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and United Church of Christ (Congregationalists) denominations.


So, as far as I can tell from these sources and others, AA's headquarters is in "the Vatican of America's mainline Protestant denominations".

This is the part where you admit that you are wrong, and apologize for your unwarranted arrogance in ignorance and your insinuation that I was being dishonest about my education on this topic. Then, maybe we can start something productive.

PS: A common flaw of the religious - to think they know, and to think the atheists do not. (Sometimes right, but more often wrong.)
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:58 pm

And people deny man walked on the moon and there's such a thing as a crocoduck!! .. they even have websites. You're a fool!!
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:28 am

So, I've provided some rather compelling evidence that the AA organization has its headquarters in the "Vatican of American Protestants". There's more evidence as well which I find pretty compelling, but I'm too lazy / too indifferent to copy+paste pages of citations here. As I said, step 1 is accepting this, or provided good reason, argument, and evidence why you think I am mistaken. Let's do step 1 before we move on. I'm just making that simple claim that the AA organization has its headquarters in that particular building. This should be not controversial.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby KennC » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:48 am

You're just another ray comfort holding up crocoducks claiming you know something about evolution .. he's as much an ass as you.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby Lausten » Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:17 pm

So, what's your agenda KennC? You come here and ask a question about god being used in AA, now you don't want to hear about any other religious affiliations they might have. Where their HQ is and that they were started by Christians is fact. Their effectiveness rates are not facts. Of course everyone has a story, but that's not data. And who wants to tell the stories about the failures?

The controversy is, are people who go to AA already on their way to recovery? They choose to go, so is it truly the reason for their sobriety, or just a support for what they could do on their own. Many people have quit drinking on their own, so you can't study this like you could a drug, where if you don't take it you don't get cured. Anyway, it is non-controversial that there is some controversy about this, so I don't see why you are being a jerk.
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Re: "God as you understand him"

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:29 am

KennC wrote:You're just another ray comfort holding up crocoducks claiming you know something about evolution .. he's as much an ass as you.

I reply in kind, and I have little tolerance for projection from ignorant asses. Now, you can start discussing points of contention like I have done, or we can continue this name-calling.
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