12 step programs and a "Higher Power"

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12 step programs and a "Higher Power"

I been attending AA meeting for over 3 years...and I've sober the whole time. AA says it has no opinion on religion...but, if I said from the podium that I'm an atheist, I have no doubt that I would be shunned.  I've made some friends that, like me, don't really talk about our beliefs.

Why is reliance on a "Higher Power" needed to get over an addiction? At first I needed to see others like myself that had overcome alcohol..but, at the end of the day, I did it..no invisible guy.

How does the state get away with forcing people to go to 12 step programs that have a lot of pressure to accept a "Higher Power?"....I heard a woman share yesterday that if you don't find God, you're doomed to relapse...



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It is mostly a lack of

It is mostly a lack of understanding of psychology. It's not likely to change anytime soon, since the science is still in it's infancy. Possibly it is the least understood science, though much to do with the medical industry is in that field. And to be sure, in some cases they appear to be right. I've known some people that AA worked for, and nothing else did. However, the same is true in reverse. I've known people that spent 20 years going through AA and it never did anything for them. I know that I'd be stumped at the first step that requires a higher power. There just isn't any higher power for me to look to. I'm at the top. Anything else is at best simply an equal. At worst, far inferior.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

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My 12 Step Program1. I

My 12 Step Program

1. I admitted that I was screwing my life up with alcohol, and that I had the power to stop it.

2. Came to believe that no power greater than lithium could improve sanity and realized that lithium wasn't going to help with alcohol, so became even more resolved to fix it myself.

3. Made a decision to fix my problems, as I was the one that understood them.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself, throwing out some of the more useless morals like coveting my neighbors ass.

5. Admitted to myself and nobody else the exact nature of my wrongs.

6. Was ready to forcefully remove these defects of character from myself, except the charming ones like arrogance and sarcasm, which I see more as virtues.

7. Doing nothing humbly, kicked the living shit out of my shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all the persons I had harmed, and realized that most of them deserved it.

9. Wrote off the few people I had harmed that didn't deserve it, knowing that saying " I'm sorry I banged your wife. " isn't going to make ammends.

10. Continued to take a personal inventory, and when I was wrong promptly admitted it...to myself.

11. Sought through conscious action to improve myself, relying on my own will to give me the strength to carry it out.

12. Having had a mental awakening as the result of these steps, made a point to let everyone else figure it out on their own, because I am not so smugly condescending as to think that my solution will work for everybody.

It takes a village to raise an idiot.

Save a tree, eat a vegetarian.

Sometimes " The Majority " only means that all the fools are on the same side.

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robert0259 wrote:Why is

robert0259 wrote:

Why is reliance on a "Higher Power" needed to get over an addiction? At first I needed to see others like myself that had overcome alcohol..but, at the end of the day, I did it..no invisible guy.

Yeah, it's not needed.  In fact, it just replaces one way of checking out of reality with another.  Brian Cuban wrote an interesting bit about this a few days ago that you might find interesting.  http://www.briancuban.com/is-god-an-alcoholic/

And, as you can see from the digg comments you are not alone in being able to be sober without needing a god. http://digg.com/educational/Is_God_An_Alcoholic

Congratulations on changing your life focus!  It's hard enough to do that many people never succeed at the task.  BTW, that lady is just plain wrong.  I have been clean (alcohol was not my problem chemical) for over 8 years and have not believed in god or been to an AA meeting during that time.  I will not have my sobriety discounted just because I haven't died yet and could conceivably become an addict again.  Hell no!  Smiling



"I am that I am." - Proof that the writers of the bible were beyond stoned.