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Switch to Forum Live View 12 Steps for Atheists
4 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2010 - 9:41AM #21
Seefan
Posts: 3,962

Jun 23, 2010 -- 1:44AM, Kingskidd wrote:


Hey mikeincolorado, I think your statement cuts right to the heart of the matter, concerning a 12 step program for atheists and buddhists!




Hey Kingskidd welcome.  Mike usually has some great things to say and he does have a knack of cutting to the chase ...


 

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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4 years ago  ::  Jun 23, 2010 - 6:50PM #22
andrewcyrus
Posts: 4,253

Jun 3, 2010 -- 6:50PM, Zalokar62 wrote:


Hi


I was just wondering if anybody out there ever came across any books on the 12 steps for atheists? I was in a bookstore recently and found a book on the 12 steps for Buddhist.




I know when I came into AA and read the third step. I was balking like a chicken.


But I certainly agreed with first step and was very relieved when I read the 2nd step.


Our primary purpose is to STAY sober and to help others recover from alcoholism.


it took me 6 months of abstaining from alcohol to see God in the steps.


I have met atheists in the program with alot of sobriety and their wisdom and knowledge has helped me immensely.   


For the newcomer who has a problem with God, think of GOD as a


G.- Gathering


O. - Of


D.-Drunks


if you pick up a drink there is another G.O.D.


G-Gathering


O-Of


D-Demons


It's your choice.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 




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4 years ago  ::  Jul 06, 2010 - 12:20PM #23
Psychosage
Posts: 5

Anyone interested in self-help groups without the god/higher power BS should investigate Smart Recovery, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, Men for Sobriety, etc. on the Internet.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2011 - 11:17AM #24
jenbisca
Posts: 1

Just wanted to say thank you for these posts.  Aside from the negative comments, I did find this very helpful.  I have been stuck on 2nd step for awhile because of the God stuff.

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 21, 2011 - 1:03AM #25
a_nonbeliever
Posts: 1

I shared this earlier today and wanted to put it to paper so i could remember it in a way that isn't so abstract.  anyway, here it is.


an Atheist's Second Step.

    my step 2 is different from other people's because I don't believe in god.  it doesn't mean I gloss over the step (any all the other steps that have an element of a higher power).  my step 2 is derived from the idea that I can't stay sober by myself, but I can with the help of other AA's.  it is sort of long, and convoluted, but it makes sense (to me) and has worked thus far.  I also find a great peace in my step 2.  it keeps me grounded and keeps me in the program.  step 2 is the foundation of my program and it is the key to my understanding of AA as an atheist.
    growing up I always thought I was special.  I thought the rules didn't apply to me.  I thought I was different from everyone else.  I thought I was better than everyone.  my life changed drastically when I realized I wasn't different than anyone, that I was no better or no worse than everyone and that all the rules that apply to them, also apply to me.
    i am an ardent atheist.  I have been for a long time, and don't see any possibility for the existence of god.  there are more than 100 billion solar systems, with over 100 billion stars in each of the and I am one of 6 billion people on this planet:  what makes me so special?  how can there be a god in such a vast space, and why would he care about me?  why would I be so special?  I just don't see it, but I don't really know.
    but I do know I'm an alcoholic, and I do know I was powerless over alcohol.  I also know I couldn't outsmart the urge to drink.  but I knew there was hope and there was a way to recover.  I had seen people go through alcoholics anonymous and had seen it work for people.  I had been to meetings and heard people talk about how it had helped them (and thought that many of those people were more sick than I was).  I knew AA works because it works for millions of people all around the world.
    so how can an atheist comfortably and honestly reconcile with step 2?  I can only tell you how I have.  I know that there is no god and that I'm an unperceivable blip on the chosmic radar.  I am of no importance and am thus not special in any way.  I also know that AA works for other people, whom I am no different than. as crazy as I think it is to believe in god, it would be even crazier for me to believe that I was so different from everyone else and so special that AA wouldn't work for me.  my step 2 is a reformation that a: I am an alcoholic who can't drink or use drugs, b: I know AA does work for people, c: there is no god so  I am not special, d: if it works for other people, it has to work for me, e: I can't stay sober alone, but I can with AA.

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3 years ago  ::  Jul 07, 2011 - 11:36AM #26
Seefan
Posts: 3,962

Apr 21, 2011 -- 1:03AM, a_nonbeliever wrote:

  I shared this earlier today and wanted to put it to paper so i could remember it in a way that isn't so abstract. anyway, here it is. an Atheist's Second Step.
my step 2 is different from other people's because I don't believe in god. it doesn't mean I gloss over the step (any all the other steps that have an element of a higher power). my step 2 is derived from the idea that I can't stay sober by myself, but I can with the help of other AA's. it is sort of long, and convoluted, but it makes sense (to me) and has worked thus far. I also find a great peace in my step 2. it keeps me grounded and keeps me in the program. step 2 is the foundation of my program and it is the key to my understanding of AA as an atheist.
============================================================


so how can an atheist comfortably and honestly reconcile with step 2? I can only tell you how I have. I know that there is no god and that I'm an unperceivable blip on the chosmic radar. I am of no importance and am thus not special in any way. I also know that AA works for other people, whom I am no different than. as crazy as I think it is to believe in god, it would be even crazier for me to believe that I was so different from everyone else and so special that AA wouldn't work for me. my step 2 is a reformation that a: I am an alcoholic who can't drink or use drugs, b: I know AA does work for people, c: there is no god so I am not special, d: if it works for other people, it has to work for me, e: I can't stay sober alone, but I can with AA.



Whether there are 6 billion or 600,000 billion people on this planet still you're special just like those other 6 billion people. That simply means we are all equal in life.
Sorry for chopping your post but for brievity, if that’s possible for me!


I've been in the program for a while now and here's what I've heard so many time which is also part of my story. When I can to AA I'd lost all my faith in a Higher Power, if I've ever had any. Once I got here I found a group of wonderful people who were all too willing to be of help. They told me I needed a Higher Power that would/could help me maintain sobriety when times got tough. As sobriety mounted I realized that these people were my higher power. They kept me sober. They certainly see more powerful than me!


I was told to work the steps for that's what would make the changes in me so I could not only remain sobriety but enjoy it. Soon I began to realize that in times of difficulty when no AA members were around to help the steps seemed to kept me sober. Initiatively I seemed to know how to handle things as AA literature says.  Now I've come to realize that it was not the people but the 12 step of spiritual growth that was making the necessary changes within me to remain sober and begin to enjoy life. At this point it became clear that the 12 steps were my higher power.


The next phase began with my searching as to why would 12 simple steps keep me sober when nothing else did? Well I concluded that there must be a power behind/within these steps that had to account for this phenomena. So I now concluded that it was the actual power behind the steps that did the work but where did it come from? My conclusion - A God of MY understanding ...


Am I special?  To the degree everyone else.  I know today my family and friends think I am.


This is not everyone's journey of discovery, but, it is mine! Wherever you're at, don't stop seeking answers and looking for more and more. And as AA tells us - keep an open mind ...


All the best ...

Today the one overriding need is unity and harmony among the beloved of the Lord, for they should have among them but one heart and soul and should, so far as in them lieth, unitedly withstand the hostility of all the peoples of the world ... (Baha'i Writings)
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3 years ago  ::  Sep 25, 2011 - 6:47AM #27
trudging
Posts: 159

Wow its been a couple of yrs since I was here, time fly's.


The 12 steps of AA worked fine for this former atheist.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2011 - 2:17AM #28
trudging
Posts: 159

I tried the steps as an atheist the first time around, it didn't work, without God the steps had no power to overcome the will. I couldn't do a meaningful 4th step.


Thats quite different from 'without God the steps have no power at all.'


I learned the steps without God were ego powered just like the rest of my mind. Thats was something I was supposed to be trying to be rid of, not reinforcing. So I stayed insane.


I became suicidal and had to admit my way didn't work, letting my ego re-write the steps to suit self can be dangerous and its definately futile, I might as well have tried a ouija board.  It was the same alcoholic insanity, change without changing.


The steps may be adapted for various forms of spiritual illness but not changed, taking God out changes the steps. 


Dr Bob puts it well.


"If you think you are an atheist, agnostic or other type of skeptic , or have any other type of intellectual Pride that keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you."


God drove this alcoholic out of AA, but the pain drove me back.

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3 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2011 - 6:00AM #29
trudging
Posts: 159

Apr 21, 2011 -- 1:03AM, a_nonbeliever wrote:


I don't see any possibility for the existence of god.  


 but I don't really know.



        so how can an atheist comfortably and honestly reconcile with step 2?  I can only tell you how I have.  I know that there is no god and that I'm an unperceivable blip on the chosmic radar.  I am of no importance and am thus not special in any way.  I also know that AA works for other people, whom I am no different than. as crazy as I think it is to believe in god, it would be even crazier for me to believe that I was so different from everyone else and so special that AA wouldn't work for me.  my step 2 is a reformation that a: I am an alcoholic who can't drink or use drugs, b: I know AA does work for people, c: there is no god so  I am not special, d: if it works for other people, it has to work for me, e: I can't stay sober alone, but I can with AA.





As an atheist you know fully well that God is unproveable, thereby non falsifiable,


 you admitted as much with "but I really don't know".


First you claim to know there is no God, then hedge your bets with "I don't really know", then say "I know there is no God." So what is it, you do or you don't know?


Step 2 as written in the big book does NOT require belief, nor faith in God.  Anyone telling you otherwise needs to read the book again, its right there in the black bits.


What works for others in AA is something quite different from what you are trying.


The power of the group is an awesome dynamic, its well proven, but humans do not have the power to remove the obsession that causes a compulsion to drink. Nor do human groups have the power to change another persons state of being. An AA meeting of 100 alcoholics doesn't add up to anything more than human power. Neither does science, medicine or even religion.


I was atheist when I started, I learned if I wanted to really try AA I had to get honest because when I changed the steps to suit my atheism I was swallowing another BIG lie.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 22, 2013 - 11:29AM #30
DZalokar
Posts: 3

Hi! I had totally forgotten about this thread I startd waaaaaaaay back!


New developement on this front! In my city (Toronto) a number of 'atheist/agnostic AA groups' have started up here. In a story too long to tell, our local intergroup ended up de-listing these groups from their published meeting list and on their website.


What is funny is the whole atheists in AA movement here has taken off. More of these groups started up and are thriving. I was wondering if this is happening in some of your areas. 


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