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What are your beliefs?  

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  1. 1. What are your beliefs?

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You said, "There is so much missing when you choose this approach." but I didn't choose and I haven't drawn any conclusions. I don't believe any hypotheses to be true without proof. This has nothing to do with faith so all of those ramblings are irrelevant. FWIW, I'm not sad or miserable about it either except for all of the violence that is born of religious faith...

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Nah, Beak, they're just Questioning Unreality!   I for example still question whether or not LZIV will pass muster with St. Peter...   I prefer my Gods to be corporeal like Santa and the Easter Bunny

Atheist as in a·theist, i.e. not·theist...

I believe in no god, but I do worship the mind, consious or otherwise.

I'm quite clear as to my conviction regarding faith and I think I stated it quite well. So no further thought is necessary, on my part.
Of course my words will be of little meaning to an atheist!
On the contrary. I understand your words to mean that your faith will be steadfast and unchanging in the face of any conceivable evidence to the contrary offered by anyone -ever. You will outright reject anything that contradicts your personal faith. Nothing will ever be added or taken away.
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On the contrary. I understand your words to mean that your faith will be steadfast and unchanging in the face of any conceivable evidence to the contrary offered by anyone -ever. You will outright reject anything that contradicts your personal faith. Nothing will ever be added or taken away.

 

Nope, still not there. My mind is much more open than that - like I said, I'm even willing to go as far as to say maybe the wonders of faith may have nothing to do with God, rather a simple psychological mechanism.

 

You are wrong to label me as a blind theist.

 

My studies into theoretical physics have led me to my convictions concerning God. I'm with Einstein on that one. I don't close the door to new information - in fact I'm hungry for it.

 

I do know that I have recently encountered something unexplainable. Something numinous that is transforming my life and my relationships with others. Call it what you will. It's tremendously beneficial for me to call it God. It's great to hand over my troubles and my anxiety to Him. It frees up my energy and releases my creativity. I feel free, finally. This I will stand behind. I won't claim to know what it is or even try to prove it to you. My life is the proof.

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- My mind is much more open than that - like I said, I'm even willing to go as far as to say maybe the wonders of faith may have nothing to do with God, rather a simple psychological mechanism.

I'm confused pianoman. I took this comment:
I'm quite clear as to my conviction regarding faith and I think I stated it quite well. So no further thought is necessary on my part.
- to mean you no longer question any aspect of your faith. Maybe you can explain to me what you meant by this. The first statement seems to contradict the second.
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I'm confused pianoman. I took this comment: - to mean you no longer question any aspect of your faith. Maybe you can explain to me what you meant by this. The first statement seems to contradict the second.

 

Hi Edella,

 

My conviction is that faith is important. The specifics of that faith are not - for they differ from person to person. The light is in us all and is expressed uniquely through individual human creativity. Our faith is the connection to that light which is made possible once we differentiate our ego. It may take the form of a bearded wizard, the DSM, sock monkeys or even that you yourself is He. Whatever works for you. "God" works for me.

 

This is the take of the 12-Step program, and is why it works wonders.

 

The words I spoke of regarding God as being a "psychological mechanism" simply reflect that I am keeping an open mind as to how it all works and I'm not shutting the door on anything. I can see how this makes it look as though I'm contradicting myself.

 

To do this thing right, you need to above all things have an open mind - and I was just trying to reflect this and not shove my ways down anybodies throat.

 

Praise Jesus!

 

Ryan :cup:

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AA is worse than useless: The Effectiveness of the Twelve-Step Treatment

I expect this applies to other god based "recovery" programs too.

 

 

Your statement is laughable.

 

The 12-Step program works if you are willing to surrender to a higher power. It fails if you cannot. It's that simple.

 

I've experienced it personally. Have you? Or are you blindly judging from a distance?

 

I could give you a list of meetings to attend where you will meet people who have undergone miraculous changes as a result of the 12 step program.

 

The orange papers are quackery - already dismissed as extremely biased and incorrect by the mental health community. You can't believe everything you read.

 

Your fear of God is blinding your judgement. Even a sound atheist can admit that the 12 step program works for many.

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The orange papers are quackery - already dismissed as extremely biased and incorrect by the mental health community. You can't believe everything you read.

 

 

The Orange Papers quote research undertaken by an AA official. The conclusion of this research was that AA is no more effective than non-intervention but AA has a higher death rate. In short, worse than useless.

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The Orange Papers quote research undertaken by an AA official. The conclusion of this research was that AA is no more effective than non-intervention but AA has a higher death rate. In short, worse than useless.

 

Do you really blindly believe everything you read?

 

Anybody can throw convincing words and numbers your way. Take a college course in statistics and you'll learn to look at the source before you accept the information. There are people who still believe the earth is flat.

 

Talk to any mental health care professional. Call any local university in your area and speak to the psych department. Call UCLA, USC ..speak to the department heads. Call up ANY psychiatrist, psychologist or therapist in the book. The orange papers ARE quackery and everybody knows it. You lose your credibility by even bringing them up. Really.

 

They were written by an angry individual who had accepted step one but failed when he could not accept step two. He is not an AA official. Who told you this?

 

For you to even back this up without having first hand knowledge is laughable. Get your own material. Go into any bookstore or query professional papers on the subject of the 12-Step program. 99% of what you will find supports the program. You will read countless stories of success. Like I said - GO TO A MEETING. You will find even more success. The 1% you found is not the majority vote or even viable truth.

 

I first hand can tell you it works from my own experience. My friends and family can tell you it works.

 

Anyone with a bit of psychological prowess, reading the steps can tell you its merit. Rigorous honesty, taking personal inventory, handing your problems over to something else, being of service by helping others. All of these can do wonders to a human being and have been validated by the mental health community as the ONLY tried and true way to recovery.

 

You can bicker all you want in ignorance. I'm not going to sit and debate an issue as ridiculous as this. The God question is a worthy debate, and I will listen with relative respect to those who oppose my opinion - but this thing with "Mr. Orange". My friend, you are simply wrong about this guy.

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From the Orange Papers: "What Professor Vaillant, a Trustee of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. -- in other words, one of the highest-ranking A.A. leaders -- is candidly, clearly describing is a zero-percent success rate for his A.A.-based treatment program."

"Prof. Vaillant's own words on the subject were:

Recently the Annals of Internal Medicine editorialized that "the treatment of alcoholism has not improved in any important way in twenty-five years" (Gordis 1976). Alas, I am forced to agree. Perhaps the best that can be said for our exciting treatment effort at Cambridge Hospital is that we were certainly not interfering with the normal recovery process. How can I, a clinician, reconcile my enthusiasm for treatment with such melancholy data?"

 

If ypu say that the source is unreliable, be aware, the source is AA's tame professor.

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If ypu say that the source is unreliable, be aware, the source is AA's tame professor.

 

Again, quit referring to Alfred Orange! lol This guy is a spin doctor. You probably also love Michael Moore.

 

Here's the truth about Professor Vaillant, who by the way doesn't even represent AA as a whole:

 

In his book The Natural History of Alcoholism Revisited, Harvard psychiatric professor George E. Vaillant posed seven key questions, the seventh of which was "How helpful is Alcoholics Anonymous in the Treatment of Alcoholism?"[42] Vaillant's book was partly based on his experience with "a vast collaborative effort" that had started with two studies in the late 1930s and was still running after 60 years.[43] Aware of the difficulties of obtaining direct evidence by statistical methods, he nevertheless states in his summary of literature and personal experience that "... research during the last 15 years has revealed growing indirect evidence that AA is an effective treatment for alcohol abuse." [44]

 

Vaillant points out that AA shows its advantage over other treatments in the long term because, as a cheap, community-based fellowship it is easy for people to keep coming back. He argues that "AA is the most effective means of long-term relapse prevention in the physician’s armamentarium."[45]

 

He also writes that AA was formed by people deeply distrustful of organized religion, and that AA continues to pass the test of universalism by accepting members regardless of religious conviction. "Would that all 'religions' and fraternal organizations were as benign," he stated.[46]

 

In 2005, Vaillant produced an extensive study of the efficacy and safety of AA in the treatment of alcoholism, reviewing the published works from 1940 until the present day. In this paper he acknowledges that, although AA is not a magic bullet for every alcoholic in that "there were a few men who attended AA for scores of meetings without improvement."[47], his overall observation is that "multiple studies that collectively involved a thousand or more individuals, suggest that good clinical outcomes are significantly correlated with frequency of AA attendance, with having a sponsor, with engaging in a Twelve-Step work and with chairing meetings." Vaillant's overall conclusion is that "Alcoholics Anonymous appears equal to or superior to conventional treatments for alcoholism, and the skepticism of some professionals regarding AA as a first rank treatment for alcoholism would appear to be unwarranted.

 

What you will learn in graduate school in the psych field is that AA is the most successful means to recovery.

 

Let's not even argue the details, or Orange - my sobriety and the sobriety of the many I know are proof. The 12 Step program works. My life is proof of this.

 

Even if I were to relapse - I'd still be defending the program. It completely changes one's life. Nothing is perfect - so yes there is a high recidivism rate. But ask any relapser - and they will tell you it's because they lost their conscious contact with God and stopped working the steps.

 

Here's some more data for you:

Moos and Moos

 

In a 16-year follow-up study, Rudolf and Bernice Moos examined the effectiveness of clinical treatment and participation in AA.[49][50] They reported that clients who had 27 weeks or more of treatment in the first year had better outcomes 16 years later. After the first year, continued clinical treatment had little effect on the 16-year outcomes, whereas continued involvement in AA did help. A conclusion was that "Some of the association between treatment and long-term alcohol-related outcomes appears to be due to participation in AA."[51]

 

The Veterans Study

 

Moos, Mood, and Humphreys carried out a study of 1,774 low-income, substance-dependent men who had been enrolled in inpatient substance abuse treatment programs at 10 Department of Veteran Affairs medical centers around the U.S.[52]Five of the programs were 12-step based, and five used cognitive-behavioral therapy. The 12-step programs were found to be effective in terms of cost and recovery: over 45% of the men in 12-step programs were abstinent one year after discharge, compared to 36% of those treated by cognitive-behavioral therapy. In answer to the often-posed question as to which comes first, AA participation or reduced drinking, the study concluded that the answer is AA.[53]Moos said, however, that the benefits of participation in AA may not necessarily accrue to all types of individuals: "It is important to specify the characteristics of individuals who may not need to join AA in order to overcome their alcoholic-related problems.

 

42. Vaillant, 1995, p 3

43. Vaillant, 1995, pp vii and ix.

44. Vaillant, 1995, p 265

45. Vaillant, 2005.

46. Vaillant, 1995, p. 267.

47. George E. Vaillant. "Alcoholics Anonymous: cult or cure?" Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Jun2005, Vol. 39 Issue 6, p431-436.

48. Vaillant, 2005

49. "Participation in treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous: A 16-year follow-up of initially untreated individuals." By: Moos, Rudolf H.; Moos, Bernice S. Journal of Clinical Psychology, Jun2006, Vol. 62 Issue 6, p735-750.

50. See also Moos and Moos. "Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders." Addiction, 101, 212–222. And Moos and Moos, "Long-Term Influence of Duration and Frequency of Participation in Alcoholics Anonymous on Individuals with Alcohol Use Disorders." Journal of Consulting and Clinical Pyschology, 2004 Feb;72(1):81-90. (abstract, retrieved 2007-05-04)

51. Moos and Moos, 2006

52. Krista Conger. "Study points out value of 12-step groups in treating substance abuse." Stanford Report, May 23, 2001. Retrieved 2007-05-05.

53. "How effective is Alcoholics Anonymous?" Harvard Mental Health Letter, Dec 2003, Vol. 20 Issue 6, p7-7.

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Isn't that what bible believers do?

 

Well, it's definitely what religious fundamentalists do. This is where the hypocrisy kicks in. There always seems to be a waiver in place when it comes to the verification of religious assertions. That waiver is referred to as "faith."

 

Only scientific assertions are held to a standard of evidence or proof, as it should be. But because an idea is considered religious, it is therefore exempt from scientific scrutiny; at least in the minds of the faithful. This is why some religious folk fear science, because science presses on in spite of this notion of exemption. The fear is that, as religious assertions are undone through the course of scientific study, the comfort zone of religious belief, as pianoman describes above, may be lost.

 

By the way. I was raised a Methodist; I would currently describe myself as agnostic; I am not "miserable." Put me down as a "Happy-go-lucky Agnostic." B)

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...What I meant was that I do know atheists - and they are all miserable. They may be successful people with successful careers and families - but they are an unhappy bunch - filled with negativity and judgment, angst and confusion....
You must pick out only disfunctional atheists to "know".

 

I can counter your "observation" with my own very easily. I have known entire churches full of the "faithful", the "spiritual", the "righteous", etc, who were miserable, disfunctional, arrogant, judgmental, angst-ridden, holier-than-thou, emotionally abusive, ignorant, withdrawn, lonely, helpless, fearful and possessed by dogmas/demons.

 

Back when Alabama had large state mental hospitals, the third largest "cause" of "insanity" was attributed to religion -- or at least taking the physical reality of gods, angels and demons a bit too seriously.

 

I attend the Unitarian Church. Possibly 1/4 of the congregation would say they are agnostic or non-believers. They are the most functional, emotionally grounded, rational, mature and content bunch of people I have ever, EVER, met. (by and large)

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My conviction is that faith is important. The specifics of that faith are not - for they differ from person to person. The light is in us all and is expressed uniquely through individual human creativity. Our faith is the connection to that light which is made possible once we differentiate our ego. It may take the form of a bearded wizard, the DSM, sock monkeys or even that you yourself is He. Whatever works for you. "God" works for me.

 

This is the take of the 12-Step program, and is why it works wonders.

It appears some of the disagreement is in your proposition that the 12-step program works in this manner. There are many reasons why AA does and does not work for different people. The analogy was not a very well chosen one (don't worry, I choose crappy analogies all of the time B) ), so people have called you on it. Try to avoid being defensive. How about you describe what you meant?

 

 

God is not very highly esteemed here... Or, more specifically, those who believe in this concept, like a unicorn or leprechaun... it's just faith and seems childish. People with these approaches to life, this "faith," are often seen as weak, and god as a crutch. The overall point is, why not be stronger and seek knowledge that's verifiable? Why do so many people need a crutch, saying it's because "god did it," instead of finding answers in the universe as it is?

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