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I had a conversation with one of my friends last night and it got pretty heated. I like to think I am a level headed person so I am eager to hear what you guys think.
My friend and I were both stout atheists our entire lives. I’m not really here to stand on my soapbox but we were pretty set in our ways. In college my friend went to school on the east coast and he started abusing substances HEAVILY, he would basically snap me every single night of all the stuff he would take. At first I thought it was funny, you know how drugs at first seem like the greatest thing ever, and I was partaking in my own shenanigans so I didn’t think much of it. Fast forward 2 years later, I’m over the 24/7 partying, but he’s still getting fucked up every night with no signs of slowing down. I can even tell it’s fucked with his brain because he definitely seems slower and his mind just seems cloudier? IDK.
I’m getting on a tangent here but basically, he got arrested for a DUI a year before we were set to graduate and as part of his probation he had to attend AA. He’s KINDA clean now (only smokes pot and drinks but he doesn’t touch pills anymore) but he told me he cleaned up for his girlfriend and NOT because of the mandatory AA meetings. In fact, the more he tells me about his meetings, the more I am convinced that they are bullshit. I have so many issues about the steps they teach.
For one, how can AA help an atheist if they require you to believe in a higher power to even complete a bunch of the steps? WTF? That seems alienating and stupid. For the record my friend told me he isn’t an atheist but now an agnostic but I think requiring someone to change their “faith” in order to treat their DISEASE sounds extremely shady.
Second, the AA steps haven’t even been updated in LITERALLY decades. For other diseases, science or new research is constantly updating treatment. How can a treatment method NOT be updated or researched upon to improve in years? I don’t think there have been any pushes to “improve” the steps in terms of looking at the data for failure rates or surveys. It’s like church where we are just supposed to blatantly accept whatever we are told. If I were to be treated for my DISEASE, I would want to know that the process I’m taking to treat it has been regulated or at least examined thoroughly instead of just blindly following it like sheep.
Can anyone who did AA and thought of themselves as an atheist tell me how inclusive/exclusive the meetings are? Like what if you can’t even submit yourself to a “higher power” because it’s BS, so does that mean you are an auto-fail in the eyes of the program? It honestly seems like the program core beliefs would be MASSIVELY unfriendly to any RATIONAL thinker… or a long winded self-help scam process mixed with converting people to believe in God.