One conversation-stopper we hear time and again goes like this, “I don’t need science and evidence. I know what I know.” It’s hard for me to believe that, when dealing with a condition that A.A. considers an actual disease, they wouldn’t have the slightest interest in scientific research which could benefit them, improve their program, advance treatment options and save lives. What they feel is all the proof they need. Statistics are bunk because they know a couple guys… Here is an excellent post addressing this kind of thinking:
An excerpt from P.Z. Myers:
Building An Argument on Emotional Biases Happens, But That Doesn’t Make It True
There’s that cartoon again. The atheists are not convinced of the purity of their reasoning — we know the human mind is flawed and easily twisted askew from reality. That’s precisely why we demand verifiable, empirical evidence for truth claims. It is not enough to simply say you know the answer and it is right, we expect you to show your work, and we’re going to reject claims, like those of faith, that insist on an unwarranted certainty of the possession of knowledge. The idea that humans are emotional and make choices on weak grounds is not at all antithetical to our goals, but instead explains why it is more important that we critically self-analyze and inspect all of these religious arguments with more skepticism.
In the course of visiting various relevant blogs and websites, we stumble upon comments left around the web by A.A.s in defense of their religion — unwittingly proving everything we have ever thought or said. This new Stinkin’ Thinkin’ feature — Bollocks of the Day — will reprint these comments for your amusement or your irritation. Please feel free to email in with your own contributions, so that we can feature them here and make sure to provide a link!
Today’s Bollocks, by a poster called sicboy13 (wonder if that refers to his favorite step) was culled from the comments section of this entry.
I think somebody has a resentment…. Live and let live, brother. If you don’t like the fact that some people find their recovery in the rooms of AA, then don’t go to the rooms of AA. I am no shrink, but if you took the time to post such a large hate-post regarding AA & recovering alcoholics I would venture to say I would be glad to take you to a meeting, sounds like you could use one
This comment has it all! Accusations of anger, resentment and hate; passive-aggression, complete with the telltale “protests too much” smiley emoticon (“No anger here!”); the implications of ulterior motives; the regular joe tone (“brother” “I’m no shrink”); the strawman (the author hates recovering alcoholics); the 12th stepping… Brilliant! All in 3 sentences.
There’s a 12-step advertisement, disguised as an article, on The Huffington Post today. It has to be an ad, becasuse the comments are closed. Why would that be? An “article” recommending putting the Big Book (which she calls the Bible) next to the liquor cabinet, sticking A.A. flyers on the fridge, and 12th-stepping to pass the time — and the comments are closed? After I read the piece I was very sweetly going to post this:
“Thanks for the article. I just wanted to add a few different resources for people who want to find addiction support, without A.A.: Rational Recovery, S.O.S., etc…”
“Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward.”
In Alcoholics Anonymous, as with every cult, the individual’s welfare is subservient to the group’s. The first tradition threatens death as a consequence of a group’s failure with “AA must continue to live or most of us will surely die”. An AAer who questions an aspect of the program is considered a threat to the group, and is quickly met with put downs, typically in the form of a thought-stopping slogan. Most often they are labeled “angry” or “selfish” or the all-encompassing pejorative “dry drunk”. They will be told their ego is getting in the way, and that EGO is an acronym for “Edging God Out”. This is particularly effective on those who were convinced to make the AA group itself their higher power.
One thing never heard in an AA share meeting is a person telling how well their life has improved since they quit drinking, directly followed with “and I owe it all to myself”. In AA, all things bad are attributed to the individual, but all things good are attributable to the group – “the program does not fail, but some fail the program”. Any slip, for example, is a result of individual character flaws, or an individual not giving in fully to the program. This helps reinforce the strength of the group, to the expense of the individual.