How to do aa without god?

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Soberguy27
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How to do aa without god?

Post by Soberguy27 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:36 pm

I was just wondering how many of us atheists, agnostics, humanists and free thinkers do aa without god?
Now I know most do believe in a higher power and I am in no way saying that anyone should not believe. But, there are those of us who simply do not believe. It's been my experience that we are accepted but our views are not very welcomed at regular meetings. This makes me feel like it's ok to go to regular aa meetings just don't speak at meeting level. I have spoken up at meetings and it was politely suggeted that I go to agnostic meetings. This made me feel like I was not welcomed. If aa does not require yiu to believe in anything then why should the non believer be asked to go to another meeting? I am not a militant atheist, just an atheist and when I speak at meeting level I only speak of my own experience and never cross talk. I believe everyone has a right to believe or not to believe. If aa is to be all inclusive and not exclusive then we need to make an effort to welcome all no matter what their religious affiliation is or whether they even believe in any type of higher power. So I if you are an atheist or non believer how do you do aa? Or do you only go to agnostic meetings. This is only one in my area so most of the meeting I go to are regular meetings.

Theo50
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Theo50 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:27 pm

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
In my opinion, you should not be un-welcomed at an AA meeting.
In my opinion,believing in God is also not a requirement. You can choose a higher power of your choice. When the general "God" term is utilized, feel free to replace it in your mind as "Higher Power". You can also speak using the term "Higher Power" instead of God.

Soberguy27
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Soberguy27 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:38 pm

Thanks but isn't believing in a higber power just another way of sayi v that you believe in a deity? See, being an atheist means that I do not believe in any god or or suoer natural deity. So, by saying my higher power would mean basically being untrue to myself.
I like the principles and try to live my life as close to those principles as I can.
I do appreciate your response to my question. I will just have to take whag I need and leave the rest.

Layne
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Layne » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:31 am

isn't believing in a higber power just another way of sayi v that you believe in a deity?
Depends upon the beliefs of the person saying it. For me the answer is no.

As to speaking at meetings, no one speaks for AA, they speak for their personal take on AA. Their take on the AA may not dovetail with my take on AA. People, just like snowflakes, are always unique and no two are ever exactly the same.

I am an agnostic or non-believer and I do AA pretty much like most other people do AA. One thing that has been helpful to me is when I focus on the similarities instead of the differences. I have to be careful when I look for differences that it is not driven by a need to prove my superiority. Keeping this in mind, I go to AA meetings. If I decide to look for AA meetings for agnostics, or whatever "fill in the blank", I would be careful to weigh my reasons for seeking those meetings out. Not saying that I wouldn't, just that I would want to be crystal clear on my thought process behind the decision. Also if I were in a room full of only Laynes, it would be a scary place. :~)

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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Theo50 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:53 am

I am not an atheist or an agnostic but I have my difficulties with a belief in "God" as I was brought up as a catholic. I do not like the idea of a punishing God.
My suggestion would be to think of a different view of a higher power. I believe the main concept in AA is to remove the self-centeredness of oneself and be open to a "higher power" that is more powerful than self. I look at nature or the universe and view these as a higher power than myself. There is no misconception in my mind of the higher power of nature and the universe. I believe that is an easy way to start on the path of believing in a power greater than self. When one believes that self is the higher power, that, I believe is where the alcoholic thinking problems exists.
I personally do believe in my own perception of "God" but do not yet have a deep spiritual connection that I want and need.

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PaigeB
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by PaigeB » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Thanks but isn't believing in a higher power just another way of sayin that you believe in a deity?
Nope. I still don't believe in a deity and I have 9 years of happy sober time. Peace. Serenity. Comfort. All the things that "believers" get from working this program.

I used AA as my HP. Millions of alkies have been literally SAVED by AA right? THAT is Higher than me. AND It is all semantics any way isn't it? Just the other day I wrote here about HOW I got & maintained sobriety as an Atheist.
http://www.e-aa.org/forum/viewtopic.php ... 44#p162244

But you say...
I personally do believe in my own perception of "God" but do not yet have a deep spiritual connection that I want and need.
So fantastic! You seem just like the rest of us! We are ALL a little agnostic somedays and that is perfect. Because "The Tao explained is not the Tao"... NO ONE really Knows. I mean I SWORE that I should be rendered insane if I had a white lightening experience & that my family was to rush in and have me committed. I absolutely insisted that they SWEAR to the promise! Then again, even I wanted a quick white lightening FIX to my problem. I am such a drama queen. Laughing but serious ~ I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but my only REMEDY was to WORK this Action Program.

Being a non-believer, I needed something a little more "solid" to DO as my daily maintenance for this disease. I found the DAILY REFLECTIONS - AA conference approved literature, one day at a time, that takes a Step a month, to be my answer. I got a book, but usually kicked up the computer first thing so I went looking for an online version and found it here at e-aa on Fri Jun 24, 2011. I have read & wrote about every single day since then. I capitalize the words Action and Know because, to me, they are being used in a way that is of a Higher Power than I am. I Believe that as the result of this daily WORK, my Practice of The Program and my Journey have been greatly enhanced.

The sayings "get smart feet" and "be where your hands are" meant a great deal to me in this Action Program. I do not kneel and pray because I would never be able to get up again! But I am the most prayerful Atheist you have ever met. I used to say "God dammnit" but now I say "God Bless it" - semantics again... You have NO IDEA what I mean when I say "god" and I have no idea what YOU mean when you say "God". I said the pray on page 67 "Save me from being angry so I don't kill this SOB!" And I say "Oh shite HELP!" The words are quite up to the individual, so long as the words are said in your head or out loud. I don't pray out loud - my HP and I meet deep within myself where no words are necessary.

I have found that this Program ONLY WORKS if you find a way to work it. Work it daily & you get daily results!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Blue Moon
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:59 pm

Soberguy27 wrote: I have spoken up at meetings and it was politely suggeted that I go to agnostic meetings. This made me feel like I was not welcomed.
IMO this begs the question: what on earth were you saying that would cause such a response? I sense there's more to this than you're letting on here.
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Blue Moon
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by Blue Moon » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:02 pm

Soberguy27 wrote:Thanks but isn't believing in a higber power just another way of sayi v that you believe in a deity? See, being an atheist means that I do not believe in any god or or suoer natural deity. So, by saying my higher power would mean basically being untrue to myself.
Were you able to stay sober on your own old will-power? If not, you need a power greater than yourself. Whether that's a supernatural deity or some other power is up to you, you need to find a concept that makes sense to you. It could be Buddhism, nature, philosophy, whatever.
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positrac
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Re: How to do aa without god?

Post by positrac » Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:30 am

I am not a militant atheist, just an atheist and when I speak at meeting level I only speak of my own experience and never cross talk. I believe everyone has a right to believe or not to believe
If you have the desire to stop drinking then when did you come to that point in your life? I have known several atheist or so they claimed and different religious faiths like Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist and they had a really good mental view on HP! They never needed to express their beliefs because it was a private matter and one that never needed to be force fed in the group to fit in..... Every so often you have go to start this topic up as if it is required to make a statement or something?

No drunk wants to feel guilty on what they know is not normal drinking in society and so to deflect religion it is easier to claim no beliefs! That is fine because over time those people find inner peace and accept whatever is just whatever.

I haven't seen our group of newbies chomping at the bit to chime in on this topic. ^^^^ What are you really looking for in this topic? ^^^^ I want to know what keeps you sober in a program drowning in God and Christian beliefs! I dismiss all of the God stuff and do my own thing and pray to my God as I understand and for me and my experience it is between my ears on my beliefs. I am smart enough to know what works for me and what doesn't and I rarely express that because it is my job and sobriety is an inside job.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.

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