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The Twelve Steps

It continually surprises me how many secular A.A.-ers and fellowships remain beholden to the Twelve Steps. They may reject certain theistic ideas about an omnipotent God, but adhere to the Steps with religious zeal nonetheless. My surprise is a matter of perspective, to be sure. I’m not just atheist or agnostic. I’m an out-and-out non-believer,Continue reading “The Twelve Steps”

A question of morality

For me, the most glaring contradiction in the ideology of Alcoholics Anonymous is that alcohol addiction is called an illness (or even disease), and the treatment for it is regarded to be a “spiritual” and moral change of the individual’s life. I’m not going to take any position about what exactly in addiction is, butContinue reading “A question of morality”

“Outside issues”

Hanging on many an AA room’s wall is the Twelve Traditions. The Tenth may be the most frequently cited: Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy. To understand what this means, one might consult Bill Wilson’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. Wilson notesContinue reading ““Outside issues””

“Rigorous Honesty”

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; theyContinue reading ““Rigorous Honesty””

Social Contract, Classical Liberalism, and the Ideology of Individualism in AA

Sorta part 2 I previously wrote that Alcoholics Anonymous can be understood on the model of classic liberal social contract theory, as a society composed by the free act of individual persons. An obvious problem with a social contract is that if it is a democratic society, the majority has a tendency to rule asContinue reading “Social Contract, Classical Liberalism, and the Ideology of Individualism in AA”

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