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Re: 12 step programs » mi nación malvada

Posted by Cass on October 12, 2004, at 18:48:13

In reply to Re: 12 step programs, posted by mi nación malvada on October 12, 2004, at 0:52:19

> Cass, thanks for your kind words on that other page.

You're welcome.

>The meta-analsis suggests they are not very effective - certainly not as effective as more direct interventions by trained professionals.
That does not mean they are not effective for some people.

I suppose that could be true. It may not work for everyone, but I do know that my husband's devotion to AA principles saved his life.

>In a book about treatment of alcoholism from Johns Hopkins University, an author concluded, rather frankly, that the programs work as a sort of "surrogate addiction."

There may be that element to it. I've noticed that many members are compulsive about attending meetings, but for severe alcoholics, their life depends on it.

> The "higher power", in my understanding, serves to identify an authority beyond the human realm; a realm which most of us -- if we are honest --recognize to be infected by arbitrary, often capricious authority. The 12 step programs don't require that we identify this higher power as anything more than our own inner voice - what is important for the operation of the group is collective surrender. Whatever is this "higher power" we embrace, it serves to legitimize the authority of the group, whose primary authority in turn is in the area of pressuring us to behave in a certain way.

This is a very objective, analytical view. I can't argue with the dynamics you describe, although, like I said, I am not a member of the program.

> faith holds that our language, and our linguistic constructs, are grossly imperfect and never nearly as coherent as we pretend them to be. My faith holds that my rationale and my language is no more coherent than that of a bug, and expects to find no better rationale among any of my language-weilding human peers.

Is there a connection to surrender in that idea? Knowing that we can't express or comprehend the "higher power", we simply surrender to its power.

>My faith holds that my life matters nothing at all and that life itself has no inherent meaning whatsoever. It's probably not a very good religion for nation-building but if I am going to have faith, I want it to be in something I can truly honestly believe.

Is this existentialism?

Thanks for all your input, mi nacion malvada. It was very interesting. You're obviously extremely educated and intelligent.




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