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Health Alcoholics Anonymous AA Sham Criticism 2006

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#41 Peridot

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:41 PM

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 12 2006, 02:18 AM, said:

You must realise that if this were a court of law, every time one of you said, "I know someone who . . .", all I'd have to do is stand and say, "Objection: hearsay" or "Objection: calls for speculation", and that would be the end of your "rebuttal".

You can't present "I know someone . . ." as an argument. There's something called prima facie evidence, which means that if your evidence is a person, you have to produce that person. You can't speak for someone who isn't present.

Of course.  And you must realize that this is not a court of law, but a message board.   :whistle:

And what we are all participating in is not a court case, but a discussion.   Which has somewhat different rules, including those of courtesy. :Oo:

I have, BTW, neither objections to AA nor to critiques of it.  I have seen previously one reasonable and objectively stated critique of the program by someone well qualified to comment on it.  However, in that case, IIRC, the person was simply commenting on why AA chapters sometimes fail and sometimes succeed.  

I've never had a drinking problem---barring excess puking---but I feel for those who do.  If AA has been helpful even to a small number, I personally am not going to knock it.  :eh:

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#42 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:46 PM

I basically just skimmed through the thread, after reading some posts.

My take...I don't think AA is a crock. For the simple fact that if it helps some people...then it isn't a crock. And the FACT is that some have been helped by it.

AA and groups like it might not work for everyone...So be it.

Personally I think it all comes down to a person's willpower. If a person wants to quit something, then they will. It's as simple as that.

I use to drink, party it up with the best of them. Then one day I realized I was becoming like my father...who was an alcoholic. On top of that, I was getting real tired of the hangovers the next morning. So, I stopped drinking. Now I rarely touch the stuff. I'll still drink, if the occassion calls for it.

If I wanted to quit smoking, I would. Reason I'm still smoking is because I do NOT want to quit.

Guess that's why I also don't buy into the "alcoholic's can't have one drink" If they wanted one drink, and decided that was all they'd have...then that would be it. But they have the one drink, say to themselves: "I slipped up, so might as well make the best of this one slip up." and then get sloshed. If, instead, they said to themselves, and meant it, "Alright, after this one that's it." If they mean it, and really decide not to have another then that should be it.

Human willpower is an amazing thing.
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

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Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

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#43 Peridot

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 09:52 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Jun 12 2006, 02:05 AM, said:

Funny story: a friend has been sober for about thirty years and has been active in AA for the duration. She's an atheist, so at first she had a tough time with the "higher power" thing. But she really, really wanted to get sober, so she shared this with her sponsor. Her sponsor wisely advised her not to get hung up on it. He said "higher power" was a vague enough term to be just about anything. So she made her "higher power" the radiator in the meeting room.

LOL!!  :lol:

Having lived at one time in an older house where the radiators literally would  wake you up by steaming and hissing to beat the band in the very middle of the night,  I found this not just funny but close to hilarious.

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#44 Dev F

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:04 PM

View PostAnastashia, on Jun 11 2006, 07:43 PM, said:

Dev F I followed three of the links, including one where several of the other links are from the same site. None of those three had any statistics such as GS described.
This page, which GS referenced in his second post, lays out his statistical argument pretty clearly.

Quote

The site that he made multiple links to is laughable. I've posted my issue with it in an earlier post.
Your issue being the fact that the author posted it under a pseudonym? I fail to see how that speaks in any way to the validity of his arguments or the accuracy of his sources. Like I said, evidence is evidence, no matter who presents it.

If you have a problem with the evidence "Agent Orange" provides, by all means call GS on it. But to dismiss his arguments without even considering the evidence, because its author uses a funny name, is a groundless ad hominem attack.

View PostNatolii, on Jun 11 2006, 09:07 PM, said:

Instead you, DevF, chose to defend Gsmonks stance even though I posted counter evidence, and said poster REFUSED to discuss the evidence.
How could I know that GS would refuse to discuss your evidence when I responded?

And it's not as if I'm defending GS per se. (I've got no reason to, as I don't know him at all and have no dog in this particular fight.) I'm simply reacting to what I saw as an irrational arguments. I'm defending the linchpin of scientific thought (the idea that objective, statistically sound evidence is required in support of any rational truth), against an all-too-common fallacy (the idea that anecdote is a valid substitute for said evidence).

The simple fact is, you made a fallacious comment -- "If personal experience is not good enough, than that is her/his problem." GS's arguments can be right or wrong or just annoying, and it doesn't change the fact that your comment was fallacious.

#45 Dev F

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:06 PM

View PostLORD of the SWORD, on Jun 11 2006, 09:46 PM, said:

My take...I don't think AA is a crock. For the simple fact that if it helps some people...then it isn't a crock. And the FACT is that some have been helped by it.
Sick people sometimes get better by taking a placebo. It doesn't mean the placebo is real medication, or that we should prescribe sugar pills to people with serious illnesses.

#46 Lin731

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:30 PM

Becoming an Ex drinker is much like becoming an ex smoker. What people find effective varies from person to person. Some use hypnosis and swear by it. Others go that route and swear it's a sham. Some use the patch and it works, others find the patch a useless waste of money. Some use the gun with sucess, some use it and get no results. It's the same with ALL addictions. What works for one may not work for another but I won't call any of them a  sham or rip off. If they help "some" people, than good deal. There's no one-size-fits-all cure for ANY addiction.
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#47 Natolii

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 10:47 PM

View PostDev F, on Jun 11 2006, 11:04 PM, said:

The simple fact is, you made a fallacious comment -- "If personal experience is not good enough, than that is her/his problem." GS's arguments can be right or wrong or just annoying, and it doesn't change the fact that your comment was fallacious.

No, because before I posted, GSmonks told anyone who posted personal experience, INCLUDING my father, that they couldn't read and that they were jokers.

You tell me you missed THAT one.

Nothing Fallacious about it...

View Postgsmonks, on Jun 11 2006, 07:19 PM, said:

Can you guys not read?

...

Quote

All you jokers are doing is saying "Liar, liar, pants on fire" and thumbing your noses.

Quote

I suggest you clean the wax out of your ears this time and take the time to read this:

Quote

I'll take their opinions over your crackpot assertions any day of the week. AA is a scam. Get over it.


Care to re-examine your statements?
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#48 Mark

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 02:08 AM

Mark: The 12 step program (used by A.A.), is just that ...a program.  It's similar to a computer program  , except that it's spiritual in nature. Programs only work if the user works (or runs) the program.
The word "spiritual" doesn't refer to ghosts, and goblins, but rather to a person's most private emotions, and thoughts.

If someone lacks the "spiritualness" (in other words, of or relating to the conscious thoughts, and emotions) of having an inner dialogue with their own thoughts, and emotions...then A.A. helps awaken those things in several different ways. One way, is by using the 12 step program.  

Members cannot afford to let a "virus" (thoughts of negativity about themselves, and their program) enter their spirital program. Such a "virus" could be something as simple as the reading of negativity about A.A's effectivness. However, for those who are hardened, experienced members, such words as GS's would just spur laughter, and not immediate anger. So if it does work for some people, GS, you shouldn't be a naysayer so quickly, and publicly.

I'm not saying the 12 step program does work. I'm saying the program can work, if the person who needs it works it, and lives it everday of their lives.
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#49 Broph

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 06:09 AM

View PostGodeskian, on Jun 11 2006, 08:01 PM, said:

Not putting down an opinion one way or another, but simply stating that you disagree without giving a reasoning doesn't leave much room for debate/

Just for the record, the OP basically just linked a bunch of pages and made a statement. Saying that you disagree with that is just as valid. The OP should have done a lot more than just link to opinion pages.

#50 emsparks

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 07:54 AM

For those that spout the politically correct garbage: about will power, and standing on your own.

It takes a hell of a lot of will power to walk into a therapist office once a week, or go to an AA meeting and work the program every minuet of every day. Get something straight the only thing you do on your own is die.

If you can cope on your own itís because at some point in your life someone taught you how to cope.

That is what AA does, help you learn, how to learn to cope.

If you think AA is a religious program you are greatly mistaken, itís a program of self responsibility and self help but most of all it is a non-dysfunctional support system. A family to many, that have never known a family where abuse and neglect werenít a main stay.
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#51 Mark

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 08:25 AM

Mark: Very well stated, Sparks.  :cool:  
I find that AA goes through very elaborate wording in their literature (especially in their 12 Steps) to make certain they're not regarded as a religious organization.
Mark
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#52 emsparks

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 08:47 AM

Mark, Thankyou
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#53 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 09:11 AM

Moderatorís Hat On!
I strongly advise everyone to back off on making personal comments in this thread.   It doesnít help a debate to call someone a name or assault their intelligence/competency.  I strongly advise that the topic of this thread stays on the discussion and not on each other.
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#54 sierraleone

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 09:35 AM

View PostLin731, on Jun 11 2006, 11:30 PM, said:

Becoming an Ex drinker is much like becoming an ex smoker. What people find effective varies from person to person. Some use hypnosis and swear by it. Others go that route and swear it's a sham. Some use the patch and it works, others find the patch a useless waste of money. Some use the gun with sucess, some use it and get no results. It's the same with ALL addictions. What works for one may not work for another but I won't call any of them a  sham or rip off. If they help "some" people, than good deal. There's no one-size-fits-all cure for ANY addiction.

I assume "gun" is a typo for gum. I feel I shouldn't think its a funny typo, but I still laughed :)
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#55 Lin731

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 09:50 AM

Quote

I assume "gun" is a typo for gum. I feel I shouldn't think its a funny typo, but I still laughed

Nope I meant gun, a dead smoker is a non smoker  :howling:  ;)
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#56 Zwolf

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 10:15 AM

I've never really liked AA's method, which isn't usually curing the addiction so much as substituting one addiction (alcohol) with another (religion).

(If you ever want to see an unintentionally-hilarious example of how this works, seek out Michael Madsen's first movie, One For The Road (aka Against All Hope - it's on DVD, super cheap, and it's one of the funniest things ever).  

But, if you have to have an addiction, I'd reckon that religion is less damaging than alcohol... and a lot of alcoholic-types do need some external thing to complete them, so, in that case, AA's not that bad.  I'd rather people took a different route, but that's just my d'ruthers.   AA does work for some, so I wouldn't want to ban it.

Cheers,

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#57 Lord of the Sword

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 11:34 AM

View Postemsparks, on Jun 12 2006, 08:54 AM, said:

For those that spout the politically correct garbage: about will power, and standing on your own.

It takes a hell of a lot of will power to walk into a therapist office once a week, or go to an AA meeting and work the program every minuet of every day. Get something straight the only thing you do on your own is die.

If you can cope on your own itís because at some point in your life someone taught you how to cope.

First off...I don't do Political correctness. And since I was the one that mentioned willpower, I can only guess that you were referring to me.

Second: Who said it was easy. Not me. I don't recall ANYBODY, except YOU, saying it's easy.

You're right, somebody did teach me how to stand on my own...My mother. But then again.....

You know, I think I'll take the mods "cool it" request and back on out of this thread, cause if I don't it'll get ugly in here real quick.

*mutters to himself, tell me I do PC...Got your PC right here*
"Sometimes you get the point of the sword, sometimes the edge, sometimes the flat of the blade (even if you're the Lord of the Sword) and sometimes you're the guy wielding it. But any day without the Sword or its Lord is one that could've been better  " ~Orpheus.

The Left is inclusive, and tolerant, unless you happen to think and believe different than they do~ Lord of the Sword

Looks like the Liberal Elite of Exisle have finally managed to silence the last remaining Conservative voice on the board.

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.” ~Thomas Jefferson

#58 HubcapDave

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 02:56 PM

The only thing this shows is that there are people willing to try and tear down anything which helps people.

A good chunk of my young adult life was spent going to 12-step meetings. Forget speaking to the effect I've seen it have on other people, I know it helped me quit drugs and alcohol.

(Note: In the interests of full disclosure, I no longer go, and I do drink socially these days. I don't necessarily agree that addiction is an "incurable disease". Having said that, I have no qualms with how the groups work, for they are workable. Also, I still abstain to this day from drugs.)

I can understand people not agreeing personally with 12 step programs, but to call them cults? I'm sorry, but that is outright absurd! There are no requirements put upon the person to stay in a certain place, act in a certain way, pay a certain amount of money, associate with only AA members, withdraw from friends and family, or any activity that would normally be associated with the word cult.

#59 Natolii

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 02:58 PM

1) Not you LoTS

2) The whole point of this thread is to knock down those organization.

Not everyone had a strong parent. In that you were fortunate.


View PostLORD of the SWORD, on Jun 12 2006, 12:34 PM, said:

View Postemsparks, on Jun 12 2006, 08:54 AM, said:

For those that spout the politically correct garbage: about will power, and standing on your own.

It takes a hell of a lot of will power to walk into a therapist office once a week, or go to an AA meeting and work the program every minuet of every day. Get something straight the only thing you do on your own is die.

If you can cope on your own itís because at some point in your life someone taught you how to cope.

First off...I don't do Political correctness. And since I was the one that mentioned willpower, I can only guess that you were referring to me.

Second: Who said it was easy. Not me. I don't recall ANYBODY, except YOU, saying it's easy.

You're right, somebody did teach me how to stand on my own...My mother. But then again.....

You know, I think I'll take the mods "cool it" request and back on out of this thread, cause if I don't it'll get ugly in here real quick.

*mutters to himself, tell me I do PC...Got your PC right here*

"I have on this board written pages and pages pointing out the science, and I will be dammed if I am going to attempt to reach closed minds that donít even know how to use a reference library." -emsparks (Fenton E. Magill, dec. 1/25/07 - Love you Dad)

#60 MuseZack

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Posted 12 June 2006 - 03:03 PM

In the words of the great sage Owen Wilson, there are many paths to the waterfall.  If AA works for you, then great.  If it doesn't, keep trying until you find yourself something that does.  But why tear down something that's done a tremendous amount of good for a whole bunch of people because the "higher power" thing gives you the heebie-jeebies?


Z
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We shall harness for God the energies of Love.
Then, for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire."
--Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin



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