Originally Posted by nostrum09
I need everyone not me who's on now to make one big post so I can address all items at once =)
You somewhat contradicted your own position. You indicate that AA has stopped publishing its success rates because it may not be statistically different from those who don't attend AA, but then go on to mention that it's the peer-pressure and regular meetings that prevent their rate from being lower. That would imply that without those meetings (i.e., those who simply make it a personal goal), those people would fail.
As for this being an example that religion is for the weak, do you believe that medicine is for the weak? If you broke your arm, would you make it your personal goal to set it yourself and heal on your own, or would you go to the doctor? Given that addiction is both mental and physical, the logical extension for alcoholics is that for the mental aspect, help may also be needed. Whether that help comes from a therapist or from a religious-based support group makes no difference.
When they last published, they did not have a good success rate. There's a Penn & Teller about this- pretty good. I think the meetings and support are good, and teaching people they CAN'T control their own drinking without mystical forces is counterproductive. They tned to balance out.
Meds are science based. They aren't distributed until they're proven to do something, and people understand how they work. If someone needed placebos to function, then yes- that'd be a weakness. People have used the crutch of religion to better themselves. However, ultimately the work was their own. What if I decided to live a more moral life in order to provide better cover for myself, and to uphold the responsibilities of, my true identity as a real-life super hero. Maybe I'd actually become more moral, but is this really a healthy way to go about it? Would it not be healthier to confront reality and use rational reasons to behave moral?
I imagine there are people who'd be a menace without fear of God, so I guess that makes it a useful tool. I wouldn't truly consider those people moral though- just afraid.
Again: to the extent it doesn't affect me, I don't really have an vested interest in what strangers believe, even if they want to believe they're superheros. I do find it interesting though.