Some Alternate Sites to Explore

Substance dependence - Wikipedia,

How does CBT work?

Cognitive Behavior Therapy - Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Addiction

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Dependence

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) - Wikipedia

Albert Ellis Institute | REBT | CBT | NYC | Therapy


SMART Recovery

A Pagan Alternative to Christian 12 Step Groups
Some Alternate Sites to Explore

Substance dependence - Wikipedia,

How does CBT work?

Cognitive Behavior Therapy - Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Addiction

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Substance Dependence
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) - Wikipedia
Albert Ellis Institute | REBT | CBT | NYC | Therapy


SMART Recovery

A Pagan Alternative to Christian 12 Step Groups
Substance Abuse

Merck Manual chapters dealing with substance abuse

Capsule definitions from
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)

Penn Jillette "This I Believe"

This was taken from the series "This I Believe" On N.P.R.

It was written by Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller

November 21, 2005
I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism. Atheism is not believing in God. Not believing in God is easy — you can't prove a negative, so there's no work to do. You can't prove that there isn't an elephant inside the trunk of my car. You sure? How about now? Maybe he was just hiding before. Check again. Did I mention that my personal heartfelt definition of the word "elephant" includes mystery, order, goodness, love and a spare tire?

So, anyone with a love for truth outside of herself has to start with no belief in God and then look for evidence of God. She needs to search for some objective evidence of a supernatural power. All the people I write e-mails to often are still stuck at this searching stage. The atheism part is easy.

But, this "This I Believe" thing seems to demand something more personal, some leap of faith that helps one see life's big picture, some rules to live by. So, I'm saying, "This I believe: I believe there is no God."

Having taken that step, it informs every moment of my life. I'm not greedy. I have love, blue skies, rainbows and Hallmark cards, and that has to be enough. It has to be enough, but it's everything in the world and everything in the world is plenty for me. It seems just rude to beg the invisible for more. Just the love of my family that raised me and the family I'm raising now is enough that I don't need heaven. I won the huge genetic lottery and I get joy every day.

Believing there's no God means I can't really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That's good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.

Believing there's no God stops me from being solipsistic. I can read ideas from all different people from all different cultures. Without God, we can agree on reality, and I can keep learning where I'm wrong. We can all keep adjusting, so we can really communicate.

I don't travel in circles where people say, "I have faith, I believe this in my heart and nothing you can say or do can shake my faith." That's just a long-winded religious way to say, "shut up," or another two words that the FCC likes less. But all obscenity is less insulting than, "How I was brought up and my imaginary friend means more to me than anything you can ever say or do." So, believing there is no God lets me be proven wrong and that's always fun. It means I'm learning something.

Believing there is no God means the suffering I've seen in my family, and indeed all the suffering in the world, isn't caused by an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent force that isn't bothered to help or is just testing us, but rather something we all may be able to help others with in the future. No God means the possibility of less suffering in the future.

Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-O and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

Lincoln's Temperance Address

Springfield, Illinois
February 22, 1842

Abraham Lincoln caused a stir with this speech, given to the Springfield Washington Temperance Society on the 110th anniversary of George Washington's birth. Even though this organization was not a religious one, the crowd that gathered in the Second Presbyterian Church did not expect his approach.

Rather than berate problem drinkers into temperance, the 33-year-old Lincoln endorsed "kind, unassuming persuasion" and criticized earlier, heavy-handed temperance efforts. Furthermore, he advocated reason as the solution to alcoholism and other ills in his famous conclusion: "Happy day, when all appetites controled, all passions subdued, all matters subjected, mind, all conquering mind, shall live and move the monarch of the world. Glorious consummation! Hail fall of Fury! Reign of Reason, all hail!


Although the Temperance cause has been in progress for near twenty years, it is apparent to all, that it is, just now, being crowned with a degree of success, hitherto unparalleled.....................................

 In my judgment, such of us as have never fallen victims, have been spared more by the absence of appetite, than from any mental or moral superiority over those who have. Indeed, I believe, if we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant, and warm-blooded to fall into this vice. The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity. What one of us but can call to mind some dear relative, more promising in youth than all his fellows, who has fallen a sacrifice to his rapacity? He ever seems to have gone forth, like the Egyptian angel of death, commissioned to slay if not the first, the fairest born of every family. Shall he now be arrested in his desolating career? In that arrest, all can give aid that will; and who shall be excused that can, and will not? Far around as human breath has ever blown, he keeps our fathers, our brothers, our sons, and our friends, prostrate in the chains of moral death. To all the living every where we cry, "come sound the moral resurrection trump, that these may rise and stand up, an exceeding great army" -- "Come from the four winds, O breath! and breathe upon these slain, that they may live." 

Read the entire address at : http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/temperance.htm

Bold by me

SWOG has been added to The Atheist Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. 
The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world.
If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

God and Religion Stuff

If this is your God, he's not very impressive. He's got so many psychological problems; he's so insecure. He demands worship every seven days. He goes out and creates faulty humans and then blames them for his own mistakes. He's a pretty poor excuse for a supreme being.
-Captain James T. Kirk; Star Trek: The God Thing

A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship.
- Martin Gardner

"Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong."
- Thomas Jefferson

"All priests dread the advance of science. They preach bigotry and fanaticism at the expense of human reason. A band of dupes and imposters, they sponser ignorance, absurdity,untruth,charlatanism, and falsification."
-Thomas Jefferson

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
-Thomas Jefferson

To sum up: 1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10, 000 revolutions a minute. 2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
-C.S. Lewis

"History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help." But like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it."
- Lazurus Long

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent---it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
- Lazurus Long

 "Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves."  "Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child."
- Lazurus Long

 "The gods can either take away evil from the world and will not, or, being willing to do so cannot; or they neither can nor will, or lastly, they are able and willing. If they have the will to remove evil and cannot, then they are not omnipotent. If they can but will not, then they are not benevolent. If they are neither able nor willing, they are neither omnipotent nor benevolent. Lastly, if they are both able and willing to annihilate evil, why does it exist?"
- Epicurus

"For all we know, all the main religions could be utterly wrong, and some minor deity from the bushlands of Africa could be the big cheese in the afterlife!" 
- Jubal Harshaw

 "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction."
- Blaise Pascal

"For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing."
 - H. L. Mencken

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

 "Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth."
- H. L. Mencken

Illegitimi Non Carborundum

The Twelve Steps of Overserious Anonymous

The Twelve Steps of Overserious Anonymous

1. We admitted that we were powerless over seriousness--that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that only by lightening up could we achieve a state of non-seriousness.

3. Made a decision to turn our constant self-criticism over to our sense of humor and learn to--lovingly and wholeheartedly--laugh at ourselves.

4. Decided to give ourselves a break once in a while, instead of constantly doing searching and fearless moral inventories of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves and another human being that our wrongs were often in our heads.

6. Were entirely ready to accept that our characters were as good as anybody else's and possibly better than most.

7. Quit harping on our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we thought we had harmed and saw that they'd forgotten all the crap we'd blown out of proportion.

9. Quit making amends for breathing air and taking up a few square feet of the planet's surface.

10. Resigned ourselves to the fact we were going to criticize ourselves at times, but would try to stick to our guns when we knew we were right.

11. Sought through meditation to calm down and realize we're not responsible for everything.

12. Having experienced immense relief from these steps, we would try to carry this message to other overly-serious people and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.

Alcoholism Is Not A Disease

 The following are excerpts from and article at http://tinyurl.com/2lpayx  The entire article is well worth reading

Alcoholism is not a Disease

“In 1976, the writer Ivan Illich warned in a book, Limits to Medicine, that 'the medical establishment has become a major threat to health'. At the time, he was dismissed as a maverick, but a quarter of a century later, even the medical establishment is prepared to admit that he may well be right. (Anthony Browne, April 14, 2002, the Observer)”

History and science have shown us that the existence of the disease of alcoholism is pure speculation. Just saying it’s so, doesn’t make it true.

Nevertheless, medical professionals and American culture lovingly embraced the disease concept and quickly applied it to every possible deviant behavior from alcohol abuse to compulsive lecturing.

The disease concept was a panacea for many failing medical institutions adding billions to the industry and leading to a prompt evolution of pop-psychology.

Research has shown that alcoholism is a choice, not a disease, and stripping alcohol abusers of their choice, by applying the disease concept, is a threat to the health of the individual.

In a recent Gallup poll, 90% of people surveyed believe that alcoholism is a disease. Most argue that because the American Medical Association (AMA) has proclaimed alcoholism a disease, the idea is without reproach.

But, the fact is that the AMA made this determination in the absence of empirical evidence. After reviewing the history of the decision, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that the AMA has been pursuing its own agenda in the face of evidence negating the validity of alcoholism.

The disease concept strips the substance abuser of responsibility. A disease cannot be cured by force of will, therefore, adding the medical label transfers the responsibility from the abuser to others. Inevitably they become unwilling victims, and inevitably they take on that role.

In retrospect then, the disease concept has effectively increased alcoholism and drug abuse. Furthermore, its only benefit has been vast monetary reward for the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services. Specifically, it has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.

Further, it is beyond the grasp of logic for medical professionals to prescribe meeting attendance as a remedy for an “incurable” medical ailment, not to mention a contradiction to the supposed nature of the problem.

The disease, as described by 12 steppers, is all powerful; it is a separate entity and without meetings it will destroy them. But, with some thought one realizes, these ideas are mutually exclusive. To point out the obvious, if someone is “powerless” they would, by definition, not be able to control themselves, not even one day at a time.

The absurdities do not stop with 12 Step groups; professionals contribute their own set of absurdities. For example, the AMA’s definition of alcoholism is: “Alcoholism is an illness characterized by preoccupation with alcohol and loss of control over its consumption, such as to lead usually to intoxication if drinking; by chronicity, by progression and by a tendency toward relapse.

The disease-mongers gnaw away at our self-confidence. Inappropriate medicalisation carries the dangers of unnecessary labeling, poor treatment decisions, economic waste, as well as the costs that result when resources are diverted from treating or preventing more serious disease. At a deeper level, it may help to feed obsessions with health.”(CNE Health)

Then there is the DSM IV criterion for diagnosing alcohol abuse. It also does not include physically measurable symptoms. It only requires social and/or legal problems.

 It should be pointed out that there is a major conflict of interest among drug counselors, a conflict of interest that cannot be ignored. The majority are, themselves, members of 12 step groups and are believers in AA dogma. These non-professional counselors have been manipulated into believing 12-Step propaganda. And, like the AMA, their status allows them to convince patients they need help because they are sick.

The disease concept oozes into every crevice of our society perpetuating harmful misinformation that hurts the very people it was intended to help.

It is a backwards situation where the assumptions of a few were adopted as fact by the medical profession, without evidence, and soon after, accepted by the public. With this said, visiting the history of the disease concept gives us all a better understanding of how and why all of this happened.

It is speculated that the disease concept originated in the 1800's with a fellow by the name of Dr. Benjamin Rush. He believed alcoholics were diseased and used the idea to promote his prohibitionist political platform.

(Thanks to OHI (Mark) for finding this gem

All of us who have

Epicurus destroys the notion of a personal god.

From the man who theorized atoms 2,300 years ago.

“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?” -- Epicurus


Act 2, Scene 3


'Faith sir, we were carousing till the
second cock: and drink, sir, is a great
provoker of three things.


What three things does drink especially provoke?


Merry, sir, nose-painting, sleep, and
urine. Lechery, sir, it provokes, and unprovokes;
it provokes the desire, but it takes
away the performance: therefore, much drink
may be said to be an equivocator with lechery:
it makes him, and it mars him; it sets
him on, and it takes him off; it persuades him,
and disheartens him; makes him stand to, and
not stand to; in conclusion, equivocates him
in a sleep, and, giving him the lie, leaves him.?

Double Rainbow

A Question

Three good men did good works.

One man did good works because his religion promised eternal rewards if he did

One man did good works because his religion promised eternal damnation if he didn’t.

One man did good works because, after consideration, it was simply the right thing to do.

Which man was truly the good man?

This explains a lot!

Some more than others?

Two At A Fireside

I built a chimney for a comrade old,
I did the service not for hope or hire --
And then I traveled on in winter's cold,
Yet all the day I glowed before the fire.

-Edwin Markham

Found on the web, long ago

Well it appears as though the AA Nazi's have infiltrated the forum. The same mentality that inspires brutal honesty.

"If I am right, who gives a shit if I hurt you?, I'm only doing it to save your life?! All these other sugar coaters are enabling you! You need the real truth! Even if it tears the skin right off you!"

Someone wasn't nice to these people either in their own recovery or they have a grudge against the world for not being fair. Tough to pick on the new guy cause he questioned you isn't it? And when someone compassionate jumps in to threaten your little tirade, "Hey, I call um like I see um...and I was RIGHT!" Pathetic.

Go back to the playground (or your meetings where you dominate) and be the bully. Some things never change!

Blog Roll

Is anyone interested in my putting up a blog list. This would just be a list of blogs that people here might have, or highly recommend. I'd like to keep it to personal blogs or sober sites/blogs.

Use comments for suggestions


The Agnostic's Prayer

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.

Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit.

I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony.


(Roger Zelazny, Creatures of Light and Darkness, © 1969)