I ask because I have found my commitment to myself through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I do not condone most of what I see in the rooms, now that I know myself. But i still go to meetings, despite my certainty of never drinking/using again. I also met someone there who is going through the same self actualization I am, so most of my reasoning for still showing up is an excuse to converse with him. Our conversations tend to try to relate the Objectivist ideal to the 12 steps. I want to get some feedback to justify my time spent on the steps, or to help me stop considering them altogether. Yet I think I already know...but i would like some different ideas to consider.
BTW, I am aware that most of this program is clearly full of social BS like anything else, I do not need help seeing that. I am interested to know if anyone has specific things that parallel Ayn Rand's ideals. Also, I know any Howard Roarks out there would be unlikely to use a mind altering substance in the first place.
Let me try answering a different question: "What would an AA 12-steps look like if Objectivist principles were applied to it?"
Actual AA 12 steps:
Possible Objectivist 12 steps:
If you remove the God steps (2, 3, 6, 7 and 11), the rest is okay. Even some of the non-God steps need a little modification. For example, step 1 isn't completely true--even if one is addicted, one is not powerless, even if you need help from others that does not mean you have no power yourself. However, the insight that one must admit that one has a problem, is addicted, and needs help (which I take to be the core of step one) is perfectly valid. Independence does not mean never needing help from others, but rather that one's primary orientation to reality is first-handed.
The focus on searching oneself, taking moral inventories, etc., is extremely beneficial.
The commitment to righting past wrongs is also excellent.
As for helping other alcoholics, this is perfectly acceptable, as long as it is not a sacrifice according to your hierarchy of values--helping other people is not contrary to Objectivist principles.
You may enjoy Rand's article "The Metaphysical vs. the Man-made" in Philosophy, Who Needs It? where she draws inspiration from the AA credo, giving them credit for making a key insight in an eloquent fashion.
answered Jan 21 '12 at 16:18