There should be an explanation of what "Higher Power" means on the 12 Principles for Atheists & Agnostics page

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Lobsterface
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There should be an explanation of what "Higher Power" means on the 12 Principles for Atheists & Agnostics page

When I first read the 12 Principles of OLGA / OLG-Anon for Atheists & Agnostics I was quite offended, it seemed like whoever wrote them didn't even know what an atheist was and was just substituting the phrase "Higher Power" for the word "God" which might work for some non-Christian theists but makes no sense on something that says it is for atheists and agnostics. After reading some threads in the agnostic and atheist discussions section I see that that is not really the case, but I also see that I'm not the only one who originally got the wrong idea.

I'm sure there are people who have read the 12 Principles for Atheists & Agnostics and closed it in disgust without exploring the site further. References to a "Higher Power" with no explanation of what is meant by "Higher Power" is going to drive people away when maybe this site could help them.

lizwool
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Hello, Welcome to OLGA.

Hello, Welcome to OLGA. Thank you for your suggestion. I made changes to the 12 Principles of OLGA / OLG-Anon for Atheists & Agnostics. Please let me know if that is appropriate. Thank you again, for your input! Sincerely, Liz

Liz Woolley

John of the Roses
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Changes will continue to be

Changes will continue to be made to this section as OLGA continues to grow and evolve. Additionale changes will most likely be made as our understanding ot the true atheist also grows and evolves. Be patient with us as we first explore the true addiction of the excessive gamer and the effects that disease has on the excessive gamer and those within his or her real life world. Thanks for your comments, very helpful & needed.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

J. DOe
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Lobsterface, welcome to OLGA

Lobsterface, welcome to OLGA and thank you for your feedback. If I understand you correctly, your basic assertion is that we are supposed to define what the phrase "Higher Power" is supposed to mean. However, I humbly believe that you are missing the point. It is YOU who is supposed to define what it means to you in the context of getting help for gaming addiction. Now, you might say that some (or even all) atheists don't believe in any kind of higher power, but I beg to differ. As I have said in a couple of other posts (note that this is just my personal opinion and not part of the official OLGA policy):

J. DOe wrote:

Note that a "higher power" does not necessarily have anything to do with fate or design since what it actually is depends on the context. Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have higher powers in various contexts in our lives. As children, we have our parents at home and teachers at school. In society, there is the government, police and other authorities. In a job, there are our bosses. In the "universe", whether or not there is some type of higher power, and what it is if it exists, is open to debate and personal belief. However, as far as getting help at OLGA for excessive game playing, the higher power can be anything that makes sense to you in that context. For some people (including myself, although I also believe in some type of universal higher power), it is just the website and collection of members, with the implicit acknowledgement that, collectively, they know much more about gaming addiction than the member. I hope that this makes some sense.

You also say that we just substituted "the phrase "Higher Power" for the word "God"". However, have you actually compared the texts side by side? If so, then you should have noticed, for example, step #3 which in the regular 12 steps says:

Quote:

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

while the version for atheists and agnostics says:

Quote:

Decide to ask for help.

In fact, all of the steps are reworded to at least some degree. I believe that you want to have the term "Higher Power", or anything even remotely resembling it, completely removed from these steps, and possibly anything that has any other spiritual or religious context. However, keep in mind that these steps have a very powerful, and useful, message to deliver. I, personally don't believe that it is possible to reword these steps to try to please every person without also watering down the message that is being presented to everybody. Nonetheless, that does not mean that we cannot improve the wording. If you have any constructive suggestions on how to do that, please let us know. You also assert that some people will not use this site at all because of that page. That is possible but I believe that it will be very few since, in my opinion, that would be like "throwing out the baby with the bath water". Over a year ago, I did quite a lot of checking for other sites but could not find anything even very close to OLGA in terms of overall membership, information, services, etc., that are tailored to help recovering gamers as well as their family and friends. Please keep in mind several things. First, there are many members here who are atheists or agnostics (I am an agnostic myself), perhaps even a majority. Second, many of us, including myself, joined when this atheist and agnostic version of the steps did not even exist (it has only been part of the site for a few months)! I have only informally followed the steps myself but they have helped me. What I did, and many others did as well, is reword the steps to myself to what works for me. As long as you understand the intent, that should be something that you and everybody else can do. Third, there is no requirement at all that you follow all or even any part of these steps. They are just one (although a very useful one for many people) of the tools. However, there are many others that are available on this site (e.g., reading and writing posts, on-line meetings, member look-ups, professional references, etc.). If you personally have a problem with gaming, and are ready to do something about it, I hope that you will consider joining our community and use what we have to offer (that works for you) to help yourself.

- John O.

[em]Carpe Diem![/em] (Seize the Day!)

Aldriand22
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I think everyone is going to

I think everyone is going to take something different away from the 12 steps. As J. Doe said, there are some differences in the two versions, but I can see how for some atheists this can seem confusing. I am an athiest, and I know when I saw "higher power", the first thing I thought was "Um, no???". However, I guess in my case, I don't actually use the 12 steps. I know this seems kind of silly, since the whole point of things like OLGA, AA, NA is to help you stop these bad habits through "steps". I know for me though, when I clicked to the first page, and see the whole "I am powerless thing", I just can't do it. The whole reason I stopped was because I came to this realization that I am stronger than this stupid game, in a way feeling "empowered" by myself. Plus, if "I am powerless", then who is going to save me? The only person that can help you in the end is yourself. No one is going to come take the computer from me, change my passwords. It's the same as when I was doing drugs, no one came and took it out of my hand and made me stop. I made the conscience choice to stop one day, and I didn't do it again. But, again, I am an athiest and a "higher power" has never really figured into my thinking. I also don't think the 12 steps is a "requirement" to be here. I don't use them, look at them, because I too was bothered by that term. But I am doing very well, and that is mostly just through people sharing their stories, insights etc! Just my own opinion on the 12 steps. I'm not saying this is good for everyone else :)

John of the Roses
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Sharing here is GREAT, if it

Sharing here is GREAT, if it works for you! It is like you realized ond day that you had HAD ENOUGH. You seem to have been able to control your excessive gaming, and by whatever means you have enlisted to acheive that victory, I say more power to you. You saw the results of your excessive gaming, what it was doing to your Offline life and you made a decision to stop it from continuing to happen. You are making good progress since you quit! Congratulations. What might keep you clean from excessive gaming from now on? A good way to keep what you have given yourself is giving it to another sufferring addict who is coming to a realization that he or she IS an addict. By continuing to care and SHARE here at OLGA. We keep what we have by giving it away. I hope you continue to come here and help the ones who will only discover some time in the near future, that there is some Hope here at OLGA. Keep coming back, it works because you are worth it.

"There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative." --W. Clement Stone

Jojo Rainbow
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This is actually something

This is actually something I've been thinking a lot about recently, and that I've blogged about on my OLGA/non blog (here). Take a long hard look at the steps - the principles, and try and clarify for yourself what each of them means - my biggest hurdle is Step 11 (Spirituality aEU" Sought to improve my conscious contact with a Higher Power of my understanding. Every day, pray for knowledge of my Higher Power's will for me and the power to carry that out. Hey, look at where I got myself when I was running the show! Accept myself where I am at, and how I am. What doors are opening for me, to do better in my real life? Really take a look at myself to see what I can do to take better care of me and those I love. Be here, in the present. Grow beyond our fears. Face them. Experience REAL life aEU" all of the ups and downs. Everyone has them. DonaEU(tm)t run away.) and I choose to interpret this as somewhat of a personal development step, to grow as a person and to forge a life for yourself away from the addiction.

When temptation brings me to my knees, And I lay here drained of strength
Show me kindness, Show me beauty, Show me truth

(Dream Theater - Learning To Live, 1992)

WoW-free since July 11, 2008.

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