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Thread: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    First off its not lengthening prison sentences, parole is a shortened sentence.
    A side point but it's a common error worth pointing out.

    Parole doesn't shorten a sentence. If someone gets a sentence of 12 years and is released on parole after 5 years in prison, he remains on parole for 7 years. That is still part of the sentence, which is why someone on parole can be recalled to prison if the break the conditions of their parole even if that falls short of being a criminal act in itself.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by HonestJoe View Post
    A side point but it's a common error worth pointing out.

    Parole doesn't shorten a sentence. If someone gets a sentence of 12 years and is released on parole after 5 years in prison, he remains on parole for 7 years. That is still part of the sentence, which is why someone on parole can be recalled to prison if the break the conditions of their parole even if that falls short of being a criminal act in itself.
    Yes there are provisions but it does shorten their time in jail. While technically it doesnt reduce their sentence in reality they are in jail less than if they served the full sentence even if it is only a day.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    Yes there are provisions but it does shorten their time in jail. While technically it doesnt reduce their sentence in reality they are in jail less than if they served the full sentence even if it is only a day.
    For the vast majority of prison sentences, the expectation is that the prisoner will be paroled at some point. If someone is given a "12 year custodial sentence with the possibility of parole after 5 years", the judge is expecting that prisoner will likely be released after 5 years. Very few convicted criminals will spend their entire sentence in prison. I doubt there is anything like the prison capacity for that to happen (which in itself should say something).

    There is a valid question whether this should be the case but it is. I personally think there is an argument for change, if only to the way sentencing is presented and reported, to avoid exactly this kind of confusion. The problem is that we'd all have to get used to sentences suddenly sounding much shorter without the political opportunism and headless-chicken panic I fear would be inevitable.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Crovax View Post
    yes to quote Hamilton he was ďan atheist in religion and a fanatic in politics"
    I believe that was part of what we'd call today an "attack ad," and given equivalent respect for its historical accuracy.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by WCH View Post
    When you've lost your soul to addiction, who better to return it to you than God? Like you said, science can't do it.
    Gods can at best offer a placebo effect. Since they're not real, they can't do anything substantial.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Gods can at best offer a placebo effect. Since they're not real, they can't do anything substantial.
    But the placebos of all kinds often have 'substantial' effects.

    I was going to mention this earlier, but I accept the evidence that addiction is in part caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and that a necessary step to long term recovery is fixing that imbalance so people feel more or less 'normal' when not using drugs. Time fixes some of these problems, but many unfortunate individuals deal with intense cravings years into recovery.

    I followed a program to chemically 'fix' the imbalances and it worked beautifully for me. I mentioned this to my doctor and he (and others) suggested that my 'cure' was effective merely because of the placebo effect. My response was I don't know and actually don't care about anything other than it worked for me and eliminated cravings, depression, etc. The effect was and is absolutely 'real' to me!

    I'm sure the same is true with belief in a Higher Power.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by OnWisconsin View Post
    That's BS. AA teaches you that you are powerless to your addiction and that you need the help of others (God). Instead they should teach you that you are in control of your own destiny, that you have complete control over your own actions and that in order to overcome your addictions you need to embrace your strengths.

    AA is such a joke and so is the whole idea that you are powerless.
    Most addicts attempt to quit using their willpower many times before going twelve step. Trying doesn't work for them, so it make sense to stop trying and to let an "outside force" (which may actually be another part of the brain) help. Part of the problem with trying is that it creates a feeling of shame when they slip, and avoiding that shameful feeling can be a motivation to use again.

    Placebos work for many people in many situations.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by OnWisconsin View Post
    That's BS. AA teaches you that you are powerless to your addiction and that you need the help of others (God). Instead they should teach you that you are in control of your own destiny, that you have complete control over your own actions and that in order to overcome your addictions you need to embrace your strengths.

    AA is such a joke and so is the whole idea that you are powerless.
    That's a pretty misleading summary of the AA approach. Just as an example, part of the process and a big topic in meetings is that sobriety cannot depend on outside forces - marriage, job, weather, how you feel that day, that if someone treated you badly it's OK to have a drink, etc. And much of learning to live sober is to learn how to embrace your own strengths - the Higher Power is ONE source of that strength, but certainly not the only one. The process is to figure out what strategies for staying sober work for each person, share them with each other, etc. No one says, "If you want a drink, then all you can do is pray in a corner."

    The message really isn't - "you are powerless." The first step that mentions "powerless" is more than anything an admission that we can't "control" our drinking. It's a statement against doomed to fail moderation and for abstention from alcohol/drugs entirely.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Tweakers are such conflicted souls.

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    Re: Atheist inmate settles for $1.95 million over 12-step drug rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    Most addicts attempt to quit using their willpower many times before going twelve step. Trying doesn't work for them, so it make sense to stop trying and to let an "outside force" (which may actually be another part of the brain) help. Part of the problem with trying is that it creates a feeling of shame when they slip, and avoiding that shameful feeling can be a motivation to use again.

    Placebos work for many people in many situations.
    12 step programs work 3% of the time. Thats not a very good batting average.
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