Not to belittle the original "12 step program," used to help alcoholics break their addiction and eventually find god, it would be an interesting conversation to try and establish a multi-step program to free people from theism. One where in the final stages the subject engages their life and stimulus critically.

Possible steps could be: (not listed in any order)
* Apply the same level of reasoning you apply to science to your own god (test your religion against others and science etc)
* Seek out objective resources when doing research
* Identify the real reasons you believe and subject the reasons to objectivity (mostly because our parents forced us too)
* Identify contradictions within your holy texts
* Seek people of other faiths and compare your reasons to believe what you do to theirs (maybe not non-believers at this state but should help to show the diversity of convictions)

I could go on but you get the gist. It would be nice if we could approach our boxed in family members are friends and give them the seed of step one to chew on and if given proper time and gestation feed them step two. It should be something which starts on a scale being more aggressive toward the end. But I could be wrong here as I don't know the psychology behind the original 12 step program. (looks like I should read about its conception from this perspective)

I dont know if this has been proposed in any written works as I have not read enough into this topic. It would be a very valuable tool to develop however and I am sure we could come up with some framework we can later perfect. In identifying each possible step we could also identify tools to help the theist complete the steps be them books, social networks, web sites etc.

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Maybe this organization could help? :-)

SMART Recovery

I'm sort of kidding but the reality is that religion has a lot of parallels with physical addictions and perhaps a secular recovery program would help.

I do recall reading somewhere (and I apologize, but I don't recall where and quick Google search didn't give me any references) that some individual psychiatrists are counseling patients who have had so much damage done to them by religion that they need this counseling to recover.
Quote from Duane Robertson: Admit that you are responsible for your actions. You know what is right and wrong. Don't depend on any one source to define morality for you unless it's your own heart and mind.

demands that you admit that you are responsible for your actions - ie. you have free will.

For atheists, it is the individual who is responsible for ensuring that he/she acts in the moral way, as determined by themselves, knowing that it is only human beings, (or "mother nature"), who will deliver any consequences.
Indeed, and how can you even be responsible for your actions when all you have to do is ask forgiveness from your imaginary friend?
* Stop being a dick




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