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Inside AA

5th April 2016 @ 19:30 - 21:30

Inside AA: Can A Non-Existent God Cure Alcoholism?

Alcoholics Anonymous offers a commonly accepted and media endorsed “spiritual” programme of recovery. Yet while AA’s social worth is rarely challenged, its efficacy rate appears comparable to that of spontaneous remission.

We’re all affected by alcoholism and addiction in some way. Can a non-existent Higher Power really offer meaningful solutions to this debilitating and potentially fatal condition? If so, how can we help all the skeptics with drinking problems?

AA’s famous 12 Step programme evolved from the tenets of a now forgotten evangelical Christian mass movement. First published in 1939, it remains entirely unchanged since then.

How did AA become the go-to treatment modality for one of the great social health scourges of our time? Is spiritually-based health care even ethical? It’s the twenty first century, is this really the best we can do?

This wide ranging talk draws on the work of philosopher Dan Dennett and evolutionary psychologist Andy Thomson (Trustee of the Richard Dawkins Foundation) to show how sacred texts and faith-based belief systems can be undermined in the new age of internet transparency.

Jon Stewart was co-founder, guitarist and co-songwriter for platinum-selling Britpop band Sleeper. He currently lectures in popular culture at a local HE Institution, and is a PhD researcher at University of Southampton.

A grateful sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 15 years, Jon also campaigns for more up-to-date evidence-based secular treatment options via his blog at http://jonsleeper.wordpress.com/

“I can thoroughly recommend Jon’s brilliant talk on this subject.”
(David Warden, Chair, Dorset Humanists)

“Hats off to Jon Stewart – what a great talk. Informative, humorous and to the point … this was one of [our] best events ever!”
(Adrian Rox, London Atheist Activist Group)

£5 to cover costs with any extra going to charity


5th April 2016
19:30 - 21:30


The Style and Winch
72 Union Street
Maidstone, Kent ME14 1ED United Kingdom