Larry Revoir
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Common Ground

Common Ground

Jul 18, 2022

Written March 18th, 2020

For the record, the reason I was in opposition to this media for this purpose, is for this reason: To prevent me from assaulting you with my thought processes. That said…

"Those having religious affiliations will find here nothing disturbing to their beliefs or ceremonies. There is no friction among us over such matters."- Page 28. I mention this portion of the Big Book because I feel that it is (or can be seen as) a call to action... "there is no friction" could be stated as "there is to be no friction." i.e. "don't fuck with people." This is the spirit in which I presently write.

It is not my intention to subvert the epistemological underpinnings of anyone’s belief system(s) nor to promote my own worldview, as such. In order to find common ground within our fellowship’s necessarily pluralistic structure, however, (I feel) there needs to be some amount of agreement.

On the questions of, “How One can be said to Know,” or “What is it that can be Known” there is much written by many far greater minds than my own. Without directly arguing against the idea of “Non-Overlapping Magisteria”, “Revealed Knowledge”, and the like, I feel somewhat handicapped as I precede. I shall do my best.

There is, of course, no lack of quotations from the big Book that substantiate certain ontological claims. Particularly, the notion that ‘God’ being all-powerful, will ‘provide’. Bill himself wrote, “Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough.” Page 12, additionally, “We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free.” Page 133, to name only two. These two are, in themselves, enough to see how one can easily conclude: 1) we ought to continue meeting as usual (provided we believe god will protect us), 2) those who become sick must not have “wanted him enough”, 3) since isolation / social-distancing could be seen as antitheses to happiness, joyousness, and freedom we can (being secure in our faith(s)) disregard such advice.

I am not attempting to characterize anyone’s “understanding of their own higher power” and then straw-man their position. I am, in so far as I’m able, attempting to be sympathetic to those who hold views that are fundamentally contradictory to my own. Without intentionally invoking the teachings, practices, or precepts of ANY faith including my own, and without deferring to any authority aside from the Big Book for a priori assumptions, I am attempting to find the aforementioned common ground.

The Big Book opens the door for the argument from scientific fact thusly: “These tiny bodies are governed by precise laws, and these laws hold true throughout the material world. Science tells us so. We have no reason to doubt it.” Page 49. And, “Everybody nowadays, believes in scores of assumptions for which there is good evidence, but no perfect visual proof. And does not science demonstrate that visual proof is the weakest proof?” Page 48. Moreover, “Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.” Page 31. Of course, this last quote is referring to making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic, however, One would be hard-pressed to argue against the reality of scientific progress, medical or otherwise.

To the point, “But this does not mean that we disregard human health measures. God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practition­ers of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons. Most of them give freely of themselves, that their fellows may enjoy sound minds and bodies. Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward” Page 133. It is these, human health measures, that are of utmost concern presently.

If we can agree upon this as common ground then from here I submit that: We, as a fellowship, have certain duties to ourselves, to those who came before us, and more importantly to those whom we have yet been able to reach. Therefore, we should consider the need for, as well as the needs of, our group, but this should not be without consideration for individual members’ physical well-being.

From the CDC (

To paraphrase, 4 main points: 1) How COVID-19 Spreads: Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). 2) Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 3) It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. 4) The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Since our organization does not wield the power to cancel all AA Meetings indefinitely, it is in our hands to decide what to do and what not to do. I don’t think we should all just stay home, but I also think it wise to limit potential infection. For those who wish to meet in person, we should not “disregard human health measures”.

Again, on page 133, “Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an oppor­tunity...”

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