Addicting science!

Firstly I do not wish to offend any religious or spiritual people here so don’t read ahead if a purely scientific approach to rehabilitation doesn’t interest you.

So as a science advocate and someone who views humans for what we really are, evolved primates, religion has never and will never help me with anything, nor will spirituality or any other form of unproven dogma. I like doing the work and the research to find the truth behind how my brain actually functions and giving credit to all the scientists who’ve dedicated so much time to doing experiments and collecting data.

With that out of the way, another reason I created this topic is because I feel incredibly alone in the world, especially in a small town where religion is still quite purtinent to everyday life, people I work with play religious sermons and preachers on their phones. I even work with a guy who entertains the idea of the earth being 6000 years old. I don’t even like to talk about evolution or evidence because they don’t value evidence, once someone decides they don’t value evidence, the conversation is over. That being said I am open minded and totally willing to change my views on anything given enough evidence, and what people have visions of in their own head or miracles they claim to witness do not constitute evidence. Anyway I’m getting off track, one of my religious friends at work I felt close enough to share my addiction with recommended finding Jesus and the Bible, and I didn’t know how to tell him no cause I didn’t want to offend him. The twelve steps even have religious undertones. I’m even afraid opening up like this on this forum, but I just want to meet some like minded people who are trying to fight their addictions by educating themselves and pursuing knowledge. Our brains are complex but they are also well studied and addictive behaviours are not a complete mystery. I’m a sex addict but regardless of the addiction, it’s glaringly obvious that people are usually seeking escape when they use. Some of the time I would’ve wasted watching porn I now use to watch people like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Neil Degrasse Tyson. If these people are my idols, then Cosmos by Carl Sagan would undoubtedly be my Bible.

It feels amazing just to type this out and perhaps the act of typing it out alone should suffice but I want to share it, so here. If you read all that, thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts, evidence or links to any good studies being done.
My brain hungers for knowledge!

I’ll start with a decent article on the science behind the 12 steps which has almost reconciled science with the process for me.

Are There Scientific Processes Underlying the 12-Step Recovery Method? | Michael’s House Treatment Centers


Do you feel like you are being pressured in your town to be religious? I’m all about science, but I’m happy with my own views and don’t really get bothered by how others view the world… Unless I guess if it was constantly in my face.

And yeah… There’s a lot of psychology behind the 12 steps, it’s a lot more than meets the eye.

For me, finding my spirituality has been the biggest game changer with my sobriety and just my life in general. I think spirituality is more intertwined with science than you think. I’ll try to find an article that supports my statements however.


I am very Christian, but respect the scientific process. I believe that God works through scientific principles that are unchanging. I believe he created the world through science, not in 6000 years bit instead in 6 creative periods, which were extensive in time. I dont think its unreasonable to believe that Adam and Eve could have existed though outside of this world though. Created/born elsewhere and brought to this world.

But, no. None of that is able to be scientifically proven. There is however science that exists in this universe that we are ages, perhaps millennia away from understanding/achieving.


Bless you!!! I have been scratching my head since that post popped up.


I do take a pretty scientific approach to my recovery, it is based on me changing my brains neuropathways. And learning/researching/reading reading reading have been a huge part of my recovery as well.

The article made a lot of great points but some that still just don’t help me with the whole "religious " or “spiritual” stuff of AA personally :woman_shrugging:

It was only when I stopped trying to MAKE myself believe certain things when I simply cannot believe said things that I found the path that worked for me 3 years ago today. :hugs:


I think this article is a good first step into the world of science & spiritually. Pretty quick, easy read.


Im all about science too and many people do succeed with this approach but if you find that it does not help you, the spiritual route through AA works very well and also is both psychological and spiritual. The spiritual route has saved me when all other 150+ attempts failed.
I do love science also though, rather than picking and choosing, i use both.
Congratulations on your sobriety !


This is such a wonderful and insightful response Joseph



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I wouldn’t say I feel pressured to be religious, but at the risk of sounding arrogant, I definitely feel stifled intellectually and unwilling or unable to discuss… “things” for lack of a better word.

I think I may have a problem with the word “Spirituality” and the wishful connotations I associate with the word, more than anything else. You’re undoubtedly correct in saying there’s something quantifiable, that is to say, something scientific about spirituality, but I don’t think it’s something that transcends our ability to observe it, or measure it.

For instance, one of my indulgences every morning is listening to a radio show, called “the road home” from 5am to 6am. It’s rare offbeat music blended with readings of poetry that quite often will leave me in tears, in those moments it’s almost meditative and you lose yourself in what you’re hearing. Or I can just be holding my daughter and rocking her to sleep with some Jack Johnson playing on my phone in my pocket, and just once again, cry because of how overwhelmingly happy I feel in that moment. I suppose one could call these spiritual moments or perhaps not, either way I believe those moments, whatever they may be do simply come down to chemical and hormonal processes in the brain, does that make it less beautiful? Of course not, if anything being enlightened about that process and the fact that we even exist to experience them is even more awe inspiring to me than anything.

Please do share any findings on the spiritual science link I’m eager to read. I appreciate your response!


That’s a cool article. Cuz yeah, having worked the steps being an agnostic and scientist, the method behind its success hasn’t been lost on me. Hell, it worked for me.

I understand the seeking a rational answer. But knowing wasn’t doing, and I finally gave up and just tried on what worked for others. Before the end I didn’t particularly care anymore about the how, it was working.

For something less spiritually bent, you might like some of Annie Grace’s books. Also I know you’re not alone here on the fully non-spiritual route. I believe @Robketts, @Alliecat (?) and many others have good leads.


This question of scientific things happening within our bodies when we feel “spiritual” reminds me of a recent thought I had…the whole people live on after they die stuff, I am beginning to believe that is just that the parts of them WE perceived that live on. The part of us that we put upon them.
My dog that recently passed has MANY characteristics that my new puppy has but I partly believe it is the part of me that was a part of my old dog that now has become a part of my new dog, MY perceptions and ways that has “lived on”… not my actual dogs ghost or what have you. That would be more scientifically explained than spiritually I believe :woman_shrugging: maybe :laughing::crazy_face: So many unknowns lol


First off, great topic, really interesting food for thought.

I was going to recommend the Art of Happiness which is a really interesting intersection between Buddhist philosophy (as outlined by speeches and interviews with the Dalai Lama) and recent psychological studies which basically provide science for why some of that philosophy might work.

My thoughts on your post…

I guess the thing with a lot of spirituality and religion is that it is older than what we now regard as science. It is great to have an enquiring mind but, in my opinion, to disregard an option because it isn’t supported by a randomised control trial or whatever might mean you miss out on something that really works for you.

In my postgrad studies I looked up a lot of stuff by Ray Pawson and the realist evaluation approach. I still think scientific research is super important but I also think it’s important to remember that it is only as good as the latest set of studies (and depends on what questions have been asked and the quality of data collected - we don’t know what we don’t know etc). Research (particularly evaluation research) tends to uncover an average result which conceals lots of variation and contextual information which the results of a study can’t articulate.

I come at this as an atheist who has fallen out of love with people like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins over the years. I think a lot of what they have to say is interesting but I think they are just quite rude about people who are religious. I prefer to practice tolerance of other views to my own (I try my best anyway!) and try to see what I can learn from others. This has served me well in sobriety, I have learned a lot from people here who are religious and/or have been through AA. I also practice yoga and meditation which arguably have spiritual elements to them, they certainly draw on ancient philosophy.


I might also add, love the comments re: spirituality. This was a piece I had lost (again) while drinking and would qualify myself as spiritually agnostic.

And, I dunno… To me it’s that blob of stuff that philosophers and poets alike have tried to express for centuries. It’s too big to wrap up in a single sentence. There an ineffable sense to it too vast and slippery to be pinned down.

I can describe the interaction of two perfectly isolated bodies by simple formulas. I can model the interaction of many with great precision. Eventually it gets to be too many and still there’s a law of averages that does pretty well.

Beyond it all it continues to spiral out until chaos theory applies, where all I can do is predict where my prediction will diverge, yet still there’s a strange sense underlying it all.

Whatever the heck that thing is, I literally drove myself mad with it until I just pointed and called it, “Whatever the heck that thing is.”

And it’s pretty cool. Life, the Universe and Everything.


What a lovely response. I appreciate it.

I agree the word spirituality really threw me off as well when I first started my recovery. The more I looked into it, the more I gravitated towards it and it’s been extremely fulfilling. Spirituality has given me “purpose” in the world which I was desperately lacking prior because I had such a logical (for me it was close minded) approach to the world. I gained purpose with my kids… But they… Are not my purpose in life, I think that’s too much responsibility to put on them if that makes sense. I think purpose can be fluid, and don’t get me wrong, it is my responsibility to raise two well rounded people to be a beneficial part of society/this world. But they aren’t the end all be all reason I am here is what I’m saying. They will grow and be independent, and they cannot stay small just for me to feel beneficial. I learned I need to find my essential reason for why I am in this world and I couldn’t find it through being logical. I would like to make impact, I’m figuring out how to do that now through my spirituality. Even if it’s all for nothing in the end, why not try to live up to my fullest purpose in life.


My response didn’t have much science behind it lol sorry. But I do appreciate this topic and the insight it’s given me :slight_smile:


Lue :purple_heart::earth_americas::dizzy:


Ha, yeah… Sorry to go waxing all philosophical, @Foxtrot, but loving this whole thread!


Biology of desire is a good book to read about the science of addiction if you haven’t already…like his speeches too

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No it was a great response, I love all the responses. It can be very cold and calculating to take a viewpoint such as mine but it’s the only one with satisfying answers for me and the humility of science and the willingness to be proven wrong which ultimately leads to a greater understanding. I completely agree with your point about children not being your purpose, your children complement your life and learn from what your purpose is, and if your purpose is only to serve them what will that teach them? Your kids are lucky to have a mother with such a good head on her shoulders.

@Eke Your post is very well written and poetic in itself, well done! I’m honestly relieved that you and others are taking interest in this topic.