Topics & Questions for Discussion: Part 3 Sample Responses

 

 

After watching the 3rd part of the God as we understand Him movie, we suggest the following topics of discussion:

 

What do they mean in the film when they talk about “praying to false gods?” Let’s discuss how our addictions might become the most important thing in our lives.

 

Sample responses by a facilitator or group mediator:

 

We could get into an endless debate about who or what God really is, and atheists love to debate whether God exists at all. For the practical purposes of someone struggling with addiction in everyday life, God is whatever has supreme importance for the person. Again, Step 3 states “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. This is a big deal. I’ve devoted my whole life to God, whatever that may be. The important thing is that I’ve devoted my life to Something. Even an atheist or an agnostic can devote his or her life to Something, Anything. When a person gets addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, money, sex, etc., their addiction becomes the most important thing in their lives, taking priority over family, community, career, and even their own health.

This is what they’re referring to in the movie when they talk about “praying to false gods.” The DVD cover shows a man in a bar who appears to be praying to his beer. The shelves of liquor bottles look like a holy shrine. His eyes are closed, so he can’t see the light coming in through the window. For the alcoholic, alcohol was “God as we understood Him” before they came to believe in a higher power.

 

Why might the term “powerless” be a problem for some of us? How can the realization that we are powerless be empowering?

 

Sample responses by a facilitator or group mediator:

 

Step 1 states: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.” Some people have trouble admitting they are powerless over anything. In today’s self-help literature, “empowerment” is a big buzz word. People want to become “empowered” to change their lives, not admit they are powerless.

In the movie, it is proposed that powerlessness is a paradox. In admitting we are powerless, we are empowered. To use cocaine as an example, the moment I admit I am powerless over cocaine, I become open to change and transformation.

 

Is it obvious to all of us that we are not God, as Dr. Kurtz puts it?

 

Sample responses by a facilitator or group mediator:

 

In the video, Dr. Ernest Kurtz talks about the realization that we are not God. This whole discussion may seem silly. Of course I’m not God. If I am a religious person, I believe in God, and I’m not Him. If I’m an atheist, I don’t even believe in God at all. But if God is that which I revere most in the world, it might be harder for me to say honestly that there is anything I care about more than myself. Am I not at the center of my own universe? Does everything not revolve around me? Realizing that I’m not God means overcoming selfishness, self-centeredness and egotism. Not being God means having humility. It means having a purpose in my life that is higher than simply caring for myself.