AA agnostic meetings endeavour to maintain a tradition of free expression, and meetings are a space where alcoholics can feel free to express any doubts or non-beliefs they may have, and to share their own personal form of spiritual experience, their search for it, or their rejection of it.
In keeping with AA tradition, we do not endorse or oppose any form of religion or atheism. Our only wish is to ensure suffering alcoholics that they can find sobriety in AA without having to accept anyone else's beliefs, or having to deny our own.
The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking - there are no closing prayers, or prayers of any kind.
The A.A. Preamble states:
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
The format of meetings includes agnostic-based discussion of recovery topics. Newcomers are also encouraged to bring up phrases that they have heard at AA meetings that they have had trouble understanding or accepting. In the spirit of openness we ask that you avoid criticizing anyone. We make space for everyone to express their questions and doubts in the spirit of open inquiry. We respect and honour everyone exactly where they are in their search for sobriety and sanity in life.
In Agnostic meetings, we do not ask you to believe in anything except belief that recovery is possible. We maintain a tradition of free expression and provide a place where alcoholics can feel free to express any doubts or disbeliefs they may have, and to share their own personal form of spiritual experience, their search for it, or their rejection of it. We do not endorse or oppose any causes. Our only wish is to assure suffering alcoholics that they can achieve sobriety with the support of AA without having to accept anyone else’s beliefs or having to deny their own. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and to help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
What's an Agnostic?
The word Agnostic literally means one who rejects Gnosis, which is the claim that spiritual or mystical knowledge exists. It's a convenient word to encompass the variety of beliefs and non-beliefs held by our individual members. Recovering alcoholics who attend the Agnostic A.A. groups come together knowing that sobriety can be attained by anyone with the help of A.A. fellowship and principles, without relying on a Higher Power. Some of us are Agnostic, some Secular Humanists, some Atheists - (and some of us hate labels!) The only thing that binds us is a desire to stop drinking.