Author Archives: Bill

About Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

The Bogus Conflict of Science v. Religion

This is a repeat of a post back in 2014. It may not seem to have anything to do with recovery, but since recovery is about learning to think clearly as much as anything else, and since the problems some folks have with the idea of religion can hinder recovery, I believe the relevance merits repeating it.


It seems to me that, philosophically speaking, there can be no actual conflict between science and metaphysical issues such as religion. I think the “conflict” is mostly a construct designed to divide (and hopefully conquor) for economic and/or political purposes.

As a discipline, science involves only things that can be observed, measured and quantified.  Metaphysics involves things that cannot be measured, observed, quantified, or shown to exist or not exist using scientific methods. As any logician will tell you, failure to prove something does not constitute proof of anything. Therefore, there can be no discussion of metaphysics based on science, and “science” as a discipline cannot have an opinion, pro or con, on metaphysics.

Logic and observation can confirm scientific principles, but even in those cases it can only predict probable outcomes based on observation. Those who believe in metaphysical matters can believe whatever they want, and science can neither prove nor disprove it.  Thus, it seems to me that no conflict can exist except in the minds of those who want it. Continue reading

Slinging It Around

I went to an anniversary meeting last week. Generally speaking I love anniversaries, especially the one and two-year recipients who are still more or less in awe of their sobriety and their fellowships. This one was pretty great too, except in one respect.

The first recipient was a one-year guy who’d had multiple relapses, both prolonged and short. Apparently – not by his account – he’d known the man who presented his medallion some years ago in another state, and then re-connected with him locally the previously year. Those sorts of coincidences occur pretty often down here in Florida, where it seems that old alcoholics and other addicts come to die the same as other folks. We’re also loaded with newcomers from the dozens of treatment facilities in our area. Generally speaking, our fellowships are the richer for it. Anyway, the celebrant seemed to think it was working for him. Continue reading

Flashback — Concerning A Higher Power

This was originally posted on 22 May 2014. It’s been edited slightly because I can’t ever read my own stuff without messing  around with it.

I heard another newcomer at a meeting complaining about how she’d had God shoved down her throat by her parents, and she wasn’t having any part of this Higher Power stuff, blah, blah, blah. I find this sort of thing tedious, to put it mildly, having listened to and read about it frequently over the years. Even when I was claiming to be an atheist I thought it was shallow and ill-considered. So I thought I’d write about my take on the matter. Continue reading


We, my wife and I and thousands of others, are about to lose a friend. His family are about to lose a husband, father, son-in-law and so forth, as it always is. None of us walk alone, not really, and few of us pass unnoticed and unmourned. In his case, many will notice and mourn.
Bill has terminal cancer. It arose suddenly and was misdiagnosed for far too long. Maybe he could have beaten it if things had been different. But there it is. It is what it is. He and the family seem to be dealing with it about as well as can be expected.
We have never met him in person. I’ve spoken to him once on the phone. We know him from his blog, podcasts, and Facebook. His signature is in a book his wife wrote, signed to Shel and me by the whole family (and their dog). We can’t really claim to know him at all, and yet in many respects we feel as if we do. We do know and love his wife and kids, who are all three the kind of people who make you feel as if you’d known them most of your life and just need to catch up a bit. We know them well enough to be absolutely certain that the man who married that woman, who fathered and helped raise those children to young adulthood, was a good man who lived an essentially good life. None of us are perfect.

Continue reading

Recovery Basics

Don’t use; go to meetings; get a sponsor; work the steps, carry the message. These are the basics of recovery in the 12-step programs. If we say “don’t act out,” we can include all variations of addictive behaviors, and if we broaden our definitions to include other successful recovery programs, these are the basics of recovery, period. Continue reading