10 July 2006

Tom Frame on temperance

The latest (July/Aug) Quadrant has a most interesting article on temperance by Tom Frame, the Anglican bishop for the Australian Defence Force. With his permission I've put it on our website. It's at http://www.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/frameontemperance.pdf


Blogger Cathy Legg said...

I very much enjoyed reading this piece. It is thoughtfully written. The solution Frame advocates - promoting rather than enforcing total abstinence from alcohol is certainly under-represented in contemporary popular discussion of the issue - so much so that opponents of the latter get away with tarring the former with the same brush.

It's worth noting that AA sees total abstinence as the only solution for the alcoholic, claiming that alcoholism is 'a desease that can be arrested but not cured'. They even claim that the disease 'progresses' in the drinker even when they are not drinking, so that an alcoholic who drinks heavily for, say 10 years, gets into AA, stays sober for 10 years, then falls off the wagon, rapidly becomes indistinguishable from a 20-year alcoholic.

Newer approaches to the treatment of alcoholism sometimes take issue with AA's recommendation of total abstinence, describing it as 'outdated' and unnecessary, and seeking to establish the alcoholic on a program of 'controlled drinking'. It is a cornerstone of AA however that alcoholism consists precisely in the inability to control one's drinking.

5:32 PM  
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7:37 PM  

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