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Rationalists of East Tennessee is an organization created to benefit people by expanding understanding of the universe through the use of empirical and rational methods. Our purposes are as follows:
To foster an environment suitable to free speech and exchange of ideas.
To promote free inquiry into the nature of the universe and of human societies.
To encourage critical thinking on all aspects of human life.
To emphasize the importance of the scientific method.
To explore ethical and intellectual alternatives to supernatural beliefs.
To model humanistic ethics through service to the greater community.
To provide a fellowship for people who share these purposes.
How Do I Join RET?
We welcome you to attend our meetings to find out more about us. Find out what we're doing next by browsing the calendar at left or by sending email to info at rationalists.org.
Once you've decided we're a group you'd like to associate with, either download our brochure and fill out the blank or print the HTML application found here.
Recent News and Events
RET First Sunday Meeting Please join us for RET’s first Sunday meeting on December 7.
We will finish the Council for Secular Humanism video about the history of American Freethought. This segment includes discussions of several topics : the rise of Catholicism, challenges to Sunday laws, the Haymarket tragedy, McKinley, the barring of the Truth Seeker publication, Palmer raids, Emma Goldman, the Scopes trial, DeMille (Godless Girl), Mencken, radio evangelism (including plagiarism of Ingersoll), and the decline of freethought between the World Wars. Goins Building cafeteria annex, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm.
Posted by risler Dec. 05, 2014
Rationalists Public Lecture Don't forget our special free public lecture by Tom Flynn of the Center for Inquiry and editor of "Free Inquiry" magazine. He will discuss the "Demography of Unbelief" - A lavishly-illustrated PowerPoint presentation tracing what pollsters know -- and what they get wrong -- about the record growth in the numbers of Americans claiming no religious affiliation from the 1980s to today. Goins Auditorium, Pellissippi State Community College, Saturday Nov. 15, 2:00 pm.
Posted by risler Nov. 13, 2014
RET Sketic Book Club for November Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee monthly book club meeting on Sunday, November 9, 2:00 pm at Barnes and Noble Booksellers on Kingston Pike. The book for discussion is “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap ” by Matt Taibbi . Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail.
In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side.
In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistle blower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights.
Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all. (Amazon Review)
Posted by risler Nov. 06, 2014
RET Special Public Lecture by Tom Flynn MARK YOUR CALENDARS. The Rationalists of East Tennessee will sponsor a special public lecture by Tom Flynn on Saturday, November 15th at 2:00 p.m. in the Goins Auditorium of Pellissippi State Community College. Tom is the executive director of the Center for Inquiry and publisher of Free Inquiry magazine. The title of the presentation is “Who Are These Doubters Anyway? The Demography of Unbelief”. You've seen the various religion polls and the reported percentages of unbelievers – and the polls vary widely. Which surveys are reliable? Which are skewed? In a lavishly illustrated presentation Tom Flynn explores how sociologists and pollsters have measure religious belief and unbelief from the mid-twentieth century to today, complete with all the controversies and scandals. What do polls on religion really mean (for example, how many of those "no religious preference" people are really atheists?). Those of you who heard Tom lecture to RET two years ago on “The Trouble with Christmas”, know that he is a very good speaker and will give both an informative and entertaining talk.
Posted by risler Nov. 05, 2014
Rationalists First Sunday Meeting Please join us for RET’s first Sunday meeting on November 2. We will discuss the Supreme Court ruling in Galloway vs. the town of Greece as it pertains to secular invocations at public meetings. Following that discussion will examine examples of secular invocations, including one that was presented on July 15, 2014 at the Town Board of Greece by Dan Courtney, in anticipation of making our voices heard at local public meetings. Goins Building cafeteria annex, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. REMEMBER TO SET YOUR CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR AS WE REVERT TO EASTERN STANDARD TIME AT 2:00 AM SUNDAY MORNING.
Posted by risler Oct. 31, 2014
Rationalists Third Sunday Meeting Please join us for RET's third Sunday Open Roundtable discussion Bring a topic you would like to have considered. The meeting will open by looking at the four proposed amendments to the Tennessee State Constitution which will be on November's ballot. Following these discussions, members will have the opportunity to present other topics of general interest. Goins building cafeteria annex,Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30am-12:30pm