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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
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
Posted by risler Oct. 17, 2014
Rationalists First Sundaty Meeting Please join us for RET's first Sunday in October meeting.
In this meeting we will be viewing and discussing Tim Minchin’s address to his alma mater on how to live.
“Listen to these words of wisdom, and you might just get through life perfectly...Or at least, kind of unscathed.” Tim Minchin
We will also view a short video on humanism by the British Humanist Association and discuss “The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” by Paul Kurtz. Sunday, October 5, Goins building cafeteria annex, Pellissippi State Community College 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Posted by risler Oct. 03, 2014
Rationalists Adopt a Highway Please join the Rationalists of East Tennessee on Saturday,October 4 for their next community outreach Adopt-a-Highway trash pickup.
We will meet at 3:00 pm at the Burger King outlet located at the northeast corner of Lovell road and the Pellissippi parkway. Wear appropriate clothing, bug spray (recommended), gloves and hat. A pickup tool is very useful.
The more participants we have, the faster and easier it is.
Posted by risler Sept. 28, 2014
Rationalists Third Sunday Meeting The Rationalists of East Tennessee Third Sunday meeting on September 21 will feature professor Phil Hamlin of the University of Tennessee leading a discussion concerning “Perspectives on Evil”. How do we define evil? Does its definition depend on the society in which a person lives? Is it a necessary part of life? Does evil require human agency, or are there evils inherent in nature? Was the Holocaust the ultimate act of evil? Please join us for a lively exchange of ideas on this subject that continues to shape many of our perceptions about the world around us.
Cafeteria annex, Goins Administration Building, Pellissippi State Community College, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Posted by risler Sept. 19, 2014
RET Skeptic Book Club for September Please join us for the Rationalists of East Tennessee monthly book club meeting on Sunday, Sept. 14 at 4:00 pm at Barnes and Noble on Kingston Pike. The book for discussion is “Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures” by Virginia Morell.
Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals.
Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a fish? Or a parrot, dolphin, or elephant? Do they experience thoughts that are similar to ours, or have feelings of grief and love? These are tough questions, but scientists are answering them. They know that ants teach, earthworms make decisions, and that rats love to be tickled. They’ve discovered that dogs have thousand-word vocabularies, that parrots and dolphins have names, and that birds practice their songs in their sleep. But how do scientists know these things?
Animal Wise takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals from ants to wolves, and among the pioneering researchers who are leading the way into once-forbidden territory: the animal mind. With thirty years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to animal-cognition scientists and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness–traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings.
By standing behaviorism on its head, Morell brings the world of nature brilliantly alive in a nuanced, deeply felt appreciation of the human-animal bond, and she shares her admiration for the men and women who have simultaneously chipped away at what we think makes us distinctive while offering a glimpse of where our own abilities come from. (Amazon Review)