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About Us

The Rationalists of East Tennessee focus on the real or natural universe. You can view a short video introduction here .

The group exists so that we can benefit emotionally and intellectually through meeting together to expand our awareness and understanding through shared experience, knowledge, and ideas as well as enrich our lives and the lives of others. The Rationalists do not endorse or condemn members' thoughts or actions. Rather it hopefully encourages honest dialogue, analytic discussion, and responsible action based on reason, compassion, and factual accuracy.

There are no required beliefs to be a member, but discussions are usually framed in the context of a natural universe that can be explained through scientific means. We also approach the universe as being dynamic and challenging, not static and frightening.

The focus of discussions and presentations tend to consider life as a dynamic evolutionary process that requires change and development, and specifically that human life requires a continuous process of improving knowledge and understanding. This implies a reliance on the intellect, reason, and the scientific process as cornerstones of humanity's knowledge, understanding, and potential.

Since all human values (religious, ethical, political, and social) spring from human genetics, experience, and culture, how we live is of greater importance to society than why we live. It also follows that the only way to improve the "how" and begin to answer the "why" is through rational, reality-based analysis.

Since ethics is a critical aspect of the human endeavor it must not be viewed from a simplistic perspective. Human interactions and circumstances are complex and variable, therefore ethical considerations must consider this complexity. Essential aspects of ethical considerations involve individual, social (including human freedom), and environmental responsibility which are essential to humanity's well being.

If you find this approach to be one that you share or worth investigating, join us to explore, expand and share your knowledge and understanding.

Membership dues are $35/year (individual), $15/year (student). For additional information please contact Aleta or Carl Ledendecker at 865 982-8687 (evenings).

Our mailing address is:
  The Rationalists of East Tennessee
  P.O. Box 51634
  Knoxville TN 37950

Board of Directors
  • President: Lee Erickson
  • Vice President: Ralph Isler
  • Secretary: Aleta Ledendecker
  • Treasurer: Eliot Specht
  • Director: Pat Cannon
  • Director: Jonas Holdeman
  • Director: Carl Ledendecker
  • Director: Ted Lollis
  • Director: Logan Mulford
  • Director: Larry Rhodes
  • Director: Julie Rogoish
  • Director: Joshua Shoemaker

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