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Who are We?
Who are We? How do we see ourselves, and how should others see us? There is no question about the position of the Rationalists with respect to the encroachment of religious dogma upon the sphere of public policy. In this area we are all of one mind. Where members may differ is in the way we view the makeup of the organization itself and the way we wish to be perceived by the general public, individually and collectively. Are we rationalists necessarily all staunch non-believers, or might some of us just be naturalists or secularists uninterested in the issue, and might others of us even be theists who feel the interests of organized religion are not well served by institutional theocracy? Should we adopt a confrontational stance toward believers, challenging the validity of religions faith; a conciliatory view, recognizing that religion satisfies basic human needs; or even an embracing posture, seeking common ground with religious organizations to further our common interest in maintaining the strict separation of religion principles and governmental institutions? Members should come to this discussion prepared to propound and defend their view of the complexion and orientation they would like to see the Rationalists pursue. This unscheduled Reflections meeting is brought to you by long-time member Bill Behr(before he begins his traditional winter retreat to Florida). Location: At the home of William Behr at 3104 Broadway (in north central Knoxville at the intersection with Atlantic Avenue.) Directions: Exit I40 at Hall of Fame Drive, turn north and proceed to merge onto Broadway. When you reach the traffic light at Atlantic Avenue, turn right into Carriage Lane. Park in any unmarked space near the pool, go to the third building (building "C") and look for unit #17 at the foot of the stairway with "Bill Behr" on the door. If you have any trouble, call Bill at 865-281-9450. Following the discussion the pool will be available for anyone who would like to take a dip before their long trip home. ___________________________
Aug. 24, 2014, 1:00 - 4:00 pm
Freethought Forum
Watch and call into the Freethought Forum community access TV program featuring East Tennessee freethinkers from the Atheist Society of Knoxville and the Rationalists of East Tennessee. Shows are most Tuesdays from 5-6 PM Eastern time. You can watch on Knoxville cable channels 6 or 12, depending on your cable provider, or online streaming at www.ctvknox.org Freethought Forum Television shows viewers that right here, in East Tennessee, freethinking atheists and agnostics are not alone.
Aug. 26, 2014, 5-6 pm
First Sunday Meeting
First Sunday We will return to the Council for Secular Humanism's video presentation "American Freethought." Topics presented include Women's Rights and Freethought Movements. Seneca Falls, Darwin, Comstock (not a freethinker), the American Tract Society, "The Truth Seeker" and Robert Green Ingersoll will be covered. The Executive Producer is Tom Flynn who spoke in a general public meeting last Nov. and will be back again this coming November.
Sept. 07, 2014, 10:30 AM
Skeptic Book Club
“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.
Sept. 14, 2014, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
Lunch Get-together
Meet for lunch and socializing Wednesday Sept. 17 at Black Horse Brewery, Kingston Pike in Bearden. Questions - Call Pauline 437-9966 or hpauline0719@yahoo.com
Sept. 17, 2014, 11:15 AM
Third Sunday Meeting
Professor Phil Hamlin of the University will discuss "Perspectives on Evil"
Sept. 21, 2014, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
No Reflection Sept. 28. Since there was a Reflections meeting last month we will skip September.
Sept. 28, 2014

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