Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

October 2021 

First Sunday Meeting

October 3  Sunday 10:30 - 12:30 EDT 

Video conference meeting using Zoom

Jesus, Hitler and the Abolition of God

This will be a video presentation by Alec Ryrie, of Gresham College, London. It is the last of a series of lectures on atheism. 

Bring your own coffee and snacks. 

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83219531259?pwd=RUcyek1aYmZsYk1hSWRXYWJwTTVHQT09

Meeting ID: 832 1953 1259

Passcode: 224758

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+13126266799,,83219531259#,,,,*224758# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kbhfihL5FM


RET Skeptic Book Club


October 10     Sunday         4:00 – 6:00 pm   

Video conference meeting using Zoom

Why We Act: Turning Bystanders into Moral Rebels

by Catherine A. Sanderson

We are bombarded every day by reports of bad behavior, from sexual harassment to political corruption and bullying belligerence. It’s tempting to blame evil acts on evil people, but that leaves the rest us off the hook. Silence, after all, can perpetuate cruelty. Why We Act draws on the latest developments in psychology and neuroscience to tackle an urgent question: Why do so many of us fail to intervene when we’re needed―and what would it take to make us step up? A renowned psychologist who has done pioneering research on social norms, Catherine Sanderson was inspired to write this book when a freshman in her son’s dorm died twenty hours after a bad fall while drinking. There were many points along the way when a decision to seek help could have saved his life. Why did no one act sooner? Cutting-edge neuroscience offers part of the answer, showing how deviating from the group activates the same receptors in the brain that are triggered by pain. But Sanderson also points to many ways in which our faulty assumptions about what other people are thinking can paralyze us. And she shares surprisingly effective and simple strategies for resisting the pressure to conform. Moral courage, it turns out, is not innate. Small details and the right training can make a big difference. Inspiring and potentially life transforming, Why We Act reveals that while the urge to do nothing is deeply ingrained, even the most hesitant would-be bystander can learn to be a moral rebel. 272 pages.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87160856809?pwd=YkVrNkVaSDRaMHp6S3NqQ0J0ZkQvZz09

Meeting ID: 871 6085 6809
Passcode: 078917

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+19292056099,,87160856809#,,,,*078917# US (New York)
+13017158592,,87160856809#,,,,*078917# US (Washington DC)

Dial by your location
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        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/keWbAOtEZ

You still have time to suggest a book or two in for next year, so hurry up!

Third Sunday Meeting

October 17 Sunday 10:30 - 12:30

Video conference meeting using Zoom

Topic to be announced.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87192629825?pwd=T1BKN0g5SHVobU0vbWNpcVh3Y3cyUT09

Meeting ID: 871 9262 9825

Passcode: 129653

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+13126266799,,87192629825#,,,,*129653# US (Chicago)

+19292056099,,87192629825#,,,,*129653# US (New York)

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kTWqYwkcV


Reflections Sunday Meeting

October 24 Sunday 4:30-6:00 PM EDT

Video conference meeting using Zoom

Can you afford to live here?

If you have been watching the national real estate market for a while you have probably noticed that prices are crazy.  How do you think this will affect the younger generation and their view of a place in the USA?  If the younger generation feels cheated out of the American dream along with all the current craziness where does it end?  With the national leadership in their 70's and 80's is the American dream now a retirement community?


Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87513183912?pwd=N3l4djVKalV2WWRBNmYxUjJvRnBGUT09

Meeting ID: 875 1318 3912
Passcode: 307917

One tap mobile
+13017158592,,87513183912#,,,,*307917# US (Washington DC)
+13126266799,,87513183912#,,,,*307917# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Find your local number: https://us06web.zoom.us/u/kcaosvsL0


Troll Invasion

trolls

After the annoying and distressing uninvited trolls who joined the third Sunday meeting of September, we thought it important to explain why it was possible and how it can be prevented in the future. These trolls disrupted the meeting through immature, crude and disrespectful behavior. It appeared they had no meaningful agenda targeting RET except to be disruptive.

When RET began meeting by Zoom we incorporated a waiting room for participants. This was an extra step for security. Unfortunately, there were times that the host(s) became caught up in the discussion and failed to allow people in who are waiting. 

To make the experience more seamless for our members we removed the waiting room requirement. This also made it possible for meetings to proceed without official administration.  There have been a few instances where this has been needed. The meeting in question was one of those times. 

Fortunately, Bob signed out as a participant and signed on as an administrator and took control of the meeting. 

RET went more than a year of meetings without problems, leading to a false sense of complacency. Going forward, though, we will be re-establishing measures to remove unwanted “guests.”

First of all, there will be a dedicated administrator of every meeting. If the regular administrator is unavailable, a substitute will be provided with hosting capabilities.

Secondly, participants will enter a waiting room until the host allows them to enter the meeting. If you are waiting, please be patient. 

New guests will need to introduce themselves and let us know how they heard about the meeting in order to continue to participate. Failure to do so can result in removal from the meeting. Any disruptive behavior will also result in removal from the meeting. 

Additionally only the host will have screen-sharing capabilities. Guest speakers who need to share their computer screens will become temporary hosts. 

RET has always been open to the public, and will continue to be so that those who want and need to find us are able to do so. This means that trolls can also find us. Fortunately, virtual meetings allow us to effectively remove those who find it amusing to interfere with our meetings, something that would be harder to accomplish in person!

Plan Ahead:  2022 Business Meeting

The RET annual business meeting is scheduled for February 6, 2022 at 10:30 AM. Anyone interested in serving on the board should email: secretary@rationalists.org

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Contact email: info@rationalists.org
Edited by Sharron King: newsletter@rationalists.org.
Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors and are not necessarily the opinions of RET.



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