Southern Arizona


Southern Arizona

Atheist in Southern Arizona

Members: 7
Latest Activity: Sep 1, 2014

Discussion Forum

The smell of desert rain.

Started by Tina C.. Last reply by Tina C. Jun 29, 2012. 3 Replies

I have always loved the smell of desert rain.  I am not 100% sure what causes that unique smell to this region, but I had missed it for many years when I lived up North.  It's raining today and it is…Continue

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Comment by jlaz on July 21, 2014 at 11:03am

With respect to Tucson/SoAZ atheism discussion, I did open this discussion here:

"Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and other houses of worship - valuing real estate and community meeting places
"Posted by jlaz on July 2, 2014

It arose partly out of driving around Oro Valley and a few other places and seeing over the years the apparent ups and downs of church construction in the area.  One among many ... I think there was one at Oracle (near where it turns into another road? Main?) just north of Speedway, I think where the building was tasked over to something else from a religious use?  On the one hand I can kind of see it as a good thing if folks decide that Christianity or the like isn't for them any more and the real estate ends up being re-tasked.  On the other hand, it gives me a bit of pause when I see something sort of "going out of business" in the area.

Comment by jlaz on July 20, 2014 at 3:29pm

I am finding that I am reading a lot more now that I have a smart phone with a big enough screen, and doing some travel.  I spent a couple of decades not reading that much.  However, even though I am reading more, I've never read much in the area of atheism.  I think my upbringing had nothing to do with Christianity and so maybe part of my lack of interest in reading is that the topic of Christianity and breaking away from it and arguing with it just never held any interest for me.

I do wish I lived a bit closer to Tucson and might then sometimes get more to meetings, whether for the Tucson Electric Vehicle association, or the Atheist meetup, or what-have-you.  I live in Santa Cruz County. 

One atheist issue of long-term interest to me, both locally and I guess broadly, is anyone has thoughts on child-rearing, and whether there are good options in an atheist path in a formal way.  I.e.: if one chooses not to send kids for Hebrew School, but they seem to need something more than doing conventional schoolwork and various kids' activities, has anyone observed what might be pathways for outside-of-the-school system disciplined education?  I think anyway, education is going to be a very personal thing, but just wondering, an ongoing question of some interest for me.

Comment by Titus Carus on July 19, 2014 at 8:49pm

Cool, I'll put that on my reading list :) I can't wait for it to get a little cooler. One of these days I'm going to make it to one of the atheist group meetings. I did listen to Seth Andrews when he came out and spoke at UMC :)

Comment by Marty on July 19, 2014 at 8:37pm

Hi Titus, I agree, there is very little activity in the group. I just finished Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku, it's a very good book if you're into Science. I am currently reading The Christian Delusion by John Loftus, also a really good book.

Comment by Titus Carus on July 19, 2014 at 7:55pm

Hi. Just noticed there wasn't much activity with this group so thought I would just post that I finished two great books; Doubt: A History by Jennifer Michael Hecht and A Wicked Company by Philipp Blom. Both are really good. Does anyone have a good book suggestion?

Comment by jlaz on September 17, 2013 at 7:44pm

I am confused by the setup of the discussion boards and walls and groups on atheist nexus.  Does anyone else run into these sorts of things?

The most recent wall comment I see here is from January 2013, but it indicates above that there has been activity in August 2013.  Further, if I poke around a bit, I can see some evidence of responses, but they are hard to find, buried in someone's profile for example, and not located on the wall near where a comment was made.  Further, I'll see some interesting comment in an email notification, and then go to the group and not be able to find it.  

Comment by jlaz on June 23, 2012 at 4:22pm

Hi Marty, no problem, just curious.

Hi Tina: I think they do a few other things aside from the drinking and the 12-steps.  I've only been to about 1 event in the last 5 years, but others I would look for are:

I think to change it up sometimes the drinking thing might meet at a cafe?

There is more of a regular meetup once per month I think (Denny's somewhere?.... used to be at bookman's on Grant).

I think once in awhile they have a party at someone's house (went to one once).

Movie nights every once in awhile?

There are two or three other semi-similar groups.  Aside from the 12-step group I think there's the Center for Inquiry and the Skeptics.

All that said, I don't think I'm a massive fan of the whole thing, but every 2nd or third time I"d go I think I came away having had a decent conversation here or there with someone, and while this is not life-shattering, it's something.... some moderate sense of community/fellowship outside of the whole nonsense of God/superstition/barbaric-middle-ages-nonsense.

One pet peeve... they can't seem to figure out that it might be good to have meetings here or there on Saturdays or Sundays or Friday nights:

Not one single meeting (of any sort) at those times.  What's the rationale?  I can't and won't complain as I don't and wouldn't go that often anyway, but honestly if their rationale is that people need that time for more important weekend rest time, then I think their rationale is not very bright.  Observant Jews reserve Saturdays and Christians reserve Sundays to reflect and commune and I don't see what would be wrong with Atheists allowing for weekend meetings.  Anyway, my guess is atheists in other cities allow for some weekend time without serious damage to their lives.

Anyway, some ideas.  The only thing I've done myself over the last three or four years is that for the heck of it my SO and I did go to a Drinking Godlessly, which was decent enough, and then we also for the Jewish Holidays decided to go to the Unitarian Church for last year's Tucson Secular Humanist Jewish Congregation, where they brought a Secular Humanist (Atheist) Rabbi down from Northern Arizona and had services.  Kind of on a lark, I guess we wanted to see how it went.  I thought it was ok.  The Rabbi led a couple of discussions where we analyzed a few Torah stories from a more secular point of view than one might encounter in some other synagogue.

Well, those are my thoughts for now,  jl

Comment by Tina C. on June 21, 2012 at 8:49pm

Hello jlaz, 

I have tried meet-ups before and I agree it often depends what you make of them.  However, the atheist one didn't seems to appealing to me as the only activities were drinking godlessly, and a 12 step for atheist program... this was a couple years ago I will take another look now...who knows.  Thanks for the link.

Comment by Marty on June 17, 2012 at 6:56pm

Sorry jlaz, my background is not Jewish, I was raised catholic but preferred to call myself an agnostic catholic. My wife was christian so again I became an agnostic christian. Now I'm an Atheist with no religious ties. I love the outdoors, I hike, backpack, camp and also love to offroad with my Jeep.

Comment by jlaz on June 17, 2012 at 5:03pm

Hi Marty and Tina C. - 

Good to meet you both.

Going back some years I tried to network a bit to meet other atheists and generally other people in Southern Arizona.  I did like (ok) the few meetings of the atheist meetup in Tucson that I was willing to attend.

I don't think it was the be-all end-all, but was something I attended a few times once in a great while (taking into account the time issue in driving to Tucson for me).  I think meetups are generally what you make of them.  Many of the Tucson atheists I met seemed like pretty reasonable and-or thoughtful people.  At the same time, when Atheism is the social tie-in, I'm not sure it's always the most satisfying connection point in the world.  So, arguably, I had as much or more fun with things like the very large Tucson hiking meetup, and so-on.  (I realize that there are many people who like to hike alone or with a smaller number of people, but at the time that was not me). 

I also had some other touch-points (for example, alt energy) where once in a great while I was able to connect with folks.

Marty, is your background Jewish?  I am culturally Jewish... let me quickly add .... I definitely do not believe in God, nor in following the words or Torah as anything other than an old primitive out-dated and in some ways really bad (and at times ultra-boring) moral code and mythology .... but culturally/heritage/etc., yeah.

There are some cultural/heritage Jews in history who were/are leading atheists and I guess after a time I stopped fighting to define "Atheist Jew" for folks who don't think there can be such a thing.  Once in a blue moon I'll go to Synagogue, but it's usually when I'm just looking for some sense of community.  The Rabbi knows me and that I'm a non-believer, and I like seeing him and hearing what he has to say on this and that.


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