Hello all.

I just found this forum and wanted to introduce myself. I am a retired university scientist (biology) living in rural SE Arizona and consider myself to be a committed non-theist. I came to this stance sort of through the back door; I never had an ah-ha, epiphany moment. My parents were not particularly religious so I avoided any early religious indoctrination. And, when I was old enough to think for myself, I found that I could never find any logic or internal consistency in any of the major faith systems and thus never was tempted to adopt one. For these reasons I have never been religious in any sense of the word.

I have, however, learned through the years that it is generally best to keep my mouth closed about my lack of faith if I wish to get along with neighbors and acquaintances. The strongest stance I will take is arguing that a person does not have to be religious to be moral. But, frankly, I have found that most people do not question what they have been taught so conversations tend to deteriorate to me listening while they tell me the way it is; there is not too much theory or philosophy in the lectures I get, just dogma. Fortunately, I am an introvert so not having a lot of friends does not bother me much.

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Hi Carlos, I love AZ and have been there many times as a travel RN. I read a great little book once called "How a Biologist Views Religion" not sure if you are familiar with it or not.
Having worked in a purposed scientific field for 20 plus years...I'm always perplexed at my colleagues and MD's that have religious faith. Did they flunk biology?
I'm struggling now even with "believers" in my psychology class of Human Resilence. Particularly one woman who believes in transpersonal psychology....yuck.
I greatly admire the scientific method for it's precision and clarity...when properly executed, and may find myself pursuing more hard sciences as I head towards my masters.
I went for an amazing hike in the Superstitions this winter with the Desert Botanical Gardens, accompanied by a biologist, geologist and anthropologist! It was glorious!
Brigette, thanks for your nice note. Yes, it can be difficult at times to be an non-believer especially when the people around you are certain of their "rightness" and righteousness. There is a passage from a book I once read, by Sartre, I believe, that applies here: "Those who are certain are charlatans. Uncertainty may be an uncomfortable position; certainty is a ridiculous one." I tried quoting this to an offensively aggressive believer once. He was so offended that it was clear he didn't understand. I have never before heard of "transpersonal psychology"; I'll have to Google it and find out what it means.

I think I have read the book you mentioned; I'll try to locate a copy to be sure or to read if I haven't already read it. Thanks for the mention.

I try very hard not to define myself as an atheist. In my experience, many who do are almost as dogmatic as the unthinking believers. I prefer to see myself as a retired family man, a former but still competent scientist and student of the world who just happens to be an atheist.

Glad you like Arizona; I like it here very much. Today, it has been raining since about 5:30 am. Very unusual for this time of year. The temperature is about 70°; it has been over 100° for the previous week.
Hi Carlos!

Just wanted to give a shout out to my fellow Arizonan (waving Hi from Tucson). I've lived in Tucson since 1981. Love the dry climate, the mountains and desert....but I think the summer heat is starting to get to me after all these years. I may have to become a "sunbird" and join all the "weather wimps" in Pinetop. LOL
Anyway, good to know I'm not the only Arizonan in this group. :)
Greetings from Prescott Valley, where it's a lovely 83 degrees this afternoon (hah! I love bragging about the weather here, sorry!). I'm new to this whole site but had to at least pop in and say hi to fellow Arizona neighbors! I LOVE Arizona, wouldn't live anywhere else again.

Haven't run across too many religious sorts though, but I tend to travel in cooler circles. ;-)
Hi Barmaid! I've been thru Prescott Valley on my way to Sedona. Beautiful country!!! :)
Greetings from very Northeast AZ - Page/Lake Powell.

There's a Phoenix group here on A/N though not very active. Perhaps we'll get enough AZ members soon to have a meetup someday!

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