March – Naturalism as a Worldview: How to Build a Sound Philosophy of Life, with Dr. Richard Carrier

Dr. Richard Carrier’s one-month course “Naturalism as a Worldview: How to Build a Sound Philosophy of Life” builds the foundations for a practical philosophy of life. Don’t miss this March 2016 class!

Learn how to develop and defend your own naturalistic worldview from studying and critiquing a model example, and how to employ a naturalist worldview in your daily lives and your understanding of the world. Learn the basics of how to develop and test a philosophy of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics (theory of existence), ethics (theory of morality), aesthetics (theory of beauty), and politics (theory of government), using logical, evidence-based reasoning. Based on assigned readings, lectures, and weekly class discussion online with Dr. Carrier, who has a Ph.D. in the history of philosophy from Columbia University.

Specific topics addressed include “Naturalism, Supernaturalism, Philosophy, and Worldview Theory,” in which we learn what naturalism is, and how it differs from supernaturalism; what a worldview is, and the basics of how to think about and construct a worldview; and what philosophy is, and how to think like a philosopher; “Naturalism and the Universe, Your Self, Your Mind, and Your Freedom,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about the nature and origins of existence, of the universe and all its contents, but also in particular of you as a person, and thus of consciousness, thought, and freedom (your personal autonomy); “Naturalism on Morality, Society, and Politics,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about whether there is any moral or political truth, what it’s nature is, and where it comes from, and what this means for how we should strive to organize society; and “Naturalism on Meaning, Purpose, and Beauty in Life,” in which we learn what naturalism can say about the meaning of life and its purpose or value, and about the nature of beauty and ugliness, and what value they have, what they signify, and where they come from.

registration- $59
start/end dates – March 1 / March 31, 2016
DEADLINE for registration – March 10th

Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

Required text: Richard Carrier, Sense and Goodness without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism which can be purchased at Dr. Carrier’s website from this link.

GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

Richard Carrier
Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • November Webinar – Explaining Life’s Meaning and Purpose Using Science, with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

    Nonbelievers are constantly being told that science can’t answer life’s big questions or help a person find meaning in life – that’s the job of religious dogma, right? Wrong! But how do we explain the right answer to a religious world? This November course covers today’s best strategies, backed by science, explained by cognition expert Dr. Gleb Tsipursky.

    A wave of research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, and other scientific disciplines has explored how human beings find meaning and purpose in life — with or without belief in any gods. In fact, we can use science to answer the question “what is the meaning of life for you?” This course combines an engaging narrative style, academic research, and stories from people’s everyday lives to help you clearly explain your own sense of purpose and meaning using the latest science, explain to religious friends and family how it’s done, and equip you to teach others how to find their own purpose and meaning as well. This course draws on recent research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, medicine, and other disciplines to provide pragmatic and practical strategies to find meaning and purpose from a non-theistic, empirical perspective. The course is taught by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, author of Find Your Purpose Using Science, a scholar of purpose and meaning, and the Co-founder and President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to helping reason-oriented people refine and reach their goals by providing research-based content to help improve thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – November 1 / November 30, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – November 7th

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing the units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. Everything about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Tsipursky’s replies in discussion forums.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Dr. Tsipursky about his course by emailing him at gleb@intentionalinsights.org

    Gleb TsipurskyDr. Gleb Tsipursky is the author of Find Your Purpose Using Science. He is a tenure-track professor at Ohio State University who researches meaning and purpose. He is also the Co-founder and President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to helping reason-oriented people refine and reach their goals by providing research-based content to help improve thinking, feeling, and behavior patterns. He has collaborated extensively with reason-oriented organizations such as the American Humanist Association, the Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists, the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association, the Coalition of Reason, the American Ethical Union, the Council for Secular Humanism, Atheist Alliance International, and others to help their members find a personal sense meaning and purpose using science-based strategies.



  • February Forum – Christianity is Not Great, with John Loftus

    John W. Loftus, the relentless and indefatigable counter-apologist and atheist critic of Christianity, has published a new anthology, Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails. Join our forum to discuss this exciting new book with the author/editor!

    Loftus will lead class discussions though this book’s chapters, four of which he wrote. Students will read through it and discussions will be based on it. Students will learn what why atheists argue that Christianity has caused, and is still causing, great harm to people. Jesus purportedly said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” We will test Christianity by its fruits in this class. The instructor will also contact the contributors to the chapters with the best questions our class’s students have for them. An extra bonus with this class!

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – February 1 / February 28, 2015
    deadline to register – February 5th

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book by John Loftus is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, readings, links to websites, and forums for discussions between the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive John Loftus’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: John Loftus, ed. Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails. Students purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials will be provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students, both video talks and links to outside resources.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    John W. Loftus earned M.A., M.Div., and Th.M. degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and the Philosophy of Religion, the last of which was under William Lane Craig. He also studied in a Ph.D. program at Marquette University for a year and a half in the area of Theology and Ethics. Before leaving the church, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and taught at several Christian and secular colleges. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (rev. ed., 2012) and The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True (2013). He edited The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (2010), The End of Christianity (2011), and Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails (2014). He has also coauthored, with Dr. Randal Rauser, God or Godless? One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions (Baker Books, 2013). Visit his popular blog at debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/.



  • December – Will Ryan Bell Remain an Atheist? A Dialogue on Life Without God with Richard Carrier

    Ryan Bell’s Year Without God is soon ending. Can Richard Carrier persuade Ryan to firmly stick with atheism? Don’t miss this exciting December discussion!

    For 19 years Ryan Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. In 2013 he resigned due to theological and practical differences. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey, his Year Without God. Ryan has blogged about this journey all year at http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yearwithoutgod/. In December, as his year comes to a close, Ryan will look back on his experiment with atheism. Dr. Richard Carrier is moderating this thoughtful reflection on what Ryan’s year has meant to him, and what he has discovered about the limits of both theism and atheism. Join us to listen to Ryan’s extraordinary story, and ask him questions about separating from religion and living a nonreligious life. Perhaps the most vital questions will be, “Can Ryan continue on as a nonbeliever? and, What kind of nontheism might Ryan prefer?” Don’t miss his answers!

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – December 1 / December 31, 2014
    deadline to register – December 1

    Schedule: Specific discussion topics are set for each week, but within that framework you can participate in every part on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Forums for discussions with the instructors and the students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Ryan’s and Richard’s replies in discussion forums.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ryan BellFor 19 years Ryan Bell was a pastor, most recently the senior pastor of the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist Church. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. In March 2013 he resigned his position due to theological and practical differences. As an adjunct professor he has taught subjects ranging from intercultural communication to bioethics. Currently he is a researcher, writer and speaker on the topic of religion and irreligion in America. In January 2014, Ryan began a yearlong journey exploring the limits of theism and the atheist landscape in the United States.

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • November – Counter-Apologetics: The Best Ways to Refute Arguments for God, with Richard Carrier

    Learn how to most effectively dismantle Christian and other theistic apologetics in the public arena from Dr. Richard Carrier, a published historian and philosopher, during the month of November.

    Dr. Richard Carrier has a decade of experience in formal and informal debate, cross-media counter-apologetics, and the history and philosophy of religion and naturalism. You can ask all the questions you’ve ever wanted about this subject, and get answers from an experienced pro. You’ll also benefit from his instructive commentary on the required course text, which is the little known yet essential guide to the subject, Dr. Malcolm Murray’s The Atheist’s Primer (Broadview Press 2010). Students must purchase this book for the course (purchasing advice is below). Additional course readings will be provided for free, including special lectures on tactics of debate, cognitive science of persuasion, the goals and aims of counter-apologetics, and how to covertly deploy Bayesian counter-apologetics to confound and disturb the defenders of religion.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – November 1 / November 30, 2014
    DEADLINE – you are welcome to join the class a little late!

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: The required course book is Malcolm Murray’s The Atheist’s Primer, available in print through Amazon and in ebook format from Google Play. Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials are provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • November Forum – The Outsider Test for Faith – with author John Loftus

    John Loftus, the relentless and indefatigable atheist critic of Christianity, has published a new book, The Outsider Test for Faith. Join our forum to discuss this exciting new book with the author!

    Loftus argues in The Outsider Test for Faith that given the nature and wide diversity of religious faith, the only way to know which religion is true, if there is one, is the test that he explains and defends in his new book. It has been described by James Lindsay as a “silver bullet argument,” and by Richard Carrier as “one of the most effective and powerful arguments for atheism there is.” This course is based on the book. Students will read through it and discussions will be based on it. Students will learn what the test is about, think through the wide variety of objections to the test, and be invited to consider its impact on all future religious debates.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – November 1 / November 30, 2014
    deadline to register – EXTENDED to November 7th

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book by John Loftus is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, readings, links to websites, and forums for discussions between the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive John Loftus’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: John Loftus, The Outsider Test for Faith. Students purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials will be provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    John W. Loftus earned M.A., M.Div., and Th.M. degrees in Philosophy, Theology, and the Philosophy of Religion, the last of which was under William Lane Craig. He also studied in a Ph.D. program at Marquette University for a year and a half in the area of Theology and Ethics. Before leaving the church, he had ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, and taught at several Christian and secular colleges. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist: A Former Preacher Rejects Christianity (rev. ed., 2012) and The Outsider Test for Faith: How to Know Which Religion Is True (2013). He edited The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails (2010), The End of Christianity (2011), and Christianity is Not Great: How Faith Fails (2014). He has also coauthored, with Dr. Randal Rauser, God or Godless? One Atheist. One Christian. Twenty Controversial Questions (Baker Books, 2013). Visit his popular blog at debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/.



  • October – Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life, with Richard Carrier

    Dr. Richard Carrier, one of the leading secular voices today, is offering a new course on morality: “Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life.” Join this October webinar for important insights into practical secular ethics!

    Description: A survey of contemporary moral theory and the scientific study of morality, with an aim to improving your own moral decision-making, and encouraging the same in others. Subjects covered include: what the words “morals” and “morality” can variously mean and how to make use of that knowledge in public discourse; what we must mean when we argue others should share or adopt or agree with a moral opinion and how we can more effectively argue they should; how we can use science and philosophy to determine what our moral values are or should be, and how to reason from values to best actions; and what brain science and sociology tell us about the cognitive errors that impair sound moral decision-making and how to overcome them or control or compensate for them. Unlike religious moral systems, atheist moral systems are evidence and science based, incorporate logic and reason in an informed way, and attend to the factual realities of human life and emotion. Completing this course will help improve your ability to become a better, more thoughtful and aware person, and provide you with information and techniques to help bring others to the same state of being.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – October 1 / October 31, 2014
    EXTENDED DEADLINE – October 7TH

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for every week, completing four units in four weeks, but within that framework you can participate in every element on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructor and students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: The required course book is Personality, Identity, and Character (eds. Darcia Narvaez and Daniel Lapsley), available in print and kindle. Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional materials are provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If a pre-recorded video is posted, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructors respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Richard about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/richard.carrier.phd

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • September webinar – Creating Atheists: The Manual – with Peter Boghossian and Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier is moderating a special webinar about A Manual for Creating Atheists, with author Peter Boghossian visiting for the second half of this September course.

    Dr. Peter Boghossian’s recent book A Manual for Creating Atheists is a powerful guide for talking people out of their faith. Study and apply the tools that Peter personally developed and successfully used for more than twenty years as a philosopher and educator. Chapters reveal how to talk with religious people in ways that will help them value reason and rationality, cast doubt on their religious beliefs, mistrust their faith, abandon superstition and irrationality, and ultimately embrace reason. Your expert guide through this book’s topics for the whole month is Dr. Richard Carrier, and he will be joined by Peter for class discussions and student Q&A during the third and fourth weeks of September. BONUS just for September – Peter will bring to the class his in-development app that teaches users how to employ a step-by-step guide to reasoning people out of unreason. Perhaps you will make a contribution to the fine-tuning of Peter’s powerful new project!

    registration- $59
    discount – webinars are not eligible for discounts
    start/end dates – September 1 / September 30, 2014
    deadline to register – DEADLINE EXTENDED TO September 5th !

    Schedule: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for each week, but within that framework you can participate in every part on your own time. There are no live events to be missed. One book by Peter Boghossian is required reading (see below). Everything else about the course is provided inside the classroom website. Course lectures, academic papers, links to websites, and forums for discussions with the instructors and the students are included in the Moodle website classroom. Visit the class anytime to contribute your posts and receive Dr. Carrier and Dr. Boghossian’s replies in discussion forums.

    Course Reading: Dr. Peter Boghossian’s book A Manual for Creating Atheists is required. Students will purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional readings will be provided electronically inside the online classroom at no cost to students.

    GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Dr. Boghossian about his course by posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/peter.boghossian

    Peter BoghossianDr. Peter Boghossian’s main focus is bringing the tools of professional philosophers to people in a wide variety of contexts. Peter has a teaching pedigree spanning more than 20 years and 30 thousand students – in prisons, hospitals, public and private schools, seminaries, colleges and universities, Fortune 100 companies, and small businesses. Peter was a Councilman for the State of Oregon (LSTA), the Chairman of the Prison Advisory Committee for Columbia River Correctional Institution, wrote national philosophy curricula for the University of Phoenix, and was a research fellow for the National Center for Teaching and Learning. He teaches Critical Thinking, Science and Pseudoscience, the Philosophy of Education, and Atheism and New Atheism at Portland State University, is an Affiliate Research Assistant Professor at Oregon Health Sciences University in the Department of General Internal Medicine, is a national speaker for the Center for Inquiry, a national speaker for the Secular Student Alliance, and an international speaker for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

    Richard Carrier
    Richard Carrier, PhD, is the renowned author of Sense and Goodness without God and Proving History, as well as numerous articles online and in print. He received his PhD in ancient history from Columbia University in 2008, and now specializes in the modern philosophy of naturalism, the origins of Christianity, and the intellectual history of Greece and Rome. For more about Richard and his work visit www.richardcarrier.info.



  • New June course – Sean Faircloth on Defending Secular Government: Strategies for Success

    During the month of June, prominent secular advocate Sean Faircloth is holding an online session on “Defending Secular Government: Strategies for Success.”

    Want to stand up against the Religious Right? Need solid results for protecting the secular side of society? That’s what Sean Faircloth knows about. Join this class during June to review strategies for success with a leader having impressive direct experience and a track record of getting results. Yes, for academics, Sean Faircloth graduated cum laude with a degree in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame, and he has a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He is an author as well, publishing Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All & What We Can Do About It in 2012. This book is based on his pragmatic experience as a ten-year state legislator and four years as a lobbyist at state and federal levels, busily advocating civic priorities and church-state separation. This course focuses on these priorities today: What it’s like in the trenches competing with the Religious Right; The First Amendment and how the Religious Right endangers it; Messaging: changing the silent secular majority into the winning secular majority; and Logistics: practical strategies for protecting separation of Church and State.

    start/end dates – June 1 / June 30, 2014

    Schedule and readings: It is strongly recommend that participants get a copy of Sean’s book Attack of the Theocrats! How the Religious Right Harms Us All & What We Can Do About It. Discussions will be guided by Sean’s book, his posts, and online readings and videos. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Ask Sean about his course by tweeting him at @seanfaircloth

    Sean Faircloth
    Sean Faircloth’s extensive organizing, lobbying and political experience includes spearheading over thirty laws, many pertaining to children and women’s rights. During his decade serving in Maine’s legislature, Faircloth earned a 100% voting record with the Maine Women’s Lobby. He served on the Judiciary Committee, Appropriations Committee, and was elected Majority Whip. He also initiated the Maine Discovery Museum, leading the $4.5 million project from concept to completion. Faircloth was opening speaker for candidate Obama in Maine. Faircloth served two years as executive director of the Secular Coalition for America and created its Fifty State plan. A noted public orator, he was opening speaker for Richard Dawkins on three tours, and laid out a concise secular political vision at the Reason Rally in 2012. His 2013 tour Down Under, including speaking at the Sydney Opera House, sparked citizens in Australia to organize their policy-focused national coalition (his speech in Perth). Faircloth recently returned from a speaking tour in the Republic of Turkey, where separation of religion and state is crumbling. He will be on the road across America once again in the near future, trying to prevent that same fate for our country.



  • New June course – The Founding Fathers and Religion – Myron Jackson with Sean Faircloth

    Dr. Myron Jackson is offering his course on “The Founding Fathers and Religion” during June, with a special visit from Sean Faircloth, national secularism advocate.

    Does America’s political system have a secular or religious basis? Is the United States a Christian nation, or at least one founded on theism? The course will examine these questions, along with issues of religious toleration and free conscience. We will read Jefferson, Madison, Paine, Tocqueville, and several other founders. Sean Faircloth, former executive director of the Secular Coalition for America, will join the class for a week during June. We will ponder several related issues. What does the “separation” between church and state mean and on what grounds can it be justified? How are we to interpret the religious symbols and heritage found on buildings, currency, in public practices and events, such as sermons, prayers, proclamations, and fastings? What appeals were made to religion in the struggle for American independence? How did the Founders consider religion to be an illegitimate interference with the liberty of the individual? This course will explain the religious freedoms protected under the Free Exercise and Establishment clauses of the first and sixth amendments of the Constitution. One does not have to be Christian nor religious in order to be American. This class examines the facts about the true roles that both religious and secular thinking has played in the founding of America.

    start/end dates – June 1 / June 30, 2014

    Schedule and readings: Our discussions will be guided by our lecture posts and by selected online readings and videos. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. GENERAL INFORMATION: Online classrooms and their discussion threads are accessible 24/7, so you can participate at any hour of the day when there’s some time in your busy schedule. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Instructors will not be on live video and you won’t be either – there is nothing happening on camera and no particular time of day you have to be present. If an instructor posts a pre-recorded video, you can view it at your convenience. There’s nothing ‘live’ to be missed, and course instructor respond individually and promptly to all questions and comments. Instructors lead everyone through lectures and readings, but no attendance is taken and there are no assignments to complete – instructors are always available when you are ready to engage them about what is on your mind.

    Questions? Email Dr. Jackson at philosophos80@gmail.com

    Myron Moses Jackson
    Dr. Myron Moses Jackson is a philosopher and social theorist. For the past seven years, he has been teaching political science and philosophy courses at John A. Logan College in Illinois. He received his PhD in philosophy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, writing his dissertation titled Ironic American Exceptionalism and the Myth of the Open Self. Dr. Jackson has been forum moderator and a co-editor for Voegelinview web magazine. As coordinator at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, he organized youth initiatives and workshops designed to increase minority involvement in politics. He has appeared on MTV’s Rock the Vote and CNN’s Talkback Live as a panelist and commentator.

    Sean Faircloth
    Sean Faircloth’s extensive organizing, lobbying and political experience includes spearheading over thirty laws, many pertaining to children and women’s rights. During his decade serving in Maine’s legislature, Faircloth earned a 100% voting record with the Maine Women’s Lobby. Faircloth was opening speaker for candidate Obama in Maine. Faircloth served two years as executive director of the Secular Coalition for America and created its Fifty State plan. A noted public orator, he was opening speaker for Richard Dawkins on three tours, and laid out a concise secular political vision at the Reason Rally in 2012. His 2013 tour Down Under, including speaking at the Sydney Opera House, sparked citizens in Australia to organize their policy-focused national coalition (his speech in Perth). Faircloth recently returned from a speaking tour in the Republic of Turkey, where separation of religion and state is crumbling. He will be on the road across America once again in the near future, trying to prevent that same fate for our country.