December – Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament, with Dr. Richard Carrier

Richard Carrier (Ph.D., Columbia University) is offering his special seminar, “Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament” during December 2017.

Dr. Richard Carrier, who has years of training from Columbia University in paleography, papyrology, and ancient Greek, will teach students the basics of how to investigate, criticize, and study the New Testament from the perspective of how its text is constructed from manuscripts, as well as how to work from the original Greek (no prior knowledge of Greek is needed) without learning anything more than the Greek alphabet and the international terminology of grammar, and how to investigate and make the best use of academic and peer reviewed biblical scholarship. Students will learn how to: locate words in the Greek text of the Bible, and find their definitions using online resources, and to use that skill to critically examine English translations; check if the manuscripts disagree on what the text says at that point, and what to make of that if they do; talk and reason about disagreements in the manuscripts, as well as the differing valences of words between modern translations and ancient originals; discern what kinds of errors and deliberate alterations are common in the biblical manuscripts; and how to use scholarship on the New Testament critically and informedly. This course will also be a basic introduction to the contents of the New Testament and its composition, textual history, and assembly. After a month you will have a much better understanding and skill-set for studying, discussing, and arguing over, the content and history of the Christian Bible, as well as learn fascinating and interesting things about ancient history and how we know what we know about it from the perspective of how all ancient writing has been preserved yet distorted in transmission.

start/end dates – December 1 / December 31, 2017
DEADLINE for registration – December 10

Secular sage level registration- $79 (choose ‘Carrier-Biblical Scholarship’ on the next screen)
Academy Certificate registration- $139 (choose ‘Carrier-Biblical Scholarship-cert’ on the next screen)

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 text (which students must purchase, in print or electronic form) is Richard Carrier, Hitler Homer Bible Christ. All other materials will be provided for free, including research papers discussed, and excerpts from critical scholarly editions of the Bible in the original Greek, public online tools, and other readings and 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 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.



  • October – Critical Thinking in the 21st Century: Essential Skills Everyone Should Master, with Dr. Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier (Ph.D., Columbia University) will provide instruction and advice on the new skills now needed to become a good critical thinker in the 21st century in his popular course “Critical Thinking in the 21st Century: Essential Skills Everyone Should Master.”

    Based on Dr. Carrier’s acclaimed presentation for the Secular Student Alliance [http://www.richardcarrier.info/CriticalThinking.html], this course will: teach students standard skills in traditional logic and fallacies; cover cognitive biases and how to detect and avoid them, including motivated reasoning and the problems associated with a political brain; Bayes’ Theorem, and Bayesian problem solving, for the non-mathematician, and other skills in reasoning about probability; learning how to see things from someone else’s perspective; and useful skills of self-examination, self-critique, and personal improvement in thinking and reasoning, for personal belief development and the acquisition of wisdom. Each student will be left with a complete toolbox of ideas and information to work with, which will make them sharper thinkers in every domain.

    registration – $79
    start/end dates – October 1 / October 31, 2017
    deadline – October 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.

    Course Reading: The required course text (which students should purchase before the class starts) is Logically Fallacious by Bo Bennett, available through Logically Fallacious at Amazon in Kindle format or paperback. All other course materials (articles and video lectures) will be provided for free.

    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 – Counter-Apologetics: The Best Ways to Refute Arguments for God, with Dr. 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. In this class, Dr. Carrier will include some discussion of arguments unique to Islamic apologetics.

    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- $79
    start/end dates – September 1 / September 30, 2017
    DEADLINE – September 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.

    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.



  • August – The Science and Philosophy of Free Will – with Dr Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier, Ph.D., is offering his course on “The Science and Philosophy of Free Will” during the month of August 2017.

    We will study the intersection between science and philosophy in defining and understanding free will, with the aim of learning the latest science on the nature and existence of free will and how to critically approach philosophical uses of it. Students will not only learn about the relevant elements of brain science, but also how to identify common philosophical fallacies in reasoning about free will, and the real-world application of the analysis of free will in diverse fields, from law to medical ethics. Course topics: The varieties of free will and the differences among them; identifying causes and the role of personal identity in making decisions (and what the latest brain science has to say about both); the nature and purpose of assigning responsibility to personal agents (in law, ethics, and daily life); the difference between determinism and fatalism, and the importance of addressing both personal and genetic-environmental causes of decisions when thinking about social, political, legal, and moral systems.

    start/end dates – August 1 / August 31, 2017
    registration – $69
    DEADLINE for registration – August 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 by Sam Harris 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 Course Text: Sam Harris, Free Will (2012). Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional readings will be provided electronically 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 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.



  • July – Dr. Richard Carrier on Thinking Like a Historian: Historical Methods, Practice and Theory

    To learn how to critically examine historical claims like Richard Carrier, take his course on “Thinking Like a Historian: Historical Methods, Practice and Theory”.

    Dr. Carrier has a Ph.D. in ancient history and specializes in historical methods. Learn how to question and investigate claims about history. Study not only the logic of historical reasoning and argument, but also many of the practical tips and tricks real historians employ to test and check claims. Learn the particular skills of skeptical and critical thinking about history. Primary topics: Best practices among historians; historical methods as modes of reasoning (both criteria-based and Bayesian); examples of flawed reasoning and bad arguments in peer reviewed history journals and monographs (and how to spot them as a layperson); and what to do to critically examine a claim using both immediate heuristics and procedures for more labor-intensive inquiry.

    registration- $69
    start/end dates – July 1 / July 31, 2017
    DEADLINE for registration – July 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, Proving History (2012). 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.



  • June – Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice, with Richard Carrier

    Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life

    Dr. Richard Carrier, one of the leading secular voices today, is offering his course on morality: “Moral Reasoning from Theory to Practice: Applying Science and Philosophy in Everyday Life.” Join this 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- $69
    start/end dates – June 1 to June 30, 2017
    DEADLINE – June 10th

    Moodle 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 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.



  • June – Dr. Jon Mills on Inventing God: The Psychology of Belief

    Dr. Jon Mills’ new one-month course, Inventing God: The Psychology of Belief, is offered during June.

    About the Instructor:
    Jon Mills, Psy.D., Ph.D., ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and is the author of many works in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and psychology including eighteen books. In 2006, 2011, and 2013 he was recognized with a Gradiva Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis in New York City for his scholarship, received a Significant Contribution to Canadian Psychology Award in 2008, a Goethe Award for best book in 2013, and the Otto Weininger Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 2015 by the Canadian Psychological Association. He runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada.

    About the Course:
    In his recent book, Inventing God, philosopher and psychoanalyst Jon Mills argues that God does not exist; and more provocatively, that God cannot exist as anything but an idea. In other words, God is only a thought. He argues that the God posit is merely a conjecture as supposition based on a fantasy principle conditioned by unconscious illusion and sustained through social ideology. Although a logical concept born of social convention, the God proposition is actually a semiotic invention and symbolization of ideal value. Rather than an extant ontological subject or agency traditionally attributed to a supernatural, transcendent creator or supreme being responsible for the coming into being of the universe, God is merely seen as a psychological creation signifying ultimate ideality. Here, Mills argues, the notion of God becomes a self-relation to an internalized idealized object, the idealization of imagined value. In the end, the idea or conception of God is the manifestation of humanity’s denial and response to natural deprivation or lack in favor of belief in an ultimate hypostatized object of idealized value. After demonstrating the lack of any empirical evidence and the logical impossibility of God, Mills explains the psychological motivations underlying humanity’s need to invent a supreme being. In a highly nuanced analysis of unconscious processes informing the psychology of belief and institutionalized ideology, he concludes that belief in God is the failure to accept our impending death and mourn natural absence for the delusion of divine presence. As an alternative to theistic faith, he offers a secular spirituality that emphasizes the quality of lived experience, the primacy of feeling and value inquiry, ethical self-consciousness, aesthetic and ecological sensibility, and authentic relationality toward self, other, and world as the pursuit of a beautiful soul in search of the numinous.

    Overview of Course:
    The structure of this online seminar revolves around two chapters from my book that focuses on the psychology of belief, Chapter 2: Religion as Naturalized Psychology, and Chapter 3: The Need to Invent God. You do not need to buy the book for the course, but if you are interested in reading the whole thing, here is a link with a discount flyer to save 20% off the original price from Routledge publishers. The paperback is the cheapest.

    http://www.processpsychology.com/Scholarly/MillsInventingGodFlyer.pdf

    I have also video recorded and published a series of lectures on YouTube as well as a documentary film that cover many topics in the book that can be viewed to compliment the course readings. I look forward to having a fruitful and meaningful discussion with the class.

    registration- $69
    start/end dates – June 1 / June 30, 2017
    DEADLINE for registration – June 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. 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 the instructor’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.



  • May – 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 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- $69
    start/end dates – May 1 / May 31, 2017
    DEADLINE for registration – May 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.



  • April – Questioning or Defending the Historicity of Jesus – with Dr. Richard Carrier

    This webinar is your opportunity to explore Dr. Richard Carrier’s controversial stances on whether a historical figure of Jesus did any of the deeds recounted in the New Testament.

    Hone your ability to evaluate debates over Jesus, and other controversies about history, with this course about how to determine what existed or what happened in the past. Dr. Carrier has a Ph.D. in ancient history and specializes in historical methods, and this will be a momentous time to ask him all the questions you may have about how we should investigate and evaluate questions about history.

    Description: This course discusses the best arguments for and against the historical existence of Jesus (as the putative founder of Christianity), and we will proceed step-by-step through ways to approach them and evaluate them. Working from the first peer reviewed academic book arguing Jesus might not have existed, taught by the author himself, you will learn how to distinguish good arguments from bad, and about the background and context of the origins of Christianity as a whole. This is the best opportunity to ask Dr. Carrier, who holds a PhD in ancient history from Columbia University, all your questions about his controversial research and the historical(?) figure of Jesus. Main issues to cover: understanding the complex background to the origins of Christianity (unit 1, OHJ chs. 4, 5, & 7); comparing the competing theories of how and why Christianity began (unit 2, OHJ chs. 1, 2, & 3); understanding the Gospels and Acts as mythology and whether historical facts about Jesus can be extracted from them (unit 3, OHJ chs. 6, 9, & 10); and exploring the arguments for and against evidence for a historical Jesus in the authentic Epistles of Paul and literature outside the New Testament (unit 4, OHJ chs. 8, 11, & 12). Also included will be discussion and examination of responses to Dr. Carrier’s book since its publication.

    start/end dates – April 1 / April 30, 2017
    registration- $69
    DEADLINE for registration – April 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 by Richard Carrier 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: Dr. Richard Carrier, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (2014). Students must 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 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 several books, including 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.



  • January – The Science and Philosophy of Free Will – with Dr Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier, Ph.D. – noted scholar and philosopher – is offering his course on “The Science and Philosophy of Free Will” during the month of January 2017.

    Description: We will study the intersection between science and philosophy in defining and understanding free will, with the aim of learning the latest science on the nature and existence of free will and how to critically approach philosophical uses of it. Students will not only learn about the relevant elements of brain science, but also how to identify common philosophical fallacies in reasoning about free will, and the real-world application of the analysis of free will in diverse fields, from law to medical ethics. Course topics: The varieties of free will and the differences among them; identifying causes and the role of personal identity in making decisions (and what the latest brain science has to say about both); the nature and purpose of assigning responsibility to personal agents (in law, ethics, and daily life); the difference between determinism and fatalism, and the importance of addressing both personal and genetic-environmental causes of decisions when thinking about social, political, legal, and moral systems.

    start/end dates – January 1 / January 31, 2017
    registration – $69
    DEADLINE for registration – January 8th

    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 Sam Harris 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 Course Text: Sam Harris, Free Will (2012). Students must purchase their own copy (print or electronic) before course begins. Additional readings will be provided electronically 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 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.