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

Richard Carrier’s new book On the Historicity of Jesus has been publicly examined for a year. This June course is your opportunity to explore its controversial stances on Jesus.

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, a task that had not been possible in prior offerings of this course.

start/end dates – June 1 / June 30, 2015
registration- $59
DEADLINE for registration – June 6th

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 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.



  • May – Debate 101: How to Be a Better Debater Live and Online – with Richard Carrier and Jeffrey Jay Lowder

    Richard Carrier, Ph.D., and Jeff Lowder, a founder of the Internet Infidels are both skilled and experienced debaters. They are co-leading this special workshop to teach fundamental principles for more effective debating, particularly with faith-based opponents. Learn how to argue effectively at the podium under the clock. Learn the tricks and tactics that will be used against you so you can overcome them. Learn the most common mistakes to avoid and how. And learn the best methods of forming a persuasive argument. You can also improve your ability to be efficient and effective in online debates, and in any open ended argument. Join this unique opportunity during the month of May!

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – May 1 / May 31, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – May 6th

    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. 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 Carrier’s and Lowder’s replies in discussion forums.

    COURSE TEXT: No book needed – all teaching materials and resources are included within the online course.

    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 this 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.

    Jeff Lowder
    Jeffery Jay Lowder is an author, speaker, and debater, whose interests include philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, inductive logic, and metaethics. His 2005 book, The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave (co-edited with Robert Price), contains scholarly essays critical of the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection, providing one of the best book-length critiques. His 1999 debate for naturalism vs. Christian theism remains an outstanding performance by an atheist. He is co-founder, Past President, and a member of the editorial board of Internet Infidels, which operates one of the first atheist sites, The Secular Web. He is the editor of a team blog, The Secular Outpost, about philosophy of religion from an atheist perspective.



  • April Webinar – 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” during the month of April.

    Learn how to question and investigate claims about history. Study not only the logic of historical reasoning and argument, but also a lot 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- $59
    start/end dates – April 1 / April 30, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – April 6th

    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.



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

    Dr. Richard Carrier’s one-month course “Naturalism as a Worldview: How to Build a Sound Philosophy of Life” builds the foundations for practical philosophy. Don’t miss this March 2015 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, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – March 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 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.



  • February Webinar – Intro to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament, with Dr. Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier (Ph.D., Columbia University) has designed a special seminar for his new course, “Intro to Biblical Scholarship on the New Testament” during February 2015.

    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.

    registration- $59
    start/end dates – February 1 / February 28, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – 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 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.



  • January – 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 new course “Critical Thinking in the 21st Century: Essential Skills Everyone Should Master” during January 2015.

    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- $59
    start/end dates – January 1 / January 31, 2015
    DEADLINE for registration – January 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 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 as soon as possible) is Ken Manktelow, Thinking and Reasoning: An Introduction to the Psychology of Reason, Judgment and Decision Making (available in paperback, or on kindle for either purchase or rent–make sure you select the desired option before purchase). 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 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 July course – Artificial Super-Intelligence and the Coming Technological Singularity – with George Dvorsky

    George Dvorsky, prominent futurist and writer on ethics and technology, will explore “Artificial Super-Intelligence and the Coming Technological Singularity” during the month of July.

    Description: This class introduces the key concepts and theories as they pertain to the hypothesized Technological Singularity, or Intelligence Explosion. We will survey the history of the idea, the state of artificial intelligence today, and the theoretical underpinnings that give rise to the prospect of greater-than-human machine intelligence. Topics to be discussed will include the brain-as-computer analog, Accelerating Change, brain mapping initiatives, whole brain emulations versus rules-based AI, the various definitions of the Singularity, and Friendly. Along the way we will discuss the benefits and risks posed by machine superintelligence, and the ethical considerations involved.

    start/end dates – July 1 / July 31, 2014

    Schedule and readings: Specific reading and discussion goals are set for each week, and students can proceed at their own pace. There are no live events planned. An assortment of resources will be used, including academic papers, online presentations, instructional videos, and popular articles. Everything to be read and discussed is provided at no extra charge inside the virtual classroom. Students can proceed at their own pace and there are no video presentations that could be missed. Visit the class anytime to contribute your thoughts and receive our 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.

    Ask George about this course by tweeting to him at twitter.com/dvorsky or posting on his facebook wall at www.facebook.com/gdvorsky


    Canadian futurist, science writer, and ethicist George Dvorsky has written and spoken extensively about the impacts of cutting-edge science and technology—particularly as they pertain to the improvement of human performance and experience. George is a contributing editor at io9 where he writes about science, culture, and futurism. A founding member of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, he is its Chair of the Board and the founder and program director for its Rights of Non-Human Persons program. In addition, George is the co-founder and president of the Toronto Transhumanist Association and has served on the Board of Directors for Humanity+ for two terms. His work has been featured in such publications as The Guardian, the BBC, CBC, Forbes, the New York Times, Slate, Radio Free Europe, and al-Jazeera. He is also an avid CrossFitter, an ancestral health enthusiast, and an accomplished music performer, composer, and recording engineer.



  • New August course – Questioning or Defending the Historicity of Jesus – with Dr. Richard Carrier

    Richard Carrier’s new book On the Historicity of Jesus will soon be available, and this August course is your opportunity to explore its controversial stances on Jesus.

    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).

    start/end dates – August 1 / August 31, 2014

    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 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 July course – 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” during the month of July.

    Learn how to question and investigate claims about history. Study not only the logic of historical reasoning and argument, but also a lot 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.

    start/end dates – July 1 / July 31, 2014

    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.

    Required Course Text: Richard Carrier, Proving History (2012). Students must purchase their own copy (the print edition is all that will be available, by the end of June) 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 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.