Contemporary Freethinkers

CFS Summer 2022

June 16-July 21 (Six Weeks)

Thursdays 9-11am

Course Title:  Contemporary Freethinkers

Course Description:

Freethought is a practice of presenting creative new ways of questioning and challenging the worldviews and beliefs we’ve been handed by preceding generations.  In this course we will be reading and discussing a selection of contemporary freethinkers who agitate and activate our minds.  We will hear representative voices from the agnostic, humanist, atheist and liberal religious communities who model critical thinking for today.  Respectful students with or without religious faith are welcome.  Readings will be provided.

“It is disgraceful that a person who is old or in sight of old age should have a wisdom deriving solely from their notebook.  [‘This teacher said this’].  And what have you said?  [‘That teacher said that’].  What have you said?  How much longer are you going to serve under other’s orders?  Assume authority yourself and utter something that may be handed down to posterity.  Produce something from your own resources.”

~Lucius Seneca, Letter XXXIII

Course Outline

Week One





Founders and Foundations

Central Concepts and Concerns

Video: Sasha Sagan

Week Two

Am I a Freethinker?




Dabholkar on “Superstitions”

Jane Goodall

Video (shorter):  Rafida

Video: Rafida Bonya Ahmed

Week Three

American Radicals

Wangari Maathai

Maathai Nobel Lecture 2004

Gustavo Gutierrez

Dalai Lama

Religious Morality and Secular Ethics: Seeking the Good

E.O. Wilson (Skeptical Inquirer)

Video: Leo Igwe

Week Four

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TST (Mission and Tenets)


After School Satan Club (video)

Congressional Freethought Caucus

Video: David Tamayo

Video: Rachel Laser

Week Five

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Fresh Faces of Freethought




Leaving My Father’s Faith (Campolo)

Video: Shermer

Week Six

Secular Student Alliance

Wilma Dykeman

Video:  Malala Yousafzai

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