What is necessary for freedom? Is freedom simply the ability to do what you want? Is America currently enjoying real freedom? What must a people do to preserve freedom? These questions demand careful consideration. Thinker University puts forth this course experience to help you examine these issues.
On September 13, 2012, Dr. Os Guinness spoke at a Socrates in the City event entitled “A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future.” His thoughts are relevant to our discussion, so we have included them below. Dr. Guinness is the great-great-great-grandson of Arthur Guinness, the Dublin brewer. He received a B.D. (Hons) from the University of London in 1966 and a D.Phil from Oriel College, Oxford in 1981. In the late 1960s, he was a leader at L’Abri, and, after Oxford, a freelance reporter for the BBC. In 1984 Guinness came to the United States, where he was first a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and then a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He was the lead drafter of the Williamsburg Charter, celebrating the genius of the First Amendment and outlining the signers’ vision of a civil public square. He was also the primary drafter of “The Global Charter of Conscience,” published at the European Union Parliament in Brussels in June 2012. He founded the Trinity Forum in 1991, and served as Senior Fellow until 2004. Guinness has written or edited 30 books. He currently lives in McLean, Virginia with his wife Jenny. (Source)
Socrates in the City is a New York City institution that has much in common philosophically with FreeThinkU. It was founded by Eric Metaxas, who was motivated by the famous Socrates quote, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Taking this as a starting point, Metaxas created a forum that would encourage busy professionals to think about life’s bigger questions. Thus Socrates In The City: Conversations on the Examined Life was born. Every month or so, Socrates In The City sponsors an event in which people can begin a dialogue on “Life, God, and Other Small Topics” by hearing a notable thinker and writer such as Dr. Francis Collins, Sir John Polkinghorne, Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks, N.T. Wright, Os Guinness, Peter Kreeft, and George Weigel. Topics have included “Making Sense Out of Suffering,” “The Concept of Evil after 9-11,” and “Can a Scientist Pray?” No question is too big; in fact, the bigger the better. These events are meant to be both thought-provoking and entertaining; after all, nowhere is it written that finding answers to life’s biggest questions shouldn’t be exciting and, perhaps, even fun.