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Bono and Others in Free Think University Course Discuss If Things Are Getting Better

Industry: Education

Prominent Voices Debate the State of Human Progress

Washington D.C. (PRUnderground) February 15th, 2014

A new course experience from Free Think University titled “Are Things Getting Better?” presents various schools of thought about the state of human progress. This course experience (or “ExP”) challenges readers to form their own conclusions based on the fascinating, controversial views presented.

Amanda Marcotte, a Rawstory.com writer, contributes to the course in an article saying, “While some things are getting worse – global warming, diabetes, police state escalation – those things can’t be taken as evidence of the natural tendency of all systems and societies to get worse over time. In most regards, people actually build pretty constructively on the past, and it’s okay to accept that without worrying that we’re being unduly optimistic.”

The course experience presents optimistic views that things are getting better through a TED Talk by Bono of U2 and a presentation from Scott Todd of Compassion International.

A. Bartle Hinkle, writer for Reason.com, contributes the progressive conclusion that, “The world remains a dangerous place, full of great suffering that must be addressed – yet it has grown far less dangerous and sorrowful than it was not so very long ago. This is good news.”

An article from “The Oprah Magazine” featured in the course voices well how many people measure “things” in order to answer the question of whether we are better or worse than the past. Are things are getting better because of the number of apps available that help you lose weight, because your chances of personally going to the moon have increased, or because laser technology advancements have made effective tattoo removal possible?

The controversial philosophies of Arthur Schopenhauer in the course experience outline a more pessimistic point of view. “Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy challenges our conviction that life is inherently good,” reports a Highexistence.com article in the Free Think University course. “Life, Schopenhauer argues, is actually inherently bad. While Schopenhauer certainly isn’t the most fun philosopher, his ideas do warrant a close examination.”

A CBS News video adds to the course, showing that some people try to secede and run away when they think things are getting worse. People in Colorado and California have tried to create their own states when they didn’t like how their state legislatures were operating. Is “doing your own thing” a productive response when you don’t think society is improving?

“At the heart of this study is our need to properly define both for ourselves and our greater cultural context what is upheld as and pursued as ‘the good,’ notes Free Think University co-founder Jim Van Eerden. “A constant conversation among people about this is part of what is required to be realistic about what’s broken and why, while working to make things better.”

To access the full course, click here. For additional media information, please contact media@freethinku.com.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

About Live58

Based on Isaiah 58, Live58 provides engaging and practical ways for Christians to impact the world – and do it with friends. We are people who want to live differently to end extreme poverty by 2035. Recognizing the pull of culture toward excess and self-centered living, we strive to live out the True Fast of Isaiah 58 where God tells His people to put their faith into action: “To loose the chains of injustice… to set the oppressed free…to share your food with the hungry… to provide the poor wanderer with shelter…when you see the naked, to clothe them.” At Live58, we believe God is calling us today to live out Isaiah 58 in an effort to end extreme poverty.

About Free Think University

Free Think University is where more than 30,000 free-thinking students have joined what Mortimer Adler called “The Great Conversation” – the dialogue of the ages about The Big Questions of our day, and where they participate in one of the fastest-growing independent scholarship funds in America. Submit questions for future courses to ideas@freethinku.com. For more information go to www.freethinku.com or follow @freethinku.

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