1. Answer three (3) of these Discussion Questions (2 from the A set, and 1 from the B). Please give enough examples and information to support why you have the opinion you do.
Length: ~ 75-100 word each answer; 250 – 300 words, total.
Set A. Choose two (2) of these prompts to answer and discuss.
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- It is true that society and arts in the West are more secular than they were in the past. But to what extent does religion continue to influence popular arts? Choose a popular song or film and comment on elements of it that might be influenced by religion. Include an active link to a song and written lyrics, or to the trailer for a film.
- The Hebrew and Christian Bibles and the Islamic Qur’an all present the commandments of God. They are strikingly similar. Presumably all three religions pray to the same God. Briefly explain some of the disputes they have with each other.
- At the beginning of Whitman’s book of poems, Leaves of Grass, is the line, “For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.” While this would at first appear not have anything to do with religion, the text points out that in fact Whitman was strongly influenced by a certain religion. What was it? Explain the influence.
- Would the discovery of life on other planets strengthen or diminish the role of religion in modern society? Explain.
Set B. Then, choose one (1) of these to answer and discuss:
5. In your opinion, are humans naturally inclined to greed, rebellion, and evil? What forces, both inner and outer, cause humans to do evil? What forces cause them to do good? You should also consider the fact that we need to discipline children and need governments to keep people in line.
6. Some philosophers claim that humans are naturally good, and that they are only corrupted by a depraved society. One might wonder, then, since society is made up of humans, where does this depravity come from?