Why do so many cultures have divinities in similar roles?

Depth and thoroughness of analysis (critical thinking), clarity of argument and writing are equally important.
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A: If you choose to write on genetic medicine pick one of the following. If you choose 1-4 then be sure to situate your analysis within an ethical framework.
1. Genetic information and technology have opened a new vista for testing and screening. Prepare a seminar for prospective parents on what is the benefits and risks of having genetic testing or screening done, for whom, and when.
2. For breast cancer diagnosis and treatment it has become standard of care to get a gene expression profile of the tumor. Explain the way the tumor is analyzed genetically and what the advantage and disadvantages are.
3. Whole genome sequencing is more affordable and available through commercial sources. What are the ethical considerations in ordering a WGS?
4. Detecting genetic mutations that cause disease or disability drives the desire for testing and screening and has ignited a lot of excitement about the possibilities of gene therapy. Compare and contrast genetic therapy at somatic vs germline stage.
B. Ethical analysis of research conduct is aimed at reducing or preventing misconduct. How and to what extent can ethical behavior be taught to graduate students in science? (The short question is: Can Ethics be Taught?)
C. Ethical conduct in clinical research is described in the common rule, following the principles of the Belmont Report (autonomy, beneficence, and justice). When clinical trials are simultaneously conducted in foreign countries, the CIOMS and Helsinki Accord apply although US researchers must also comply with the Common Rule. Analyze the guidelines (rules) governing clinical trials as a path to ethical conduct. (Short form: do rules ensure ethical conduct?)

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Divine Roles Across Cultures Matrix
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Select one common divine role that recurs in world mythology.

Possible options of divine roles include the following: father or mother divinities, divinities of war, home or hearth divinities, divinities of love, divinities of wisdom, divinities of medicine or health, divinities of the wind, divinities of agriculture, divinities of the sky, ruler of all the gods, and so on.

Identify the role in the title of your table.

Select two myths, each from a different culture, in which the divine role appears. Identify the divinity names and cultures in columns A and B.

Complete the table by answering each of the five questions for both selected divinities.

Column A
Divinity Name:
Culture of Origin:
Column B
Divinity Name:
Culture of Origin:
1. How is this divinity portrayed? Describe the divinity’s role within the myth.

2. Is the divinity male or female? What function does this gender play?

3. What are the divinity’s attributes, such as divine powers or characteristics? What objects does the divinity possess, such as a weapon or animal, that assist him or her?

4. Within the myth of origin, how does this divinity compare with other divinities? How does this divinity interact with or compare to divinities of the same gender and to divinities of the opposite gender?

5. Identify one character from contemporary culture that shares characteristics of each divinity and explain why you chose each character. What real-life ideals does this divine role represent? How attainable are these ideals?

Part II

Write a 150- to 350-word short essay addressing the following: Why do so many cultures have divinities in similar roles?


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