To apply what you have learned in this course to a test case, considering what makes something a religion.
You will be placed in (or select) a group and use the group discussion board. The discussion will be focused on one or another movement that may or may not be considered a religion. Each of you will locate, read and view online resources (essays, videos) presenting alternative viewpoints and arguments (pro and con) regarding the status of that movement to help you determine is it is or is not a religion.
Groups will discuss and debate the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments and then each group member will compose and post a summary of the group discussion. The best summary for each group may appear on the main class discussion board. Then you can read the summaries and conclusions the other groups came to about other debatable movements.
Pay special attention to due dates for each part of the process: initial post due by…, replies due by…, summary post due by…, rating due by… (specific dates will be posted as an announcement in the course site and/or sent via email).
Find your assigned group in the â€œgroup discussionâ€ or â€œPeopleâ€ section of the course site, then choosing the “Is it a Religion (Links to an external site.)” tab at the top.
Be sure to check the announcements in your group space for any group specific information.
Step 1: Research and initial post
Individually, each student is to seek out resources to familiarize themselves with the arguments on both sides of the debate:
- Use the internet and Googlesearch for < is ________ a religion > (fill in the blank with the movement you are assigned – do not use the < >)
- Identify and read(or view video/listen to audio) at least two sources:
- one pro (â€œyes, it is a religionâ€)
- one con (â€œno, it is not a religionâ€)
- may review more than one for each position and/or a more middle of the road (â€œit dependsâ€) argument
Consider the reliability, credibility and authority of the author of the sources you read/view (an argument that sounds strong may be weak if the person who is making it does not really know what they are talking about â€“ avoid uninformed bias and self-serving agendas. For instance, a Christian source might argue that Secular Humanism is a religion because they do not want it being taught in the public schools [religious worldviews cannot be taught in public schools])
- Come to your own conclusion, based on the sources you read/view
- Post to your group discussion boardyour conclusion (answer to the question) and a summary of both the pro and con arguments from the sources you read/viewed, noting which arguments most helped you arrive at your conclusion and why. Be sure to include URL links (copy and paste from your browser address line) to the sources you are referencing so your group mates can check them out for themselves and make clear which of the sources are “pro” and which are “con”.