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 “group discussion” or “People” 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:
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 – 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])