Philosophy of Life 2nd Quarter Writing Assignment - Suffering and the Existence of God For this writing assignment, choose one of the two options to write an essay about. Make sure that you follow the directions and completely explain your thoughts. Option 1 - Question on the Existence of God Write a 4 paragraph essay about whether or not you believe that God exists. In your essay make sure to include the following components: 1. Introduction: Begin with a thesis statement that proclaims your answer to the question about the existence of God. Make sure to list the main reasons why you feel the way that you do. 2. Body paragraph #1: Now that we have looked at evidence supporting both sides of this question in class, explain the two or more main reasons that support your position as to why you believe God does or does not exist. Feel free to refer to class material or outside sources to support your claim. 3. Body paragraph #2: Write about a personal experience you had that supports your thesis statement. Make sure to include the following: Tell the story about what happened in your experience. Include details about when it happened, who else was involved in your experience and it affected you. Make sure you explain how this personal experience strengthened or weakened your belief in the existence of God. 4. Conclusion: Write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the preceding paragraphs of your essay and restates your main point. Option 2 - Question on Meaning and Suffering Write a 4 paragraph essay about one of the two perspectives (Christianity and Buddhism) we have looked at so far on suffering. You will be selecting the perspective that you find to be the more appealing approach on how you understand suffering. Christian perspective on suffering: Suffering is a part of life. Ultimately experiences of suffering, no matter how bad they seem, can turn into being positive experiences for us if we embrace our crosses (suffering), remain hopeful, and turn to God for guidance. Buddhist perspective on suffering: Suffering is ultimately a negative thing that we seek to avoid in life. Desire is the cause of suffering. Although we can’t change the circumstances that cause our suffering, we can change our attitudes and become detached and enlightened so that no matter what we go through we no longer suffer. For your essay choose one of these perspectives that you identify with or agree with more strongly. Then address the following components in your essay 1. Introduction: State which view about suffering you believe in more strongly. Make sure to include a thesis statement that clearly states your position. List the main reasons why you feel this way 2. Body Paragraph #1: Explain the two or more main reasons why you feel this way about suffering. Feel free to refer to class material like our notes on Buddhism or the Taking up Your Cross Article to support your stance. 3. Body Paragraph #3: Write about an experience of suffering you had that supports your position. Make sure to include the following: Tell the story about what happened in your experience. Include details about when it happened, who else was involved in your experience and it affected you. Make sure you explain how this personal experience affected your belief about the meaning of suffering. 4. Conclusion: Write a conclusion that summarizes the main points of the preceding paragraphs of your essay and restates your main point. Grading and Evaluation Both options are worth the same amount of points. Your grade will be based on the following factors: - Introduction: You clearly state thesis which reveals your beliefs. Also state the reasons that support your position. - Body Paragraph 1: You sufficiently explain your thesis with two or more reasons that accurately show why you are taking this philosophical position on either question. Make sure you refer to specific philosophical teachings in your reasons - Body Paragraph 2: You describe your personal in detail and explain how it has affected you. You also show how this experience is relevant to your beliefs and affirms your thesis. - Conclusion: Provide a summary of your philosophical views that restates your position and your main views that support your belief. Make sure to incorporate the wisdom you gained from your personal experience. - Overall: Make sure that your essay presents a cohesive philosophical position where all of the different pieces fit together in communicating your beliefs and that the essay represents solid effort.