Discussion: Happiness in the Contemporary World
At the end of the last chapter of your reading for this week, Dr. Sharpe asks the question, “How do genes and neurotransmitters relate to an afterlife?” In your Discussion this week, you will be asked to share your thoughts about happiness as it relates to different spiritual traditions, scientific explanations, and contemporary perceptions. In particular, you will consider how scientific and spiritual traditions differ on the subject of happiness, as well as any common ground the two fields share. You will also examine how advertising and other forms of modern media influence people’s notions of happiness.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review this week’s readings (Preface, Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Interlude 1) in the course text Has Science Displaced the Soul?and think about how different spiritual traditions and modern scientific thought view the concept of happiness.
- Listen to the Radio Laureate Interview with Dr. Kevin Sharpe: “The Voice of the Author.”
- Consider different aspects of happiness on which spiritual and scientific thinkers might agree or disagree.
- Reflect on how your own exposure to the modern media has influenced your ideas about what happiness is and how it can be attained.
With these thoughts in mind:
By Day 3
Post a 2- to 3-paragraph response in which you share one point about happiness where spiritual traditions are in conflict with science and contemporary life, and one point about happiness where spiritual traditions and science can be in concert with one another. Then, describe the role of advertising in our contemporary world and discuss what part you think it might play in people’s perceptions of their own happiness. Support your assertions by making at least 2 references, in proper APA format, to your course readings.
Be sure to support your ideas by connecting them to the week’s Learning Resources, or something you have read, heard, seen, or experienced.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 5
Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Validate an idea with your own experience.
- Make a suggestion.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting.
Discussion Evaluation Criteria
Discussion assignments for each module are worth a maximum of 70 points each. Weeks 4 and 5 have 2 discussions.
- The requirements for your postings are found within the discussion prompts for each module. You may be asked to give your opinion, cite references to the Learning Resources, or include thoughts related to your personal experiences.
- You are expected to actively participate in Discussions, responding to at least two of your colleagues’ postings. Responses and postings must be submitted as early as possible within each module. See the course schedule for the exact day and time when the first posting must be submitted. Timely responses are important so that other students have ample opportunity to learn from each other and build a sense of community.
- All Discussion postings and responses should reflect college-level writing regarding syntax, grammar, and spelling.
- Please remember to be courteous in your interactions with colleagues. Proper netiquette is expected at all times.
Points for each Discussion will be awarded as follows:
Exemplary (46-70 points)
- Discussion postings and responses follow all required instructions and are posted by the due date.
- Discussion postings and responses demonstrate a fullunderstanding of the concepts and/or strategies as presented in the Learning Resources, and include rich examples from personal experience.
- Discussion postings and responses provide evidence that the student has read and considered a sampling of colleagues’ postings.
- Discussion posting and responses follow rules for proper netiquette.
Meets Standard (23-45 points)
- Discussion postings and responses are posted by the due date but are not completely responsive to the requirements of the Discussion instructions.
- Discussion postings and responses demonstrate some understanding of the concepts and/or strategies as presented in the Learning Resources, and do not include rich examples from personal experience.
- Discussion postings and responses provide evidence that the student has read and considered only onecolleague’s postings.
Developing (22 or fewer points)
- Discussion postings and responses are posted past the due date and/or do not address the requirements of the Discussion instructions.
- Discussion postings and responses do not demonstrate anunderstanding of the concepts and/or strategies as presented in the Learning Resources, and include rich examples from personal experience.
Discussion postings and responses do not provide evidence that the student has read or considered colleagues’ postings
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