The 20 Most Interesting Argumentative Essay Topics On Religion
The Ten Best Argumentative Essay Topics About Religion
As Kenneth Burke writes, "rhetoric is the art of , and religious cosmogonies are designed, in the last analysis, as exceptionally thoroughgoing modes of persuasion" (Burke, "Rhetoric" v). But that still leaves us with the question: " is religion persuasive"? Burke continues: "Theological doctrine is a body of spoken or written . Whatever else it may be, and wholly regardless of whether it be true or false, theology is preeminently " (vi). This paper set out to explore the relationship between rhetoric and religion with an emphasis that diverges somewhat from Burke's. Instead of focusing on the verbal rhetoric of religion (although that certainly remains a vital component), I have argued that the conceptual rhetoric of various religious ideas has persuasiveness. The more specific question is thus: "Why are gods, souls, afterlives, and other components of religion highly credible to human beings even though they are objectively unverified?" The answer is that the intuitions and perceptions that human beings experience when sensing and conceiving of our environment, as well as the cultural rhetoric of religion, predispose us to believe in such things. These two aspects of religious concepts combine to make them particularly persuasive. Religious concepts are conceptually intuitive and rhetorically appealing because of preexisting cognitive biases in the evolved human mind.
Persuasive essay topic on religion? | Yahoo Answers
Closely related to the conceptualizations of souls are widespread beliefs in different forms of an afterlife. Afterlife beliefs seem to come naturally to human beings (Bering, "Souls" 453) and are certainly pervasive in society. Bering cites statistics that put the level of belief in life after death in the United States at 95% (453). Furthermore, in Bering's 2002 study individuals of varying afterlife beliefs were asked questions about the mental states of a supposed victim of a fatal car crash. Although their "continuity" responses (responses that imply that consciousness does not cease at death) were of lower frequency than their religious counterparts, many "extinctivist" individuals (who think that consciousness ceases at death) were likely to affirm that certain mental processes of the victim were still operating after he had died. Bering concluded that since it is an epistemic impossibility to know what it is like to be dead if death is permanent unconsciousness, it is intuitive to think of death from a conscious perspective (i.e., by running a "simulation" of consciousness). This accounts for the apparent contradictions in the stated beliefs of individuals who did not believe that consciousness survives death and yet answered as if it did. From the standpoint of rhetoric it becomes clear why the concepts of "Heaven" and "Hell" (and the various afterlife concepts in other religions) can hold so much persuasive power while being neither here nor there in empirical reality. If Bering is correct that afterlife beliefs are naturally intuitive (and I think he is), then any rhetoric trying to persuade on behalf of something related to an afterlife will be very effective to a large number of individuals, as it taps into these intuitions.