Humanities: Describe how the experiences of his youth inspired Siddartha Guatama (Buddha) to seek out the truth about human suffering. How do his experiences witnessing sickness and aging affect his philosophy?

This week’s discussion will cover content from the Week 3 module, including reading and media.

  1. Choose ONE of the prompts below to respond to for your original post. Each prompt can only be “used” or written about three times maximum among the class as a whole.
  2. Once a prompt has been written about by THREE different people, it’s used up, and you’ll have to choose a different prompt to write on. This is intended to generate diverse discussion over the works and to help your overall understanding of the works. If you are not the first person to write on a prompt, read what others have written and do your best NOT to repeat what has already been said.
  3. When you create a new thread, give it a title that clearly shows the topic of your post (example: “Prompt A: Venus of Willendorf” or an original title such as “The Woman of Willendorf — Not a Venus”)
  4. Your answer to the prompt should be a minimum of 150 words and must use at least two quotations or other specific references to the original reading/media
  5. If you quote, you must indicate any quotations with ”   “. All borrowed material must have citations at the end with (      ) according to MLA style.
  6. Please also include a works cited-style entry at the end of your post for any sources you borrowed from, even if you put the ideas in your own words.
  7. Reply posts (you need to do two each week) should be 100 words minimum.
  8. Grading: 30 points for original post, 15 points each for replies.

Before you post, be sure you have read the following documents (in the “Start Here” Module):

  • Requirements for Discussion Posts
  • Important Notice on Plagiarism

For your original post, answer ONE of the following prompts (just click “Reply” to post below):
*Note: each prompt can only be answered in an “original” post by THREE people maximum.
Prompt A: Judaism was one of the earliest religions not only to be monotheistic, but to embrace what is called “ethical monotheism,” in which a single, all-powerful god sets the standard of morality for human behavior. Compare this ethical monotheism with ancient Greek and Roman polytheism. How did the morality and behavior of the Greek and Roman gods compare to that of the Judeo-Christian god?
Prompt B: Using specific examples, describe the most significant ways Constantine influenced Christianity.
Prompt C: Explain the meaning of religious syncretism. How did Roman mystery cults influence the development of newer religions such as Christianity? What specific evidence can we see that links Christianity to these earlier belief systems?
Prompt D: Between 2-3 million pilgrims visit Mecca every year during the holy month of Ramadan. Describe the significance of the hajj and the Great Mosque at Mecca. Why is the location of the Kaaba important in Islam?
Prompt E: In your own words, describe Hinduism’s core ideas of Brahman, Atman, Samsara, and Moksha (based on the Khan Academy video in this week’s module). How does Moksha tie together many of the Indian religions?
Prompt F: Based on this week’s articles about Sikhism, describe the Sikh view of God. What are some of the fundamental beliefs in the Sikh religion? Who was Guru Nanak, and why did he oppose the Hindu caste system?
Prompt G: Based on this week’s articles about Jainism, explain how the bird hospital is a representation of Jain ethics. Who was the spiritual founder of Jainism, and why was he given the title “Jina”? Finally, in your own words, describe the five basic vows of Jainism.
Prompt H: Describe how the experiences of his youth inspired Siddartha Guatama (Buddha) to seek out the truth about human suffering. How do his experiences witnessing sickness and aging affect his philosophy? (See the PBS documentary video clip for help.)
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