These were some questions that Dr. Nash suggested the class respond to in their own way. The prompt was to select 1-3 questions and reflect…
Do you make a distinction between religion & spirituality? If yes, what is the difference for you? What is your own religious background? Do you still practice?
What larger belief about the meaning of your life gets you up in the morning and off to work, and off to face your responsibilities, day after day, especially when you don’t want to? What gives you the personal strength to carry on?
Is there a master plan to your life? Or is it all about blind chance?
Why is suffering so pervasive in the world? Why tsunamis? Why New Orleans flooding? Why political, religious, and nationalistic wars? Why earthquakes?
Why do some people call themselves “spiritual” rather than “religious”?
Do you think your actions make any real difference to anyone or anything in the larger scheme of things? If yes, why? If no, why not?
When’s the last time you had a conversation about religion or spirituality with a family member, a friend, a teacher, a counselor (choose one)? How would you describe the conversation? If you haven’t, why do you suppose you haven’t?
What would you say to this best-selling author, Christopher Hitchens, who made these comments: “Religion poisons everything.” “God is not great.” “Religion kills.”
How long do you think you would be able to talk intelligently about the particulars of their faiths with students who might represent such backgrounds as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, Judaism, Confucianism, or Taoism? Which one of these would you like to know more about?
Have you ever had any courses in high school that covered some of the world’s religions? Why or why not did this happen, do you suppose?
How would you describe the general religious or spiritual leanings of the people in your nuclear and/or extended family?
Would you be comfortable talking about religion and/or spirituality with someone you just met? Why or why not?
What do you think of the research in positive psychology that says that happiest people in the world are the most religious…by far?
What is it that turns you off the most about organized religion? What turns you on the most?
Can we be good, moral people without religion?