Thesis Statement (one short paragraph)
CQ (Critical Question) – Response (at least one full page)
Thesis Defense (3 pages, supporting your thesis)
Each paper must respond to a critical question (CQ) or the paper will not receive full credit. A critical question is an objection from an opponent. For each of the following strategies, the particular critical question will be given. *When providing evidence in support of your thesis, please avoid anecdotal evidence (personal evidence).
Strategy 3: Dawkins is correct; religion is both viral and harmful.
CQ: Critics will claim that millions of people gain comfort through their religious faith, particularly during times of suffering and tragedy. They maintain that secularism and science have nothing equivalent to offer to comfort people during, especially difficult times, in other words, science is not comforting when dealing with death.
Also, do not turn your paper into a creation/evolution debate. Dawkins argument pertains to religion, not cosmology, and no student in my long tenure of teaching who tried to take this approach knew anything about the evidence of natural selection and evolution. Argue what you know, not what you dont know.
A dead-end strategy is to insist that without religion, there would be no ethics and life would be chaotic anarchy. This is a freshman error. Anyone who has taken an introductory course in ethics could resoundingly dismantle your argument. In fact, as noted in strategy two, Dawkins would argue that religion destabilizes ethics. If a person believes he is right and person two believes she is right and their views are inconsistent, and both believe they are getting their ethical views from God, there is very little they can do to resolve their differences. (See capital punishment, birth control, same-sex marriage, and many others as contemporary examples.)