Conflicting Viewpoints

Assignment 2: Conflicting Viewpoints Essay – Part IISynthesizing and Writing Due Week 4 and worth 100 pointsWhen looking for information about a particular issue, how often do you try to resist biases toward your own point of view? This assignment asks you to engage in this aspect of critical thinking.Write at three to four (3-4) page paper in which you address the following:Restate your topic from Assignment 1 (I have attached assignment one), give your position on the topic, and explain why you chose that topic. Identify two (2) opposing views on the topic, and then present the view that you’ll try to defend in the assignment. Be prepared to support your opinion with academic sources.Identify three (3) reasons to support your position. In separate paragraphs, go through each reason and describe why it supports the position you took in the first section.Go back to your Believing Game answers from Assignment 1. Describe why you thought those responses were true. What led you to ‘believe’ things in that way? Was it an expectation (straw man) or did you truly examine what they were saying?Identify at least two (2) biases you experienced in your examination of the topic. How did the biases support or contradict the position you took? Did the biases create a barrier to your thinking?Since we all have biases or opinions, how did your own background shape the way you felt about the topic you presented in the first section?Now that you have used the Believing Game, has your thinking about the topic changed? If so, why? If not, why not?The paper should follow guidelines for clear and organized writing:Include an introductory paragraph and concluding paragraph.Address main ideas in body paragraphs with a topic sentence and supporting sentences.Adhere to standard rules of English grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling.Follows APA citation rules. (Note: Since Procon was used as a resource in Assignment 1, it is fine to cite again here)Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.Note: This assignment will be automatically run through SafeAssign plagiarism detection software in order to check for originality, and a report will be sent to your instructor.The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:Identify the informal fallacies, assumptions, and biases involved in manipulative appeals and abuses of language.Create written work utilizing the concepts of critical thinking.Use technology and information resources to research issues in critical thinking skills and informal logic.Click here to view the grading rubric.
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Conflicting viewpoints
Jennifer Simmons
Professor Sconiers
PHI 210
April 15, 2018
Introduction
It is in our human nature to have independent sole opinions about something or an
occurrence and we will always have the supporting reason as to why we cling to that opinion.
There comes a scenario when the opinions of two or more individuals are antagonistic and
everyone is ready to justify his or her opinion. The process of justification is a challenging one as
it elicits mixed reaction among the participants, at times leading to a serious argument or fallout.
Most arguments are subjective in dimension and only a few are settled by logic. This is attributed
to the fact that most individuals are deeply biased in their opinion and are unwilling to
acknowledge the other party’s view. This has indeed been the epitome of conflicts in the society.
According to Elbow (2006), it is through logic that a serious error in somebody’s
argument can be uncovered but logic can’t error somebody’s position. It is in this regard that this
essay is developed, so as to bring to enlightenment on how we can learn to accept the opposing
views both cognitively and emotionally when discussing something, and not embracing our
biased opinions which could indeed be misguiding. My discussion as extracted from procon.org
website is whether the churches (places of worship) should be exempted from paying tax.
Should churches be tax-exempt?
I am a staunch proponent and believer that churches (herein defined as churches,
mosques, temples, and synagogues) be exempted from paying tax. This is a place of worship,
and these religious institutions play a fundamental role in the society as they support the helpless,
the needy, and bring sanity to the surrounding communities through the religious guidance.
However, from the con comments on the procon.org website on the said topic, I find the
following points eligible: the tax code won’t distinct legitimate religion and fraudulent newly
established faiths, the pastors have become so wealthy that they lead extravagant lifestyles and
finally the tax break restricts the churches’ freedom of speech.
Failure to distinct authentic religion from a fraudulent one (bad tax code).
It is interesting noting that despite the fact that there exist legitimate and authentic
churches, there has been a massive crop-up of fraudulent churches, which have massively
flourished in the tax exempts through the unchecked tax code. They have been charted and led
by unscrupulous individuals in the name of religious leaders or pastors. In choosing to believe
this view, it is noticed that indeed there are many new church plantings scattered all over, with
the pioneers having questionable moral character. This idea is valid as it is evident that these
fake churches are a representation of greed, and power. For instance, in spring 2010, Oklahoma
exempted a Satanist group known as ‘The Church of the four majesties’ from paying tax. In
October 1993, the Church of Scientology is also exempted from paying tax, despite being
described by the Time Magazine as ‘a hugely profitable global racket and a cult of greed and
power’.
Extremely wealthy and extravagant pastors.
It is no doubt that the pastors of ‘megachurches’ are extremely wealthy and they flourish
in extravagance, at the expense of the support they receive from the tax-paying faithful.
According to the investigative report launched by the Republican senator Chuck Grassley of
Massachusetts in November 2007, these pastors own high-end machines such as private jets,
Rolls Royce cars, and multi-million mansions, all acquired through the church revenues. This
revenue would have otherwise been used to support the less fortunate groups and families but
they’ve used them for personal gain.
Restricted freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is basically being able to express your opinion freely, without
censorship or fear of getting a legal penalty. It is expected that all churches would be entitled to
the freedom of speech as they are independent and free of governments control. However, upon
tax exemption, it is noticeable that many churches fall into the hands of politicians and become
their paupers. These religious leaders thereafter fear to contradict with the government or
politicians for the fear of being subjected to taxation. Therefore, they will not express themselves
freely. According to Carl Gregg, the reverent of Maryland Broadview church, he asserts that
when the Christians speak their mind they shouldn’t worry about criticizing those that feed them
and that as Christians, they should not be fed by Caesar in the first place.
Conclusion
In as much as the religious institutions should be exempted from paying tax, upon
analysis of the above points I find it also reasonable to say they should be subjected to paying
tax. However, a proper formulation of the taxpaying method should be enacted to decide on
which ones to pay. For instance, the ‘megachurches’ whose pastors or religious leaders are
affluent and extravagant out to be subjected to taxation both from the church and the pastor’s
personal assets such as housing, and that cash diverted to other community development projects
or social amenities. It is only reasonable that only those small churches with outlined community
support should be exempted from Caesar’s hand. A proper investigation also should be done in
the churches to separate the authentic ones from fraudulent ones, and then subjecting them to
taxation.
References
Elbow, P. (2006). The believing game and how to make conflicting opinions more
fruitful. Nurturing the peacemakers in our students: A guide to teaching peace, empathy,
and understanding.
Weber, C. (2006). Nurturing the Peacemakers in Our Students: A Guide to Writing and Speaking
Out about Issues of War and of Peace. Heinemann.
Sarah Netter, “Satanist Church Rents Out Oklahoma City Civic Center for Exorcism,”
abcnews.go.com, Sep. 1, 2010
Richard Behar, “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power,” time.com, May 6, 1991
Carl Gregg, MDiv, “Against ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ (Unless Churches Pay Their Taxes First!)”
patheos.com, Oct. 2, 2011
Kathy Lohr, “Senator Probes Megachurches’ Finances,” npr.org, Dec. 4, 2007

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