Speech on "Faith in Modern Society"
Post Reply
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-08-2012, 09:16 PM
Speech on "Faith in Modern Society"
Hello all. I have a speech to deliver tomorrow for my speech class. It is a persuasive speech, and follows a specific outline that I must adhere to (which deviates slightly from what I would prefer and requires me to alter my speech slightly.) I will show the outline momentarily. For now, I ask that those of you who see this critique my speech. Any and all constructive criticism is welcomed. And yes, I know it's a bit late to post this, but I procrastinated and this is what I have. Also, I'm giving this extemporaneously, so my actual speech will differ slightly, but this is my foundation.

Also, one thing is that my personal views diverge slightly from the speech. I advocate tolerance of religion. But I stressed my niceness here, because I don't want a negative response from my class and instructor. I refrained from my personal "faith is ridiculous, faith is poison" type view here. Please critique the view I am presenting in terms of its solidarity, cohesiveness, etc. instead of your personal religious convictions. I feel not as strong as I would like to on some points (e.g. the accusation of xenophobia in society) so comments on those would be appreciated. Point out spelling and grammar and such as well, anything you think would improve my speech. Thank you.

---- The Speech ----

Attention step:

The majority of us were small children on September 11, 2001. You may or may not remember this day; personally, I have no recollection of the event. Regardless, 9/11 remains one of the most infamous dates in recent history. According to the Guardian, 2823 people died from the immediate aftermath of 9/11. In a display of the power of religious extremism and intolerance, thousands died on this day.

Another possible example of religious terrorism in fact occurred yesterday. According to NBC News, a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee, killing six people and wounding three others, before being killed by police officers. The incident is being treated as domestic terrorism. Although not much information has been released about the shooter or the incident, it can be speculated that the shooter mistook the Sikhs for Muslims, as Sikhs wear clothing similar to Muslims, in an act of anti-Muslim violence.

How many more people have to die, how many more bullets have to be fired, how many more buildings have to fall, before we realize that violence is not the answer?

Need step:

Throughout history, opposing faiths have fought over political, cultural, economic, and religious reasons, to mention a few. This is nothing new. But in an age of technological and scientific revolutions, we are no longer dealing with sticks and stones. Instead, there are assault rifles, bombs, and nuclear weapons at our disposal. The survival of human society is in grave danger, given the violent trends from human infancy. Our political systems have progressed, from theocracies and monarchies to democracies. Our moral compasses have turned from slavery and racism, to equality and acceptance. Our violent tendencies must follow the same path. We must advocate tolerance for all.

Solution step:

1 - The first step towards tolerance is the eradication of xenophobia, in all forms. Xenophobia, the fear of foreigners and "strangers," must go. Xenophobia is a major threat to acceptance of all. Many people are afraid or openly stereotype groups of people, and treat them accordingly. Once we realize that our individual cultures are in reality not inherently more valuable than the next, we can move on to universal acceptance. We must openly accept other faiths and cultures, apart from extremist agendas.

2 - Secondly, we must accept other views and be more open-minded. In today's world, discussion about religion and faith, especially between opposing ones, is often seen as taboo. Keeping religion out of secular establishments: public schools, government, etc. is warranted. However, open discussion outside of these is rarely pursued, in the false guise of "acceptance." Once we realize that people have different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives, and they are no better nor worse than our own, there is no reason that open discussion, apart from personal insults and such, cannot be accepted. A lack of discussion contributes to an overall lack of understanding, and this is a primary reason why there is conflict in today's world. All Muslims are not suicide bombers; all Christians are not intolerant; all atheists are not evil. Yet, this is precisely what millions around the globe believe.

There is nothing wrong with having rational discussions of faith or religion, just like any other sphere of human life. The quickest way to tread the path of ignorance is to dismiss the viewpoints of others without proper consideration. We must discuss faiths, and openly criticize them without being offended. Realize that not all faiths can be correct, and be critical of all, including our own, lest we all stoop to a level of mutual arrogance harmful to all progress.

3 - Third, religious violence must be stopped. An unfortunate aspect of the tolerance of faiths is the violent nature of certain faiths, or at least interpretations of these faiths. Religious fundamentalism that progresses to extremism sometimes results in unnecessary acts of violence. Terrorist jihad and the bombings of abortion clinics are two examples of extremism leading to violence. Such acts must be condemned, and the basis of these acts, religious extremism, must be appropriately assigned as the cause. Avoiding this is denial and will only lead to more deaths. The acceptance of multiple viewpoints does not imply the acceptance of viewpoints that undermine the basis of society. We must condemn any form of religious violence and support equality for all.

4 - Lastly, we must be mindful not to let faith overreach its bounds. Given the tolerance of religious faith, it is not difficult to make the jump to establishing governments based on religion. This is completely unacceptable. It is apparent that secular governments fare best, and setting up governments based on secular knowledge in other countries will improve standards of living and support equality. Religion must also stay outside the boundaries of science. The notion of "intelligent design" must stay out of schools, as evolution is supported by consensus of the scientific community. Attempts to discredit global warming without legitimate scientific reason are also unacceptable within the educational system. The tolerance of religion in society should not allow religion to intrude our secular schools. It is necessary for us to establish governments and laws based on equality and secular concepts, keeping religion out of government and the realm of science.

Visualization Step:

Once society rids itself of the impression that religious discussion is off-limits to public discourse, apart from secular institutions such as government and science, and that tolerance of different faiths is necessary, human society can prosper at an unprecedented standard. The advantages of a more tolerant society are obvious. Less religious conflict would lead to fewer acts of violence. Political conflicts would not be as harsh with the dimension of religious division removed. The more tolerant a society is, in general, the more secular its foundation is, and this leads to an increased standard of living.

There are not many disadvantages of a more tolerant society. However, the path to a more tolerant society would require a massive change in thinking in billions across the world, not necessarily an easy task. This type of change can only emerge through a gradual shift in thinking, one person at a time. Racism was a similar project in this regard, and is still ongoing. Change will not happen overnight, but is necessary to ensure the advance of the human species.

Action step:

And so, I urge you all to be more tolerant of others. Be open-minded and respectful. Do not shut your ears to the unpleasant or uncomfortable, if it needs to be said, for denial only thwarts progress. We cannot substitute political correctness for correctness. We can leave the discussion of the validity of faith for another day. For now, we can tolerate faith, not foolishness. Thank you.

------ End of Speech ------

The outline is the "motivated sequence outline." I have to include the bolded steps, so that is why I sectioned them off like that. I also have to include the numbers (First, secondly, etc, not the actual numbers, that is for reading purposes) in the solution step, to my dislike.

To anyone patient enough to read the speech, opinions and criticisms?

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2012, 09:56 PM
RE: Speech on "Faith in Modern Society"
I applaud you for making this speech. Some ideas and comments. Don't take them too negatively, I like what you're attempting here.

I would be careful claiming the Milwaukee shooting to be anti-Muslim. There is little known about this guy at this point. We may actually never know as he is dead.

Use reference to Daniel Dennett. He wants religious education mandatory for public schools to teach kids about other religions besides their own. Dennett is an atheist. look him up for a quote.

"all atheists are not evil" are you saying that some atheists are evil? I'm so offended.

"we must accept other views" to what extent? Are honor killings by Muslims acceptable? They also want to stone homosexuals to death. Should we open our minds to consider their point of view? If we do not are we being intolerant? Are gays being intolerant of Chick Fil-A.

You are asking all religoins to give up their dogmas and consider that they are not the holders of truth and that their god is not the true god? Unfortunately this is why they are religions in the first place. Their dogma is their identity.

Right now the christians, jews and muslims are in a state of cold war and have been for over 1,400 years. Pockets of fighting take place daily. They kill one another on a daily basis. This is why religion is "off-limits to public discourse".

Finish with a line from Christopher Hitchens, "Religion Poisons Everything".

You can't tip-toe into a discussion on religious stupidity. Follow Hitchens. ANY comments that imply that the "XXX" god is not the true god is "completely unacceptable and punishable by death."

Good luck.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2012, 10:08 PM
RE: Speech on "Faith in Modern Society"
The anti-Muslim thing is something I tried to caution in my speech. I said that it could be speculated that that is the case, but I tried not to make any definite statements. It was at a religious temple, anyways, and Sikhs could be mistaken for Muslims. It is a "possible" instance of religious terrorism.

Thanks. I want to read Breaking the Spell by Dennett but don't have the book. I will look him up.

As far as the atheists are evil thing, well I assume you are joking to an extent. Unfortunately this is a living reality with people, thinking such things about the majority of atheists.

For the accepting of other views, I agree with you completely, and this is one thing that bothered me when I was thinking of my speech. I tried to say that condemning religious views that sponsor violence is necessary, to an extent. I also tried to slip in an "open, rational discussion" concept to eliminate strange cults and silly superstitions. It was not easy thinking of how to word this speech.

For the Christians/Jews/Muslims thing, I'm asking for people to try to discuss and become more moderate (my personal view is that religious moderatism is dangerous in some aspects by reasoning of Sam Harris, but I can't say that in my speech) and tolerate others, to get rid of this. At the end I tried to say that doing so would require a massive transition of thought in billions.

I have God is Not Great by Hitchens, so I will see if I can pull something from there.

And yes, I tried to strike a balance between saying that religion is poison and toleration. It was very tough and this is what I was referring to when I said that it deviates slightly from my personal viewpoint.

Thanks so much! I will try to get quotes.

"Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned" - Anonymous
I am glad to live where there is no God, for I am moral, and mortal; I do not wish to worship He who crafts an immoral immortality.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-08-2012, 10:49 PM
RE: Speech on "Faith in Modern Society"

Watch this video on religious discussion.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: