An essential feature of religious experience across many cultures is the intuitive feeling of God's presence. More than any rituals or doctrines, it is this experience that anchors religious faith, yet it has been largely ignored in the scientific literature on religion.
"... [Dr. Wathey's] book delves into the biological origins of this compelling feeling, attributing it to innate neural circuitry that evolved to promote the mother-child bond...[He] argues that evolution has programmed the infant brain to expect the presence of a loving being who responds to the child's needs. As the infant grows into adulthood, this innate feeling is eventually transferred to the realm of religion, where it is reactivated through the symbols, imagery, and rituals of worship. The author interprets our various conceptions of God in biological terms as illusory supernormal stimuli that fill an emotional and cognitive vacuum left over from infancy.
These insights shed new light on some of the most vexing puzzles of religion, like:
R ecently, Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka have also called for violence. In 2013, Time magazine placed the Burmese Buddhist monk U Wirathu on their cover with the headline ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’. U Wirathu has been a fiery critic of Burmese Muslims, particularly those who identify as Rohingya. The 2014 Myanmar census found that Buddhists make up 89 per cent of the population, compared with Muslims at per cent. Nevertheless, U Wirathu and his counterparts argue that both Burmese Buddhism and Myanmar itself are threatened by the ‘Islamification of Asia’. In well-attended sermons, U Wirathu has repeatedly derided Muslims and Islam, accusing them of seeking to destroy Burmese culture and the future of Buddhism. In one sermon, he likened Muslims to the African carp, explaining that they are inherently violent, prone to breed quickly, and want to eat their own kind.
You present a persuasive argument for the abandonment of the 5-paragraph essay and suggest a new format for presenting an argument... However, you did not provide much information on what is expected to go in between your introduction and conclusion? You suggested this format opens the essay to compare/contrast, cause/effect, analysis, etc... but how do you suggest students structure an essay with these approaches in practice? Any piece of writing needs some structure and main ideas that are then supported with various pieces of evidence (whether you are writing a historical thesis or a persuasive essay)... If you are abandoning a "main idea followed by supporting evidence" format, what do you propose should take its place? Or perhaps my understanding of the 5-paragraph essay you are speaking of is incorrect?