Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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July 25

Bar Mitzvah Gifts Nowadays?

Oy vey! Jews of Metafilter, help me out: what is an appropriate bar mitzvah gift in 2015? It's been years since I attended one, but the first one from the next gen of my family is happening soon and I need a gift, shortly to be followed by the kids of a bunch of my friends. Back in the day, a Cross pen was considered a good gift and I just know that moment has passed. More details: [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:06 AM - 17 answers

July 20

Will you please help me find a Catholic quilt pattern?

I've been asked to design the program for my Grandmother's funeral later this week. She was a devout Catholic and an avid quilter, so I'd love to find a way to include both. [more inside]
posted by meindee at 9:21 AM - 5 answers

July 14

The Body in Ancient Greece

Can anyone point me to some interesting readings, online or off, about the ancient Greek philosophy of the body and the understanding of physicality in general? [more inside]
posted by vecchio at 6:06 PM - 8 answers

July 4

Cultivating niceness

Would love suggested reading on the subject of compassion or the oneness of humankind or... anything that comes to mind when you read on. Please inspire me! [more inside]
posted by little_dog_laughing at 9:51 PM - 17 answers

June 23

What does Schopenhauer mean in his criticism of Spinoza?

How is Schopenhauer using the terms "conception" and "predicate", "reason" and "consequence" in the Spinoza section of On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason? (Chapter 2) [more inside]
posted by jwhite1979 at 8:07 AM - 5 answers

June 8

Meditation resources that are neutral on religion

Partner and I are interested in meditation and mindfulness. I am a Christian and partner is an atheist. There are a lot of resources on atheist meditation and a lot on Christian meditation. I am put off by the anti-religious content of the former, and partner is put off by the religious aspects of the latter. Can you suggest any books/podcasts/websites/etc. that are neutral on religion, and are just about how to meditate? [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk at 2:52 PM - 15 answers

Theosophy/like groups in Auckland NZ?

I've been interested in Theosophy and similar philosophies for a long time and have on several occasions considered joining up here in Auckland, New Zealand. However, I'm not entirely sure whether their activities will be of overall interest to me. [more inside]
posted by New England Cultist at 2:04 PM - 2 answers

May 24

Help me focus away from nauseating thoughts

I ate something that is against my beliefs, for the first time in my entire life (due to a miscommunication). I feel very nauseated - my thoughts focus on my body and wanting to throw up (I tried but am unable to?). Can I refocus thought away from the thing inside me? Or you know any help for nausea that is just psychosomatic? I know I did not do this on purpose, it's that I can't escape my thoughts about the physical act of chewing and swallowing it and about the animal dying for it.
posted by anonymous at 8:39 PM - 14 answers

May 16

Would Wittgenstein distinguish between "all that" and "that which"?

I've most often seen the first proposition of the Tractatus quoted as "The world is that which is the case." (The 2014 film and the line in the chorus from The New Pornographers' Chump Change, eg.) But Ogden translates it as "The world is everything that is the case," and Pears/McGuiness as "The world is all that is the case." Is there an important difference here? Asking cuz potential tattoo.
posted by PMdixon at 2:47 PM - 15 answers

May 12

I'm interested in existential psychotherapy

I'm interested in existential psychotherapy. What are the most accessible for the layperson texts out there about it?
posted by josher71 at 9:14 AM - 3 answers

April 26

small-scale plagiarism: right or wrong?

My friend is currently studying at university, and she asked me to help her out with one of her assignments. I refused, saying I considered what she was asking me to do to be wrong. She became upset, and now I feel lousy, like I've let her down. I would like to gauge others' perspectives here: if you were in my shoes, how would you have reacted? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:53 AM - 60 answers

April 23

I'm looking for a specific Peter Singer quote.

Hi. Help me find the story Peter Singer tells in one of his books that says he went over to some couple's house for dinner. The couple were fans of his and excited to meet him, I think. They asked him what his favourite animals were. He says something like it is a common assumption that animal rights people are animal lovers who care about cute and cuddly things. He tells the story to illustrate the point that he defends animals not because they're nice, but because it is a matter of ethics and justice. [more inside]
posted by stellathon at 11:32 PM - 4 answers

How selfish is it OK to be in life?

I struggle with thinking I "should" do a lot of things, and feel guilty about not doing more for charity and for other people. How can I find a good balance between doing what I want to do for myself, and doing my duty as a good person?
posted by sninctown at 12:48 PM - 18 answers

April 17

Help me find English-language Zen Centers in (Eastern) Europe.

I've spent time in and around Zen centers before, though I'm really a complete beginner when it comes to Buddhism. I would like to spend a week (or more?) staying in a Zen center with a program tailored for beginners. Where can I find a center in Eastern Europe that has a program in English that would suit me? I'm willing to travel to Western Europe but would prefer to find something closer to home.
posted by jpziller at 2:56 PM - 5 answers

April 12

Biblical verses of comfort for the dying

As a hospice volunteer, I am often called to sit vigil with those that are dying, and many of them are life-long churchgoers. As I spend time with them, on occasion a friend or relative may stop in and read a verse or two (most often the 23rd Psalm) and it seems to immediately create a sense a peace for the person, especially if they have been agitated and in distress. [more inside]
posted by nanook at 11:27 AM - 10 answers

April 4

"For entertainment purposes only"

I want to get more familiar with the tarot — especially its use as a symbol system and personal religious/artistic/introspective tool, and to some extent also its (actual nonfiction real-world) history. What books or blogs should I read? Study tips for improving facility and speedy recall of card meanings would also be helpful. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:39 PM - 13 answers

April 2

Theory that the biblical holy land was not in present day Israel

I'm trying to find an article by some historians that posited that the places described in the Bible we not actually in present day Israel. The historians had done some theorizing that the mountains and valleys mentioned in the bible (can't remember which book) fit better with an area in Saudi Arabia off the coast of the Red Sea. I've searched the Google but can't find any mention of this theory. I would love to find it again. Thanks, MeFi!
posted by drinkmaildave at 7:20 PM - 5 answers

March 25

Things The Bible said would happen, but didn't

Outside my work today I got to talking with a Jehovah's Witness. When talk turned to the Bible, I said I didn't take any of it literally. None of it REALLY happened like that. [more inside]
posted by BadgerDoctor at 4:23 PM - 13 answers

March 24

Jesus was a mushroom by John Allegro - full version ???

Does anyone know where the full version of this interview is???? http://youtu.be/IN-bURgoxPY This is only 42 seconds !!! This interview is so fascinating I just have to see the full version !! I've Been asking this question for literally years, I think there is a global conspiracy to stop me from watching the whole interview! Please Help!
posted by flexiverse at 5:55 PM - 4 answers

WWJD: What [Boundaries] Would Jesus Designate?

Growing up Christian with a fundamentalist slant, I internalized Jesus's "turn the other cheek" teachings to mean, "don't ever set boundaries or express anger."** I'm no longer Christian, but I'm working on reclaiming my spiritual past and figuring out what to keep and what to set aside. Are there texts that interpret the teachings of Jesus through a lens of social justice/personal boundaries/feminism/activism? I'm interested in scholarly or theological texts rather than pop psychology books. [more inside]
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:37 PM - 10 answers

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