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Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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July 20

Help me put together a secular/humanist baby naming ceremony
Baby WanKenobi will be six months old on Saturday, and we're finally giving her a Hebrew name. Help us make our backyard ceremony cool without getting too God-ish. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:26 AM - 14 answers

July 4

Buddhist Blogs
Can you recommend some good blogs with a Buddhist perspective? [more inside]
posted by meese at 10:55 PM - 12 answers

July 2

Seeking faith as an atheist.
I've been an atheist for most of my life. I've never been to a formal church service outside of a wedding or a funeral. Recently I've realized that I politically agree with the leftist interpretation of the teachings of Christ. I still don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith. Would it be wrong for me to seek out a left leaning sect like Unitarians? I'm worried that this is, at the very least, intellectually dishonest to my own beliefs, and more likely, selfish for the church I'd pursue. I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. I apologize if I've offended the faithful with a misunderstanding of their beliefs. Part of my desire for this is that of community and connection with fellow left leaning folks.
posted by anonymous at 8:39 AM - 41 answers

June 29

Change & Drawing from Within
I was curious as to what others have done when they are not sure as to what they need to change to make their lives better? I am a big believer in therapy but it is also very problem oriented and can focus too much on deficits. I guess what I'm asking is how do you know what you need to change in your life? How do you know if you have fallen off the path of what you need to do in your life? [more inside]
posted by nidora at 5:08 PM - 5 answers

Progressive religiousish communities in NYC?
Someone I know who is about to graduate from college would like to participate in a religious community in some way and is interested in exploring hyper-progressive religious institutions in New York City (if any exist). [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster at 8:11 AM - 12 answers

June 19

Please recommend a short piece I can recite at a Winter Solstice party.
I've been invited to a Winter Solstice party and the host would like me to participate by reciting a poem or short written piece. My muse has deserted me so I can't write anything at the moment. What would be a good piece to share?
posted by h00py at 7:35 AM - 14 answers

June 13

How to respond to Mars exploration vs feed the hungry?
Today, I was enthusing about a photograph from the surface of Mars, and a friend responded along the following lines: "I find it hard to get excited about it when there are so many starving people here on Earth. We should fix our own problems before exploring other planets." How could I have responded? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:30 AM - 39 answers

June 4

Church tax on income - consistent with the bible?
I'm not religious, but would like to know whether the enforcement of a tax on income by the church in some countries - normally around 1% - is consistent with the bible.
posted by devnull at 1:21 AM - 14 answers

May 29

Calling all medievalists! The Tree of the Seven Deadly Sins
I had a particularly useful version of this in a book some years ago while teaching a class on Chaucer's The Merchant's Tale. It was an (I think) early monochrome block-print of a tree with the peripheral twigs and branches taking one from multiple minor indiscretions to the core seven branches of the deadly sins. For example the twig of impatience might lead to the the branch of wrath. Google image search is not throwing up the detailed "mind-map" tree I recall. It may have been a more modern representation/interpretation of the idea.
posted by Hugobaron at 11:22 AM - 3 answers

Being Inclusive of All Religions in Girl Scout Troop
How to deal with a member of my daughter's girl scout troop whose religious beliefs make it difficult to engage in regular group activities? [more inside]
posted by Creamroller at 6:15 AM - 48 answers

May 28

Introductory history of Western philosophy & thought?
I'm looking for a good overview of Western philosophy for beginners. [more inside]
posted by Grinder at 6:51 AM - 15 answers

May 22

"To own a book is to want a shelf..."
I'm trying to find any record of a saying I once heard attributed to St. Francis of Assisi; it goes something like, "To own a book is to want a shelf to put it on; to own a shelf is to want a room to put the shelf in; to own a room is to want a house; to own a house"...etc., my memory is very vague after this point. Anyone heard something like this before?
posted by daisystomper at 8:40 PM - 4 answers

May 8

Where to speak about new philosophies?
Suppose you had new philosophical and/or religious ideas meant to be taken seriously. Suppose they were relatively unaffiliated with any particular religious community or conventional academic conversation. Suppose you were not a celebrity. Where, particularly in New York City, would be places open to new speakers with these kinds of ideas? Where might sophisticated, sympathetic, open-minded audiences be found?
posted by shivohum at 7:45 PM - 7 answers

May 2

General advice for non-Muslim woman attending a Muslim burial?
Should I, a non-Muslim woman, wear a hijab to a Muslim burial? What else do I need to know to avoid offending anyone there? [more inside]
posted by Tarumba at 11:46 AM - 13 answers

May 1

Things to reflect on during your birthday
I'm turning 22 soon, and it’s been one hell of a year. Birthdays have always been a good time for me to reflect on things. Any suggestions on things to reflect on, questions to think about, or ways to plan for the year ahead?
posted by markbao at 3:43 PM - 13 answers

How can I practice gratitude while recognizing and fighting injustice?
I'm trying to practice gratitude, release old grudges and generally be a happier person. However, I find that a lot of the advice like 'don't compare yourself to others,' 'count your blessings,' 'assume that others have good intentions,' ... doesn't address the fact that some people DON'T have good intentions, workplaces are often sexist and racist, and privilege means some people automatically have an easier time of it. How can I be content with what I have while still working for a better world? [more inside]
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 12:41 PM - 35 answers

April 21

Looking for a film about Easter for a small child
Small child paid more attention than expected at our Easter services and is now retelling us with gusto how Mary nailed Jesus to the wood and then he melted (death as understood by her from Raymond Brigg's The Snowman) and then woke up again. Only with a lot more details and blood. The story is quite mixed up in her mind because she's pieced it together from icons and gospel passages and questions we've answered. We're matter-of-fact about death etc in our household, and she's very interested in emotional narratives, so this is fascinating and confusing her. The children's bibles we have elide over the actual details of the crucifixion, and while I can and have read her the actual accounts, they're a struggle for her to follow the language. Is there a film or animation out there that includes the crucifixion and resurrection but doesn't revel in the gore like Mel Gibson, or reduce it to singing vegetables?
posted by viggorlijah at 7:29 PM - 10 answers

April 18

"...when we stop suffering like animals and start suffering like men"
I've been on the hunt for the original of a quote that seems to have become a leftist proverb. The quote is paraphrased in the following way: [Communism/Socialism/Utopia/Freedom] will be when we stop suffering like animals and start suffering like human beings. Does this ring a bell for anyone? [more inside]
posted by gerryblog at 12:53 PM - 2 answers

April 13

How did you decide between Catholicism and Protestantism?
If you converted from Catholicism to a Protestant denomination (or vice versa), what swayed you? [more inside]
posted by sunnychef88 at 7:15 PM - 13 answers

Have you ever built a labyrinth?
I feel a call to build a labyrinth. I might be able to do this in a public space (think college campus, or residence). What tips or guidance do you have about materials, plans, or the like?
posted by Riverine at 5:40 PM - 17 answers

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