Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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September 18

existential angst-filter

My friend died. I am struggling with, I am sure, extremely normal feelings like "what's it all about anyway?" How do I work through this? My heart is telling me to quit my job and run away to the countryside but I'm fairly sure this is temporary craziness brought about by bereavement. [more inside]
posted by sockandawe at 4:12 AM - 15 answers

September 10

Bible readings for end of life

My non-religious partner would like to read for a while to a relative who is passing quietly away at a great old age. As the relative has always read the Bible my partner thought that would be a nice thing to read aloud as we sit company. Can you please suggest some passages that might be suitable? These might be ones that have a comforting message for us or be about "the end of the day" or something, or indeed just interesting parables to read aloud. Ideally not too heavy-handily about death or judgement day or going to live with god etc. My partner is thinking New Testament, but we are open to whatever.
posted by Iteki at 11:19 AM - 13 answers

September 1

Is a proof of "P versus NP" itself subject to the P/NP argument?

There are reports again on the internet that "P versus NP" has been resolved. I'm not a mathematician, but did this set me wondering, as it is an interesting question, whether the proof of P/NP was in itself a case of a P/NP problem. So: Could we program a computer to attack P/NP? [more inside]
posted by carter at 5:30 AM - 10 answers

August 25

Help me identify this older Christian song.

I have this bit of music in my head that I cannot positively identify or find online. The time I would have heard it would have been early or mid 80s, probably '83 or '84. I think it was sort of spoken word, set to music. It was (mostly?) about the crucifixion of Jesus. [more inside]
posted by xedrik at 10:22 PM - 7 answers

August 18

Your Vision Quest experience

My therapist has suggested that I may be ready for a Vision Quest. So I am researching what that might mean for me. [more inside]
posted by allelopath at 5:20 AM - 4 answers

August 16

Help me be a better informed opponent of Islamophobia.

I encounter Islamophobia either in media or in actual conversations with people on occasion, and I feel out of my depth in responding. I understand that practicing Muslims are a diverse group across many dozens of countries, cultures, and political viewpoints, but beyond that I need some help. What are some sources for learning? [more inside]
posted by kensington314 at 11:43 AM - 15 answers

Finding a Jewish community

With everything that's been happening lately, I've started to want more of a connection with my local Jewish community. Problem is, I don't know where to start. [more inside]
posted by marfa, texas at 9:01 AM - 11 answers

August 6

Help Me Explore a Spanish Philosopher!

Do 'very good' English translations of Trías exist? Got a secret source? [more inside]
posted by j_curiouser at 10:03 PM - 1 answers

Bob Ross, Jim Henson, and Fred Rogers walk into a bar....

I recently saw a clip of Jim Henson talking about making puppets and he had this totally zen, chilled-out vibe that reminded me of Bob Ross and Fred Rogers (and Cheech and Chong). Both relaxed and relaxing. [more inside]
posted by bq at 7:38 PM - 14 answers

July 30

Fixing my prejudices about religion/faith

I have it in my head that strong (Christian) religious faith is incompatible with being intelligent and/or progressive. I don't see it as rational and I have held ideas that, for example, Barack Obama was just pretending to be religous to be palatable - but now, I don't think this is at all correct. Can you point me towards readings/links to help fix my prejudice? [more inside]
posted by ftm at 1:38 PM - 45 answers

July 28

Questions about a quote

Did Jonathan Edwards really say "the road to Hell is paved with the skulls of unbaptized infants"? If so, where and when did he say it? [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 10:10 AM - 4 answers

July 25

Did Medieval English Catholics make the sign of the Cross?

I can't seem to find an answer on my own, so I'm hoping Metafilter’s resident experts on history and religion can shed some light on the subject. [more inside]
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:49 PM - 5 answers

July 21

Feminist information/ mythology/ explanations about menstruation

I need help conceptualizing what happens to my mind when I'm PMSing from a holistic/ feminist /empowering perspective and am looking for traditional rituals, self care options, and/or mythological explanations that "value the divine feminine energy" instead of the misogynist assumption that "women are hormonal". I'm looking for spiritual/ psychological healing options rather than help with the physical cramps and headaches and etc. [more inside]
posted by winterportage at 4:11 PM - 11 answers

July 6

Suggestions for humanist book group?

Sort of by accident, I've volunteered to organise a small "humanist/secularist/pluralist" group. This looks likely to take the form of a book club. Can anyone recommend some suitable books? Specific requirements inside. [more inside]
posted by Perodicticus potto at 2:54 PM - 16 answers

June 22

Trying to find Aussie comedienne's TED talk about anal bleaching

I'm trying to find an amazing TEDx talk I watched recently about vanity, mortality and anal bleaching. An Australian comedienne. Help! [more inside]
posted by asavage at 8:06 AM - 1 answers

June 14

Combo tropical/sidereal astrology readings?

I am looking for an astrologer to work with personally over the phone or even email who could check out both my tropical and sidereal (aka western and Vedic) zodiacs and make a composite chart and then explain it to me basically. [more inside]
posted by jitterbug perfume at 9:20 PM - 2 answers

June 12

Non-Biblical Readings for an Infant Baptism

I'm looking for a reading for an infant baptism from a source other than the Bible. There will be at least one biblical reading, but I'd like to have at least one non-Bible reading. I'm open to both secular readings and spiritual or religious readings from sources other than the Bible. Possible themes: welcoming into the community, parents' responsibility to children, gratitude for the gift of a child, what a child brings to a family or community, things along those lines. [more inside]
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:08 PM - 9 answers

June 9


I am sure this will be an easy one for those who know what I am talking about. It was a pop-philosophy utilitarian analysis of thief vs producer / smart vs stupid, shown on a four quadrant grid. What is that essay? [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 5:51 AM - 2 answers

June 4

Tell me about disagreements in Christianity

Following the recent Islamic extremist attacks in the UK, a narrative has come from the far right that somehow all Muslims think the same way and believe the same things. It seems that western societies are open to the idea of variation and disagreement within Christian culture, but tend to see Islamic cultures as homogenous. What examples are there of major disagreements within Christianity? [more inside]
posted by matthew.alexander at 5:44 AM - 29 answers

June 2

Addressing a Buddhist monk by email

I recently met a Buddhist monk who asked for my email address so we could stay in touch. He introduced himself in person with a name like "James" and begins his email with, "I'm James, the monk who met you today." But his email also includes the sentence, "Below is my title and ordained name." He signed the email with his ordained name. How do I most respectfully address a reply to him? With James? Or the ordained name? Or "venerable" + ordained name?
posted by adiabat at 2:57 PM - 8 answers

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