Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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I've been reading a lovely but very heady book about animism. What are some other books (or other types of media) that explore animism themes further, and perhaps more directly? [more inside]
Is it in poor taste for non-Jews to play/sing the Adam Sandler Chanukah song?
I have been decluttering and I find myself unable to throw out coursework/dissertation copies from undergrad/grad school as well as equipment etc. associated with failed passions/dreams. [more inside]
I just heard a colleague mumble a change order number in Spanish, his native language. He said, "Numbers are the one thing I still have to do in Spanish - I learned tres mas cuatro es siete, not three plus four." Which got me to thinking, what part of speech are math operands? They're telling you to do something (verb) but they don't conjugate. Are they a conjunction? Something weird?
Is there a name for the logical fallacy that "the purpose of life is to pass on your genes?" I see this all over the place. [more inside]
According to superstition, walking under a ladder should be avoided because it brings bad luck. But what about when the ladder is leaning against something that you have to walk under? Is that still considered unlucky? Or is only the space directly under the ladder the bad-luck zone? [more inside]
Is anything that is vegan haram?
Help me process my feelings about this fox skull that was gifted to me. [more inside]
When did the Luther Rose begin to be associated with the Five Solas? I'm interested in who first joined those specific five to the symbol, but also if the petals were associated with fewer solas or other doctrinal points earlier.
I am looking for a church in Madison. I am very liberal, practicle, and am hoping to find a smaller community where many people have kids. [more inside]
I've seen a lot of discussion on this site about accepting the inherent unfairness of life. In addition to accepting the more surface disparities in life (such as the arbitrariness of people's financial status or mental and physical health), though, there's something related but a bit different that I've been thinking of. Each life consists of very good, very bad, and sometimes just plain confusing or mundane situations. How does one come to accept the fact that some people simply experience more 'very good' or 'very bad' things than others? I mean accept without a feeling of despair so one can live with that fact with understanding and insight. I've found Pema Chodron greatly helpful in this regard, but she can be general and abstract, as well as Buddhist in perspective in a way I'm not always seeking. I'm looking for any readings or even just anecdotes of how one can really grasp the varieties of human existence in an intelligent way.
I have to get rid of a lot of my worldly possessions, and it is making me sad. [more inside]
Do people know of any temples, churches, or spaces of worship in the Bay Area (preferably the East Bay, but will consider San Francisco) that are open later in the evenings, around 8-9pm? [more inside]
I'm in a bit of an unhappy place right now, a combination of political anxiety, loneliness, and general blah. I thought I would try something a little different from my usual escapist fiction, and have been wondering about philosophy with an emphasis on the uplifting or positive. I don't really know where to start, though. [more inside]
How does a non-enlightened spiritual seeker judge whether a teacher is enlightened, in the Buddhist sense of the word? [more inside]
This post on Roland Barthes has inspired me to run with a long-running urge I've had to put together a greatest hits reading list of classic (but not classical) philosophy essays. The thing is I'm not, nor have I ever been a philosophy major, so my list probably has some big holes in it. I've put what I've thought of so far below the fold, what would you add? [more inside]
Someone on Metafilter used the term "repressive desublimation" in a thread I was reading the other day and I want to make sure I understand it. [more inside]
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]
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.
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]