Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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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]
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]
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?
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.
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]
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]
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!
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]
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!
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]
I have a gig coming up where I will be spending a LOT of time with very, VERY religious Christians. I have been warned they may try to evangelize to me during this gig, and to politely keep my mouth closed. I assume that's the best advice; however, I was hoping to open this question up to believers and non-believers: If I am cornered into a conversation were it's impolite to not reply at all, what is the most polite way to get someone who's evangelizing to you to stop? Without saying things like "I'm an atheist" or "You're barking up the wrong tree, sorry". Ideally I'd find a careful, diplomatic way to respond without directly putting anyone off, as I have to build a relationship with these people as part of my job. The best response I can think of is "I'm actually very private with my religious beliefs, and don't tend to discuss them with people outside my family and close circle". Any additional suggestions and ideas are very welcome. Thank you!
Up until five minutes ago, I've always pronounced the word/name Moriah the same way you would say Mariah Carey's name. But Baby Name Voyager says the correct pronunciation is mo-RAY-uh. Am I in the wrong here? (Biblical experts, or just name experts, help me out!)
In a sentence (or less), when it's late at night, you can't fall asleep, and your thoughts begin to spiral out of control, how do you comfort yourself?
When I was growing up, in the seventies and eighties, Eastern Orthodoxy was pretty much an ethno-faith. That is, to be Orthodox was to be Greek, or Ukrainian or Russian or any of the historically orthodox nationalities who had immigrated to this country, along with a few outsiders who had married into the faith. Nowadays, however, things have changed . . . [more inside]
Having studied Christian theology in college, I am aware that much of what we have reflecting ancient Greek and Roman religious belief survives because Christian apologists were refuting source materials drawn from that culture. But what else do we actually know? [more inside]
My fiance and I are both atheists with strong antitheist views. We're getting married in November and want something that represents us. His family, however, is extremely religious (Baptist) and will have certain expectations of us; they don't easily take no for an answer. What is the best way to balance the two worlds? [more inside]
I need to learn how to think about relationships that are "more than just" friendships. This needs to happen before I start to consider whether I want that kind of relationship, so I'm not looking for any kind of practical guide. Perhaps that means I need to read philosophy texts, in which case I'd like some recommendations for that; or maybe you have a better idea of what I need. [more inside]
The last of my grandparents just passed away (it was peaceful and expected) but I'm struggling to hold myself together. I think my grieving is normal since it just happened but I'd love to hear advice and techniques to think of his life and death in positive, comforting ways. [more inside]
Can you give me quotes from historical or mythical religious figures on the thought that life is process, that one is never "finished"?
What is the best way to start lecturing on a new self-help / philosophy type concept? Is it better to organize your own lectures first, or to join various existing conferences? If the former, does anyone have any tips or pointers to books on how best to organize and effectively publicize these lectures, and stories about how others have done it? If the latter, does anyone have any tips on how to successfully apply for a speaking slot at a conference? No blog-related tips, please.