Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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November 20

animism shmaninism!

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]
posted by elephantsvanish at 7:55 PM - 2 answers

November 19

James Caan, Kirk Douglas, and the late Dinah Shore-ah

Is it in poor taste for non-Jews to play/sing the Adam Sandler Chanukah song?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:32 PM - 14 answers

What to do with my (literal) emotional baggage?

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]
posted by whitelotus at 6:38 AM - 22 answers

November 17

What part of speech are mathematic operands?

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?
posted by notsnot at 1:46 PM - 15 answers

No really, nitrogen carbon and phosphorus don't have feelings

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]
posted by Tehhund at 8:19 AM - 21 answers

November 15

Under is bad, but what about adjacent-to-under?

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]
posted by Mchelly at 8:02 AM - 5 answers

November 14

Is anything that is vegan haram?

Is anything that is vegan haram?
posted by pompomtom at 4:47 AM - 12 answers

October 30

What do I say to the fox?

Help me process my feelings about this fox skull that was gifted to me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:05 AM - 16 answers

October 29

Sola Tido

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.
posted by michaelh at 1:48 PM - 1 answers

October 26

Church Recommendations: Madison

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]
posted by Kalmya at 3:59 PM - 2 answers

Readings about assimilating the disparities in human experience

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.
posted by Tess at 9:26 AM - 8 answers

October 20

crouton petter to the max

I have to get rid of a lot of my worldly possessions, and it is making me sad. [more inside]
posted by quadrilaterals at 3:16 PM - 26 answers

October 19

East Bay/Bay Area temple or church open late in the evenings?

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]
posted by zestful at 10:05 AM - 3 answers

October 13

What's comforting in philosophy?

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]
posted by Alensin at 9:10 PM - 17 answers

October 2

Spiritual newbie: "how do I identify enlightened masters?"

How does a non-enlightened spiritual seeker judge whether a teacher is enlightened, in the Buddhist sense of the word? [more inside]
posted by theorique at 10:52 AM - 16 answers

September 30

What are your desert island philosophy essays?

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]
posted by threecheesetrees at 4:26 AM - 18 answers

September 29

Repressive Desublimation

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]
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:12 AM - 5 answers

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 - 11 answers

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