Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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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.
December 23, 2014
We are looking for a "midnight" mass Christmas service in Providence or Warwick, RI. We are not religious and don't live there, but nonetheless have very specific desires (after the break). [more inside]
December 19, 2014
Is there some kind of discernible justification for the allowance of the word "em" (meaning, the letter "m") in Scrabble, and not, say for example, the "word" "ee" (meaning, the letter "e")? I mean, who the heck decided "em" was a word, and if it is, why aren't all letters "words"?! [more inside]
When I was young, I remember reading a Jewish fable, or maybe even many different versions of a fable, about a wily trickster who outwits someone or something who is holding him or his community hostage. It might have been Herschel or Hillel, but whoever it is, he succeeds by bluffing that he is going to do something awful if he doesn't get what he wants. [more inside]
December 14, 2014
Please help me decide how to ethically consume books now that I'm the owner of a brand shiny new Kindle. [more inside]
December 12, 2014
There are widespread reports that the Pope now claims that animals go to heaven, based on this article from the illustrious Daily Express newspaper, and in particular this line: “One day we will see our animals again in eternity of Christ’, Francis quoted Paul as saying. Is this a real quote attributed to Paul, or is the Express making shit up, or is Francis making shit up, or what is happening
December 10, 2014
Two-part question about books of angelology: one specific and one more general. [more inside]
December 3, 2014
Quick 'n dirty: is there a name (in either classical logic/reasoning OR a newly-coined term) for the belief that "if you hold a different opinion on a topic than I, it must be due to a deficiency in information/experience/intelligence on YOUR part" (in other words - "anyone sufficiently smart/experienced/informed, when presented with this issue, would inevitably draw the same conclusion as I"). E.g. "You're a [member of political party] NOW, but that's only because you haven't [something] yet!", or "Wow, you believe in [thing]... maybe you should DO SOME RESEARCH and see if you don't change your tune!"
November 30, 2014
I'm paraphrasing, obviously, but I recently encountered the Thoughts of a Prominent Thinker who's belief in the existence of god is based, somewhat backwardsly, on the sheer ridiculousness? improbability? unlikelihood? of god's existence. I can't for the life of me track down the specific memory attached to this idea, and google only gives me a bunch of websites arguing about how to prove god does or does not exist. Help me out, friends!
November 28, 2014
My mom has been attending a new church whose congregants regularly fret over what they call "The Black Moon." The talk amongst the folks there (though not--as far as I know--from the pulpit itself) is that the Bible predicts a stock market crash in October of next year. What in the holy hell are they talking about? And, on a scale of one to ten, exactly how bananas are these people? [more inside]
November 26, 2014
Two points in the early chapters of Karen Armstrong's "The Case for God" are really bothering me, almost to the point of putting the book down in frustration; can the hivemind put my doubts to rest by answering two questions about religious history: First about the validity of Armstrong's "logos/mythos" distinction, and second, about the current thinking on the documentary hypothesis? [more inside]
November 23, 2014
I love reading Chinese philosophy, and I'm looking to get into some Korean philosophy, just to see what their take is. But I'm having trouble figuring out where to start. I'd like to read uniquely Korean things, or takes on confucianism and taoism, from any time period, or just interesting thoughts posed by Korean philosophers. I'd also like to read some Japanese texts in the same vein, and once again don't really know where to start. I'm looking for the best English translations. Any suggestions?