Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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May 24

Help me focus away from nauseating thoughts

I ate something that is against my beliefs, for the first time in my entire life (due to a miscommunication). I feel very nauseated - my thoughts focus on my body and wanting to throw up (I tried but am unable to?). Can I refocus thought away from the thing inside me? Or you know any help for nausea that is just psychosomatic? I know I did not do this on purpose, it's that I can't escape my thoughts about the physical act of chewing and swallowing it and about the animal dying for it.
posted by anonymous at 8:39 PM - 14 answers

May 16

Would Wittgenstein distinguish between "all that" and "that which"?

I've most often seen the first proposition of the Tractatus quoted as "The world is that which is the case." (The 2014 film and the line in the chorus from The New Pornographers' Chump Change, eg.) But Ogden translates it as "The world is everything that is the case," and Pears/McGuiness as "The world is all that is the case." Is there an important difference here? Asking cuz potential tattoo.
posted by PMdixon at 2:47 PM - 15 answers

May 12

I'm interested in existential psychotherapy

I'm interested in existential psychotherapy. What are the most accessible for the layperson texts out there about it?
posted by josher71 at 9:14 AM - 3 answers

April 26

small-scale plagiarism: right or wrong?

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]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:53 AM - 60 answers

April 23

I'm looking for a specific Peter Singer quote.

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]
posted by stellathon at 11:32 PM - 4 answers

How selfish is it OK to be in life?

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?
posted by sninctown at 12:48 PM - 18 answers

April 17

Help me find English-language Zen Centers in (Eastern) Europe.

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.
posted by jpziller at 2:56 PM - 5 answers

April 12

Biblical verses of comfort for the dying

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]
posted by nanook at 11:27 AM - 10 answers

April 4

"For entertainment purposes only"

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]
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:39 PM - 13 answers

April 2

Theory that the biblical holy land was not in present day Israel

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!
posted by drinkmaildave at 7:20 PM - 5 answers

March 25

Things The Bible said would happen, but didn't

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]
posted by BadgerDoctor at 4:23 PM - 13 answers

March 24

Jesus was a mushroom by John Allegro - full version ???

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!
posted by flexiverse at 5:55 PM - 4 answers

WWJD: What [Boundaries] Would Jesus Designate?

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]
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 5:37 PM - 10 answers

March 21

What is the most polite way to respond to a Christian evangelist?

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!
posted by zettoo at 3:03 PM - 29 answers

February 25

Pronunciation of Moriah

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!)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:10 PM - 14 answers

February 20

a quick one

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?
posted by t(h)om(as) at 3:58 AM - 88 answers

February 18

Demographic Changes in the Eastern Orthodox Church in the USA?

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]
posted by jason's_planet at 9:51 AM - 13 answers

February 17

What do we know about ancient religious faith?

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]
posted by jefficator at 10:50 AM - 18 answers

February 8

How do we tell his family that we are having a secular wedding?

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]
posted by DriftingLotus at 7:56 PM - 30 answers

February 7

Help me get started studying relationships.

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]
posted by LogicalDash at 3:52 AM - 10 answers

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