Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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May 5

Tune in, turn on, read a book.

Who are the modern Robert Anton Wilsons? [more inside]
posted by cmoj at 11:42 AM - 14 answers

May 4

Why are spiritual mediators characterized by self-denial?

Brahmins, shamans, priests, ascetics, monks, holy kings - all of them have some kind of taboo or another that prohibits sex or the tastiest food items. Jesus, Buddha, and Moses all had intense experiences of deprivation and self-denial before spiritual zeniths. My question is - why is that those individuals considered the most spiritually powerful are also taxed with the most prohibitions or expected to have undergone difficult and costly experiences? [more inside]
posted by mrmanvir at 2:43 PM - 17 answers

May 3

Godbaby's christening gift

What should we get our godbaby for his christening present? [more inside]
posted by mgrrl at 1:24 PM - 9 answers

All art must be easy?

I remember reading a philosopher say something to the effect of "all art should appear easy" or "all art should be easy to make." Anyone have any ideas who this might have been? I think maybe it's somewhere in Nietzsche or Schlegel.
posted by matkline at 1:18 PM - 6 answers

May 2

The war on daydreaming

I have been working on meditating. It's definitely helped me in several ways. But now this app is telling me to stop daydreaming. I love daydreaming. I'm conflicted! Can I ignore this? [more inside]
posted by Kalmya at 7:03 PM - 16 answers

April 22

book recommendations

In Wade Davis' book Into The Silence, he mentions the Tibetan plateau as the meeting place of various religions of the world. Can you recommend books that cover or relate to this subject? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:36 AM - 4 answers

April 21

How is this question like those other four questions?

So my contribution to the seder tomorrow is a reading/poem/spoken word piece/joke/interpretive dance/whatever about The Four Questions. What should I contribute? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 10:00 PM - 3 answers

April 18

What can the lonely do passover?

The few friends I have are either Christian or Athiest. I'm not religious as I grew up in a completely secular home. I don't know a shred of hebrew and have barely gone to synogogue in my life. But I'd like to become a little more involved in Judiasm so I recently joined a congregation. The thing is I still... [more inside]
posted by rancher at 9:55 AM - 17 answers

April 15

Whose famous last "words" were a punctuation mark?

I recall reading, some years ago, about a semi-famous intellectual--I believe it was a philosopher, or theologian, or author--who, on his/her deathbed, wrote a single punctuation mark as his/her last "words." The mark was either a comma or a semicolon, if I recall correctly. No matter how hard I try, I can't find the answer via Google.
posted by duffell at 7:05 AM - 9 answers

April 14

Theological determinism and free-will... can they both exist?

Greetngs - I am not a philosopher (and that may be evident from my question) nor a mathematician (perhaps even more evident): Can theological determinism and free-will co-exist, and is there an example or analog in mathematics which could illustrate this?
posted by brownrd at 6:01 AM - 12 answers

April 5

Freud's Quote(s) About Psychology Only Being Able To Minimize Neurosis

Looking for a quote by Freud on how the common state of the modern person is neurotic, and that psychoanalysis at best can only minimize neurosis to a regular and tolerable level [more inside]
posted by cotesdurhone at 10:27 PM - 0 answers

April 4

Fast-track Catholic First communion and confirmation

I was baptized Catholic, but never got my first communion or was confirmed. Circumstances have me searching for a way to achieve both as soon as possible. Is there somewhere online to do this or a way to get this done in the next three weeks? [more inside]
posted by Fuego at 8:16 PM - 60 answers

Can someone still be a thinker?

How can a person not affiliated with a higher learning institution publish ideas of a more abstract nature, but also rooted in reality and science ? Are there any reputable journals that straddle the line between speculative fiction, futurism, philosophy and science that would publish an article from someone yet unpublished in the academic world? I'm not sure what I should google for, that's why I'm asking here. I have some ideas and would like to write an essay.
posted by spacefire at 12:39 PM - 9 answers

April 1

Mass cards for United Methodists?

My wife's grandfather just passed. I asked for an address where to send a mass card, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I thought this was a common thing to send to the family of the deceased. Some further investigation revealed that mass cards are a strictly Catholic thing, and not all Christian religions use them. My wife's parents attend a United Methodist church, so I figure it is safe to assume that is their religion. So what do United Methodists do for funerals?
posted by tckma at 11:25 AM - 11 answers

March 27

How and how much to pay the minister?

Next month, my siblings and I will have an interment ceremony when our parents' ashes will be placed in a vault. The vault is on the grounds of the Methodist church they attended and the minister of the church will preside over the ceremony. As none of us are churchgoers, we're in the dark as to the etiquette involved: whether and how much to pay the minister for his services and the mechanics of such a transaction. Cash? Check? Payable to him or the church? Amount? Any guidance appreciated.
posted by pasici at 4:45 PM - 9 answers

How do people avoid burnout?

I love my clients, I love my coworkers, I love the work I do, but although there are many wonderful moments of connection and times when I get to see my clients succeed, overall my work is unrelentingly enraging and grim. I want to keep doing this kind of work, but after less than two years, I already end most days feeling depleted, angry, and hopeless. Social service/healthcare/helper colleagues, how do you keep going? [more inside]
posted by latkes at 1:54 PM - 22 answers

March 25

Cross cultural Engagement party

My colleague has been invited to an engagement party for his friends who are Indian-Fijian Hindu. What can he expect at the party and what would be an appropriate gift? If it matters everyone lives in Australia at present.
posted by MT at 5:31 PM - 2 answers

March 22

John Nash and the establishment of reality

In the film A Beautiful Mind, John Nash struggles with realistic hallucinations of imaginary people. At one point, a representative from the Nobel Prize approaches Nash, and Nash checks with a student familiar to him to verify that the Nobel rep is real. How would someone in Nash's position know that the student was real? How would such a person establish the reality of anything? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:33 AM - 6 answers

March 21

Books on reading premodern texts from a modern perspective

How literally should I be interpreting ancient and medieval stories and texts? I gather this is an open question among modern scholars, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any books that deal with it. [more inside]
posted by teponaztli at 5:39 AM - 7 answers

March 10

Source of Mickey and Donald's Strange Philosophy

Does anyone know the source of the dialogue in this strange Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck comic panel edit? [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine at 8:36 AM - 2 answers

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