Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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November 22, 2014

The world is that which is the straight face

It was said by Wittgenstein that a perfectly good work of philosophy could be written which was entirely composed of jokes. Has anyone done it, in analytical or continental philosophy? [more inside]
posted by curuinor at 9:18 PM - 13 answers

November 21, 2014

I don't speak German!

I'm looking for a copy of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations that isn't in the en face format (German on one page, English translation on the other). I had a straight Anscombe translation in college but have since lost it. Any ideas? Everything I've seen on Amazon is the en face. Thanks for your help!
posted by stinkfoot at 10:55 AM - 3 answers

November 18, 2014

Hephaistos - historical study

Hi! I'm interested in finding some information about the way that Hephaistos is guessed to have come to be worshipped in ancient Greece. Please note that I am not looking for psychological theories (for example: "he represents the creative drive, and functions as a symbol of social exclusion and early technology"), but historical ones (for example: "he is found on an Athenian vase in 500 BCE, but no earlier, so that may have been when they began worshipping him" or, for example: "the philosopher Anaxamagazine tells us that the Thracians worshipped Hephaistos above all other gods, so it is possible Thrace was the initial origin of his cult"). Book recommendations or well-sourced websites would both be welcome! If you're dropping by the thread to merely mention a fact you know regarding Mister Hammer's origin point, that's great, but please link to a primary source. Thank you!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:32 PM - 11 answers

November 16, 2014

Help me put together a funeral for a lost sense

A family member lost her sense of smell in an accident and we would like to hold a little "memorial ceremony" to help her process it. Can you think of any songs, poems, quotations, readings, symbolic activities we could use? Serious and humorous suggestions are fine.
posted by Naanwhal at 6:11 PM - 20 answers

November 13, 2014

Converting from atheism to religion

I've been basically a lifelong atheist, but a small part of me is extremely tempted by some of the more comforting aspects of various religions (such as the idea of an afterlife). But the logical part of me just can't bring myself to seriously believe in things for which there is no evidence. I am interested in hearing stories of people who have gone from being firmly atheist to accepting religion later in life, and how they were able to do so without cognitive dissonance. [more inside]
posted by Librarypt at 1:49 PM - 33 answers

What are good sources for an overview of early Christianity/Gnosticism?

Help me out, Hivemind. I'm looking for respectable, scholarly books, friendly to the layman, on the early beginnings of Christianity. More specifically, I'm interested in its first few centuries. I'm also hoping to attain a better understanding of Gnosticism and its place in Christianity's history. I am NOT looking for New Age-y neognostic inculcations.
posted by fignewton at 12:03 PM - 14 answers

November 10, 2014

Peppy, Upbeat Version of Gloria Patri and Doxology, c. 1980s, Presbyt.?

I'm looking for a peppy, upbeat, quick-paced version of the Gloria Patri and of the Doxology, perhaps in use in the 1980s. This is not the traditional, more stately version of the songs heard in most churches: it often took visitors by surprise. Does anyone have any suggested leads? (I would ideally need to hear it, since I can't read music well.) [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 5:54 PM - 7 answers

November 6, 2014

Fictional examples of self-deception?

My wife is working on her dissertation on the topic of self-deception and self-knowledge. She'd like to create a database of examples of self-deception from literature or film to better illustrate her work. What are some interesting or novel fictional examples of people who are (or have been) self-deceived, ignorant about themselves, or who, conversely, have unnaturally good insight into themselves?
posted by Bromius at 6:12 PM - 58 answers

November 5, 2014

Person I am close to is into a new confusing belief system

Someone I am close to is increasingly getting into the videos of a blogger who talks about an occult group as a stand in for the power elite, occult symbolism in media, the trivium, natural law, etc. My friend seems to see this person as a bringer of new truth, whereas upon my few listenings it mostly seems to be vaguely intellectual cobbling together of anti capitalism, some moral political philosophy, money is religion type stuff. My question is if there's a way for me to connect with him on these topics more generally. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 9:39 PM - 10 answers

November 4, 2014

Exploring Judaism when you weren't raised Jewish

Connecting to my Dad's past [more inside]
posted by winterportage at 8:52 PM - 18 answers

Accessible Scholarly Sources on the Book of Revelation

I recently happened to sit down and read the Book of Revelation in the Bible. Wow, that is some crazy shit! I'm now fascinated to learn more... [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite at 1:03 PM - 18 answers

October 18, 2014

Peasants and the Eucharist

Did English peasants in the Late Middle Ages--say, 14th c.--take Communion? If so, how often? How about the other sacraments?
posted by jwhite1979 at 4:30 PM - 16 answers

October 11, 2014

Whatever gets you out of bed in the morning

I'm looking for phrases to use when you see someone who has a strong passion the appeal of which you just cannot understand--a passion that appears to be one of the things the person lives for, one of the things that gets them out of bed in the morning. (I'm looking for secular passions, not religious ones.) Funny is good but not required. [more inside]
posted by early one morning at 6:48 PM - 52 answers

October 8, 2014

Historical Examples of "Giving a Child to God"

In the bible we have the example of the Prophet Samuel, whose mother is so grateful for him that she gives him to God to be raised by the priest Eli. Has this ever been a common practice – children being given over to an organized religious organization? Can anyone give me examples? More specifically, has the Vatican ever done this? [I'm not interested in the Philomena type of stories, with young girls getting pregnant, just because I'm already aware of them.]
posted by visual mechanic at 9:00 AM - 17 answers

October 7, 2014

Help me identify a fable.

I heard this in an ethics class several years ago. I believe the original fable is Indian in origin, but I'm not sure. Here is the overview according to my memory: [more inside]
posted by boo_radley at 12:06 PM - 3 answers

September 22, 2014

Egocentricity, Buddhism and Self-hate

How critical is it to understand the egocentricity/self-hate concept when reading Cheri Huber's 'There is Nothing Wrong With You'? [more inside]
posted by Jem and the Hooligans at 9:53 AM - 3 answers

September 16, 2014

How true is this, really?

In your personal experience, how true are quotes like these? "In the end, we only regret the chances we did not take" or "Regret for the things we have done will be tempered by time. It is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” [more inside]
posted by puppet du sock at 10:21 AM - 34 answers

September 15, 2014

Abolition of Slavery and Attitudes Towards Childhood

I have lately and coincidentally been reading (American) pre-Civil War history and also some Transcendentalist work and fiction from the era. One thing I've noticed is how often prominent abolitionists and Transcendentalists are noted as being unusually indulgent towards their children; the point is often echoed in fiction of the era. Can you point me to any studies or commentary on the relationship between abolitionist thought and attitudes towards childhood? (Any country is okay!) [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:27 PM - 8 answers

September 8, 2014

How big is the head of a pin?

When discussing how many "x" can fit on the head of a pin, are we talking about the pointed end or the end that one would push on? [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 1:49 PM - 21 answers

September 7, 2014

How can I get an overview of the major religions asap?

Hi, I'm an almost lifelong athiest. I have a job interview in 3 days (was given very little notice) for a job in a church. The job is pretty community-development-ish, but they are looking for someone with some understanding of different faiths. This is the one thing they want that I'm pretty thin on. I think it would also me good to know the main commonalities of them too. Any straightforward resources would be welcome. Thanks
posted by tanktop at 3:48 AM - 11 answers

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