Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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September 8

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

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

September 4

Rebutting anti-Islamic sentiments

Someone close to me has become more and more vocal and virulent about their anti-Islamic views, even going so far as to claim that moderates refuse to listen to criticism of extremists & terrorists. I am looking for examples of Muslim writers and speakers to counteract these arguments, and show that the overwhelming majority of people within Islam do not support atrocities. Thanks.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:06 PM - 12 answers

August 24

Why do Islamic extremists hold up one finger?

What is the meaning of the #1 sign you see in photos of Muslims when they're celebrating a beheading or terrorist achievement? [more inside]
posted by pallen123 at 8:48 PM - 22 answers

August 23

Throwing starfish

What are your associations with Loren Eiseley's "The Star Thrower"? [more inside]
posted by bad grammar at 4:54 PM - 7 answers

August 19

How do you get the most from Al Anon when some of it isn't your thing?

Hi, I go for periods and first went a few years ago. Sometimes I feel a real sense of camaraderie/connection and take away useful insights, at others I feel I am being a bit indoctrinated (a BIG no no for me) by a theory I have questions and concerns about. I'm an athiest and so the higher power talk can be awkward for me, but it's totally not my only issue. [more inside]
posted by tanktop at 3:04 AM - 11 answers

August 10

Recommendations for diverse Christian churches in Tricities, Washington?

My wife and I are relocating to Tricities, Washington, for a new job at Pacific Northwest National Lab. Our Christian faith is really important to us and we're looking for recommendations for culturally diverse, Spirit-led churches. We're coming from a smaller church, so I think we'd prefer something along the same lines, and we'd like to find opportunities to serve. Does anyone have recommendations for the area? Thanks!
posted by Aanidaani at 1:24 PM - 1 answers

August 8

Buddhist baby blessing

A couple of weeks ago, my newborn son and I received a blessing from a Buddhist monk, in hospital here in the UK. He recited some words to each of us in a foreign language, and then tied yellow threads on our wrists. I would love to know what the words meant, and the significance of the thread, if anyone knows? Thanks!
posted by prune at 2:11 AM - 1 answers

August 2

Life's Little Luxuries?

I'm looking to raise my game in all sorts of areas and seeking advice on the things you've invested time and money in that lift your life out of the ordinary... [more inside]
posted by Caskeum at 10:09 AM - 44 answers

Can you recommend a substitute for a hairshirt?

I seek to be a constant (low-level) state of pain and discomfort. Hairshirts, though, seem unhygienic, difficult to purchase, and likely to fall apart. Can anybody recommend a good substitute? Thanks. (Spiritual reasons.)
posted by Opengreen at 6:59 AM - 18 answers

August 1

And what do we say when He sneezes?

Some prayers invoke blessings on God. Is there a theological justification for this, or is it a translation error? [more inside]
posted by jackbishop at 4:41 AM - 13 answers

Beautiful, meditative books for a godless twelve stepper

I'm looking for spiritual but not religious books on recovery in the AA tradition. [more inside]
posted by Acheman at 4:40 AM - 11 answers

July 20

Help me put together a secular/humanist baby naming ceremony

Baby WanKenobi will be six months old on Saturday, and we're finally giving her a Hebrew name. Help us make our backyard ceremony cool without getting too God-ish. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:26 AM - 16 answers

July 4

Buddhist Blogs

Can you recommend some good blogs with a Buddhist perspective? [more inside]
posted by meese at 10:55 PM - 13 answers

July 2

Seeking faith as an atheist.

I've been an atheist for most of my life. I've never been to a formal church service outside of a wedding or a funeral. Recently I've realized that I politically agree with the leftist interpretation of the teachings of Christ. I still don't believe in the supernatural aspects of the Christian faith. Would it be wrong for me to seek out a left leaning sect like Unitarians? I'm worried that this is, at the very least, intellectually dishonest to my own beliefs, and more likely, selfish for the church I'd pursue. I'm looking for guidance on how to proceed. I apologize if I've offended the faithful with a misunderstanding of their beliefs. Part of my desire for this is that of community and connection with fellow left leaning folks.
posted by anonymous at 8:39 AM - 41 answers

June 29

Change & Drawing from Within

I was curious as to what others have done when they are not sure as to what they need to change to make their lives better? I am a big believer in therapy but it is also very problem oriented and can focus too much on deficits. I guess what I'm asking is how do you know what you need to change in your life? How do you know if you have fallen off the path of what you need to do in your life? [more inside]
posted by nidora at 5:08 PM - 5 answers

Progressive religiousish communities in NYC?

Someone I know who is about to graduate from college would like to participate in a religious community in some way and is interested in exploring hyper-progressive religious institutions in New York City (if any exist). [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster at 8:11 AM - 12 answers

June 19

Please recommend a short piece I can recite at a Winter Solstice party.

I've been invited to a Winter Solstice party and the host would like me to participate by reciting a poem or short written piece. My muse has deserted me so I can't write anything at the moment. What would be a good piece to share?
posted by h00py at 7:35 AM - 14 answers

June 13

How to respond to Mars exploration vs feed the hungry?

Today, I was enthusing about a photograph from the surface of Mars, and a friend responded along the following lines: "I find it hard to get excited about it when there are so many starving people here on Earth. We should fix our own problems before exploring other planets." How could I have responded? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:30 AM - 39 answers

June 4

Church tax on income - consistent with the bible?

I'm not religious, but would like to know whether the enforcement of a tax on income by the church in some countries - normally around 1% - is consistent with the bible.
posted by devnull at 1:21 AM - 14 answers

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