So, I've been trying to hash out my philosophic and intangible beliefs and I realized that the only thing I really, truly connect with in a belief sense is Nothing, the dark. To be clear, I don't mean this melodramatically, I simply mean this in the sense that I find the fact that when I close my eyes at night that the idea that, as Roger Ebert put it, "I was perfectly content before I was born" comes to mind. That there is more that does not exist in this world than does. From John Locke (blank slate ideas) to Nietzche and religion, can you good people point me very broadly in the direction of thoughts on the nothing that surrounds us? Thanks! posted by sendai sleep master at 11:28 AM - 15 answers
I'm looking to collect as many specific examples as I can, of instances in which specific Republican/conservative behaviors and/or political moves have directly contradicted the teachings of Christ. Some specific examples within. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 3:18 PM - 21 answers
I've lately been thinking a lot about the notion that "dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return," in that nothing we humans do in our relatively short lifespans makes a "dent" in the universe. Or why it would even matter if it did make said dent -- after all, why not just live in the now? Why do we continue as a people?
I quite enjoy life. But as a young person, when I look at the years in front of me, I often wonder why it is that I am not a hedonist, or why as a society we do not crumble to hedonism when the cosmos will be practically indifferent to our toil on this planet.
It's hard for me to even articulate, but I feel a weight upon my shoulders that comes from unanswered questions of our existence. Can anyone clarify for me what I am wondering about, and then further recommend some reading on the subject? Surely the philosophers must have analyzed these gnawing feelings for hundreds of year, but I don't know what to look for.
Thank you. posted by saperlipopette at 10:22 PM - 15 answers
I've been asked by a friend of mine who is a marriage officiant to translate his marriage ceremony speech into English, and I have a question about wording. In a secular marriage, can you say "joined together in matrimony", or do you have to say "joined together in marriage"? [more inside] posted by gkhan at 1:08 PM - 7 answers
I am struggling to remember or find a line from what I think was a work of philosophy, something like:"at the heart [center] of every system [of belief | of thought | world-construct] is a secret [hidden] trangression [contradiction | inversion | denial]" [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:20 PM - 15 answers
Within the past year or two (approx.), there was a book published that laid out (in a somewhat light-hearted, abbreviated manner, for mass market) many various imaginings from religion, folklore, etc., of what life after death may be like. Can anyone recall it for me? posted by mmiddle at 7:47 AM - 5 answers
I'm trying to identify some current thinkers on the concepts of space and place, specifically in regards to the rise of social media, the internet, etc. I'm looking for writings from the last 5 years. Which authors (or works) should I be looking at? posted by Stynxno at 5:43 AM - 9 answers
Did Hume, in writing about the problem of induction, go on any thing like a tangent about how we might as well just row out into the middle of the sea? [more inside] posted by PMdixon at 4:55 PM - 2 answers
I decided to toy a bit with paraliminals. I remember someone on here recommended some that ran about 5 bucks each (I think) but I can't for the life of me find that post now.
Any other mefites listen to these and have any recommendations? posted by WinterSolstice at 11:50 AM - 0 answers
This past December, I went to Union Square in Manhattan, where there is a regular farmers' market and a seasonal Christmas market, the latter of which attracted a lot more people than usual, so there was a teaming mass of humanity to contend with as well. On the pavement, one of them left behind what I first thought, from its larger-than-average-playing card size, and diagonal pattern on the back, to have been a tarot card. However, when I turned it over, it was like no other tarot card I had seen. (I wish I could upload a picture, I scanned it and save it as a .jpg.) It did have a color illustration of a torso of a man who looked like a somewhat gaudy version of Shakespeare but carried a lute. It was not a full-card illustration like the average tarot card but a double-ended one like the court cards in regular playing cards. Instead of any of the well-known regular playing card symbols or the specific tarot card symbolism, this card design has a small black eight-pointed star in each corner. I'm curious about what it is and what it means or if it has some kind of specialized usage/significance. It was in a clear plastic sleeve so I thought it was some sort of collectible item or a sample/display item from one of the merchants, but they weren't selling any other similar cards. posted by bunky at 10:45 PM - 7 answers
When I was studying history of philosophy I remember encountering a term which I recall as being either 'historical monism' or 'psychological monism', which referred to the (posited) error of assuming, I think looking historically, that the psychology of other peoples was like your own. I.e. of assuming that you could reasonably attempt to understand their motivations &c. It might have had something to do with heiddegger? It seems unlikely that this would've involved the term 'monism', though, looking back, and I'm not having tons of luck with google. Any clues? posted by cmyr at 2:18 AM - 11 answers
After a lifetime of messing around on the Web, I'm trying to approach it in a meaningful way. Stoic philosophy has made a difference in my life, and I was wondering if someone could point me out to thinkers or philosophers of that particular school who have spent time with Twitter, Facebook, etc.. posted by Jonny Camaney at 3:41 PM - 7 answers
I'm interested in knowing what people practicing any of the branches of Islam feel about the idea of recreating paradise on earth. The Quran describes paradise as a garden and there are historic gardens which use these descriptions as a template. Is making a garden templated on paradise as described in the Quran blasphemous in the eyes of Islam today? [more inside] posted by sciencegeek at 6:03 AM - 6 answers
Many people I know who aren't global warming skeptics are still planning to procreate. Though I might like to have a kid someday, the thought of their future quality of life strikes me as a potentially decisive ethical objection to it. While I've seen plenty of arguments against procreation that deal with the ethics of creating more consumers, that issue is distinct from the ethics of creating new sufferers. Can you point me to any well-reasoned arguments--whether yours or something you've seen, on either side of the issue--that deal with the ethics of choosing to bring children into a hotter world? [more inside] posted by Beardman at 10:49 AM - 41 answers
I'm at a bit of a crossroads in my life. This New Year's has been an introspective one for me, and has had me really contemplating my life's purpose - what I have accomplished thus far, and what I wish to accomplish from this point on. I've been doing some reading on the importance of finding and nurturing a purpose in one's life, which has certainly made a positive impact on my overall attitude and outlook. I want to discover more standouts from any genre - self-help, goal-setting, philosophical or otherwise - that have helped you, my fellow mefites, see the world and your respective circumstances in in a different, more positive light. [more inside] posted by Kamelot123 at 8:34 AM - 27 answers