Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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January 20

What is the DEAL with "droids" in star wars?

I'm watching ALL of star wars and have questions about the robots. Are they slaves? Are they people? The droids in star wars are confounding me! In A New Hope, the droids were treated very differently, with much less personality or respect, than by Return of the Jedi. And by Rebels, robots are treated as wholly people (or sentient) with rights.... but stilled owned by people. Is this what's actually going on? Also, are there any thoughts about why some droids can speak basic and others can't (or don't) but understand it?
posted by rebent at 6:26 PM - 12 answers

January 13

How broadly do religious dietary edicts extend?

To what extent do various religious (or other) prohibitions on the consumption of different animals apply to animal by-products that are not themselves food? I'm particularly interested in biogas that might be blended with utility gas used for cooking, but am interested in other cases as well. [more inside]
posted by nickmark at 10:43 AM - 8 answers

January 12

This description of Manichaeism

I came across a description of Manichaeism that went something like, "The gods hated themselves, and tried to kill themselves, which shattered them into fragments of light that became embedded in trees and rocks and animals. Manichaeans don't believe in having babies, because a baby is just a prison for that fragment of god-light" Can anyone find the original for me? And is this description even remotely accurate?
posted by mecran01 at 8:28 AM - 9 answers

December 31, 2019

Intro to Judaism Podcasts

I'd like to learn more about Judaism. The main goal is to be able to attend reform services without feeling awkward. An additional goal is to be able to socialize with friends who are Orthodox without putting my foot in it. There aren't any in-person Judaism 101 classes going on now that I can attend, so I was hoping that there are podcasts out there (or possibly videos) that can teach me the basics. What are the best podcasts for learning about Judaism for a beginner? And that are specifically focused on religious practice/values/belief? [more inside]
posted by static sock at 8:12 AM - 6 answers

December 22, 2019

What kind of menorah is this?

Can anyone tell me anything about this menorah? It’s obviously a depiction of Judah Maccabee. The shamash is on the right. My grandfather gave it to me years ago. There’s no markings indicating where it was made. I’m pretty sure it’s brass. Is there a name for this particular style of art? I remember my grandparents having other, similar artwork in their home. I clearly remember the angular figures and pupil-less eyes.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 3:52 PM - 7 answers

December 21, 2019

A concise take-down of Sam Harris

Some folks in my meditation group are buzzed about Sam Harris. They are in leadership roles and are presenting his meditation guidance within our public-facing groups. I have the sense that they are unaware of how problematic he is, and would be horrified (as I am) at his views beyond meditation. Can you provide me with a concise take-down of him that I can share with them?
posted by nanook at 12:53 PM - 5 answers

December 17, 2019

Spanish Catholic Bible for Study and Prayer in Canada

My mom would like a bible in Spanish. She says she wants to remember all the stories from the old testament that she's forgotten and maybe also use it for prayer and reflection. Something with some notes/comments. But in simple language. I would like the notes/comments to not be too over-the-top in their obsequiousness to the Catholic Church. Large print wouldn't hurt. I can find suggested editions for various purposes, but then none are available to buy. Suggest editions or suggested web sites or Toronto stores for browsing/purchasing welcome.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:05 PM - 5 answers

December 14, 2019

Most exciting single-author translation of the New Testament

Encountering the Alter Hebrew Bible was very exciting to me. I'm wondering what similar developments have taken place for translations of the New Testament. I know of a few, but all I'm going off of is Amazon reviews, which is obviously a deficient approach. Do any of you have thoughts on which translation(s) I should read? [more inside]
posted by baptismal at 9:41 AM - 6 answers

What is this (Latino) (Christian) holiday that has street races?

What holiday/celebration is this? I believe it’s Latino/Christian. It happened within the last week. It might be “Feast of...”. There is a custom of street races. It’s celebrated in NYC. (Some of this might be wrong.)
posted by andoatnp at 8:26 AM - 5 answers

December 10, 2019

How to celebrate a secular Sabbath?

My husband and I are interested in starting a secular Sabbath tradition for 2020. We want to learn from others who have a Sabbath tradition to hear what it looks like, how you enforce it without a religious underpinning, what your related rituals are, etc. [more inside]
posted by neematoad at 9:21 AM - 13 answers

November 29, 2019

best text by Jung on dreams

What is a good short text by Carl Jung to learn about his dream theory? [more inside]
posted by velveeta underground at 4:47 PM - 2 answers

November 28, 2019

Where can I learn more about Miokonin?

Alan Watts describes Pure Land Buddhism. He indicates something happens to followers of Amitabha. He says, "Miokonin in Japanese means a marvelous fine man. But the Miokonin in is a special type of personality who corresponds in the West to the holy fool in Russian spirituality, or to something like the Franciscan in Catholic spirituality." Where can I learn more about Miokonin? [more inside]
posted by jefficator at 2:46 PM - 4 answers

November 14, 2019

I know it sounds absurd but I am NOT crazy

This question may offend if of a particular religion and if so I deeply apologize. I have been in my life deeply haunted by something and I dont know any other way to ask without sounding like a loony. I'm wondering if my belief that I am among ghosts and spirits and that I have a slight touch of ESP may be possible, or could it be proven? More on that ... [more inside]
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 3:39 AM - 27 answers

November 11, 2019

Do I live only so that I may die?

What is the purpose of my life? - this is a question I have been thinking a lot about. [more inside]
posted by 8LeggedFriend at 3:22 PM - 34 answers

November 10, 2019

Learning to read tarot - first steps?

Looking for suggestions -- books, websites, personal anecdotes -- about what to do once you realize, "I want to learn to read tarot." (Like, other than "Buy a deck," what are the literal next few steps?) [more inside]
posted by lazuli at 7:01 PM - 18 answers

October 30, 2019

Help me find other people who are questioning their faith

I was quite serious about my Christian faith until my late twenties. Now I’m not sure what I believe, and I find that for me the first step is to take some time to reexamine what evidence there is for and against God’s existence/the Bible/etc. I think it would be healthy to talk to other people who are in a similar situation, but I don’t want to join a group that will try to persuade me in one direction or the other. Any suggestions? (Also open to your own stories and more general advice.) [more inside]
posted by a huckleberry at 9:55 PM - 27 answers

October 22, 2019

Looking for catechisms or introductions to religions for total noobs

I have accidentally found myself to be the advisor to Lutheran friends' church library. The "Other Faiths" shelf is pretty empty. Given that I am dealing with Lutherans, explainers for other religions that take something close to the form of Luther's Small Catechism would be good (i.e., explicitly designed for children or those who are woefully ignorant of religious details). [more inside]
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 4:48 PM - 11 answers

October 18, 2019

Help with finding article on conspiracies, P&G Satanism panic and MLMs

Some time back I remember reading an article that talked about conspiracy theories and how the people who believe them don't always actually believe them, that instead it's group signalling. I have wanted to show it to people a couple of times since then but didn't save it, please help? [more inside]
posted by imabanana at 9:40 AM - 3 answers

Text-based guided meditations?

What are some good texts/resources for starting/guiding a meditation when I don't want to listen to audio? [more inside]
posted by rorgy at 6:04 AM - 3 answers

October 3, 2019

Feeling Jung today?

For a book proposal, I need to illustrate (preferably quantitatively) that people are still interested in Jungian psychology and related therapies (including narrative therapy). [more inside]
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:31 PM - 8 answers

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