Questions in the Religion & Philosophy category.
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I read a sci fi story recently (Aspirate) that got me a bit too close to the absurd. It's turned into fixation and rumination. I want to move on and make the most of my time on Earth because what else can I do, but that's a tall order. I guess I should put this stuff in the extended explanation if it's a bit much for people to scroll past. [more inside]
What are the best philosophical works (including novels) you've read that touch on belief (the nature of, not the content of), memory, and identity?
I am looking for an original taxonomy of monsters. [more inside]
I was raised non-religiously in a nominally Catholic family, but I've never believed in God. However, I went to college at a Jewish university, my ex-husband was Jewish, my social circle is predominately Jewish, and my current boyfriend is Jewish. I've been Jewish-adjacent for decades. When I married my ex, I didn't convert because of the atheism thing. But my boyfriend asked me to marry him yesterday, and this loud, clear voice in my head boomed "you should convert." But can I? [more inside]
I’m not certain of the exact timeframe, but shortly after the 2016 election I read an article online reviewing the philosophical arguments for a conscientious person staying in a system they find to be harmful in an attempt to make it better versus leaving the system in protest because staying would make them complicit. While the premise was working in the Trump administration, the bulk of the article was situation-agnostic and discussed different philosopher’s opinions. My attempts to find this article have been in vain. Help me, Mefi!
This may come off as weird, but for certain reasons, I'd like to memorize interesting passages from sacred texts. Interesting in the sense as a) core locus for a less well known theological debate / thesis or b) an interesting discrepancy between different parts of the text or c) interesting passage in light of later developments. [more inside]
How do you know whether you're doing something good by stepping out of your comfort zone, or whether you're just forcing yourself into doing things you get no enjoyment out of?
Can anyone give me a summary of the Roman Catholic approach to the Liturgy of the Hours (a.k.a. the Breviary), specifically evening prayer (Compline)? I want to add it to my evening routine, so recommendations of a compact book of them would be REALLY useful. [more inside]
I've finished reading the long and awesome "What's Your Best Nursing Ghost Story?" thread recommended by this old askmefi and am looking for similar stories in hospital/nursing home settings online. [more inside]
What books are good historical accounts of monastic traditions around the world? [more inside]
December 31, 2018
Looking to be more intentional this coming year, and while I've never been one for journaling I'd like to start by doing some very simple reflection. I think having a punch list of questions to reflect on and (optionally) do some simple journaling on would be helpful. Do you have a set of these questions? Or a simple process for reviewing your goals and personal vision/mission and sticking to them?
December 18, 2018
I love Jesus, and I also love people in the LGBTQ community, feminism, art, critical thinking and pluralism [more inside]
December 6, 2018
I lost something of great sentimental value to me, and I'm quite sure I'm never going to be able to find it. How do I train my brain to understand that's it's not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things? [more inside]
November 15, 2018
I really want to make confession but don't have a regular church anymore. Where can I drop in and not feel uncomfortable? In NYC. [more inside]
November 14, 2018
There is presumably a "medieval European legend of how Christ was chased by his enemies. In that story, Jesus blessed the animals who helped him and cursed those who hindered him as he fled from his persecutors." I think that, from his helping and cursing, those animals came to have some of their defining characteristics. Does anyone know of this legend???
November 5, 2018
How do you stop thinking about something that is bothering you? For instance, let's say you are undecided about something in your life, whether it is a relationship, whether to stay at a job, etc. Whenever I have a problem like that, my mind will think about it from the moment I wake up, til I go to bed, and won't stop no matter what I'm doing, even when I try my hardest not to think about it. I've tried mindfulness in a sense of allowing the thoughts there and going about my day anyways, and I've tried distraction techniques. Sometimes the thing is something that I can't decide right then, and need more time to feel out, but the constant thinking about it depresses my mood. I'm wondering if anyone has some helpful tips.
October 31, 2018
What it says. I'm looking for any intelligent/intellectual engagement with prayer. Could be historical or how to. Any faith tradition is OK, as long as it's not simplistic "ask God for stuff and you'll get it." Please don't answer unless you're willing to explain your recommendation at least a little bit. I can find a list of titles on Amazon. I'm looking for books that MeFites find meaningful or useful. Fiction is OK if it's very high quality. Something like a TED talk would be fine too. Thank you!
October 16, 2018
I've been doing a lot of reading (Joko Beck, Pema Chodron, Joseph Goldberg, others) and I sort of know how to try to meditate and I do try at home. But I would like to find a place where I can sit and meditate in a room with other people. In Manhattan and preferably in the West or East Village. [more inside]
October 15, 2018
There are a lot of different models for "Psychic Energy". Auras, Ki, the mood of an audience or just someone being a downer all get that description. I’m looking for a book or other resource that breaks out the various forms and talks some about how they fit (or don’t) with the context they arise in. Skeptical, non-skeptical, anthropological... I’ll take whatever I can find. Thanks.
October 12, 2018
This past post on the blue has really resonated with me over the past few months, and I want to dig deeper into Aristotle's virtue ethics, but I know if I just buy his writings they'll sit unread on my shelf. Does anyone have recommendations for readings on the same theme/ideas, that are maybe less intimidating than the source material? My last philosophical exposure was about a decade ago in a Phil101 class. Thank you!