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Einstein and his Faith

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posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by butcherguy
Science should be able to answer these questions. It is not a philosophic matter to question how the mixture of chemicals that make up our bodies can be aware of its own existence.


Theoretically, however, there is an argument that immediately tosses everything into question.
You can come up with the perfect reason why we "feel". our personality, our "consciousness"..great, its this protein and that nested neural connection that gives you your sense of you.

Would you step in a teleporter that ripped you apart, sent the information across town, and the recieving end simply grab some elements and put together an exact replica of you? no...because no matter how perfect it got it...you the observer is gone, and in its place, a really good replica..

Why? if everything is exact, then why do we know beyond a doubt that we wouldn't be "transported"?

I entertain the notion there may be something else going on...I have no clue what it is..and it might be my simple way of viewing things, but I keep it in mind.
Hell, the transport experience may indeed transfer that sense of self type thing with it...and if it failed to kill off the first model..you might literally feel in two places at one time...but somehow I doubt that.




posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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Oh, I forgot to add one last thing:

So, let's take it that you're right (you're not, but we're speaking in hypotheticals here)

If Einstein were a theist (again, a big if), it wouldn't prove anything. It would mean absolutely nothing about theism and whether or not is it is correct.

This thread is basically a combination of quote mining, fabrication, and the argument from authority.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 10:59 AM
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Originally posted by madnessinmysoul
Oh, I forgot to add one last thing:

So, let's take it that you're right (you're not, but we're speaking in hypotheticals here)

If Einstein were a theist (again, a big if), it wouldn't prove anything. It would mean absolutely nothing about theism and whether or not is it is correct.

This thread is basically a combination of quote mining, fabrication, and the argument from authority.


Well, Elvis believed in a christian god
Elvis is more known than einstein to the average person...that therefore proves the existance of judeo-christian theology without a shadow of a doubt...what more proof do you need...a pop figure believed!




posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:03 AM
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reply to post by SaturnFX
 
Let's make it real simple, if we can.

If I were to tell you that a stone has awareness, you would probably think I was touched in the head!

Our universe is simply energy and matter. There is a scientific explanation for that thought that cruises through your head, we just don't have it yet.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 11:13 AM
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Originally posted by butcherguy
reply to post by SaturnFX
 
Let's make it real simple, if we can.

If I were to tell you that a stone has awareness, you would probably think I was touched in the head!

Our universe is simply energy and matter. There is a scientific explanation for that thought that cruises through your head, we just don't have it yet.



I am not even sure if I have awareness, or if I am just a complex program that is running through a complex system of needs and reactions. I mean, I think I am, therefore I am...I think. that sort of mentality.

As far as a rock. Well, a rock doesn't really have much instinctual programming to it..however, there may be some sort of very base level...order...that is imbued within its energy. Some sort of greater connection to the universe that I am unaware of.

Matter is ultimately energy..and energy is frequency. see...this is where science starts drifting into mysticism which makes me uncomfortable yet curious...but either way, is off topic to this subject (beyond what Einstein was actually trying to say about "god")

But I do see room for philosophy in science...just not philosophy as science.



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 01:47 PM
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Einstein believed in the existence of Jesus of Nazareth, "Undoubtedly" as quoted by Einstein himself...

he therefore believed in God, and one who does not play chance with the universe, and that there was an underlying structure of harmony that he thought was so beautiful that he loved it.

he did become quite pacifist after the Atomic Bomb though...



posted on Dec, 21 2010 @ 09:23 PM
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here is another excerpt from the same interview with Time Magazine, with commentary...

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. (Atheism) I do not believe in a personal God and (I have never denied this) but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

Taken as a whole, it appears Einstein rejected the literal stories of God's personal involvement with the Hebrews, but he did believe in the existence of a higher power.


as the wise man knew how to stay out of a debate he did not want to be in, but still hold authority over the conversation and express his views for those with understanding.

let's see which others we can wrestle from the Godless sodomites !



edit on 12/21/2010 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Not sure what you're trying to say with this thread, but Einstein did NOT believe in a personal god like the Christian/Jewish god!!




The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)




A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
(Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930)




I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)


In short, if your goal was to show Einstein believed in a judgemental god like you...sorry to burst your bubble, that just wasn't the case

edit on 22-12-2010 by MrXYZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:31 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 03:53 PM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Not sure what you're trying to say with this thread, but Einstein did NOT believe in a personal god like the Christian/Jewish god!!


it is irrelevant, Einstein believed in a "Higher Power" that makes him a (Theist)

Einstein is in our camp now... so stop using him as he said this himself !



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact

Originally posted by MrXYZ
reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Not sure what you're trying to say with this thread, but Einstein did NOT believe in a personal god like the Christian/Jewish god!!


it is irrelevant, Einstein believed in a "Higher Power" that makes him a (Theist)

Einstein is in our camp now... so stop using him as he said this himself !


I hope you see a difference between Einstein coming up with a scientific formula backed up by evidence...and him making a random OPINION/BELIEF-based statement regarding religion.

If your goal was to say "Einstein believed in God, that's evidence of god's existence"...then well, I think you don't really get what evidence/proof means.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:47 PM
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Originally posted by MrXYZ
I hope you see a difference between Einstein coming up with a scientific formula backed up by evidence...and him making a random OPINION/BELIEF-based statement regarding religion.

If your goal was to say "Einstein believed in God, that's evidence of god's existence"...then well, I think you don't really get what evidence/proof means.


no actually I sure don't, and you guys are not doing a very well job of convincing me or the general public (which is not here btw)

I will post it again in case you missed it.

(("It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. (Atheism) I do not believe in a personal God and (I have never denied this) but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.))

Taken as a whole, it appears Einstein rejected the literal stories of God's personal involvement with the Hebrews, but he did believe in the existence of a higher power.

straight from the gift horses mouth...

Have a nice day



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 04:50 PM
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Atheism of course being a religious conviction...

read the original Time Magazine article here... Einstein and Faith



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 05:06 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


Again, what are you trying to prove by posting Einstein's personal BELIEF?


Einstein didn't prove his statements regarding religion, he just stated a personal belief. So if you're seriously trying to make the link between Einstein being a genius, and his personal belief being therefore true, then well...that's a very laughable attempt at supporting your belief



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact

Originally posted by MrXYZ
I hope you see a difference between Einstein coming up with a scientific formula backed up by evidence...and him making a random OPINION/BELIEF-based statement regarding religion.

If your goal was to say "Einstein believed in God, that's evidence of god's existence"...then well, I think you don't really get what evidence/proof means.


no actually I sure don't, and you guys are not doing a very well job of convincing me or the general public (which is not here btw)

I will post it again in case you missed it.

(("It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. (Atheism) I do not believe in a personal God and (I have never denied this) but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.))

Taken as a whole, it appears Einstein rejected the literal stories of God's personal involvement with the Hebrews, but he did believe in the existence of a higher power.

straight from the gift horses mouth...

Have a nice day


This quote was Einstein talking to a person who had written him to say that a Jesuit priest was spreading rumors that he had converted Einstein to theism, actually. He was saying that the priest was lying by saying Einstein believed in god, that Einstein constantly reiterated he didn't believe in a god, and that to the Jesuit priest Einstein had always been an atheist. And you are continuing the lie he is speaking of. You are making his quote out to say the exact opposite of what it says.

In this quote, Einstein calls himself a nonbeliever, and atheism is disbelief. Nonbeliever=disbelief.

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – This is a somewhat new kind of religion" – Albert Einstein



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:42 PM
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reply to post by SpaceJ
 


Higher Being = Theist

very easy math...



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by Cosmic.Artifact
reply to post by SpaceJ
 


Higher Being = Theist

very easy math...


Not really depending on what he meant with "higher being". He could have spoken about a more highly evolved species...which given the huge amount of stars/planets is quite conceivable...and wouldn't mean those beings are automatically "gods".

This quote makes it abundantly clear he didn't believe in a god...



"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever – This is a somewhat new kind of religion" – Albert Einstein


edit on 22-12-2010 by MrXYZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:51 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Where does he say he dislikes atheists?


Einstein also said:

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views."


English is a tricky language I know...

Atheist should stop quoting him then for such support, as he has requested.


edit on 12/22/2010 by Cosmic.Artifact because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:52 PM
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You are posting stuff that is just completely wrong. It's pretty frustrating, and I want to ignore you, but I dislike the thought of an unknowing person coming to your thread, reading your words, and then moving on believing they have an accurate view of Einstein, when really they just have your twisted presentation of reality and words.

So, Einstein may have had his own ideas of god just like I do, but he never committed to a belief, and definitely did not believe in Judeo-Christianity or "personal gods". Einstein's view of god was that of the cosmos, nature, physics, and science, not of personal gods, or being able to have a relationship with god, or to know god, or that god intervened ever with man's course of existence.

Just to back up what I'm describing here I'd like to cite some quotations by Einstein and other people who had this same dilemma. That dilemma being that he didn't quite consider himself an atheist in totality, because he did have his own concept of god and he didn't deny god, but he also did not claim to believe in a god. He was without god in the traditional sense and therefore was an atheist. He was an atheist to Judeo-Christianity or any other organized religion/preconceived notion of god. This is where all the confusion has arose over whether or not Einstein was an atheist.

Let's start with Einstein's views on personal gods, and thus his views on Judeo-Christianity:


"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it." -- Albert Einstein from 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press


If you don't quite know what "personal god" means, here is an informative description:


The Christian God is a personal God. This does not mean that God is a human being, but that God has "personality" and the capability of both relationships with other personal beings. This is seen clearly in both the Old and New Testaments, in which God is described in strongly personal terms (father, shepherd, etc.) and establishes relationships with human beings.

In this belief, Christianity is like Judaism and Islam but very different from deism or the theism of Greek philosophy. In the latter systems, God is an impersonal force that causes the world to exist but does not interact with it. God can only be known to the extent that He reveals Himself. “No man has seen God at any time” (John. 1:18), but God has revealed Himself in His natural creation (cf. Rom. 1:20), as a Personal God to His people (cf. Exodus 3:14), and subsequently revealed Himself supernaturally in the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ (cf. John 1:14; 14:9; Luke 10:22).

A Biblical understanding of God’s Being is based on the fact that “God is personal Being.” God did not identify Himself as “all that is,” but as “I AM that I AM” (Exod. 3:14). This is not just a statement of God’s existence, and certainly not a statement that “God is all that exists.” God reveals Himself as Personal Being.


link to Christianity beliefs
link to christ in you

So this is what is meant by a "personal god" in relation to Judeo-Christianity and others. Here are some more instances where Einstein made clear his views on the bible and personal gods:


“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.” - Einstein

“It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.” - Einstein

The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. -- Albert Einstein

said in a letter responding to philosopher Eric Gutkind, who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt; quoted from James Randerson, "Childish Superstition: Einstein's Letter Makes View of Religion Relatively Clear: Scientist's Reply to Sell for up to £8,000, and Stoke Debate over His Beliefs" The Guardian, (13 May 2008)

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. -- Albert Einstein, from obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it. -- Albert Einstein, from 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. -- Albert Einstein, from Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere.... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. -- Albert Einstein, from "Religion and Science," New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being. -- Albert Einstein, from 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God. -- Albert Einstein, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. -- Albert Einstein, from The World as I See It

“I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death or blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him I would be a liar.”

“Why do you write to me ‘God should punish the English’? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.”


Einstein letter calls bible "pretty childish"

Those quotes, to me, show that Einstein did not believe in the bible, and so did not believe in Judeo-Christianity, making him atheistic towards those beliefs. He explicitly said he had no close connection to god in the final quote. However, this certainly does not mean that Einstein didn't have his own concepts of god in a metaphysical and philosophical sense, as you can see in these quotes:


My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem - the most important of all human problems.”

“I am a deeply religious nonbeliever…. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.”

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”


Now to include something on what exactly Spinoza's beliefs were, which is the only thing Einstein ever compared his own views to. Einstein was an atheist to some religions, but to his own personal views he did not consider himself an atheist, because he possessed a philosophical belief that nature itself is god, similar to Spinoza:


Baruch (or Benedictus) Spinoza is one of the most important philosophers—and certainly the most radical—of the early modern period. His thought combines a commitment to Cartesian metaphysical and epistemological principles with elements from ancient Stoicism and medieval Jewish rationalism into a nonetheless highly original system. His extremely naturalistic views on God, the world, the human being and knowledge serve to ground a moral philosophy centered on the control of the passions leading to virtue and happiness. They also lay the foundations for a strongly democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion. Of all the philosophers of the seventeenth-century, perhaps none have more relevance today than Spinoza.

God is not some goal-oriented planner who then judges things by how well they conform to his purposes. Things happen only because of Nature and its laws. “Nature has no end set before it … All things proceed by a certain eternal necessity of nature.” To believe otherwise is to fall prey to the same superstitions that lie at the heart of the organized religions

For centuries, Spinoza has been regarded—by his enemies and his partisans, in the scholarly literature and the popular imagination—as a “pantheist”. It is not clear, however, that this is the proper way to look at his conception of God. Of course, Spinoza is not a traditional theist, for whom God is a transcendent being. But does Spinoza's identification of God with Nature mean that he is, as so many have insisted for so long, from the early eighteenth century up through the most recent edition of the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, a pantheist?

Is Spinoza, then, a pantheist? Any adequate analysis of Spinoza's identification of God and Nature will show clearly that Spinoza cannot be a pantheist in the second, immanentist sense. For Spinoza, there is nothing but Nature and its attributes and modes. And within Nature there can certainly be nothing that is supernatural. If Spinoza is seeking to eliminate anything, it is that which is above or beyond nature, which escapes the laws and processes of nature. But is he a pantheist in the first, reductive sense?

Stanford on Spinoza

This leads into the question of pantheism. Pantheism is something different, but similar, to Spinoza and Einstein's belief. However, Einstein reiterated that he did not consider himself pantheistic either. So Einstein did have a view of god as nature, but it did not conform to pantheism in its entirety. The closest thing that could be said of Einstein having a theistic belief would be his belief in Spinoza's philosophy, which obviously is not in accordance with Judeo-Christianity or personal gods:


"I'm no atheist (TO SPINOZA'S BELIEFS), and I don't think that I could define myself as pantheist. We are in the situation of a child which enters a huge library, full of books written in many different languages. The child knows that someone must have written these books, but doesn't know how. And it doesn't know the languages the books are written in. The child suspects being a mysterious order in the disposition of the books, but doesn't know which. This seems to me the human position, even of the most intelligent ones, in front of God..."

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism." -Albert Einstein

"It is very difficult to elucidate this [cosmic religious] feeling to anyone who is entirely without it. . . The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no church whose central teachings are based on it ... In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it." -Einstein


So what we have come to is that Einstein was atheistic towards personal gods, but not atheistic in totality because he held the beliefs of Spinoza. So to be fair here, Einstein did not regard himself as a full blown atheist, he did have his own beliefs in god, just not that of Christianity. He felt that an agnostic stance was very important, which is why he often spoke of not liking some total atheist's "fervent" or "fanatical" need to disprove god or to deny god. Einstein was an atheist by one of two definitions under atheist. He was an atheist by the Greek root word atheos, which means without god.


"Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source . . . They are creatures who can't hear the music of the spheres."

"What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos."

"I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth."


I hold a similar view of god to Einstein and Spinoza. When I say the word god, that is the concept of god that I am referring to, not a Christian god. But throughout my life, I have had Christians simply assume that my mere mention of god means THEIR god. It does not.

Why do religious groups, and some Christians, seem to believe the only definition of god is theirs and theirs alone? This is where the arguments over Einstein being an atheist or not arose, because some Christians just assume that Einstein meant their god when he used the word god.



posted on Dec, 22 2010 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic.Artifact
 


We don't really need Einstein's support as all his quotes state OPINIONS that aren't backed up by scientific evidence. He backed up all his scientific findings (theory of general relativity, etc.) with scientific evidence. He did NOT do the same when making statements about gods and religion...which basically makes his quotes about as "right" as if I said a giant space turtle created the universe. We both dont' back up our claims and our opinion is based on pure belief.

I think it's kinda funny you're so hellbent on proving Einstein was a theist, as if this would give your religion any more credibility. Unless you find a scientific study where Einstein proves his claims about gods, enjoy his belief-based opinions just like you enjoy those of your preacher at church. But pretending they somehow validate your belief is beyond laughable




The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These [...] interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.


edit on 22-12-2010 by MrXYZ because: (no reason given)



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