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  1. #81
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    Cool, I think I'll check that book out. The depths that humanity will sink to is pretty fascinating to me, how intrinsically selfish people are by their nature and all.

    I see your point about the appeal to authority. I still think, however, that if those intellectual giants said those things, some credence should be given to the claim of the existence of God. I certainly didn't intend for it to be empirical evidence of anything. It was just food for thought. Sorry about the formal writing jab, I've just been on this thread for waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long and repeatedly defending my initial post is getting enervating.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    LOL Yeah, he was so disinterested that he whittled away his golden years and died alone in his attic trying to discover a grand unified theory. I'd say he was pretty interested in God and his works, arguably the most interested person of the last century.
    It's true that Einstein was very tortured in his last years.. he especially had difficulty with the concept of an expanding universe.. I'm not 100% sure on the exact reasoning and I'm way too tired to research it now, but I do believe it was heavily related to his desire to believe that god created a static universe...

    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    If anyone reading this is more reputable than Einstein, Tesla, or Hawking, please comment and contradict them.

    And please, people, stop bringing my Christianity into play - because I never did. We are talking theism/atheism here - nothing more. Because, for some people, that's a big leap.
    Disclaimer: This is not related specifically to anyone's post here...
    that being said..

    I think some atheists pride themselves in the idea that "rational" scientists do not believe in god therefore there must not be a god and people that believe in religion are wrong... so when someone brings to their attention the fact that someone like Einstein was religious they get a little...


    but really the truth is that from Einstein's own words he was clearly religious in some way.. I think it's important to realize that many people can compartmentalize things and while a person can be completely "rational" and "objective" about the world they observe with their senses they can also (in a completely different internal compartment) retain "blind faith" in a god, a being, or some other higher power...

    There may come a point in time when these things contradict one another but at this time science does not offer any evidence that there is not a god and religion does not offer any evidence that science is inherently flawed thus the two can exist in parallel without one affecting the other.... Those who strictly adhere to certain statements within religious teachings that may or may not have been meant for literal translation occasionally fall into trouble (certain things like the world is in fact round and the earth is not the center of the universe) but for some people in that there isn't anything that is contradictory... One could make a completely philosophical argument about the definition of the "center of the universe" means metaphorically or what "flat" means metaphorically... and the list can go on and on...

    For those who are willing to accept via "blind faith" that we have no way of interpreting what god meant and any disconnections with his word and our findings in the observable world are the result of our infancy and thus misinterpretation - all will always be well...

    and for those who lack "blind faith" and insist upon defining everything within their world view (even if it is a widely accepted, objective, and scientific) worldview - they will always find flaw within religion...

    Thus personally I think that relative understanding of the universe we live in as a whole both the observable and the not so observable (i.e. the ability to compartmentalize knowledge and parallel understandings) is required to be both religious and scientific like Einstein...
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    watch where you're driving f$cktards! I have the right of way!!! :steam:

  3. #83
    Member Eye 'n' Teepee's Avatar
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    "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." - Einstein

    "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." - Einstein

    "I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, 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 prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being." - Einstein

    Straight from the horse's mouth. I don't wish to engage in argument from authority (since that sort of argument is by it's nature fallacious), but it's disrespectful to misrepresent a person's words as supporting things they didn't in fact support. The "God does not play dice" quote, by the way, was used in a metaphorical context by Einstein out of his disgust for the idea of uncertainty at the quantum level.

    "The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired." - Stephen Hawking

    Stephen Hawking is quite clearly agnostic, really.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eye 'n' Teepee View Post
    Straight from the horse's mouth. I don't wish to engage in argument from authority (since that sort of argument is by it's nature fallacious), but it's disrespectful to misrepresent a person's words as supporting things they didn't in fact support. The "God does not play dice" quote, by the way, was used in a metaphorical context by Einstein out of his disgust for the idea of uncertainty at the quantum level.
    "I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."
    —Albert Einstein

    - Albert Einstein - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Clearly Einstein either changed his mind regarding his religious positions multiple times or his quotes are all being taken out of context.. because the quote I've posted above has Einstein clearly stating that he is not an atheist...

    Nobody can know for sure because none of us knew Einstein. He was a person and thus allowed to change his mind about things...

    Not that his personal beliefs be they for or against theism have any impact on the validity of theism itself.... Still I don't think anyone is trying to take Einstein out of context or misquote him here.. clearly from all of the different quotes that have been posted misinterpreting Einstein's views on theology isn't that difficult to do...

    Atheists are going to believe that religion is bullshit and religious people are going to believe that atheists are lost and misguided... this will always be true and those who cannot put their personal beliefs aside to reach a common ground (for the purpose of mutual understanding) will forever run around in this circle until either god or exceptional advancement in science silences everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    watch where you're driving f$cktards! I have the right of way!!! :steam:

  5. #85
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    This thread has derailed.

    The initial thread was about how fantastic and wonderful the world would be like if no one spoke of or heard the word God again. That "imagine" John Lennon nonsense.

    Hawking, agnostic, sure, by definition, I concede that. But the quote clearly, poetically, and very strongly, implies that he had a nagging sense that there is a God.

    Sorry I disrespected Einstein, if it's any consolation, he's dead, and doesn't know about it.

    As for him using God as a metaphor in that context - how can you use God as a metaphor? What else is like God? A metaphor for what? It was simply not a metaphor. As for him belittling believers in his quote, I'm not surprised. A man like that has to keep up appearances. He was the elite of the elite. Imagine how his peers would have received him if he was openly theistic.

    Watcha got on Tesla or any of the other prestigious theistic scientists? Or better yet, what does anybody have on the believers who aren't prestigious? What do secular materialists have? A smug air of condescension and intellectual entitlement? I'd rather be a "childish" believer any day of the week. To not have any evidence at all, and still look at a mountain range, or the open ocean, or a strand of DNA and think, man, God is amazing.

  6. #86
    Member Eye 'n' Teepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spin-1/2-nuclei View Post
    "I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."
    —Albert Einstein

    - Albert Einstein - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Clearly Einstein either changed his mind regarding his religious positions multiple times or his quotes are all being taken out of context.. because the quote I've posted above has Einstein clearly stating that he is not an atheist...

    Nobody can know for sure because none of us knew Einstein. He was a person and thus allowed to change his mind about things...

    Not that his personal beliefs be they for or against theism have any impact on the validity of theism itself.... Still I don't think anyone is trying to take Einstein out of context or misquote him here.. clearly from all of the different quotes that have been posted misinterpreting Einstein's views on theology isn't that difficult to do...

    Atheists are going to believe that religion is bullshit and religious people are going to believe that atheists are lost and misguided... this will always be true and those who cannot put their personal beliefs aside to reach a common ground (for the purpose of mutual understanding) will forever run around in this circle until either god or exceptional advancement in science silences everyone.
    No, you're right that it wouldn't be right to call Einstein an atheist, because he wasn't. If you want to classify him, it would be best to classify him as an agnostic (which is what he said himself), but obviously he has very complex views on the subject and a simple label doesn't really do those views justice.

  7. #87
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    . . . idly waiting for someone to be cute and post the ICP magic and miracles video (strawman argument).

  8. #88
    Member Eye 'n' Teepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevrawlings View Post
    Hawking, agnostic, sure, by definition, I concede that. But the quote clearly, poetically, and very strongly, implies that he had a nagging sense that there is a God.
    You left out the last part:

    "Even if there is only one possible unified theory, it is just a set of rules and equations. What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe?... Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing? Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?"

    These are all unanswered questions which he wants people to think about. That was the point of A Brief History...to get people to think about the universe and our place within it. I don't see how he supports theism or atheism here...it is a completely neutral stance.

    As for him using God as a metaphor in that context - how can you use God as a metaphor? What else is like God? A metaphor for what? It was simply not a metaphor.
    Physicists often use "God" as a metaphor for the underlying order in the universe. To "know the mind of God" is a metaphor for having a unified theory of physics, for example.

    As for him belittling believers in his quote, I'm not surprised. A man like that has to keep up appearances. He was the elite of the elite. Imagine how his peers would have received him if he was openly theistic.
    Einstein didn't give a **** about "keeping up appearances"...I mean, look at his hair! He openly opposed quantum theory (and was shown to be wrong about it every time), for example.

    Watcha got on Tesla or any of the other prestigious theistic scientists?
    I can't find anything from Tesla either than the quote you posted...he was a very private man. He certainly seems to have been a Christian, though.

    Or better yet, what does anybody have on the believers who aren't prestigious? What do secular materialists have? A smug air of condescension and intellectual entitlement? I'd rather be a "childish" believer any day of the week. To not have any evidence at all, and still look at a mountain range, or the open ocean, or a strand of DNA and think, man, God is amazing.
    Why not think that nature is amazing? This is what Einstein meant when he said "science without religion is lame". Religion, in this sense, meaning to have a sense of wonder at the intricacies of nature as far as our science can reveal it. Dressing it up in god has always taken away from it for me, but that's different for everyone. Maybe that's why I study science.

  9. #89
    Supreme Allied Commander Take Five's Avatar
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    The fact is that there are some very intelligent scientists who believe in God, or at least part of God. Why it matters so much what notable scientists think about God is something I don't get anymore, but I think it's best to just leave Einstein and Hawkings alone for now.
    Johari Nohari

    "If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. "--Niccolo Machiavelli

  10. #90
    Senior Member kevrawlings's Avatar
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    "Dressing it up in God"? Just really consider that. He created it, how could revering him for his creation be confused as garishly dressing it up? Science is great, but it is limited, and a very poor substitute for God, in my opinion. Science merely takes what was here and studies it, observes it, reduces it, says "oh, pshhh . . . I get it."

    It's like if someone showed you a magic trick over and over and you eventually found out how it was done. You would get a bloated feeling of accomplishment and self-importance for having discovered it. The magician, God (in this analogy), would be disheartened. When you are a kid, that magic is so much more real, but when you find out the mechanics of it, the wonder is gone.

    "I praise you, father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, for you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them only to little children. Yes, for it was your good pleasure to do so." Matthew 11:25

    "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Corinthians 1:19

    I don't mean that a person should shun knowledge, of course. I only mean that we should maintain a degree of humility in light of all of our scientific and technological advances.

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