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Albert Einstein on God

CosmicAlfonzo
Posts: 5,955
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11/20/2011 9:01:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I find these words interesting, and I'm inclined to agree.

"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. "

"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. "

"I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. 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. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things."

"The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence, who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes; the God who, according to the limits of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even or life itself; the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing; he who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God."
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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11/21/2011 12:19:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/20/2011 9:01:29 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
I find these words interesting, and I'm inclined to agree.

"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. "

"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. "

"I'm not an atheist. I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. 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. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's pantheism, but admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things."

"The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. This is the God of Providence, who protects, disposes, rewards, and punishes; the God who, according to the limits of the believer's outlook, loves and cherishes the life of the tribe or of the human race, or even or life itself; the comforter in sorrow and unsatisfied longing; he who preserves the souls of the dead. This is the social or moral conception of God."

(:
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
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11/21/2011 12:35:26 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Presumptuous buffoon.

I've seen this extract several times before and it reeks of conceit. In a personal god of providence (a guardian angel of sorts), I agree with him. But it is insulting to humanity to be called a ignorant child who knows nothing of structure of his library. We a 7 billion souls, and we a 7 billion souls who have reached a consensus on a supernatural not because we are fideists so cowardly as to invent a world beyond our own because we fear the one that is, but because within the corporeal and without the corporeal we KNOW that there's a rule to the structure our library. There's is an order and it is revealed us only if we listen to what is, not simply heeding what we deduce.

Thoughts like Einstein's only beget hubris.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Ren
Posts: 7,102
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11/21/2011 12:49:43 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/21/2011 12:35:26 PM, Zetsubou wrote:
Presumptuous buffoon.

I've seen this extract several times before and it reeks of conceit. In a personal god of providence (a guardian angel of sorts), I agree with him. But it is insulting to humanity to be called a ignorant child who knows nothing of structure of his library. We a 7 billion souls, and we a 7 billion souls who have reached a consensus on a supernatural not because we are fideists so cowardly as to invent a world beyond our own because we fear the one that is, but because within the corporeal and without the corporeal we KNOW that there's a rule to the structure our library. There's is an order and it is revealed us only if we listen to what is, not simply heeding what we deduce.

Thoughts like Einstein's only beget hubris.

Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

First, I consider Einstein's position humble. He is included in humanity. He is admitting that he doesn't understand a thing, either. And, to be perfectly frank, he's right; the idea of a personal God is rather absurd. Unless we're an alien experiment, it's pretty absurd to think that an infinite cosmological being is interested exclusively in humanity. Humanity isn't even exclusively interested in humanity.

That leads me to my second point. Your description of "7 billion people" really only applies to what may actually be a negligible percentage. There are a great deal many scientists that agree with that worldview, with innumerable more that reject the idea of God altogether.

I think that it's strange to believe that humanity is capable of conceiving the entire universe by simply believing in ourselves and applying it, which is what I figured you meant by "we only need to listen." We don't even understand ourselves; we aren't even mature enough to have the desire to understand and listen to the 7 billion other perspectives out there. In fact, there are a great many of us that are counterproductive to the great scheme, and it's even arguable that cumulatively, we've been behaving counterproductively, as well.

It's true that we've gotten closer to understanding reality as we know it since 100 years ago when Eistein made that statement, but we're still far from any semblance of an overall understanding. Don't forget that this is the same man that deduced the theory of relativity, which has shaped everything we've done with physics to this very day. However, we recently found subatomic particles that may travel faster than the speed of light (neurtrinos), upending everything we thought we knew.

And so, the language becomes more complex, and we've found a whole other set a books in yet a new language.
Zetsubou
Posts: 4,933
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11/21/2011 1:23:19 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/21/2011 12:49:43 PM, Ren wrote:

Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

First, I consider Einstein's position humble. He is included in humanity.
Humanity is weak, to him and many anthropologists, humanity has an inclination to religion. That's the argument, it's an common, insulting argument and one that has been iterated more times than I care to remember.
He is admitting that he doesn't understand a thing, either. And, to be perfectly frank, he's right; the idea of a personal God is rather absurd. Unless we're an alien experiment, it's pretty absurd to think that an infinite cosmological being is interested exclusively in humanity. Humanity isn't even exclusively interested in humanity.
Yeah, fine. But one comment: you're reducing a God's motives to human/corprial ones. As humans, for obvious reasons, it is impossible to understand the nature and will of a God (should one exist).

That leads me to my second point. Your description of "7 billion people" really only applies to what may actually be a negligible percentage. There are a great deal many scientists that agree with that worldview, with innumerable more that reject the idea of God altogether.
Theist humanity.

I think that it's strange to believe that humanity is capable of conceiving the entire universe by simply believing in ourselves and applying it, which is what I figured you meant by "we only need to listen." We don't even understand ourselves; we aren't even mature enough to have the desire to understand and listen to the 7 billion other perspectives out there. In fact, there are a great many of us that are counterproductive to the great scheme, and it's even arguable that cumulatively, we've been behaving counterproductively, as well.
Know He is real, that's what theism is. KNOWNING He is real. Unlike atheists we positions are not based on a probability (like agonostic-atheists) but a certainity. We know He is real from an a priori knowledge not because of a deduced fact. The existance of the Divine is a truth that every human should simply know IF THEY LISTEN.

This is pre-lockean philosophy, pre-empiricism. Simply know It is real.

It's true that we've gotten closer to understanding reality as we know it since 100 years ago when Eistein made that statement, but we're still far from any semblance of an overall understanding. Don't forget that this is the same man that deduced the theory of relativity, which has shaped everything we've done with physics to this very day. However, we recently found subatomic particles that may travel faster than the speed of light (neurtrinos), upending everything we thought we knew.
Of course.

And so, the language becomes more complex, and we've found a whole other set a books in yet a new language.
The child is always learning but some things, many things, he knew as long as he could think.

This is the a priori and a posteriori dichotomy of epistemology.
'sup DDO -- july 2013
Thaddeus
Posts: 6,985
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11/21/2011 1:39:16 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 11/21/2011 1:38:35 PM, Thaddeus wrote:
I actually really like this. Especially the part about the library.

Does this mean I can't know God if my entire relationship with libraries involves fire?