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WSE
05-13-2008, 02:27 PM
In the note, written the year before his death, Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as "pretty childish."
The letter, handwritten in German, is being sold by Bloomsbury Auctions on Thursday and is expected to fetch between $12,000 and $16,000.
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In it, Einstein said that "the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
"For me," he added, "the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."
Addressing the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people, Einstein wrote that "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"
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,355323,00.html

I am Jewish myself, but this letter does not offend me at all. I actually believe a lot of what Einstein is saying here. He says he belongs to the Jewish people, and is proud to, but a lot of the religious things he cannot believe to be true.

ih8brady
05-13-2008, 02:45 PM
That's why he is the eponym for the Einstenian God, a metaphor for the numinous, what is not yet known in the universe. He dismissed the idea of a personal God, yet some wish to twist his words and defame his name.

Tetragrammaton
05-13-2008, 11:02 PM
He's right.

Miamian
05-14-2008, 01:54 AM
He's right.Atheism is also considered a religion and saying that it's right is no different from a Bible-thumper.

ih8brady
05-14-2008, 02:37 AM
Atheism is also considered a religion and saying that it's right is no different from a Bible-thumper.

Is not believing in ghosts a superstition? Is a lack of belief in Zeus a religion? Is not collecting stamps a hobby?

And low blow. Comparing the guy to a Christian conservative? Ouch :err:

Blackocrates
05-14-2008, 03:10 AM
And low blow. Comparing the guy to a Christian conservative? Ouch :err:

:lol:

Miamian
05-14-2008, 07:52 AM
Is not believing in ghosts a superstition? Is a lack of belief in Zeus a religion? Is not collecting stamps a hobby?

And low blow. Comparing the guy to a Christian conservative? Ouch :err:Religion is scientifically defined as a belief system that answers ultimate questions and atheism's answer is that the end is the end. If someone wants to say that he doesn't collect anything as his hobby, fine.

The thing here is that he said that his perspective is right. Therefore, another's is wrong.

LouPhinFan
05-14-2008, 09:16 AM
Reviewing is quotes through the years it shows a pattern on this subject. Einstein said the following:


God does not play dice.


God always takes the simplest way.

Perhaps his most famous quote:


I want to know all Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details.

I think this quote sums up his beliefs on God:


My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

Clearly he wasn't an atheist, he just rejected the God that he feels that mankind has created via religion and theology. He put his own belief in its place.

Tetragrammaton
05-14-2008, 05:33 PM
atheism's answer is that the end is the end.

You are telling me what I believe. And it isn't true.

Not believing is not a belief. It doesn't take faith to not believe, it just takes a desire for evidence.

If Einstein said Santa doesn't exist, and I said he was right, would I be in the same predicament?

ih8brady
05-14-2008, 11:43 PM
Reviewing is quotes through the years it shows a pattern on this subject. Einstein said the following:





Perhaps his most famous quote:



I think this quote sums up his beliefs on God:



Clearly he wasn't an atheist, he just rejected the God that he feels that mankind has created via religion and theology. He put his own belief in its place.


I don't know of Einstein ever describing himself as an atheist but it would be disingenuous to call him a believer or theist. See my first post about the Einsteinian God. It's an impersonal way of describing what we don't yet know.

ih8brady
05-15-2008, 08:35 AM
Religion is scientifically defined as a belief system that answers ultimate questions and atheism's answer is that the end is the end. If someone wants to say that he doesn't collect anything as his hobby, fine.

The thing here is that he said that his perspective is right. Therefore, another's is wrong.


How is religion defined scientifically? Its defined semantical since it is a cultural/social term, not a scientific one. And you're wrong to assume that A) all atheist think the same in terms of "ultimate questions" B) some of us are agnostic or apathetic in terms of questions about the afterlife or lack therefor of.


I'm sorry, but materialism excludes all superstition. It is not as though I disbelief in the Christian talking snake but believe in other talking snakes. Thor, angels, ghosts, goblins, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, talking snakes, etc. are all equally implausible and disbelieved by me. Therefore, I have no religion or superstition.

LouPhinFan
05-15-2008, 12:40 PM
I don't know of Einstein ever describing himself as an atheist but it would be disingenuous to call him a believer or theist. See my first post about the Einsteinian God. It's an impersonal way of describing what we don't yet know.

Then why give "nominus" things the name God? If he was not even a little bit of a theist then why not give it another name? 'Unknown quantities', or 'unidentified properties', or even 'chicken salad' would have been more clear than using 'God'. Later in life his belief in a God may have faultered but per his quotes, earlier in life he was very much a theist.

ih8brady
05-15-2008, 01:23 PM
Then why give "nominus" things the name God? If he was not even a little bit of a theist then why not give it another name? 'Unknown quantities', or 'unidentified properties', or even 'chicken salad' would have been more clear than using 'God'. .
It isn't a new wordplay, it is working within the social framework of one's age. To quote what he said in 1921 when asked if he believed in God by a rabbi at a synagogue in New York: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in the God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings."



Later in life his belief in a God may have faultered but per his quotes, earlier in life he was very much a theist
Simply untrue, especially to say that he was very much a theist. He described himself as agnostic, and recalled being a precocious young man who recognized the "traditional education machine" indoctrinates youth to implant religion. He said that reading scientific journals of the time convinced him "that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true."


Why would he lie? Indeed, it would seem more convincing to others if he had been a firm believer yet his faith faded with experience.

LouPhinFan
05-15-2008, 02:34 PM
It isn't a new wordplay, it is working within the social framework of one's age. To quote what he said in 1921 when asked if he believed in God by a rabbi at a synagogue in New York: "I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in the God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings."



Simply untrue, especially to say that he was very much a theist. He described himself as agnostic, and recalled being a precocious young man who recognized the "traditional education machine" indoctrinates youth to implant religion. He said that reading scientific journals of the time convinced him "that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true."


Why would he lie? Indeed, it would seem more convincing to others if he had been a firm believer yet his faith faded with experience.

So he believes in a God (nature or Universe) that creates and then forgets? So according to him God created me, but doesn't love me enough to care what happens to me?:err: He may have been a ground breaking genius when it comes to physics, but it sounds like he was just as confused about religion and beliefs as a lot of other people. He was basically a pantheist. Still wether its panteisim, monotheism, or polytheisim, he still believed in some kind of God. Just not a God of love.

ih8brady
05-15-2008, 02:43 PM
So he believes in a God (nature or Universe) that creates and then forgets? So according to him God created me, but doesn't love me enough to care what happens to me?:err: He may have been a ground breaking genius when it comes to physics, but it sounds like he was just as confused about religion and beliefs as a lot of other people. He was basically a pantheist. Still wether its panteisim, monotheism, or polytheisim, he still believed in some kind of God. Just not a God of love.


But that's still dishonest to portray him as a believer of God. He believed in the order of the universe, that's something completely different. There's many primary and secondary books on Einstein's insights. I would suggest Walter Issacson's comprehensive biography. It's quite a read. And I would strongly suggest avoiding those who wish to defame his name by suggesting his mind was committed to the supernatural rather than the natural.

Miamian
05-15-2008, 04:32 PM
You are telling me what I believe. And it isn't true.

Not believing is not a belief. It doesn't take faith to not believe, it just takes a desire for evidence.

If Einstein said Santa doesn't exist, and I said he was right, would I be in the same predicament?
That's agnosticism. If you want to ascribe to that idea, fine. You just have no more right to say that it's correct than another who believes in G-d.

Miamian
05-15-2008, 04:36 PM
How is religion defined scientifically? Its defined semantical since it is a cultural/social term, not a scientific one. And you're wrong to assume that A) all atheist think the same in terms of "ultimate questions" B) some of us are agnostic or apathetic in terms of questions about the afterlife or lack therefor of.


I'm sorry, but materialism excludes all superstition. It is not as though I disbelief in the Christian talking snake but believe in other talking snakes. Thor, angels, ghosts, goblins, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, talking snakes, etc. are all equally implausible and disbelieved by me. Therefore, I have no religion or superstition.
It's looking at religion from a phenomenological perspective, so it's scientific in nature. The function of religion from that perspective is a belief system that answers those questions. Since Atheism professes that there is no Almighty, then what would there be after death?

In addition, you're imposing your own beliefs with the term "superstition."

Tetragrammaton
05-15-2008, 11:59 PM
You just have no more right to say that it's correct than another who believes in G-d.

I was referring to Einstein's statement that the Abrahamic God was childish. And sorry, I don't believe it is an even debate. I go back to my Santa analogy. I have a right to say Santa exist because, well, he doesn't.

Miamian
05-16-2008, 01:58 AM
I was referring to Einstein's statement that the Abrahamic God was childish. And sorry, I don't believe it is an even debate. I go back to my Santa analogy. I have a right to say Santa exist because, well, he doesn't.
Last time I checked there was no religion centered on Santa Clause. And I go back to my earlier comment that your attitude is no different in mentality from a Bible thumper's.

Dolphan7
05-20-2008, 09:41 PM
Well whatever Einstien believed in, he knows better now!;)

Bumpus
05-21-2008, 11:42 AM
Well whatever Einstien believed in, he knows better now!;)
:rolleyes2:
Gee, thanks for clearing that up.

Brutalis
06-13-2008, 01:30 PM
I personally think his mind was so complex that there's too many details and loose ends he couldn't follow. Whatever you believe in takes faith. Something that you can't see, hear, smell, touch, etc.. and you just have to believe in something. His mind was too complex to let himself do that. Makes me feel bad for the guy.

And what's with this "G-d" business. That's disrespect and there's no clever explanation as to why it's not.

Joo. Muslums. Same difference to me. Ain't right!

Dolphan7
06-13-2008, 02:57 PM
I personally think his mind was so complex that there's too many details and loose ends he couldn't follow. Whatever you believe in takes faith. Something that you can't see, hear, smell, touch, etc.. and you just have to believe in something. His mind was too complex to let himself do that. Makes me feel bad for the guy.

And what's with this "G-d" business. That's disrespect and there's no clever explanation as to why it's not.

Joo. Muslums. Same difference to me. Ain't right!I believe, in Judaism, they cannot say or spell the name of God, so that is why you see the hyphenated g-d. Miamian can explain in further detail and correct me if I am wrong, but it goes something along those lines.

Tetragrammaton
06-13-2008, 11:30 PM
I personally think his mind was so complex that there's too many details and loose ends he couldn't follow. Whatever you believe in takes faith. Something that you can't see, hear, smell, touch, etc.. and you just have to believe in something. His mind was too complex to let himself do that. Makes me feel bad for the guy.

Wow. I had to re-read that. "He couldn't follow".


I believe, in Judaism, they cannot say or spell the name of God, so that is why you see the hyphenated g-d. Miamian can explain in further detail and correct me if I am wrong, but it goes something along those lines.

From what I understand, they take the idea of not using the Lord's name in vain to the max. In original Hebrew script, when God was mentioned, they used the English equivalent of Y H V H to mention him. This is what Yahoo! Answers says.

ih8brady
06-14-2008, 12:25 AM
It's looking at religion from a phenomenological perspective, so it's scientific in nature. The function of religion from that perspective is a belief system that answers those questions. Since Atheism professes that there is no Almighty, then what would there be after death?

In addition, you're imposing your own beliefs with the term "superstition."


Atheism literally means a-without and theism-belief in a God. It has nothing to deal with the questions of what happens after death. If you are without a belief about God, than you are an atheist.


And what else should I call belief in talking snakes, walking on water, angels, demons, etc. other then superstition?

umpalu
06-18-2008, 03:28 AM
Napoleon's view was nearly the same. He said he didn't believe in religion himself, but it was a perfect way to keep the God fearing masses in check and subdued.