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4 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2013 - 4:16PM #1
nadnareek
Posts: 3
Though he may not have believed in a personal God, Einstein (and later Anthony Flew) changed form atheism to theism based on observation of the universe.

"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 minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." -from The Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press

 


"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 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." - Einstein and Religion, Princeton University Press, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kj_WK-smlQ



See also ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF GOD app.box.com/s/t1j2c0l61avhdchfgrse
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2013 - 4:34PM #2
rangerken
Posts: 16,967

Einstein was and is not alone among the brilliant scientists who question the devine, or think the universe can not have come into being by accident... or who believe the opposite.


There is always a bit of tension between science and religion. Often those (likie me) who constantly 'preach' that science is about how and religion is about why get conflicted at times.


Excellent thread. I'll come back and join in more in a day or so.



Ken

Libertarian, Conservative, Life member of the NRA and VFW
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2013 - 5:03PM #3
Blü
Posts: 26,191

I started a thread with information on Einstein's later theism a couple of weeks back - here.


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4 years ago  ::  Jul 16, 2013 - 6:37PM #4
Transcend
Posts: 3
I am also a fan of the "Einstein and Religion" book. I was both impressed and amused by his expressing irritation at atheists for using him as a supporting reference. He did not like this being labeled "chief atheist" because he felt he was not even a little atheist.

His talk of our "meager human intelligence", which included him, was also a kick.
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 12:40PM #5
Brainscramble
Posts: 11,609

Jul 16, 2013 -- 4:16PM, nadnareek wrote:

Though he may not have believed in a personal God, Einstein (and later Anthony Flew) changed form atheism to theism based on observation of the universe.

"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 minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God." -from The Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press


 


"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 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." - Einstein and Religion, Princeton University Press, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kj_WK-smlQ



See also ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE EXISTENCE OF GOD app.box.com/s/t1j2c0l61avhdchfgrse




Excellent thoughts.  Why do scientists, for the most part, shun such ideas when one of the most brilliant scientists of all time believes in God?  On top of that, perhaps THE most brilliant scientist of all time---Sir Isaac Newton---believed passionately in God.

To our almighty God and Father (of Christ and ourselves):  "Show them you alone are JEHOVAH, the Most High over all the earth."  (Psalm 83:18)
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 12:54PM #6
Brainscramble
Posts: 11,609

Jul 16, 2013 -- 5:03PM, Blü wrote:


I started a thread with information on Einstein's later theism a couple of weeks back - here.






Geesh.  How could he change so dramatically?  I understand why he would say what he did about the Bible.....but God?  That's disappointing.


I also have a comment about Charles Darwin.  I read a book on his writings published by his son, and there were a few things in his writings about what he thought about God and creation.  He stated that he was not an atheist, more likely an agnostic, and when he thought about the magnificence of the universe and its order and beauty he couldn't help but feel that it seemed impossible without a Great Intelligence......but he chose not to think about it too often.


Again....if these great men (Einstein, Newton, Darwin) can see the sense in believing in a God (at least at some point in their lives), then why do many scientists today tell you you're stupid and ignorant if you believe in God?

To our almighty God and Father (of Christ and ourselves):  "Show them you alone are JEHOVAH, the Most High over all the earth."  (Psalm 83:18)
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 1:21PM #7
Oncomintrain
Posts: 3,516

Jul 17, 2013 -- 12:54PM, Brainscramble wrote:



Geesh.  How could he change so dramatically?  I understand why he would say what he did about the Bible.....but God?  That's disappointing.


I also have a comment about Charles Darwin.  I read a book on his writings published by his son, and there were a few things in his writings about what he thought about God and creation.  He stated that he was not an atheist, more likely an agnostic, and when he thought about the magnificence of the universe and its order and beauty he couldn't help but feel that it seemed impossible without a Great Intelligence......but he chose not to think about it too often.


Again....if these great men (Einstein, Newton, Darwin) can see the sense in believing in a God (at least at some point in their lives), then why do many scientists today tell you you're stupid and ignorant if you believe in God?




Well, those three individuals show an interesting progression, don't they?


Newton, the earliest, was no just a theist... he was a religious obsessive.


Darwin, later was an agnostic... not to mention that he was a man who had to be very careful not to be seen as anti-religious, lest his theory suffer.


Einstein, most recently (but still 50 years ago) also labelled himself an agnostic, expressing a possible belief in only the vaguest sort of theism: "From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist. ... It is always misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with things outside the human sphere—childish analogies. We have to admire in humility and beautiful harmony of the structure of this world—as far as we can grasp it. And that is all."




So as we get more recent, we also get less religious. Isn't that an interesting trend? These men were each, to great degree, a product of their times. And as science has been able to explain more and more, and religion has lost its vice-like grip over the Western World, people in general -- and scientists in particular -- have become less patient with belief in an entity that has become less and less necessary in explaining our universe (not to mention beliefs which are often anti-science). Few atheists would be troubled by Darwin's religious views, and fewer let by Einstein's... we'd hardly consider them theists at all.


Indeed, both of them were highly critical of the conventional theisms of their respective days. Just as SOME scientists are vocally critical of modern theism. 

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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 1:41PM #8
Brainscramble
Posts: 11,609

Thank you, Oncomintrain, for your response.


There are indeed many beliefs that believers-in-God have that seem to contradict the laws of Science.  But why is it so far-fetched to believe, for instance, that a decomposing man can be brought back to life when we all are faced every day with the question of where did life come from in the first place?  A man coming back from the dead is scientifically impossible.  So is life from spontaneous generation---something that all of us school kids laughed at in school---that people actually used to think that flies were spontaneously generated from an old filthy wad of clothing.  Scientifically impossible, yet scientists believe this about LIFE!


Why do they discount things in the Bible that are miraculous, and yet they believe in spontaneous generation---life from inanimate atoms floating around in primordeal waters?


(And they will admit that they don't know where the atoms and even the water came from, even though Richard Dawkins said in an interview that perhaps aliens are responsible.)

To our almighty God and Father (of Christ and ourselves):  "Show them you alone are JEHOVAH, the Most High over all the earth."  (Psalm 83:18)
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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 2:09PM #9
Oncomintrain
Posts: 3,516

Jul 17, 2013 -- 1:41PM, Brainscramble wrote:


Thank you, Oncomintrain, for your response.


There are indeed many beliefs that believers-in-God have that seem to contradict the laws of Science.  But why is it so far-fetched to believe, for instance, that a decomposing man can be brought back to life when we all are faced every day with the question of where did life come from in the first place?  A man coming back from the dead is scientifically impossible.  So is life from spontaneous generation---something that all of us school kids laughed at in school---that people actually used to think that flies were spontaneously generated from an old filthy wad of clothing.  Scientifically impossible, yet scientists believe this about LIFE!



Nothing is scientifically impossible. That's actually part of what makes science science: no possibility is every 100% excluded. The door is ALWAYS left open to the possibility that future evidence will emerge that will overturn current thinking.


But the question becomes: what is there evidence to SUPPORT? There IS strong scientific evidence to suggest that life may have emerged from non-biotic chemicals and energy -- not spontaneously -- but by a step-wise progression of more-and-more "life-like" entities. We see this evidence written in the fossil record, and in genomes, and in nature.


I would suggest that there is NOT much evidence to suggest that Jeshua ben Joseph actually rose bodily from the dead. (I hope it is obvious why the Bible itself cannot be treated, a priori, as a reliable source of evidence).


And I would point out that Darwin's and Einstein's views on religion come MUCH closer to atheism than to "traditional" Christianity.


Why do they discount things in the Bible that are miraculous, and yet they believe in spontaneous generation---life from inanimate atoms floating around in primordeal waters?



Because the Bible -- taken as a whole or in its component parts -- is a religious text... a book of myth reflecting the agenda of its innumerable writers. The miracles of the Bible cannot be corroborated, they have to be taken ON FAITH... which doesn't fly in science, nor with many scientists.


Whereas there is considerable evidence to suggest that life could and DID arise naturally.


(And they will admit that they don't know where the atoms and even the water came from, even though Richard Dawkins said in an interview that perhaps aliens are responsible.)



Dawkins said that aliens are responsible for atoms and water? I'm skeptical. You mind linking me to that interview? Sounds to me like you might be mangling the Ben Stein interview, in which Stein asked Dawkins' to SPECULATE as to any POSSIBLE circumstance under which Intelligent Design MIGHT be true:

n Dawkins' interview, the director focused on Stein's question to Dawkins regarding a hypothetical scenario in which intelligent design could have occurred. Dawkins responded that in the case of the "highly unlikely event that some such 'Directed Panspermia' was responsible for designing life on this planet, the alien beings wouldthemselves have to have evolved, if not by Darwinian selection, by some equivalent 'crane' (to quote Dan Dennett)." He later described this as being similar to Francis Crick and Leslie Orgel's "semi tongue-in-cheek" example.



At any rate, even the strident "New Atheists" like Dawkins will tell you that it is impossible to actually disprove the possibility of God's existence. However, they would tell you that, in their view, God is an idea which just isn't well-supported by evidence.


To quote Mark Twain: "What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so." There is nothing wrong with honest ignorance... it is considerably better than false certainty.


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4 years ago  ::  Jul 17, 2013 - 2:31PM #10
amcolph
Posts: 20,246

Jul 17, 2013 -- 12:54PM, Brainscramble wrote:



Again....if these great men (Einstein, Newton, Darwin) can see the sense in believing in a God (at least at some point in their lives), then why do many scientists today tell you you're stupid and ignorant if you believe in God?




I don't believe that "many" scientists do any such thing--for believing in God as such.


However, they are very likely to if your belief in God also includes the belief that the world was created in 4004 BC and that the scientific community is engaged in a conspiracy to deny it.


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