Einstein On God

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    We have no way of knowing whether we are understanding Einstein's thoughts as he intended them.
    To understand Einstein's thoughts as he intended them, we would have to talk to him, and he would have to give us feedback as to whether we understand him as he inteded, or not.


    I didn't say it makes your posts nonsense.
    But you certainly can't speak on Einstein's behalf.
     
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  3. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    1. Of course we have a way of knowing. We simply have to read what he said. When he wrote, or spoke, it was intended to communicate his thoughts so that others may understand how he saw life. By adding to what he said, trying to make out there was more to it simply complicates things.
    Unfortunately he is not here to give account of what he actually meant so we have to make do with what he left us with.

    2. Apologies, I thought you were highlighting AlexG's point.
    So when you quote philosophers, giving your understanding of what is meant, how is that any different than me quoting Einstein and giving my understanding of what he meant?

    jan.
     
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  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Which doesn't give us the right to propose that we are able to speak on his behalf.


    I'm not arguing that I know what they meant. Nor am I arguing that I can speak on their behalf.

    I'm not making arguments from authority. You, on the other hand, seem to.
     
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  7. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Who decides whether you have correctly understood what another person meant?

    You, or that person?
     
  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    This is being established.

    jan.
     
  9. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    1. I'm not ''speaking on his behalf''.

    2. Are you sure? You seem to do that in abundance.

    3. Things aren't always what they seem.

    jan.
     
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    What do you mean?

    It is always the person themselves who decides whether another person has understood them as intended or not.

    For example, you don't leave it up to, say, Sarkus, to decide whether he correctly understood what you meant. Instead, it is you who decides whether Sarkus has understood you correctly or not.
     
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

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    Okay. In which case, you can't say that someone understood Einstein's stance, or that he didn't.


    Things aren't always what they seem.
     
  12. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    We're trying to establish what he meant, using his own words (well some of us are!).

    The person in question isn't here, but he left a lot of stuff for us to pour over.

    Note that I'm not discussing his personal life, or anything outside of the public arena.

    jan.
     
  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    wynn,

    I can say that someone hasn't understood some of what he wrote, and that can be said of me as well.
    Which is what we're doing.

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    Precisely!

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    jan.
     
  14. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    wynn,

    I don't think he said that man doesn't ''need religion''. I think he thought that the idea of a religion in which fear of life, death, judgement, were necessary for belief in God, 'primitive', and he didn't have time for them. He regarded his religion/religiosity as fitting of this age of scientific knowledge and advancement.

    In Einstein's case, he saw God in the structure of the world/universe, invoking a ''religious feeling'' in him. His work became his religion. So he figured it out for himself, but he was (so to speak) born in the right place at the right time allowing this capacity, not that it was discovered by him for the first time. People have been speaking like this, and even more advanced throughout recorded history (at least). He himself pays homage to Spinoza.



    I don't think Einstein used mental speculation to come to his conclusion about God, I think he was lead by the beauty and awe of the world in which he lived, so much so that it had to come from the mind of a super intelligence, that was impenetrable by our senses, but could be known by own minds. Although he may have a lot to say about religion (being a well read man and all), he could only access God at the level that he did, but I believe he was sincere which is probably why he remains so popular today. Not only for his science, but his views on life and God. There's is something about the opulence real fame. It is undeniably attractive.

    jan.
     
  15. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Sarkus,

    ''Agnostic'' is an intellectual position not a practical one. If one does not admit to not knowing something, acting as if they know something, then the reality of that one, is that they do not know, regardless of how they label themselves. So yes, he is ''agnostic'' in the true sense of the word, but so is the majority of the world population.
    It is trivial by design.

    From his perspective, his sense of wonder and awe creates a religious feeling, but that feeling isn't religion, anymore than being attracted to someone is love and devotion. Religion is something one does, not what one feels.

    No, if you insist on using lower-case letter's where upper-case is appropriate.

    Why would he use the term ''God'', and not speak in real scientific terms?

    He claims that God is present in the structure of the world/universe.
    He claims that God thinks.
    He claims that God is a He.
    He claims that God is subtle.
    He claims that God is not malicious.
    He claims that ''before God we are all equally stupid - and equally wise.
    He claims that ''God always takes the simple way''.
    He claims that God reveals a super reasoning power in the universe...

    These are all claims he has made, and there only ones off the top of my head, so once again you're wrong I'm afraid.

    We're agreed.

    jan.
     
  16. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    He was from a Jewish background, so he used the word, but he shouldn't have because of all the religious baggage surrounding it. He certainly didn't mean it literally. But I'm not at all surprised you don't get it.
     
  17. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    I've been guilty of using the word "God" when I really mean "natural law" or "Mother Nature" or "universe"... simply because I felt that it conveyed the "proper" sense of wonder and awe.

    I have quit using it because it tends to create confusion due to the baggage that comes along with "God". (As displayed in numerous threads exactly like this one.)
     
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Of course he meant it literally. Where's the evidence that he didn't?

    I'm not at all surprised that you're prepared to lie. Are you one of the fanatical atheists Einstein mentioned?
    Or is that not to be taken literally too?

    jan.
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It will make no difference what I say. You never ever learn. But nevertheless:

    ""It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously."
     
  20. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

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    Jan is quite excellent at ignoring anything which doesn't support his religious fanaticism.
     
  21. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    You've given me nothing to learn, other than how to outrightly deny something that is right under your nose. But that's not for me. Thanks all the same.

    Just out of curiosity, why don't you accept ''a personal God'' as a metaphor?
    What is it that makes you think he is actually talking about God, and how does the word ''God'' differ to Einstein, than the ''metaphorical'' term.

    jan.
     
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    It should be obvious, a personal god is a thing literally concerned about you personally. I am saying that Einstein uses the term as a metaphor for the "all of everything" and it's not what believers think about god.

    Besides, being an authority on physics doesn't make one an authority on anything else.
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    It is not trivial as it relates to this subject. His practical position on every aspect of his God was that he did not know (other than seeing evidence of God's existence in the workings of the universe). That lack of knowing informed his practice.
    That you consider it trivial is why you only get an answer of 9 when you're looking for 10... 'cos you think the additional 1 is insignificant.
    And if you equate religion to anything you do that inspires religious feeling, the two become closer than you give credit for. You are trying to find differences where none seem to be.
    So it's not unclear if I use lower-case where you think upper-case is appropriate???
    There is no "real scientific terms" with regard "God". God is a non-scientific matter. Einstein would have known this, hence the metaphors and the anthropomorphisation (e.g. wanting to know how God thinks, etc).
    No, he considers God to reveal itself "in the harmony of all that exists", not that it is necessarily present in it, perhaps the way a building represents an architect.
    Yes, the anthropomorphic metaphor you can't seem to accept.
    Convention.
    Yes, because he believes the universe is all these things.
    Before the universe (taken as a whole) we are all equally stupid - and equally wise
    The universe always takes the simple way.
    No, he claims that the universe reveals a super reasoning power.
    None of these claims show me to be wrong in any way. You are claiming a specific explanation of his words, as if you are an authority, yet nothing you write has to be interpreted the way you claim, especially when you look at the larger picture rather than isolated claims.
    Every counter you come up with is nothing more than "You're wrong: he meant X", and yet you admit (and we agree that) you are not an authority on what he meant.
    Do you not see a disparity between that admission and the way you word your arguments?
     

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