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arosar
14-05-2008, 06:46 AM
It's official, thanks to a newly discovered letter (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/may/12/peopleinscience.religion).

AR

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 09:09 AM
His position on God has been widely misrepresented by people on both sides of the atheism/religion divide but he always resisted easy stereotyping on the subject.

"Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular polemicists like to pigeonhole him," said Brooke. "It is clear for example that he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian traditions ... but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion."

Despite his categorical rejection of conventional religion, Brooke said that Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism. He was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote. "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."

Spiny Norman
14-05-2008, 09:30 AM
I hate and detest religion myself. Doesn't stop me being a Christian.

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 09:55 AM
In the letter, he [Einstein] states: "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."

arosar
14-05-2008, 09:58 AM
And now even the Vatican's chief astronomer reckons that there might aliens. And guess what? They're free from original sin.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm

AR

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 10:14 AM
And now even the Vatican's chief astronomer reckons that there might aliens. And guess what? They're free from original sin.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7399661.stm

AR

Contraposition of science and religious is a red herring (and often a myth).
It is assumed that Galileo was attacked by church for his scientific work. Yet the main reason for his prosecution was the envy of other scientists of the day, who wrote numerous complaints against him, accusing Galileo of being an enemy of the church.
He was verbally reprimanding in exchange for pretending to renounce some of his views. Looks like a diplomatic way to let the things slide.
His treatment was not even as bad as for some modern global warming sceptics.

I am not going to defend Christian church (especially Catholic) against accusation of impromptu. It is guilty (IMHO) of many crimes.
Yet depressing the science (in general) is not among them.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 10:22 AM
A little trivia:

Who were the most prominent human right activists in 16th century?
The answer will definitely surprise some.

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 10:35 AM
A little trivia:

Who were the most prominent human right activists in 16th century?
The answer will definitely surprise some.

The Spanish inquisition?

MichaelBaron
14-05-2008, 10:49 AM
I think there is a big difference between believing in God and believing in religion :)

Desmond
14-05-2008, 11:27 AM
The Spanish inquisition?
No-one expected that!

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 11:28 AM
No-one expected that!

Our chief weapon is surprise. That's all, just surprise.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 11:35 AM
The Spanish inquisition?
NO. Try again

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 12:24 PM
NO. Try again

It was a joke, Joyce.

Desmond
14-05-2008, 12:25 PM
I think there is a big difference between believing in God and believing in religion :)Yes, it is clear that religion exists.

Zwischenzug
14-05-2008, 12:33 PM
Yes, it is clear that religion exists.

I think Michael meant, believing in the scriptures of religion versus believing in God without religion.

Garrett
14-05-2008, 01:21 PM
Yes, it is clear that religion exists.

:) :)

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 04:44 PM
The Spanish inquisition?
Indeed, the Inquisitors' prisons were often so lenient that ordinary criminals would utter heresies to be sent there rather than to the secular prisons. And in three centuries, they had a lower annual rate of execution than Texas. See An Inquiry on the Inquisition (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html) for more details.

Igor_Goldenberg
14-05-2008, 05:10 PM
A little trivia:

Who were the most prominent human right activists in 16th century?
The answer will definitely surprise some.
A clue:
They were the only force between Native Americans and slavery

Garrett
14-05-2008, 05:31 PM
I can understand people listening when Einstein talks about physics.

But why should I listen (and why is it so interesting) when he talks about religon and God ?

Is not my opinion worth just as much as Einstein's ??

Cheers
Garrett.

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 05:47 PM
Indeed, the Inquisitors' prisons were often so lenient that ordinary criminals would utter heresies to be sent there rather than to the secular prisons. And in three centuries, they had a lower annual rate of execution than Texas. See An Inquiry on the Inquisition (http://www.tektonics.org/qt/spaninq.html) for more details.

The state of Texas is another predominantly Christian organisation.:eek:

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 05:53 PM
I can understand people listening when Einstein talks about physics.

Me too. However, even in the field of physics Einstein was not flawless. For one there is the concept of the cosmological constant, which Einstein considered to be his biggest blunder. (Mind you there is still some interest in a cosmological constant as a possible explanation of an accelerating universe). Also Einstein was opposed to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics and spent a lot of effort to prove it incorrect. The subsequent 80 years have shown this interpretation is very useful and still widely accepted today and so on that count I think Einstein may have backed the wrong pony.


But why should I listen (and why is it so interesting) when he talks about religon and God ?

Because he was a smart guy who made some very deep observations about the physical world. Some of the interest is celebrity for sure. However, the opinion of very clever people is often interesting, even when speaking about areas outside the area of specialty.


Is not my opinion worth just as much as Einstein's ??

It depends on how you measure worth.

In terms of the effect of either opinion on my personal world view I would say both are of equal value. However, I know Einstein to have been a formidable thinker and so I am more interested in Einstein's opinion.

TheJoker
14-05-2008, 06:02 PM
A clue:
They were the only force between Native Americans and slavery

Isn't this exactly Einstein's point. The religious moral s are honourable and the scriptures are simplistic stories.

I believe the stories were designed to convey these morals to the largely superstitious uneducated population of the time. A means of control insituted by the wiser amongst the community to get the population to act in manner that could facilitate a more civilised society. Nearly all religions have everything a conventional control system has:

1. A set of rules (morals)
2. A punishment system (hell etc).
3. A rewards system (heaven)
4. An accounting system (God with his all seeing eye).

Aaron Guthrie
14-05-2008, 06:15 PM
Some of the interest is celebrity for sure.Any excuse for publishing a wacky photo of the guy.

eclectic
14-05-2008, 06:39 PM
2. A punishment system (hell etc).

i regard the concept of hell and the implied threat of being consigned therein as the spiritual equivalent of molestation

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 06:39 PM
The state of Texas is another predominantly Christian organisation.:eek:
It had an anti-Christian Democratic governor, Ann Richards, for a long time, before the future President Bush defeated her.

Spiny Norman
14-05-2008, 06:39 PM
... the opinion of very clever people is often interesting, even when speaking about areas outside the area of specialty.
Can I quote you on that next time you and Jono have a barney?

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 06:41 PM
I can understand people listening when Einstein talks about physics.

But why should I listen (and why is it so interesting) when he talks about religon and God ?

Is not my opinion worth just as much as Einstein's ??
That's a very fair comment. It shows up the fallacious argument from authority (argumentum ad verecundiam). Appealing to Einstein's opinion about religion is silly, since he is not an authority in this field.

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 06:47 PM
i regard the concept of hell and the implied threat of being consigned therein as the spiritual equivalent of molestation
An interesting revelation of your own psychological quirks, but hardly an argument. In reality, people will to be in Hell. E.g. for people who don't want God, God will give them what they clearly wanted by their actions—separation from His presence. And as the great apologist C.S. Lewis said, those who end up in hell are those who cannot stand to be in God’s Holy presence, so God says to them: ‘Thy will be done.’ The passages below are examples of those who persistently reject the truth and actively prefer lies, delusion and darkness, so God gives them just what they want (and from God’s standpoint, deserve).

See also A Refocus on the Atonement and Eternal Punishment (http://www.tektonics.org/uz/2muchshame.html) by J. P. Holding.

Kevin Bonham
14-05-2008, 08:57 PM
In reality, people will to be in Hell. E.g. for people who don't want God, God will give them what they clearly wanted by their actions—separation from His presence.

Aaaah, another appearance of this strange apologist concept of choosing to believe. There may be some people who genuinely believe Hell exists and want to go check out the scenery, but for many of us it is not a question of choosing to believe these things or not. I have no conscious choice concerning what I believe or don't believe about any one issue - I form an opinion that is determined by information known to me about the issue, and my analysis of that information - which may (or may not) be affected in given cases by my personality or past experiences.

In a given case it might be good for me to believe something that I actually think is false, but that doesn't mean I can believe it just because of that.

As for Einstein, I've seen enough comments by him on political, moral and religious type issues that I considered to be unremarkable at best, and naive humbug at worst, that I couldn't really care less what his views on religion were - though watching attempts to twist them can be amusing.

Rincewind
14-05-2008, 09:38 PM
Can I quote you on that next time you and Jono have a barney?

Sure, although as a caveat, it certainly doesn't apply to Jono. :P

Capablanca-Fan
14-05-2008, 11:32 PM
Actually, the new Einstein letter supports what CMI said all along: Einstein, the universe, and God (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/345/).

Spiny Norman
15-05-2008, 07:29 AM
I read a book about Einstein a month or so back. The content was derived from radio broadcasts in England done by contemporaries of the man, mostly scientists obviously. One of the more telling comments made was that Einstein seemed to have a sort if naivety about him in relation to matters political, religious, social and so on ... as though he basically couldn't be bothered applying his notable intellect to such matters and preferred to think mostly about the realm of science/physics.

antichrist
16-05-2008, 04:49 PM
Considering Einsteins understanding of the natural world, the only one we know, he is in a far better position to guess what may or may not be in an unknown world. At least a lot better position than those who know very litttle about the known world.

Garrett
16-05-2008, 05:17 PM
Considering Einsteins understanding of the natural world, the only one we know, he is in a far better position to guess what may or may not be in an unknown world. At least a lot better position than those who know very litttle about the known world.

oh give me a break. or perhaps.........

Perhaps the brain can only store so much and the more you know about the known things the less you can know about unknown things ??

Maybe if we want to know about the unknown we should ask the totally clueless..... like you !!

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 07:59 PM
oh give me a break. or perhaps.........

Perhaps the brain can only store so much and the more you know about the known things the less you can know about unknown things ??

Maybe if we want to know about the unknown we should ask the totally clueless..... like you !!

Often you don't know what you don't know. But is it possible to know what you don't know:lol:

TheJoker
16-05-2008, 08:21 PM
An interesting revelation of your own psychological quirks, but hardly an argument. In reality, people will to be in Hell. E.g. for people who don't want God, God will give them what they clearly wanted by their actions—separation from His presence. And as the great apologist C.S. Lewis said, those who end up in hell are those who cannot stand to be in God’s Holy presence, so God says to them: ‘Thy will be done.’ The passages below are examples of those who persistently reject the truth and actively prefer lies, delusion and darkness, so God gives them just what they want (and from God’s standpoint, deserve).

See also A Refocus on the Atonement and Eternal Punishment (http://www.tektonics.org/uz/2muchshame.html) by J. P. Holding.

Just out of curiosity under christian-lore if a person repents whilst in hell will they then be transferred to heaven, or is there an expiry date on the whole ask and you will be forgiven thingy?

Kevin Bonham
16-05-2008, 08:35 PM
Just out of curiosity under christian-lore if a person repents whilst in hell will they then be transferred to heaven, or is there an expiry date on the whole ask and you will be forgiven thingy?

I'm pretty sure those Christians still silly enough to take the "hell" concept seriously believe that you have to book your tickets while still in the land of the living. Otherwise the cheap blackmail tactics wouldn't carry much weight and the religion would not transmit itself as effectively, since people would just ignore it on the grounds that they could always repent later if they wound up there.

I once asked some of the hellfire-obsessive types if there was anything I could possibly do that would guarantee that I would definitely go to hell (according to them) - apart from killing myself without first converting to their religion. My idea was that if there was something and it was legal, I would do it, so they wouldn't keep wasting their time and offending my low patience with extreme stupidity by trying to convert me. However they had nothing to offer in that department.

Spiny Norman
17-05-2008, 09:27 AM
I'm pretty sure those Christians still silly enough to take the "hell" concept seriously believe that you have to book your tickets while still in the land of the living.
Correct ... as a christian silly enough to take the "hell concept seriously, I can confirm this ... :)


I once asked some of the hellfire-obsessive types if there was anything I could possibly do that would guarantee that I would definitely go to hell (according to them) - apart from killing myself without first converting to their religion. My idea was that if there was something and it was legal, I would do it, so they wouldn't keep wasting their time and offending my low patience with extreme stupidity by trying to convert me. However they had nothing to offer in that department.
Of course not -- as you had previously pointed out, there is always the prospect of redemption whilst you are in the land of the living.

Adamski
17-05-2008, 09:34 AM
Our chief weapon is surprise. That's all, just surprise.But in Monty Python, it was also "fear and surprise". Not just surprise. Anyway, The S I is not the answer to Igor's question. In the sixteenth century it would have been the Roman Catholic Church.

Rincewind
17-05-2008, 10:19 AM
But in Monty Python, it was also "fear and surprise". Not just surprise.

Actually the full list is

fear
surprise
ruthless efficiency
an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope
nice red uniforms

However part of the humour of the sketch comes from Cardinal Ximinez forgetting various components and getting numbers wrong mentioned earlier in his statements wrong and having to adjust.

In one version (I think it is one which appeared on the record) at one point Ximinez gives up trying and says "Out chief weapon is surprise! That's all, just surprise." To which Cardinal Fang retorts "What about fear?" and so it continues...

Adamski
17-05-2008, 10:28 AM
Actually the full list is

fear
surprise
ruthless efficiency
an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope
nice red uniforms

However part of the humour of the sketch comes from Cardinal Ximinez forgetting various components and getting numbers wrong mentioned earlier in his statements wrong and having to adjust.

In one version (I think it is one which appeared on the record) at one point Ximinez gives up trying and says "Out chief weapon is surprise! That's all, just surprise." To which Cardinal Fang retorts "What about fear?" and so it continues...Yes, in at least one series the Spanish Inquisition was a continuing theme. It would keep popping up when nobody expected it! And the words did change...:)

Rincewind
17-05-2008, 10:40 AM
Yes, in at least one series the Spanish Inquisition was a continuing theme. It would keep popping up when nobody expected it! And the words did change...:)

That reminds me, my list might not have been complete as I believe on the record, in place of "nice red uniforms" something like "a night out with a naval officer" was substituted. Googling Python scripts I also come across something called "The Final Ripoff" which I've never heard but which has "that's all, just surpise" component and has "a night out with the neighbour".

As far as I can tell from the scripts of the TV show (Monty Python's Flying Circus - Just the words, Vol. 1, Mandarin, 1990) The Spanish Inquisition was a recurring them is Show 15, which was the second show of the second series, first aired 22-9-70. I don't think the character of Cardinal Ximinez appeared in any other episode of the TV show, but if you could provide an episode number I could check it out.

Desmond
18-05-2008, 07:43 AM
Yes, in at least one series the Spanish Inquisition was a continuing theme. It would keep popping up when nobody expected it! And the words did change...:)Such pedantry, RW and I were just sharing a joke, we didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition! ;)

Spiny Norman
18-05-2008, 07:46 AM
Which one of you is Cardinal Fang?

Rincewind
18-05-2008, 01:15 PM
Which one of you is Cardinal Fang?

I wish someone would fetch the comfy chair.