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Einstein had no time for the infinite?

...on serious topics that don't fit anywhere else at present.
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Ted Harvey
Posts: 172
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 4:41 pm

Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#1 Post by Ted Harvey » May 13th, 2008, 1:57 pm

Good stuff in the Gruniad today on Einstein's views on God and religion:
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.
I've always found it infuriating the way that Christians have constantly claimed Einstein as one of their own - indeed cited him as proof that there is no dichotomy between being a great scientist and being one that believes in God.

There again I have long wondered if Einstein was deliberately obscure and and a bit of a poseur on the matter of religion and God and I wondered about his motives for this; but I suppose if you are as right dead brainy as he was you are allowed your little affectations.

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Alan H
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#2 Post by Alan H » May 13th, 2008, 3:18 pm

I included the full article in today's MediaScan.
Alan Henness

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jaywhat
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#3 Post by jaywhat » May 13th, 2008, 4:54 pm

Sad that one of the leading experts on Einstein (Brooke, I think) had never heard of the letter in question.

kbell
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#4 Post by kbell » May 14th, 2008, 12:16 pm

“I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.”-Albert Einstein

That was his response to a Rabbi who asked him about his belief in God. From it I understand that what Einstein meant by 'God' was the the basic laws of physics that describe the forces of nature and the structure of the universe. The fact that he didn't state categorically that he didn't believe in any God but was using the word to mean something different from what most people mean by it is, IMO, an attempt to mislead on Einstein's part. I'm sure he had his reasons for not wanting to come out as an atheist. It was a different era, after all.
Kathryn

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xman
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#5 Post by xman » May 14th, 2008, 10:41 pm

"It was of course a lie which 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" ~ Albert Eintstein

Yeah, the great man used the term poetically as he did with all religious and spiritual messages.

X
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Ted Harvey
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#6 Post by Ted Harvey » May 16th, 2008, 2:58 pm

Autumn I did wonder about not only the period Einstein was living in, but also that the period was in a near-dysfunctional, witch-hunting USA culture. He must have witnessed how the good old USA elites treated even the likes of Telfer (Teller), their own 'A Bomb' man, once they came to suspect his ethics or seemingly growing moral awareness. Moreover, as one of the Jewish Diaspora from European fascist savagery I'm willing to concede that they most likely and forever 'marks' your survival instincts in the face of the State; after all, this USA elite had head Nazi concho Braun on their rocket and Mission to the Moon programmes.
What still hardens me somewhat against his dalliances is why did he not at least some sort of posthumous, definitive testament on these matters - especially since he asserted) or feigned?) such distress at being misunderstood or exploited?

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Alan H
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#7 Post by Alan H » May 16th, 2008, 5:12 pm

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Einstein letter sells for £170,000 - vnunet.com
http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/22168 ... -sells-170
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Einstein letter sells for £170,000

Nobel physicist dismisses bible as 'childish'

Written by Guy Dixon

vnunet.com, 16 May 2008

The word 'God' is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses

Albert Einstein

A letter written by Albert Einstein, in which the renowned physicist described religious beliefs as "childish superstitions", has been sold at auction to a private collector for a record breaking £170,000.

Hopeful bidders packed the room at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair, which installed an additional 11 phone lines to cater for demand from international buyers.

Bids rapidly soared beyond the guide price of £6,000 to £8,000.

The letter was written to philosopher Eric Gutkind in January 1954 a year before Einstein's death. The Nobel physicist described God as the "product of human weakness" and the Bible as "childish".

"The word 'God' is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, [and] the Bible a collection of honourable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish," said Einstein in the letter.

Einstein also dismissed the notion that the Jews are God's chosen people. " As far as my experience goes, they are 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."

Bloomsbury Auctions spokesman Richard Caton said that the auction house was "100 per cent certain" of the letter's authenticity.

Einstein was born into a Jewish family in Germany in 1879 and started questioning conventional religion at the age of 12 after going through a devout phase in his early years.

[Captured: 16 May 2008 17:11:17]

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Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#8 Post by Alan H » May 19th, 2008, 11:19 am

In today's Telegraph:
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Richard Dawkins tried to buy Albert Einstein religion superstition letter - Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/ ... etter.html
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Richard Dawkins failed to buy Albert Einstein superstition letter
By Andy Bloxham
Last Updated: 10:07PM BST 16/05/2008
Biologist Professor Richard Dawkins has revealed he was one of the bidders who lost out in an auction for a letter by Albert Einstein.

Dawkins, a renowned atheist, had hoped to buy the note in which the physicist describes religious beliefs as "childish superstitions".

However, it sold for £170,000, which Dawkins admitted was considerably more than he was prepared to pay.

He said: "In a way, I'm delighted that such a thing should be so highly valued.

"This letter was about something very important to Einstein, I suspect."

He said if he had been successful, he would have given the letter to his foundation for reason and science.

The note was written in German to the philosopher Eric Gutkind on January 3, 1954.

The physicist wrote: "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."

He went on to scorn the Jewish idea that they were a chosen people.

The letter was sold on Thursday at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair, London, where extra phone lines had to be installed to cope with interest from around the world.

It was sold for £170,000, with an extra £37,600 in fees, to an anonymous private collector.

[Captured: 19 May 2008 11:17:51]

###################
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Beki
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Joined: July 5th, 2007, 8:43 am

Re: Einstein had no time for the infinite?

#9 Post by Beki » May 22nd, 2008, 5:42 pm

Probably some fundie that bought it just to burn..... :sad:
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - M Ghandi

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