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Author Topic: GOD???
TwosonPaula
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quote:
On this point I agree with Tom, fullfilment of Prophecies within the same text as made the prophecies isn't real proof. Then again, it's not disproof either...

I understand you guys' point of view. Some of it seems a little farfetched. But the proof isn't in the same text as the prophecies. No one sat down and wrote the entire Bible front to back. The Old Testament was written much earlier and is a different text. In fact, it's made up of many different texts that are only in the same book because of the related subject matter. Of course, the people who wrote the NT stuff already knew what the OT prophecies were. But that's to be expected. Why would they have bothered to write about the experience if they hadn't known it was special?

Plus, some of the prophecies are still being fulfilled today. Example: Several times Isaiah points out that the Gentiles will turn to him and the Jews away from him. That's pretty specific, if you ask me. AND we are experiencing it for ourselves and therefore have firsthand evidence.

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Glenn Arnold
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Hobbes:

"It was, of course, a lie what 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. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

-- Albert Einstein.

Yes of course there have been great thinkers who believed in God, but Einstein was not one of them.
The NY times did an article a couple of years ago with respect to level of education vs. religious belief. They found among scientists working at the leading edge of their fields, the correlation with atheism is very high. IIRC, among biologists it is greater than 95%. The lowest numbers were among mathematicians, at about 45% (again, IIRC)

In other fields, atheism is still higher among the more educated, with the exception, of course, of theology.

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DOG
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Thank you, Glenn.

So how come I'm an atheist, then?

--DOG

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TomDavidson
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"But the proof isn't in the same text as the prophecies. No one sat down and wrote the entire Bible front to back."

You don't understand, Paula. What we're saying is that it's perfectly possible that the people who wrote the New Testament -- or people who were alive at the time and consciously seeking to make those prophecies appear fulfilled -- either lied about what happened to make the prophecies fit, or else deliberately worked to make "true" certain interpretations of those prophecies.

As long as the actual events and authors of either book are in doubt -- and BOTH are -- no prophecy can be considered "evidence" of anything.

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DOG
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I seem to recall reading somewhere (not in the Bible, but about the Bible) that Jesus' disciples had him ride into Nazareth on a mule, and through a back gate, so that He would fulfill a prophesy.

I've probably got the specifics half wrong, but the situation, I believe, is accurate. Any one care to help clear this one up for me?

Again, nothing like reading the answers before you take a quiz.

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Hobbes
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[Embarrassed] I never really looked into Einstein believing in God, I simply assumed from the quotes he keeps making....

*Makes note not to do something so foolish again* [Wink]

Your right Glenn, the more educated you are the more likely that your athiest (by percentage). My point wasn't that education leads to faith, rather that rational thinking doesn't require a lack of it.

Hobbes [Smile]

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Maccabeus
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I'm curious whether any long-term studies have been done on that correlation between education and atheism to find the cause. The assumption seems to be that the schools produce rational, critical thinkers who then reject religion. But there is an alternate hypothesis (unfortunately usually couched in a rant) that certain atheist thinkers have produced a "culture of atheism" in higher education that pressures people to abandon religious belief. A third possibility, not much discussed, is that atheists go to college more often for some reason--perhaps they lack other outlets for their thought that for theists are fulfilled in a religious calling.

Anyone want to suggest some more testable hypotheses?

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dkw
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Dog, what you’re referring to is actually stated in the Bible. Although it was a donkey, not a mule. Matthew 21:5 is one of several times that the gospels of Matthew and John state that something was done specifically “to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet.” Although I don’t know where you got the back gate part, or the idea that it was the disciples’ idea to do it that way.

It sounds like you’ve been reading one of those exposÚs that get all excited about pointing out something that everyone who paid attention in Sunday School already knew.

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TwosonPaula
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TomD-

No, I absolutely DID understand what you were saying. What I'm saying is that the OT isn't in doubt. It doesn't matter whether you believe the prophecies or not. We have very old texts with someone making a prophecy. That's not doubtful, that's proven. As far as the NT goes, you're right, it is in doubt. But so is every other piece of historical text you read, simply because you weren't there. If you can say that you don't believe the NT because maybe they had motives, then that's a good reason not to believe MOST of history.

DOG- Yep, there are several places that say "He did blank to fulfill the prophecies." But that doesn't usually mean that he purposely set out to do that. A better way to describe it is that he had to go through/experience certain situations because that's what the prophecies said he would have to do. The biggest reason that they keep pointing that out is so that people who read it will have text that shows each situation where he fulfills a prophecy.
Specifically, the ass reference is a very good example for my case. Jesus sends them to another village where he is able to tell them the exact location of the donkey that they're looking for. (Oh but maybe he went there during the night and tied the donkey there himself!) [Roll Eyes]

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Glenn Arnold
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Hobbes

You aren't the first person to make that mistake. After all, he said that the lie had been systematically repeated.

What's really annoying is people who, when faced with the quote above, insist that it was "fabricated" by an atheist conspiracy, when in fact, it was organized christianity that took Einstein's phrase: "God doesn't play dice" and ran with it beyond all context.

Einstein was referring to Heisenberg's uncertainty principle at the time. He wanted to believe that the laws of physics would be revealed to be predictable and understandable. "God" was merely a suitable metaphor.

An historical case that's relevant to this comes from the pythagoreans, who actually were a religion, in addition to the intellectual heirs of Pythagoras.

The Pythagoreans believed that the universe could be described in its entirety using integers, or ratios of integers. (rational numbers) But they were stumped by the square root of 2, since it is the length of the hypotenuse a right triangle whose legs are one unit long. They assumed that it could be described by a rational number, and set out to look for it.

One of their members came across a logical proof that the numerator and the denominator of sqrt 2 (assuming it is a rational) are both divisible by 2, even when the fraction is completely simplified. By their own logic, this can't happen, and so by the nature of "proof" they were forced to admit that sqrt 2 was not rational.

The result was that they took the guy who proved this out and drowned him.

As to the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey: Didn't Jesus actually tell his followers to steal the donkey? (or at least borrow it without asking) That one always got me.

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TwosonPaula
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Jesus told them to take the donkey (the Bible doesn't specific who, if anyone, it belonged to) but that if anyone questioned them about why they were taking it, that they should say "The Lord has need of it" and that the owner would let them have it. It doesn't say if anyone actually questioned them or not.
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DOG
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Yes, Twoson, and every Christmas, I tell my children to go to such-and-such a firehouse, where they will find a proper Christmas tree.

Prophesy? Coincidence? Join us, as we go in search of...

And I apologize if I sound like a newbie Sunday School student (apparently, I'm not the only one here like that, though). Never been to Sunday School; what little I've studied the Bible, I had to do on my own.

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TwosonPaula
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This is what it boils down to.

I choose to believe the Bible because it's quite likely to be true. (Among experiences I have had.)
Others choose not to believe it because it hasn't been 100% PROVEN to be true. Both are valuable positions to be in and I understand both sides.

No one likes it when a Christian brings their "feelings" into a debate because they are unproven to anyone but the "feeler". But I'm telling you, if you had been in my situation and known what I have known, you would not have a single doubt about God. Unfortunately, there is no way for that to happen. And there's no way you'll ever know anything similar unless you give it a decent chance. But if you go in doubting, forget it.

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TomDavidson
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And if you go in NOT doubting, rest assured that you'll brainwash yourself.

So, really, you're screwed either way. [Smile]

-------

That said, Paula, note that you fall back to the point we were making earlier: you don't believe based on any historical evidence, despite your claim of "fulfilled" prophecy, but rather because non-reproducible personal experience has confirmed the "truth" of what you believe, and you therefore choose to perceive the existing evidence as validation of those beliefs. That's all people were saying in the first place. [Smile]

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TwosonPaula
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Hmmm...I guess that's right.
But I do believe the "hard" evidence is more convincing than the arguments against it.

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Duragon C. Mikado
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Nothing wrong with a culture that pressures people to reject religious belief under the pretense of critical thinking as long as religions are proseletizing as ardently as they do. It's about time atheism started spreading its views.
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unohoo
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Duragon C. Mikado wrote:
quote:
Nothing wrong with a culture that pressures people to reject religious belief under the pretense of critical thinking as long as religions are proseletizing as ardently as they do. It's about time atheism started spreading its views.
The only problem with that is atheism is not a belief construct. The reason some religious people proselytize their beliefs is to get converts to their system of beliefs. (Note: there are some belief systems that forbid proselytizing, Judaism being the one I am most familiar with.) When I say I am an atheist, I am saying that I do not believe. I am of the opinion that while there are still things that are not explained, still wonderful mysteries to be solved, doesn't mean that these mysteries don't have a solution or scientific explanation. I am saying that I do not believe in God because I think that there are explanations for everything in the universe as we are aware of it, but that we just haven't found all the explanations yet. Personally, I hope we never find all the reasons because that would take all the fun out of life.

I recently read a delightful book by Richard P. Feynman, "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" which is a compilation of various lectures he gave over the years. (For those who do not recognize the name [Feynman], he was a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, is considered to be the father of nano-technology, and won a Nobel in physics for his work in quantum mechanics.)

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SeasonalSnow
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Hmm...
PhysicsGriper--
quote:
while there may be a God, it cannot be proven yet, and there's no real evidence to support his existance, so I have doubt. It's possible that in time it will be proven that a god could exist, but not for now.

Well, I don't know about that. 'Proven' is a very subjective thing.
I definitely agree with you on the topic of heaven being a bit over-the-top, though. I think life is good enough already. Then again, the idea of not doing anything after you die is disconcerting, to say the least. I don't know, or claim to know what happens. I figure I'll find out...

"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong."
--Albert Einstein

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SeasonalSnow
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And I believe in something. Whether or not that something is God, you can all decide. [Hail]
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Peruru Dragoon
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I believe there is some higher being that could be 'God' but I'm not really sure. Somebody or something had to create Humans and everything else in the Universe.
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unohoo
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SeasonalSnow wrote:
quote:
Well, I don't know about that. 'Proven' is a very subjective thing
Actually, I dissagree. There are very rigorous rules that are followed when you are "proving" something in science. So if you a scientist in field X were to say that A is proven by experiment described, then other scientist can recreate that experiment and repeat your results. If it is not repeatable, then A is not proven. If it is repeatable, then it is proven. There is no subjectivity about it.

That is why I maintain that you cannot "prove" there is a God. There is no repeatable procedure available that proves there is a God. There is also no way to prove there is not a God. That is why one either believes in God or does not believe in God. Should someone ever develop a proof of a God, then one won't have to believe for then it will be fact which won't require belief.

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DOG
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Peruru,

quote:
Somebody or something had to create Humans and everything else in the Universe.
This is an old one. What created that "Someone or Something" that did all the other creating? Or are some things less subject to the need for creation than other things?

And, if an intelligent entity created everything, who is to say that it has all the other qualities we ascribe to it? (Things like love, infinite knowledge, Gave it's only begotten son, etc.)

And if we were created by non-intelligent processes, then there's no God there, is there?

Unohoo,
quote:
That is why I maintain that you cannot "prove" there is a God. There is no repeatable procedure available that proves there is a God. There is also no way to prove there is not a God. That is why one either believes in God or does not believe in God. Should someone ever develop a proof of a God, then one won't have to believe for then it will be fact which won't require belief.
I must be taking stupid pills, or something:

Why do so many people believe in a "thing" that by its definition cannot be proven? Is it a "club" thing? Is it from fear of death and the unknown? There's this concept out there that is fraught with contradictory descriptions and definitions. Every time someone tries to pin it down as meaning something, some situation occurs to discredit the claim. Yet billions of people believe in not one, but hundreds or thousands of published variations on the same basic theme!

I just don't get it.

To paraphrase a common theme here:

quote:
There is no repeatable procedure available that proves "X" exists. There is also no way to prove that "X" does not exist. That is why one either believes that "X" exists, or one believes that "X" does not exist.
I propose that there is no meaning or value to that statement. I similarly propose that "X" is immaterial (not as in "spritual" and without material form, but as in "without true meaning or value")

What is the point in acting upon a belief that defies proof (and disproof)? And what if "X<>GOD"?

What if:
X=Little Green Men
X=Leprechauns
X=Alien space rays, out to get you
X=Dogs that talk and tell you to kill people
X=Republican claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction

At some point, they dose you up with Prozac and put you in a room with heavily quilted walls.

--DOG (froth, froth, froth)

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unohoo
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Dog:
quote:
What is the point in acting upon a belief that defies proof (and disproof)? And what if "X<>GOD"?

What if:
X=Little Green Men
X=Leprechauns
X=Alien space rays, out to get you
X=Dogs that talk and tell you to kill people
X=Republican claims of Weapons of Mass Destruction

These are things that people do believe in. It is a good starter list. But, I can "prove" that gravity exists, for example. It does not require that I believe it exists to exist in my mind. It's existance is independent of me. Therefore, it is meaningless to believe that gravity exists as its existance can be proven (repeatedly). Furthermore, if I choose to not believe that gravity exists and therefore walk off the top of a very tall building, I will not float safely away (unlike Arthur Dent) and gravity will have its way with me and I won't exist (anymore).
(Edited to correct a stupid spelling error that even I, the world's second worse speller, can see. [Big Grin] )

[ August 16, 2003, 03:07 PM: Message edited by: unohoo ]

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Glue
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I always said you could tell a lot about a person from his or her beliefs. I don't believe in God.

I don't believe because I don't need to believe: I know. He is everywhere. And I think in order to truely know faith you need to cast away religion and find a place that makes you feel calm. For me, that's sitting under my back yard tree under the sunlight.

Most religions are exclusive, not inclusive. They tend to say that their 'way' is the right one while others are not. That's not the case. There is no one 'way.' And this is because to be 'whole,' you have to have a relationship with God, not just faith. This is why I never believed I was ever close to God sitting inside a church listening to sermons.

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filetted
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True Glue,

Sometimes sitting underneath a tree in the backyard under the sunlight is just sitting underneath a tree in the backyard under the sunlight.

flish

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wieczorek
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I agree with Wheat Puppet. I don't think that Ender Wiggin 2004 understand what Wheat Puppet meant, but I could be mistaken. We can prove that human evolution took place, and I think that Wheat Puppet didn't mean that she just thinks evolution took place, she's talking about a deity or a past race of ancestors. We can prove, as I said, that evolution takes place and took place, but we can't prove that there is a deity or god of any kind, so I think that Wheat Puppet means that we can believe whatever we want - a belief in a god(s), a belief in their NOT being a god(s), or something else.

"Remember, the enemy's gate is down"

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suntranafs
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Sorry to jump in and go back, but I have something that needs to be challenged:

["It was, of course, a lie what 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. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."]

-- Albert Einstein.

Ok I can believe Einstein said that. What I take issue with is what GlennArnold added on to that:

["Yes of course there have been great thinkers who believed in God, but Einstein was not one of them."]

ARGH!
Let's look again at what Einstein said: "I do not believe in a personal God"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but do I not see a personal in there? Could someone explain to me why this would be added if the individual in quetion did not, in fact, believe(or at least definitely not disbelieve) in some sort of God?
Eienstein also said:
"If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it"
Please explain to me how that is not God. That's pretty much the one I believe in. Just because Joe Conventional Christian says the only God is his God, That doesn't mean there aren't other ideas of God. Quite the opposite, in truth. Furthermore, in my view, the latter conventional god actually fails to meet my definition of God (all powerfull, all knowing).

I do not understand why aetheists and christians alike have to talk as if the only conception of an all powerfull, all knowing God is the one taken by the majority of the populace. It's Stupid! I can GUARANTEE, if you look in the dictionary under "god" you will not find the first definition to be 'The christian god accepted by the general populace'. So quit using it that way, Please!

[ August 25, 2003, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: suntranafs ]

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suntranafs
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Sorry, seems I go a little carried away back there. Didn't mean to sound irate(sp?).
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DOG
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Good post, Sun.

That's why I've been asking for a good, workng definition of just whT GOD is for oh, so many years now.

There is none.

If anyone wants to say UNIVERSE = GOD, and NOT impose all this omnipotence, omniscience, omniphillic stuff on It, then that's a great and meaningless description of GOD, and one that I can certainly, undeniably, and without any useful purpose whatsoever, embrace.

--DOG

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suntranafs
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LOL [Smile]

You just think it's meaningless. [Cool]
There's more to the idea than you might think.

[ August 28, 2003, 01:03 AM: Message edited by: suntranafs ]

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Glenn Arnold
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Suntranafs:

Einstein made this statement in response to the rumor that he was "a scientist who believed in God," which had been perpetrated by what we would now call the "religious right."

He called that rumor "a lie."

Einstein did in fact say that while he didn't beleive in a personal god, he did believe in "Spinoza's God"

http://pw1.netcom.com/~zeno7/spinoza.html

That is, a god that is not outside of nature, but is in fact, nature itself.

Whether Einstein believed in God is a matter of perspective. Another quote:

"From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.... I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one."

A reasonable perspective is that Einstein was a deist, rather than an atheist. Deism is essentially the idea that religion must be determined by a rational interpretation of the natural world, rather than any religious text, doctrine, or tradition. Deism was a popular idea among the founders of the United States, especially Thomas Jefferson.

Other quotes from Einstein:

(referring to a quote that had been used to prove that he believed in God)

"The misunderstanding here is due to a faulty translation of a German text, in particular the use of the word "mystical." I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."

"I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."

(in response to an 11 year old who asked if scientists pray)

"I have tried to respond to your question as simply as I could. Here is my answer. "Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being.

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suntranafs
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While I don't doubt your collection of quotes is true, and I take issue with none of them, I think that perhaps the overall impression of your post misleads the reader, for it gives only the tiniest representation, in a rather narrow-minded way, of the beliefs of a great and far reaching mind.
In short you remind me of the blind men and the elephant. I'm guessing you're familiar with the story?

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Ksig
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blind men and an elephant? Maybe i'm having a brain lapse... sorry to interupt your discussion.
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Glenn Arnold
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Basically he's claiming that my quotes only give a very selective picture or Einstein's religious views. Each blind man can only feel a small portion of the elephant, and so comes up with a very different description of what the animal is like.

Given that in most of the quotes I gave, Einstein was actively trying to describe his religious views, and that in the first one he was actually responding to a rumor that was based on one quote taken out of context by people who had a religious agenda, it's actually pretty ironic that he would make such a claim.

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Boothby171
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Ksig;

There were three blind men, who all came upon an elephant one day (or, you can make it night; it really doesn't matter).

The first blind man grabbed the elephant's trunk, and not knowing what he had, proclaimed, "It must be a giant snake!"

The second man grabbed the elephant's tail, and not knowing what it was, also proclaimed, "You are right--it is a giant snake!"

The third man also proclaimed, "Yes, it must be a giant snake! Hold on..."

Sun,

Does it bother you that much that Einstein was an atheist? Are you grasping at straws (or, perhaps, giant snakes?) trying to somehow justify religion as valid because Albert Einstein believed in God? And if he didn't (and he didn't) does that somehow weaken your belief? How many geniuses would it take to turn you...to the dark side?

[ September 08, 2003, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: ssywak ]

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suntranafs
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quote:
...in the first one he was actually responding to a rumor that was based on one quote taken out of context by people who had a religious agenda...
Glenn: Case in point. In the quote "I do not believe in a personal God" Eienstein is responding negatively. He is trying to de-bunk an untrue rumor. He is saying what he does Not believe in, he is not saying what he does believe in.
To use a vulgar example, if I say "I do not screw cows", how much have I really told you about myself as a person or about my beliefs? Should you go on to assume that I do not like cows, that I hate cows, that I think that all cows should be exterminated, or that I don't believe in cows? Granted, I'm blowing your inteligent and worthy discussion way out of proportion, but you see the ideal.

[ September 15, 2003, 07:07 PM: Message edited by: suntranafs ]

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suntranafs
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ssywak: That wasn't quite the story of the blind men and the elephant that I heard but I guess it'll work.
You asked: "Does it bother you that much that Einstein was an atheist?"

He wasn't. As Glenn said, he was a deist. There's a vast difference.

You also asked: "Are you grasping at straws (or, perhaps, giant snakes?) trying to somehow justify religion as valid because Albert Einstein believed in God?"

Not trying to justify nuttin', an' if I was, it wouldn't be " religion".

Your next question:
"And if he didn't (and he didn't) does that somehow weaken your belief?"

Well if he dis-believed in God(and he didn't [Wink] ), then I'm not going to say "weaken", but it might alter my belief as to his degree of genius. That's right, I just implied that, in some respect, stupid people don't believe in God. Not in all respects. Certainly the contra-positive isn't necessarily true (that'd be: People who don't believe in God are stupid)

"How many geniuses would it take to turn you...to the dark side?"

LOL. Good question, but no number could. See last for reasoning. 'Cause they would't be geniuses. IMNSHO, there aren't any evil geniuses, and the crazy ones aren't really rounded geniuses.
So basically, there's no way, for I am a jedi!!! ROFL [Big Grin]

[ September 15, 2003, 07:49 PM: Message edited by: suntranafs ]

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Glenn Arnold
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I said it was a reasonable perspective to call him a deist. Right after the quote where he called himself an atheist.

The problem is not in quoting someone, but in putting words in their mouth, which is what you are consistently trying to do. You put words in my mouth when you claimed that I said Einstein was a deist (which I didn't), and you continually put words in Einstein's mouth when you twist "don't believe in a personal God" into "do believe in some kind of God."

He never said what he could be called from the perspective of suntranafs.

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unohoo
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I find it interesting that some of you find it really important to think it important that Einstein, a truly great physicist, did or did not believe in God, or was an atheist or a deist. IMO, it shouldn't matter to the believer in God whether Einstein or anyone else believes in God, just as it shouldn't matter to the agnostic or atheist that he [Einstein] or anyone else doesn't believe in God.

I don't believe in God. I don't care who does or who doesn't, as long as the believer doesn't try to foist their beliefs on me. I am, however, interested in why others feel as they do.

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Glenn Arnold
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Kind of amazing how polarizing religion is, really, given that even religion refers to itself as "faith" and "belief."

Essentially, religion is purely a matter of opinion, hence the cascade of different Christian religions, all of which claim to believe in the same thing, but somehow believe in it differently enough that they feel it necessary to split off into a new church. Same for Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc.

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mickey_mouse
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In answer to the original question - which has little to do with OSC, BTW - Yes I do believe in God.

I have spent the last ten years of my life trying to answer that question.

I have studied Chritianity, Islam, budhism, and others. The reason that I came to the conclusion that God exists and he exists in the Christian sense of the word is because much of the bible - the new testament to be specific can be historically verified. Jesus came to earth, he did the things that the Bible says he did, so his teachings must hold truth.

More than that though - the universe has to have a creator. Everything man knows has a limit. Everything that we know is finite. Something that is not finite - something that is its own explanation for its existence - must have started it all.

The reason that I make the jump from an infinite creator to the Christian definition of God is because of the Bible and the verifiable truth that it presents.

[ September 16, 2003, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: mickey_mouse ]

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mickey_mouse
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In response to some of the science quotes and statistics that have been presented.

Science explains a lot about how things work, but nothing about why they work in the first place. For instance:

1)Gravity attracts matter on all levels, but why, not how - why in the first place?

2)Light travels in partical form that in turn travels in waves - so what - why?

3)We exist and came from a long line of incredible history - why?

4)The solar system was formed from a bunch of colliding matter and burning gases - why?

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Boothby171
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Mickey:

quote:
Science explains a lot about how things work, but nothing about why they work in the first place
God loves us--Why?

God created us--Why?

God exists-Why?

I really don't think that religion has any better answers. I don't even think that it provides a valid "purpose" for living, when you get right down to it.

quote:
The universe has to have a creator. Everything man knows has a limit. Everything that we know is finite. Something that is not finite - something that is its own explanation for its existence - must have started it all.
So, even though the sum total of all of Mankind's experience, throughout the thousands of years of recorded history, and all reviews of the far distant past through scientific exploration indicate that everything has a finite limit, you claim that things exist without a finite limit?

Except for your assumption, what proof do you have that such things can exist? Infinite number theory doesn't work here--we're talking about (allegedly) real things; not "concepts."

"God" as a concept is fascinating. "God" as a real thing does not exist.

IMHO.

--Steve

[ September 16, 2003, 12:12 PM: Message edited by: ssywak ]

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Ryuujin
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One big reason why a high percentage of "Great thinkers" dont belive in a God is they cannot accepts somthing that goes against their nature. One of the biggest parts of Christianity is that you have to have Faith. Some people cannot rationalize this concept but it is used daily but in a different manner.

Along those lines a lot of people do not beilive in God because they cannot rationalize why God does what he does. Namely that He can (and will if you ask) Forgive your sins. no matter what sin it is. People just dont like to accept this because it is not in our nature to do this.

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suntranafs
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From Glenn Arnold's Post:

quote:
The problem is not in quoting someone, but in putting words in their mouth, which is what you are consistently trying to do. You put words in my mouth when you claimed that I said Einstein was a deist (which I didn't), and you continually put words in Einstein's mouth when you twist "don't believe in a personal God" into "do believe in some kind of God."
Actually, when I said that, I was posing a question, not twisting anybody's words. I did not say that one statement definitely logically means the other. However, to me, at least, it seems a fairly reasonable hypothesis that a genius would at least have some reason for putting "personal" in- and no other reason comes to mind right off hand.

quote:
A reasonable perspective is that Einstein was a deist, rather than an atheist.
That is what you said. I'm very sorrry! I didn't see the difference. After all, you didn't say Eienstein said that. No, it was just plain you who said that.
Ok, everybody, from here on out, Glenn is the judge of whether a perspective is reasonable, even if he does not share that perspective, because he has the mandate of heaven on logic. j/k Glenn. Sorry I misquoted you, but you did say Eienstein belived in Spinoza's God, and posted a link saying that that 'God' is nature, and that would essentially make Eienstein a deist.

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suntranafs
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unohoo said: "I find it interesting that some of you find it really important to think it important that Einstein, a truly great physicist, did or did not believe in God, or was an atheist or a deist."

Well, the thing is, I don't really. For one thing he's dead [Wink] But mainly, even if he wasn't, it wouldn't bother me if he didn't believe in God because I think people should believe whatever seems most right to them.

"IMO, it shouldn't matter to the believer in God whether Einstein or anyone else believes in God, just as it shouldn't matter to the agnostic or atheist that he [Einstein] or anyone else doesn't believe in God."

Well, basically, it shouldn't. Correct me if I'm wrong, Glenn, but what's going on here is that you're arguing with me because you don't think I should argue in religous discussions 'well, Eienstein was really smart and he believed in God', just as I don't think you should be able to argue 'well, Eienstein was really smart and he didn't believe in God'.
Technically, though, I'm a bit on the defensive in this argument, because I'm not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, and we believers in "Spinoza's God" tend to have our religous beliefs stomped on unintentionally by Aetheists and Christians alike.

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suntranafs
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Ok, see here an example. I was going to use to show my case that I didn't really care much what Eiestein believed, 'specially considering I didn't agree with him, and then I saw the word "supernatural", and I thought, wow, Eienstein was a pretty friggin smart guy! Only, of course, because he shares my opinion [Wink] .

Glenn said Albert said (in response to an 11 year old who asked if scientists pray):

"I have tried to respond to your question as simply as I could. Here is my answer. "Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being"

See, I don't think there's any such thing as, root word speaking, "supernatural", much less a supernatural Being (I don't happen to think God is a Being). Basically, what Eienstein is doing here is being a scientist, he's logically leaving open what he can't prove, and he's scientifically hypothesizing probabilities (or in this case, an improbability and apparent fallacy). Btw, I'm not saying that Eienstein ever necessarily prayed in the general sense.

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Svidrigailov
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Ok first off... Everyone read these. I don't care if you're atheist, theist, deist or other. I just sat through 2 hours of reading this and associated posts just to reach a giant conclusion that everyone is operating on some sort of fallacy.

Fallacies

Second I believe god is the creator. In that vein I'm quite convinced god is dead viz.

The Gay Science 125

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Boothby171
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Arkady,

Are we all acting on fallacies? Are there any people who don't (or who never) act on fallacies?

And are you going to present some thoughts on your own, or reference us to these other (quite interesting, I might add!) sites?

--Rodya

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Svidrigailov
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Actually, I will commit no logical fallacies. Ready? My basic axiom is that logic is utterly irrelevent. Many operate under this axiom but then do not explicitly state it. Thus the people who spout illogical words get frustrated that everyone is disecting their words and the people trying to give the speakers illogical words a logical context get frustrated that no matter how often or how thoroughly they PROVE that the words of the speak are illogical the speaker DOES NOT CARE.

The simple fact is there is no LOGICAL reason to believe in god.

Either your reason is deductive which proves something true or false and you pick axioms which not everyone can agree on so they become mired in subjectivity.

Or your reason is inductive and the best you can come up with is that I'm pretty sure something is true.

The theists here use deductive reasoning and pick axioms like the Bible is true, the world is a complex place, or everything has to have an origin. The Athiests almost ALWAYS deny the these axioms so no matter how eloquent the words or precise the reasoning, they are doomed to fall upon deaf ears.

And the atheists, most at least, are using inductive reasoning so it is IMPOSSIBLE for a thiest to find evidence that god exists. The simple fact is that there is no ACTUAL evidence to prove the existance of god. To the same end there is no ACTUAL evidence that god doesn't exist, but that is irrelevant to inductive reasoning.

If two things are preposed and they are exclusive, or at least not directly related to each other, then if A has more evidence then B, A is true. But the nature of the evidence must fit the mindset.

Example france exists. A. France does NOT exist B.

1) There is a great deal of talk about france over the years.
2) France is mentioned several times in history books.
3) Many things bare the name of France, I.E. French.
4) I've met people who claim to have been from France.
5) There seems to be little point in lying about the existance of France to fit any sort of social/economic/political agenda (the idiot "freedom" things aside)
There fore I have fairly solid proof that france exists. Inductivly then, I can say france exists so long as the evidence for not seening france isn't greater.

1)I've never been to France
2)France is an abstraction so it is possible to argue that it does not physically exist as reality.
3) I only see my prespective so everything else might be fake.

Now if my mindset is based on the material world I will say that france exists. If I my mindset is based on the cognative world... evidence becomes a bit more nebulous.

For inductive reasoning it is IMPOSSIBLE AND THEREFORE A LOGICAL FALLACY to try and get someone to prove a negative.

[ September 24, 2003, 02:52 AM: Message edited by: Svidrigailov ]

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