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 Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Mon 25 Jul 20:18

I`ve just been reading some stuff on Quora posted by people who changed from atheists to Christians.

I am atheist, i.e I don`t believe in the Biblical God. But I agree with Einstein that the universe may have been designed.

But why does it follow that it must have been designed by a personal, loving God?

Sometimes the universe looks to me like it has been designed, but only in a physical sense, only in terms of `nuts and bolts`.

Why would a God who could design the vast universe - not only design it - but make it fully functioning from the start - why would such a God design only the material and mechanical side of it?

Why would it design, so to speak, a `car and a track for it to run on` and leave it at that - absolutely anything goes - rape, murder, torture, terrible diseases, injustices etc. I mean no limits to the harm people can do to others, no limits to suffering. Wouldn`t a responsible Creator design some limits on things like that, at the same time as designing the physical universe?

Yes I know about `the Fall` and all those ways of trying to explain it away, but just think about the absolute unlimited suffering that goes on, limited only by the capacity of people to suffer (and that is far past any level that is needed to teach us about pain, or even to `cleanse our souls.`)

To me, if it`s designed, then it`s badly designed because it takes no account of suffering, or the effects on people and animals, whether it`s cruelty, injustice, volcanoes and earthquakes etc., there`s nothing by way of design to temper them.

D`ya follow? Och weel, nae bother. I`m off for a cup o` tea - maybe I`ll feel better then.



Post Edited (Mon 25 Jul 22:46)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: P  
Date:   Mon 25 Jul 21:20

Maybe they are just a di ck?

link to story


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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 09:41

You think we might be virtual, P?

I reluctantly admit, there are similarities. But I don`t think we`re being manipulated or watched. I don`t see evidence of a creator that`s interested in us, either as individuals or as a species. (And I think that`s also how Einstein saw it.)

But virtual or no, it`s real to us. And if we knew nothing of nuclear physics (as has been the case for most of the people who have lived,) our world would still be characteristically solids, liquids and gases, and each of us a physical being with a mind, personality and feelings - many of us capable of compassion, love, suffering etc. - which is why I think we humans are the most important things that exist - because, even if there is a creator (nothing to do with religion - just a maker of matter and designer of universe and world systems,) it shows no sign of those higher qualities that have evolved in us and to a degree in other animals.

Post Edited (Tue 26 Jul 23:45)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: sadindiefreak  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 11:55

Can you show me where Einstein said the universe may have been designed.
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 17:19

A lot to digest here on what Einstein thought.

link to story

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: sadindiefreak  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 18:05

Quote:

The One Who Knocks, Tue 26 Jul 17:19

A lot to digest here on what Einstein thought.

https://www.zmescience.com/other/feature-post/einstein-christian-15102017/


Can you point out where he says the universe may have been designed in that article. I can`t see it there.
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 18:28

Einstein seems to fall short of saying the Universe was actually designed. He is insisting that there is a harmony within the elements that comprise the Universe, a harmony that may be intrinsic to them so far as he is able to judge.

I don`t think the concept of Creator or Intelligent Design appeared in his writing.

sammer
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: The One Who Knocks  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 18:47

SIF, I didn`t say he said it. I merely provided a source so that anyone that is interested can get some sort of insight into what Einstein believed.

And although my eyes were open
They just might as well be closed
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 20:15

Hi sadindie,

I`m looking through my discs to see if I can find the material that led to me thinking Einstein wouldn`t rule out that the universe is designed.

I haven`t found it yet - I think I remember reading a piece that said, he was agnostic (that`s well known) and that the universe sometimes looks like it`s been designed and he wouldn`t rule that out.

Sorry if that sounds like a fudge, but I`m still looking. I`ve got a couple of things to add that I think are relevant and I`ll post them later.

BTW, I`m not promoting the view that it IS designed. I`m glad you were sharp-eyed enough to see that.

I`ll get back.

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: jake89  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 20:47

I wouldn`t consider myself religious or an atheist but to some degree I believe there`s "something". I don`t think it`s watching over me ready to scold me for swearing or anything like that, but I`m not convinced science can answer everything.

I`m also of the opinion we`ll only get real answers through the use of a computer/AI (the answer isn`t 42 😉) but also aware that would probably require a machine that could teach itself and learn, which is usually where things start going wrong if Hollywood films and Netflix shows are anything to go by!
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: doctordandruff  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 21:36

There`s a good video of a bloke on an American football pitch representing the timeline of the Earth. T-Rex appears 1 yard from the end, and we appear at the last couple of millimeters. T-Rex is closer to us than to Stegasaurus I recall.

I don`t understand how anyone can think there is a God that designed all this for humans when the Earth belonged to single cell organisms for billions of years.
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 21:39

I think this is some of the material I was looking for:

From section on ‘Agnosticism and atheism,’ Einstein is quoted:

‘I am not an atheist.’ (1)

‘You may call me an agnostic.’ (2)

‘According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views. (3)

I interpret that to mean that he would not say for certain there is no God.
And yet, he is quoted as having written:

“From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.” (4)

OK, no God? Or did he only mean atheist there in relation to the Jesuit, i.e. Biblical, God? I think so.

From section on ‘Cosmic spirituality’:
“…everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.” (5)

Now here’s the nub:

‘He told William Hermanns in an interview that "God is a mystery. But a comprehensible mystery. I have nothing but awe when I observe the laws of nature. There are not laws without a lawgiver, but how does this lawgiver look? Certainly not like a man magnified." (6)

“There are not laws without a lawgiver…”

Is that not tantamount to saying there is a creator of laws by which the universe is bound and ordered?
Is that similar or not, to saying there is a designer?

I would add that I’ve really enjoyed looking back into this material, especially Einstein’s sense of wonder at nature (it can be found in the section on Cosmic Spirituality).
I might not have done it if you hadn’t asked me for the references sadindie, so thank you for giving me that prod.


References:
All from

link to wikipedia #Pantheism_and_Spinoza`s_God

(Sorry - can`t get this to work as a hot link.)


Post Edited (Thu 28 Jul 14:21)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Tue 26 Jul 21:43

BTW I agree doctor, there`s no reason to think it was all designed for humans. That`s a Biblical idea and IMO not what Einstein was getting at.



Post Edited (Tue 26 Jul 21:44)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 27 Jul 10:42

I am curious about Einstein`s attitude towards nature. And I`m thinking about it relative to my own. I find being with nature can be very uplifting. Sometimes I have wondered if nature - which is creative in the sense that it makes stuff all the time - sometimes I`ve wondered if nature alone is the creator. As I say, it is very uplifting to me. ( I`m thinking of nature as everything that`s natural - all the physics, chemistry, biology; oceans, mountains, stars, animals, us, etc.)

According to the quotes I`ve posted above, Einstein (I`m gonna call him AE) said, `I have nothing but awe when I observe the laws of nature.`

I, and many others, have felt awe in the presence of nature - whether it`s the night sky, whales, the red Cuillins on Skye - whatever. AE felt that when observing the laws of nature. I`m not saying it`s exactly the same but similar - I and others have felt awe in response to, might we say - some of the outcomes of the laws of nature - the mountains etc.

So far so good.

What intrigues me, is that, yes nature is fab, whether you`re in it, or looking at the laws.

I get all that side of it - the wonder of it. But it`s only wonder at the good in nature, and there`s a lot of bad, a lot that`s lacking, as I tried to say in the OP - anything goes, there are no laws regarding the user-friendliness of nature. No laws regarding suffering or who gets it. (You can be nice as pie all your life and still suffer like hell. I`ve read stuff trying to explain it away and nothing does. The plain fact is, if there`s a designer, the designer left all that to chance.)


Although it seems, very oddly to me, as if AE maybe didn`t think so:

"I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that." (7)

What does he mean?



(NB. I think of natural laws as like inherent conditions rather than designed instructions.)

Ref:
(7) William Hemmens conversations.

link to wikipedia #Pantheism_and_Spinoza`s_God

(Sorry, still can`t get this to hot link)




Post Edited (Wed 27 Jul 21:35)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: Parboiled  
Date:   Wed 27 Jul 15:24

And God made man in his own image, and named him Adam. He was pleased with his handiwork, so created another fifty or so and set them upon the Earth vowing to return in a few years to see how they were getting on.

After that time has passed he was horrified to see they were running wild, fighting, drinking, playing footie, eating pizza in bed without ever changing sheets, and washing their undercrackers once a year.

“Oh no he groaned” whit the hell have I done…and lo he created women of an equal number and said unto them “Girls, grab your apples and get this sorted out.”

And these Eves sidled up to the Adams and whispered into their smelly lugs in low husky tones “Well, hello gorgeous, fancy a nibble of my golden delicious? Oh Go on …you know you want to …”

And God was happy, for without a woman man is incomplete. Now they were finished..

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 27 Jul 21:02

You forgot the talking serpent, who proclaims:

`Friends, Romans, fellow serpents - lend me your ears!`

Fellow serpents: `We would but we haven`t got any!`

First talking serpent: `Oh. never mind, well, where was I - ah yes - I`m in the garden. Ah, here she is, just the fluff, I mean person, I was looking for.

Eve appears.

Serpent (to Eve:) Hello, get your chops around this and I`ll see you alright at the party.

Eve: Oh God, he`s still here - the devil with the forked tongue - Boris Johnsod - he gives me the pip. Take that you slithering snake in the grass... `

TO BE CONTINUED, OR - HOPEFULLY NOT.



Post Edited (Thu 28 Jul 14:47)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 27 Jul 21:11

MUSICAL INTERLUDE

https://youtu.be/NEF23Al3pNk?t=5

`Desafinado` - have a listen - it`s cool and sexy. Reminds me of `The Girl from Ipanema` and Stan Getz, only a wee bit more upbeat.



Post Edited (Wed 27 Jul 23:08)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Wed 27 Jul 23:20

BACK TO THE ATHEIST (or Agnostic) STUFF


Has anyone got an opinion on this?

Einstein: "My God created laws that take care of that."

The full quote is: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."

What`s immutable laws got to do with good and evil? Or rewarding good and punishing evil?

Any brainboxes please - able to understand him there?

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna24598856



Post Edited (Wed 27 Jul 23:26)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 10:59

What did Einstein mean by `lawgiver`?

His idea of what that might be was very different from religious ones, so I`m not thinking of anything like that.

I wondered about it as being the laws of Physics themselves. (Of course not just the words and maths that Physicists use to describe them - not even the laws as we imperfectly understand them - but the actual conditions under which things exist and occur.)

But no, I don`t think AE meant only that. I think he meant there are the laws and there is something that`s not the laws - a `lawgiver`.

But not necessarily an entity.

Well, what do we have to go on? He seemed to have a high regard for Spinoza`s ideas so, rather than just thinking about it, maybe I`ll get a better idea of what AE meant by looking into them.

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: PARrot  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 11:41

Quote:

onandupthepars, Tue 26 Jul 21:39

I think this is some of the material I was looking for:

From section on ‘Agnosticism and atheism,’ Einstein is quoted:

‘I am not an atheist.’ (1)

‘You may call me an agnostic.’ (2)

‘According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views. (3)

I interpret that to mean that he would not say for certain there is no God.
And yet, he is quoted as having written:

“From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.” (4)

OK, no God? Or did he only mean atheist there in relation to the Jesuit, i.e. Biblical, God? I think so.

From section on ‘Cosmic spirituality’:
“…everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe—a spirit vastly superior to that of man, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.” (5)

Now here’s the nub:

‘He told William Hermanns in an interview that "God is a mystery. But a comprehensible mystery. I have nothing but awe when I observe the laws of nature. There are not laws without a lawgiver, but how does this lawgiver look? Certainly not like a man magnified." (6)

“There are not laws without a lawgiver…”

Is that not tantamount to saying there is a creator of laws by which the universe is bound and ordered?
Is that similar or not, to saying there is a designer?

I would add that I’ve really enjoyed looking back into this material, especially Einstein’s sense of wonder at nature (it can be found in the section on Cosmic Spirituality).
I might not have done it if you hadn’t asked me for the references sadindie, so thank you for giving me that prod.


References:
All from

#Pantheism_and_Spinoza%60s_God

(Sorry - can`t get this to work as a hot link.)


Im pretty sure he was alluding to specific interpretations of the bible rather than "The Biblical View"
What Rome teaches is quite far from what was intended in many aspects, particularly the Jesuits.
I think he was referring in particular to the inquisition and other atrocities. Had he meant the biblical view in general he might have referred to The Church.
He was specific.

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 12:51

`Einstein stated, "My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to ... treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem." (8)

Two things here: `admiration for the...order.` i.e. what he sees as harmony in the workings of the universe.

And he sees that there`s nothing in that order in regard to human affairs.

Now, Spinoza`s ideas of existence (9) in a nutshell 😀 Might take some time!

OK, I`ve read some, and reflected on it. I`m gonna get something down.

This is all in my own words:

Spinoza proposed, it seems, that there is only God. There can be nothing else because God is infinite. But not everything is actually God (not everything is infinite) but tables and mountains and everything that exists, are like the way God becomes things. They`re the only way, because of cause and effect, it`s all in motion and all changing and kind of sprouting.

Sprouting! What kind of a word is that! I know, it might be dumb, but I like it.
I`ll have another go later, when my brain has revived.


References:
(8) #:~:text=Albert Einstein`s religious views have, which the described as naive.

(9)
From `Pantheism and Spinoza`s God`:
`2.1 God or Nature`: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/spinoza/#GodNatu

It`s a tough read.

Post Edited (Thu 28 Jul 12:53)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 14:10

I don`t know why my last post has all spread out there. Can`t do nowt about it.

Hi Parrot, I`ve just read your post. I included the `Jesuit` quote because I thought someone might say aha - look - he said he was atheist!

I checked to see if Jesuits use the Bible and they do, i.e. the Jesuit ideas of God are based on the Bible, hence "Biblical God``. I didn`t mean to imply that all interpretations of the Bible are the same, but I think it`s clear that he did not believe in God as represented in the Bible. I`ll find some quotes about that if you`d like me to, that led me to that conclusion.

I also think he was being witty there. Because he said that relative to a Jesuit priest he has always been an atheist, but in fact as a youngster he was a believer - a Jew - and so it seems to me he was saying that, even when he was a believer, being Jewish, he`d be considered atheist by a Jesuit priest.

I think that comes through on looking closely at the quote in context:

"In 1945 Guy Raner, Jr. wrote a letter to Einstein, asking him if it was true that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism. Einstein replied, "I have never talked to a Jesuit priest in my life and I am astonished by the audacity to tell such lies about me. From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist." (10)

Ultimately, he said he was agnostic, he had ideas about some sort of `lawgiver,` that brought into being the laws of nature/existence, of which scientists have some understanding.

I think Einstein was only specific about the Jesuit priest because he was responding to someone who brought up the false idea that he had been influenced by one.

Does that resolve the issue?

Reference:(10) `Agnosticism and atheism`
#:~:text=Albert Einstein`s religious views have, which he described as naive.



Post Edited (Thu 28 Jul 14:31)
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 14:22

Einstein was not a moral philosopher but he reached a similar conclusion as Spinoza and Nietzsche: that moral constructs like good and evil, while very important to our well being as a species, are essentially human constructs. They have been created by us but are not recognised in the greater scale of things. It’s a pitiless Universe.

I’m sure Einstein was intrigued by the idea of creation same as most of us are, but his energies were directed at understanding the laws of Physics rather than pondering on who or what might have created these laws. For practical purposes it seems that Einstein operated from the idea contained within Eastern religions that the Universe just ‘is.’

sammer
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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: onandupthepars  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 14:43

Excellent sammer. Yes, the trouble is, we could do with the world`s brilliant minds focusing on the human problems more. I mean sending stuff to Mars and back is a great feat for Physicists but really childs`play compared to preventing wars and etc. I don`t think religion, atheism, agnosticism are helping much either. I think I`ll give up this thread and look into social issues.

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: Tad Allagash  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 16:19

Below is a quote from Physicist Richard Feynman on the idea of scientists focusing on social problems.

“From time to time, people suggest to me that scientists ought to give more consideration to social problems -- especially that they should be more responsible in considering the impact of science upon society. This same suggestion must be made to many other scientists, and it seems to be generally believed that if the scientists would only look at these very difficult social problems and not spend so much time fooling with the less vital scientific ones, great success would come of it.

It seems to me that we do think about these problems from time to time, but we don`t put full-time effort into them -- the reason being that we know we don`t have any magic formula for solving problems, that social problems are very much harder than scientific ones, and that we usually don`t get anywhere when we do think about them.

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy -- and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter.“

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 Re: Atheist stuff
Topic Originator: sammer  
Date:   Thu 28 Jul 18:25

Einstein once commented on that very problem: that because he had developed a great understanding of Physics it was assumed he had great insight into other areas of knowledge as well. He made no such claims.

His humility is well captured in his observation: ‘Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics, I assure you that mine are greater.’

Jewish intellectuals living in Europe such as Marx, Freud and Einstein helped shape the world we live in today, but the Holocaust tried to eliminate their race along with their ideas. I don`t think we have that type of thinker in Europe now unfortunately.

sammer
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