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Can Science and Religion be reconciled?

Discussion in 'Science and Religion' started by Runt, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. Alaric

    Alaric Active Member

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    God is not supposed to be the Unknown - what is it you pray to then, and why would you?
     
  2. Death

    Death Member

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    Wishful thinking?
     
  3. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I believe that God is beyond Understanding and Knowing. I pray to the Unknown for knowledge, wisdom and unfolding. It works for me.
     
  4. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
    --Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium", 1941.
     
  5. (Q)

    (Q) Active Member

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    For the record:

    "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, 1954) From Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

    Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action 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. (Albert Einstein, 1936) Responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann

    A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

    I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. (Albert Einstein, The World as I See It)

    I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. (Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

    I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein) Following his wife's advice in responding to Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the International Synagogue in New York, who had sent Einstein a cablegram bluntly demanding "Do you believe in God?" Quoted from and citation notes derived from Victor J. Stenger, Has Science Found God? (draft: 2001), chapter 3."
     
  6. (Q)

    (Q) Active Member

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    Lightkeeper

    Knowledge comes from learning, not praying. Wisdom comes from the use of that knowledge.
     
  7. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    Q, We all have our own ways of looking at things. I am a firm believer that we have the Divine within us and we are deep resources of knowledge and wisdom. I never said I was praying to anything outside of myself. However, I also believe in a Universal Wisdom. You have your experience and I have mine.
     
  8. (Q)

    (Q) Active Member

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    Lightkeeper

    I'm not familiar with your definitions of knowledge and wisdom, as well, I have never heard the term "Universal Wisdom."

    Could you please enlighten?
     
  9. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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  10. Death

    Death Member

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    Oh, with respects to einstein, i've got a load of his quotesi n a text file on my computer:

    "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.

    My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive With our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible Universe, forms my idea of God." - Albert Einstein

    "The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously."
    --Albert Einstein, in a letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946

    "I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature."--Albert Einstein: The World As I See It

    A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. -- Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

    “When I was a fairly precocious young man I became thoroughly impressed with the futility of the hopes and strivings that chase most men restlessly through life. Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today. By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. The stomach might well be satisfied by such participation, but not man insofar as he is a thinking and feeling being.

    “As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came — though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents — to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment-an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights they had achieved, were the friends who could not be lost. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.”

    Albert Einstein, Autobiographical Notes, Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1979, pp 3-5.

    “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”

    Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216.

    “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms-it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls. Enough for me the mystery of the eternity of life, and the inkling of the marvellous structure of reality, together with the single-hearted endeavour to comprehend a portion, be it never so tiny, of the reason that manifests itself in nature.”

    Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, Secaucus, New Jersy: The Citadel Press, 1999, p. 5.

    “The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.”

    Albert Einstein in a letter to Beatrice Frohlich, December 17, 1952; Einstein Archive 59-797; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 217.

    “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. 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 content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems.”

    Albert Einstein, 1947; from Banesh Hoffmann, Albert Einstein Creator and Rebel, New York: New American Library, 1972, p. 95.

    “I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.… This is a somewhat new kind of religion.”

    Albert Einstein, in a letter to Hans Muehsam, March 30, 1954; Einstein Archive 38-434; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 218.

    “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, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929; from Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p. 413; also cited as a telegram to a Jewish newspaper, 1929, Einstein Archive 33-272, from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 204.

    “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.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to a Baptist pastor in 1953; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 39.

    “Why do you write to me ‘God should punish the English’? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to Edgar Meyer, a Swiss colleague, January 2, 1915; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 201.

    “It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.”

    Albert Einstein; quoted in W. I. Hermanns, "A Talk with Einstein," October 1943, Einstein Archive 55-285; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 215.

    “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.”

    Albert Einstein, quoted in The New York Times obituary, April 19, 1955; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Thoughts, New York: Ballantine Books, 1996, p. 134. )

    “The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education. The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to a minister November 20, 1950; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 95.

    “A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death. It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees.”

    Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science," in the New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930, pp. 3-4; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, pp. 205-206.

    “The religious feeling engendered by experiencing the logical comprehensibility of profound interrelations is of a somewhat different sort from the feeling that one usually calls religious. It is more a feeling of awe at the scheme that is manifested in the material universe. It does not lead us to take the step of fashioning a god-like being in our own image-a personage who makes demands of us and who takes an interest in us as individuals. There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being. For this reason, people of our type see in morality a purely human matter, albeit the most important in the human sphere.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to a Rabbi in Chicago; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton University Press, 1981, pp. 69-70.

    “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.”

    Albert Einstein, replying to a letter in 1954 or 1955; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 39.

    “I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies. This does not make sense. The proper guidance during the life of a man should be the weight that he puts upon ethics and the amount of consideration that he has for others.”

    Albert Einstein; from Peter A. Bucky, The Private Albert Einstein, Kansas City: Andrews & McMeel, 1992, p. 86.

    “Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action 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.”

    Albert Einstein in responce to a child who had written him in 1936 and asked if scientists pray; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 32.

    “I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance — but for us, not for God.”

    Albert Einstein; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 66.

    “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men.”

    “The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to Hoffman and Dukas, 1946; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981.

    “The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.”

    Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A 1934 Symposium published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941; from Einstein's Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, pp. 29-30.

    “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.”

    Albert Einstein on quantum mechanics, published in the London Observer, April 5, 1964; also quoted as "God does not play dice with the world." in Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p. 19.

    “I cannot accept any concept of God based on the fear of life or the fear of death or blind faith. I cannot prove to you that there is no personal God, but if I were to speak of him I would be a liar.”

    Albert Einstein; from Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, New York: World Publishing Company, 1971, p. 622.

    “During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image, who, by the operations of their will were supposed to determine, or at any rate to influence, the phenomenal world. Man sought to alter the disposition of these gods in his own favor by means of magic and prayer. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. Its anthropomorphic character is shown, for instance, by the fact that men appeal to the Divine Being in prayers and plead for the fulfillment of their wishes.

    “Nobody, certainly, will deny that the idea of the existence of an omnipotent, just, and omnibeneficent personal God is able to accord man solace, help, and guidance; also, by virtue of its simplicity it is accessible to the most undeveloped mind. But, on the other hand, there are decisive weaknesses attached to this idea in itself, which have been painfully felt since the beginning of history. That is, if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

    “The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and of science lies in this concept of a personal God. It is the aim of science to establish general rules which determine the reciprocal connection of objects and events in time and space. For these rules, or laws of nature, absolutely general validity is required—not proven. It is mainly a program, and faith in the possibility of its accomplishment in principle is only founded on partial successes. But hardly anyone could be found who would deny these partial successes and ascribe them to human self-deception. The fact that on the basis of such laws we are able to predict the temporal behavior of phenomena in certain domains with great precision and certainty is deeply embedded in the consciousness of the modern man, even though he may have grasped very little of the contents of those laws. He need only consider that planetary courses within the solar system may be calculated in advance with great exactitude on the basis of a limited number of simple laws. In a similar way, though not with the same precision, it is possible to calculate in advance the mode of operation of an electric motor, a transmission system, or of a wireless apparatus, even when dealing with a novel development.

    “To be sure, when the number of factors coming into play in a phenomenological complex is too large, scientific method in most cases fails us. One need only think of the weather, in which case prediction even for a few days ahead is impossible. Nevertheless no one doubts that we are confronted with a causal connection whose causal components are in the main known to us. Occurrences in this domain are beyond the reach of exact prediction because of the variety of factors in operation, not because of any lack of order in nature.

    “We have penetrated far less deeply into the regularities obtaining within the realm of living things, but deeply enough nevertheless to sense at least the rule of fixed necessity. One need only think of the systematic order in heredity, and in the effect of poisons, as for instance alcohol, on the behavior of organic beings. What is still lacking here is a grasp of connections of profound generality, but not a knowledge of order in itself.

    “The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot.

    “But I am persuaded that such behavior on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure, a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task.”

    Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A 1934 Symposium published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941; from Einstein's Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, pp. 26-29.

    “I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mysticality is the power of all true science.”

    Albert Einstein; from Peter A. Bucky, The Private Albert Einstein, Kansas City: Andrews & McMeel, 1992, p. 86.

    “The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so-called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.”

    Albert Einstein, in a letter February 5, 1921; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 40.

    “Mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all.”

    Albert Einstein, letter to V. T Aaltonen, May 7, 1952, Einstein Archive 59-059; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216.

    “I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being.”

    Albert Einstein, to Guy H. Raner Jr., September 28, 1949; from Michael R. Gilmore, "Einstein's God: Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?," Skeptic, 1997, 5(2):64.

    “For science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of its domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary. Religion, on the other hand, deals only with evaluations of human thought and action: it cannot justifiably speak of facts and relationships between facts.”

    Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970, p. 25.

    “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.”

    Albert Einstein, according to the testimony of Prince Hubertus of Lowenstein; as quoted by Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, New York: World Publishing Company, 1971, p. 425.

    “I received your letter of June 10th. 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. Your counter-arguments seem to me very correct and could hardly be better formulated. It is always misleading to use anthropomorphical concepts in dealing with things outside the human sphere—childish analogies. We have to admire in humility the beautiful harmony of the structure of this world as far—as we can grasp it. And that is all.”

    Albert Einstein, to Guy H. Raner Jr., July 2, 1945, responding to a rumor that a Jesuit priest had caused Einstein to convert from atheism; from Michael R. Gilmore, "Einstein's God: Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?," Skeptic, 1997, 5(2):62.

    “I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.”

    Albert Einstein in a letter, 1954; from Paul Blanshard, American Freedom and Catholic Power, Greenwood Pub., 1984, p. 10.

    “It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence which is dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings.”

    Albert Einstein; from Gerald Holton, Einstein: History, and Other Passions, Woodbury, NY: Perseus Press, 1996, p. 172.

    “His [Einstein] was not a life of prayer and worship. Yet he lived by a deep faith — a faith not capabIe of rational foundation — that there are laws of Nature to be discovered. His lifelong pursuit was to discover them. His realism and his optimism are illuminated by his remark: ‘Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not’ (‘Raffiniert ist der Herrgott aber boshaft ist er nicht.’). When asked by a colleague what he meant by that, he replied: ‘Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse’ (‘Die Natur verbirgt ihr Geheimnis durch die Erhabenheit ihres Wesens, aber nicht durch List.’)”

    Abraham Pais, Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein, Oxford University Press, New York, 1982.

    “However, Einstein's God was not the God of most other men. When he wrote of religion, as he often did in middle and later life, he tended to adopt the belief of Alice's Red Queen that "words mean what you want them to mean," and to clothe with different names what to more ordinary mortals — and to most Jews — looked like a variant of simple agnosticism. Replying in 1929 to a cabled inquiry from Rabbi Goldstein of New York, he said that he believed "in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exist, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of men." And it is claimed that years later, asked by Ben-Gurion whether he believed in God, "even he, with his great formula about energy and mass, agreed that there must be something behind the energy." No doubt. But much of Einstein's writing gives the impression of belief in a God even more intangible and impersonal than a celestial machine minder, running the universe with indisputable authority and expert touch. Instead, Einstein's God appears as the physical world itself, with its infinitely marvelous structure operating at atomic level with the beauty of a craftsman's wristwatch, and at stellar level with the majesty of a massive cyclotron. This was belief enough. It grew early and rooted deep. Only later was it dignified by the title of cosmic religion, a phrase which gave plausible respectability to the views of a man who did not believe in a life after death and who felt that if virtue paid off in the earthly one, then this was the result of cause and effect rather than celestial reward. Einstein's God thus stood for an orderly system obeying rules which could be discovered by those who at the courage, imagination, and persistence to go on searching for them. It was to this past which he began to turn his mind soon after the age of twelve. The rest of his life everything else was to seem almost trivial by comparison.”

    Ronald W. Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times, New York: World Publishing, 1971, pp. 19-20.
     
  11. Mr Spinkles

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    Wow, good discussion all. I particularly like the points Alaric made contrasting science and religion.

    Here's my take: The goal of science is to find the truth, whether it's pleasant or unpleasant. Religion, however, claims to already know all the answers, and therefore is constantly trying to reconcile itself with advances in science which may challenge those "answers".

    Religions don't seem to want to find the truth- they want Science to (hopefully) validate the "truths" they've already come up with.
     
  12. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Mr_Spinkles--

    For the most part I agree. However, there are a FEW (very few) religions not devoted to the answers, but to the PROCESS of discovering Truth: Taoism and Unitarian Universalism come to mind right now. If it were not for those, I would probably be atheist myself... and both religions would welcome me as an atheist.
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

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    I'm afraid I know practically nothing about Taoism and Unitarian Universalism, so forgive me for mischaracterizing them when referring to religion in general.

    Still, don't a lot of people in Taoism and Unitarian Universalism have metaphysical beliefs which they base on inner feelings (rather than outer scientific evidence)?
     
  14. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's the interesting thing about Taoism and Unitarian Universalism. Both caution practicioners (you could almost say "students") to examine spiritual experiences, rather than blindly accepting them.

    The only "metaphysical" experience really ASSOCIATED with Taoism is the state of deep meditation in which one ceases to think and feels "one with everything". I personally don't even catagorize this as a METAPHYSICAL experience so much as a ENLIGHTENING experience. But metaphysical or enlightening, Taoism cautions against believing you have reached this state too soon. There is a story that Master Vigil posted on another thread that addresses this. Allow me to quote:

    "One day a master called his student to his quarters. The student was laughing and the master asked why. The student then said, 'I finally achieved enlightenment!!' The master then smacked him on the head with his staff. The student was confused as to why he did so. The master then calmly asked the student... 'How far will your head go before it smacks into a staff again?' The student was puzzled. Then the master quickly smacked him again. And then calmly said... 'Too quick.' "

    Unitarian Universalism actually recognizes more "metaphysical" experiences than Taoism seems to, yet at the same time urges practicioners to examine these feelings. The Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association makes these two relevant statements:

    "The living tradition which we share draws from many sources...

    ...Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life...

    ...Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit."
     
  15. Mr Spinkles

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    I'm afraid I know practically nothing about Taoism and Unitarian Universalism, so forgive me for mischaracterizing them when referring to religion in general.

    Still, don't a lot of people in Taoism and Unitarian Universalism have metaphysical beliefs which they base on inner feelings (rather than outer scientific evidence)?
     
  16. Runt

    Runt Well-Known Member

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    Well, that's the interesting thing about Taoism and Unitarian Universalism. Both caution practicioners (you could almost say "students") to examine spiritual experiences, rather than blindly accepting them.

    The only "metaphysical" experience really ASSOCIATED with Taoism is the state of deep meditation in which one ceases to think and feels "one with everything". I personally don't even catagorize this as a METAPHYSICAL experience so much as a ENLIGHTENING experience. But metaphysical or enlightening, Taoism cautions against believing you have reached this state too soon. There is a story that Master Vigil posted on another thread that addresses this. Allow me to quote:

    "One day a master called his student to his quarters. The student was laughing and the master asked why. The student then said, 'I finally achieved enlightenment!!' The master then smacked him on the head with his staff. The student was confused as to why he did so. The master then calmly asked the student... 'How far will your head go before it smacks into a staff again?' The student was puzzled. Then the master quickly smacked him again. And then calmly said... 'Too quick.' "

    Unitarian Universalism actually recognizes more "metaphysical" experiences than Taoism seems to, yet at the same time urges practicioners to examine these feelings. The Principles and Purposes of the Unitarian Universalist Association makes these two relevant statements:

    "The living tradition which we share draws from many sources...

    ...Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life...

    ...Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit."
     
  17. ONEWAY

    ONEWAY Member

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    Hello Death and God Bless. I just want to say that I have been investigating your claims in your reply, each one I may add, and I have been thoroughly confinced that Creation evidence is by far the most reasonable explanation for the present. I was suprised to find even evolutionists agree that fossil evidence is lacking in their search to fit the evolutionist theory. A couple things I will say, I will not respond to each point, due to the fact that it will simply be too much to write; however, you can search for yourself all the fossill evidences you mentioned on sites like the answers in Genesis website, creation evidence website, equip.org, and others. A couple books I would look at are The Case for the Creator by Lee Strobel (Formor atheist), and The FARCE of evolution by Hank Hannegraff, or even tune into his radio program and present your arguments on the radio to him there.
    An interesting note is that Science was actually established by Christians, one example is Issac Newton, to further their knowledge of the Creator's creation. In addition, having a site dedicated to one's views need not be neccessarily credible or even investigated. I may have seen a dog even petted one or owned one and feed it, but does that make me an expert on dog's anatomy, and lets say I even wrote a book, Does that make me credible? My question, is why you would call me a lier when my previous statements were and are true? Have you investigated? I surely did, and I am again thoroughly convinced that there is a creator, and even if I did not believe in creation, the evidence is simply against evolution and the burden of evidence weighs on evolutionists to prove their theory, not creationists.
    I have another question, is your definition of transition different from evolutionists, because it seems that according to evolution there are no fossils in transition that support or even seemingly support evolution.
    I truly care for you Death, and all I am saying is that if one comes to the evidence weighed on both sides, being intellectually honest, one will see that the evidence is indeed convincing and compelling that God is God the Creator of the Universe.

    Sincerely,

    ONEWAY

    God Bless (Romans 10:9-10)
     
  18. KyrieElasion

    KyrieElasion New Member

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    Is there a moderator here?
     
  19. Rex

    Rex Founder

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    Yes and I have already fixed your "test" post.


    :hi:
     
  20. dharveymi

    dharveymi Member

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    In reality there should be no division between religion and science. Organized religion, organized science, and politics all share a common problem: the GOLDEN RULE. Those with the gold rule. There is an institutional bias toward certain kinds of ideas, research, etc. For example, what major scientific organization would fund a study designed to prove that a Biblical account was true? There are independant religious and scientific organizations that have made great advances. consider this website:

    Creation Evidence Museum
     
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