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Einstein Letter Goes on Sale

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-what-a-smart-guy-says dept.

Science 615

ErkDemon writes "For any Slashdotters who want a piece of frameable Einstein memorabilia, a letter from A.E. to Eric Gutkind goes on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions today (May 15th). The content of the letter mostly deals with Einstein's views on religion. (Einstein pronounces himself rather unimpressed by the whole idea and rejects it as "childish.") The Guardian has printed a translated excerpt from the letter."

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615 comments

Well... (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415302)

Reading it, you'd think this would stop the theists from repeatedly dragging the man unwillingly into their camp; but since this well-known remark...

"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

...didn't do it... somehow, I doubt this new letter will, either, clear as it may be.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415324)

Certainly theists trying to ascribe some form of theism to Einstein are mistaken. However, the atheists can be just as bad. I have already seen in Internet forums that atheists are using this newly found statement of Einstein to boost their cause, arguing along the lines of "Einstein was a genius, and he didn't believe in God, so clearly rejecting the existence of God is the smart thing to do." Einstein, though a brilliant physicist, was not trained in the philosophy of religion. It's a pity that when atheists could refer to eminent philosophers of religion like Mackie in his The Miracle of Theism [amazon.com] (Oxford University Press, 1983) or (pre-conversion) Flew as examples of how to argue well against theism, they instead use completely inappropriate figures like Einstein.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415372)

Why do you need to be a "philosopher of religion" to have a say on whether God exists? Surely a physicist has as much to say on what's real as anyone?

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415428)

Agreed. Thats like saying an astronomer's opinion means nothing regarding astrology. If you're studying "the philosophy of religion", you've already decided on a camp.

Re:Well... (5, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415598)

And unless you *also* have a degree in Chocolate Philosophy, don't even think of discussing Easter !

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415636)

And it doesn't. Validity of 90% of the claims of astrology should be "verified" (ahem) by biologists.

Are people born under a white moon more likely to be X or Y ? That's not something astronomy confronts itself with. At best it answers the question when a white moon occurs. Astrology uses astronomy as a tool, to make their calendars and doesn't dispute the validity of it. The science they dispute the validity of is (mostly) biology and economics.

You will find most idiotic groupings disputing biology and economics, and little else. Socialism, islam, other cults ... all are fighting mostly biology and economics. The only potential problem in astronomy, and only in some crackpot movements, is the cosmological creation story (and while obviously genesis isn't the final answer, the big bang theory isn't either, therefore atheists should perhaps be a bit more careful about using it. In fact I do find the premise of genesis that the universe is eternal much more plausible than the outside-of-the-theory moment of the big bang itself in the big bang theory).

The problem with that is that every scientist has already decided on a camp. A real scientist (in the exact, positive sciences) has accepted 2 assumptions as the absolute truth :

1) miracles may or may not occur. However since neither presence nor absence of miracles has any shred of hope to ever be proved, we ASSUME in all scientific theories that they don't. Per definition a miracle is a non-repeateable event, and theories only discuss repeateable (and therefore hopefully one day predictable) events.

Science only studies "what happens when God's asleep" for lack of a better expression (I don't mean to imply that God ever sleeps for example).

2) Because of 1) Science will never either verify or cuonterproof a christian-style religion that's based on historical reports of miracles. It can't be done. Think about this : the evidence that Jesus walked over water is exactly as strong as the evidence Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. How then, to judge the relative truth of both events : simple. Don't. Just report them both, without prejudice and, like all historical events, preceded by : X believes Y. (note that in the case of Caesar's contest of Gaul, it's in the end also a case of believing).

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415668)

the evidence that Jesus walked over water is exactly as strong as the evidence Julius Caesar conquered Gaul

In case (a) we have some guy telling a story of how Jesus walked on water. In case (b) we have some guy telling a story of how Caesar conquered Gaul, plus coins found throughout France showing Caesar's image, plus Roman and Gaulish weapons of the period found throughout France, plus centuries of evidence in writing and in artefacts of continuous Roman occupation of Gaul which coincidentally begin at the time of Caesar.

And that's before we discuss the relative plausibility of the two written accounts we began with. One describes a man doing something exotically impossible, while the other describes a man doing something we know perfectly well that men do from time to time. Does that not make one far more likely to be a fiction than the other?

Re:Well... (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415702)

Don't you mean 'astronomy'? Astronomy is for people who study the science of the heavens, Astrology is the manipulation of bored housewives out of their money with 1-900 numbers and infomercials.

Absolutely not. (2, Funny)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415522)


Physicists don't usually think about why things are, they only think about how things work.

So a physicist can explain the math behind quantum entanglement but a physicist cannot explain why math is capable of solving all the mysteries of the universe.

I'm getting a degree in philosophy so I can explain.

And if you think you can challenge my philosophy go ahead.

1. God is self awareness.

2. When an entity, individual or species becomes more self aware, they become closer to God. As a result, their science gets better, their math gets better, and their self awareness allows them to organize all the information of the universe, thus they become the programmers of the universe.

3. The universe only exists in the minds of the self aware. Self awareness perceived the universe into existence, and this was the cause of the big bang.

4. The universe cannot exist independently of self awareness. Self awareness is existence, and when the universe becomes more self aware it becomes more real. When you become more self aware you become more real.

5. All which is not self aware, is not real, it's junk information, it's noise, it's fake, it's illusion.

This means, life is real if it's aware of itself. Humans and most mammals are real. Rocks, dirt, sand, dust, mud, minerals and all which is not self aware, is the junk/noise of the universe. It's simply information which wouldn't exist at all without our perception to perceive it into existence and classify it.

This means the observer is the universe. This means that due to non-locality, distance and space are illusions. This means time/change is energy. And energy is conciousness/self awareness.

The eye/ears/brain simply organizes that energy so that it can become aware of itself. But there is no universe outside of that energy of awareness.

 

Re:Absolutely not. (5, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415588)

Explain this: if the universe cannot exist without self-awareness, and there was a time when the universe did not exist, then how did the universe came to be? One cannot be aware of oneself if one does not yet exist. Your philosophy sounds an aweful lot like that new-age crap, but let's assume you came up with this yourself. How did you come to this philosophy of yours?

Re:Absolutely not. (1, Funny)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415656)


PErhaps self awareness existed on the particle level before the 3d universe big banged itself into existence. Perhaps the existence of the 3d universe was a result of self awareness of the 2d.

And since you believe all new age philosophy to be crap, you are probably a closed minded athiest so why does it matter how I came up with my opinion?

But if you want me to make it simple, nothing exists outside of our minds. You only think that stuff exists but you have no way to actually prove anything exists prior to perception. The latest experiments in quantum mechanics prove that the observer is what causes existence.

The double slit experiment is one example of this, and if you look it up on Google you'll see it.

Basically I don't believe the universe exists independent of the observer. And if you somehow do believe the universe can exist independent on the observer then the burden is on you to prove something can exist without being observed by anything in the universe.

Re:Absolutely not. (2, Insightful)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415612)

1. God is self awareness.
Huh ?
Sorry, is that what they teach you at school ? To start with bland empty made up statements ?
(not impressed)

Re:Absolutely not. (1, Troll)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415694)


God is the mind of the universe. Is that better?

Or, God is the collective mind of all beings in the universe. Is this more clear?

And this mind intelligently designed the universe.

Re:Absolutely not. (5, Insightful)

holloway (46404) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415816)

The arguments about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Pink Unicorn and Russel's Teapot are all good responses to that. For example, I'm going to claim that pink unicorns did it and that you're wrong. How is your theory any better than mine? Where the evidence?

In your response please do keep in mind that unicorns are pretty and they can do anything they want.

Re:Absolutely not. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415832)



If pink unicorns are the one self aware force in the universe, then the pink unicorns are God.

The universe only exists in peoples minds. Scientists who study the universe are actually only studying their own perceptions and to interpret perceptions without any meaning behind it is to just function as a knowledge gatherer collecting meaningless data and organizing it using the scientific method.

Re:Absolutely not. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415818)

Keep smoking that stuff. Maybe try some LSD to expand your mind more than it is now, maybe you will even meet this 'god' thing you are rambling on about.

I agree with old AL: religion is no more than 'childish superstition'.

At least you all are amusing and entertaining sometimes...just like a sitcom, and just as predictable.

Re:Absolutely not. (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415828)

Congratulations. You've reinvented your god as a character in a late Heinlein novel.

You need to read more Karl Popper, or you won't make it through that degree.

Re:Absolutely not. (3, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415630)

1. God is self awareness.

What is the basis for your core assumption ?

This means, life is real if it's aware of itself. Humans and most mammals are real.

Most mammals ? Which ones are unlucky enough not to make the cut ? Who decides ?

Where do reptiles and fish fit into your scheme ? Or, aren't they cute enough to have feelings ? Do the poor old insects get a raw deal as well ?

Re:Absolutely not. (1)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415718)

Yeah, I agree with you. This guy is a fine example of why drugs are bad.

I'd be willing to put a dollar down and say he's vegetarian too.

Re:Absolutely not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415722)

The fish is for food on Fridays (thanks for that). Insects are for besetting a plaque on crops. Reptiles are just icky and scarry.

Re:Absolutely not. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415760)

What is the basis for your core assumption ?
I base my core assumption on pure reason. Can you agree that your thoughts are the most real thing in this universe? If you agree that nothing can be more real than your thoughts, then you can see that self awareness is the universe.

Most mammals ? Which ones are unlucky enough not to make the cut ? Who decides ?

Where do reptiles and fish fit into your scheme ? Or, aren't they cute enough to have feelings ? Do the poor old insects get a raw deal as well ?
If a mammal can look at itself in a mirror and recognize itself, its self aware. The more self aware it is, the closer to God it is. A mammal is closer to God than a fish, but a chimp or a human is even closer to God than the fish or most mammals.

Some aliens in the universe may be closer to God than us. The simple fact is, the closer to God you are, the more control you have over nature, the more control you have over that which is less aware of itself. So because that fish is unaware of itself, and it's environment, you can go fishing and or put them in a fish tank or whatever and the fish just isn't capable of being aware of what you are doing. To that fish, you are God.

The same would happen to us if we came into contact with aliens which are so much more self aware than we are that they could wipe us out easily. Humans are self aware on the individual level, but we have very little species level awareness. We may no survive a species because we don't put survival of the species as the first priority. But if you remember, the first law of nature is self preservation, and if you are reasonable you'd want to be a self aware as possible just so you'd be capable of surviving an alien attack or an attack by plagues, viruses etc.

Re:Absolutely not. (5, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415726)

I propose a simple experiment. You say the universe exists only inside one's awareness.

In other words, you believe in magic. But we can easily experimentally verify this state of affairs.

I put you inside a dark room, completely and utterly dark, so that most of your perception is disabled. What you don't know is that there is a hole in the floor of the room : but no worries, nobody is aware of the hole, and it isn't aware of itself : so you won't fall through it.

Obviously if you do fall through : your "philosophy" is worthless and untrue : it failed a prediction.

Your philosophy is different in nothing from any ancient belief that you would call utterly stupid. They believed something that could be trivially disproven and "the world is only what you think about it".

Obviously it's not. The world exists independantly of you.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

croftj (2359) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415758)

His opinion is just as relevant as anybody's This is because opinions like assholes are built in. With that said, why should his be any more relevant than anyone else's including mine? Discounting God, his only answer to "Where did it all come from?" is "I don't know".

Until he died, assuming there's an afterlife, he was no closer to the answer than I. In either case, now that he's dead and whether there's an afterlife or not, he still can't tell us the answer.

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

notany (528696) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415406)

I think the following might be from the same letter. At least it's written in same year. Einstein used to describe himself non religious but spiritual (his meaning of spiritual don't include belief in supernatural).

"The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity. If there's any religion that would cope with scientific needs it will be Buddhism." - Albert Einstein, 1954,from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415542)

To me this also sounds like Taoism.

Re:Well... (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415700)

I think the following might be from the same letter. At least it's written in same year.

Emphasis mine.


I believe that Einstein wrote more than one letter per year.

The universe is self aware. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415474)


It's as simple as this. The universe is completely in our collective minds. When I say our, I do not mean humans, I mean the collective self awareness of the universe.

That collective self awareness of the universe perceived the universe into existence. The big bang was the beginning of the universe(self awareness), becoming aware of itself.

Existence is self awareness. That which is self aware is all that is real in the universe. Everything else is just junk information, noise. If all self awareness in the universe dies, the universe itself will cease to exist.

Basically the universe only exists because there are self aware beings capable of perceiving it. The only thing real in the universe are the self aware beings. And God is the collective self awareness of the universe, the universal awareness, or universal soul, or universal mind, however you want to think about it.

Re:The universe is self aware. (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415762)

Are you trying to be a Minbari or something? Following a fictional religion from the 1990s is no worse than following one from thousands of years ago, but still its hardly smart.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415506)

Einstein, though a brilliant physicist, was not trained in the philosophy of religion.
Sure, and brain surgeons are not trained in snake oil quackery. News at 11!

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415528)

not trained in the philosophy of religion
So to be clear here, what you are saying is that you have to be trained in religion to have an opinion on it? Surely this rules out 99% of theists out there today, pretty odd that they can't have a view.

The flip side of this is that no-one (theist or atheist) should have an opinion on science unless correctly trained. That no-one can have an opinion on the Law unless fully trained in the law and become a politician unless trained in politics.

Its a bit childish to refer to Einstein and saying "yeah see, proves it" but using his arguments (that religion is not rational for instance) certainly shouldn't be ruled out just because he was only a Nobel Prize winning physicist who revolutionised mankind's view of the universe. Philosophy of religion is the study of only a limited domain and it is a domain that has been reduced over the centuries by science, the best way to understand why religion is bunk is to read science books because they explain the universe much more effectively than "man with beard did it".

Enlightenment is the antidote to religion, and you don't get much more enlightened than Einstein.

Re:Well... (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415638)

So to be clear here, what you are saying is that you have to be trained in religion to have an opinion on it?

If you are going to be cited as an authority, it helps to be someone who has thought long and hard about one's position, and who is aware of common arguments for and against.

Re:Well... (4, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415844)

What makes you think that Einstein didn't think long and hard about his position? Given the number of people who tried to claim him as a theist and his rebuttals (including this letter) he comes across as someone who is extremely well read on the subject and has a huge advantage over those who limit themselves to a philosophical discussion on religion. Religion is not a testable scientific proposition and Einstein was (at the time) the man who saw further than all others on how the Universe operated and thus had greater insight about the universe around us than anyone who simply studied religion.

To imply that Einstein didn't think about his position and wasn't well read on the subject certainly appears to go against both his education and background as well as the writings and arguments he made on the topic.

If I want to know what is wrong with me, I ask a doctor not someone who studies the philosophy of illness, if I want to know what governs the universe then I'll ask a scientist over people who study the philosophy of religion. Einstein is an authority on what makes the universe tick, much more so than people who study religion.

So maybe the question is what authority do philosophers of religion have when talking about what created and governs the universe?
 

The mind of God (2, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415582)

"Einstein, though a brilliant physicist, was not trained in the philosophy of religion."

And yet 50+ yrs after his death, religious philosophers, fellow scientists, and popular writers are all trying to understand what he meant by the phrase "The mind of God". So I hardly think "http://www.einstein-website.de/z_biography/credo.html">the personal philosophy of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century can be dismissed as inappropriate.

However I do agree with the rest of your post it's more entertaining to watch all sides trying to prove "Einstien is on their side". ;)

Re:Well... (4, Informative)

aywwts4 (610966) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415592)

Dawkins had a good passage in his latest book for that theory, that all religious matters must yield to "an expert of theism trained in the philosophy of religion"

"...Other Catholic clergymen chimed in: 'There is no other God but a personal God . . . Einstein does not know what he is talking about. He is all wrong. Some men think that because they have achieved a high degree of learning in some field, they are qualified to express opinions in all.' The notion that religion is a proper field, in which one might claim expertise, is one that should not go unquestioned. That clergyman presumably would not have deferred to the expertise of a claimed 'fairyologist' on the exact shape and colour of fairy wings. Both he and the bishop thought that Einstein, being theologically untrained, had misunderstood the nature of God. On the contrary, Einstein understood very well exactly what he was denying. "

Re:Well... (1)

darinfp (907671) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415696)

Well.... I've got a BA in Religion and Philosophy as well as my IT degree and I don't believe in a personal god either.

I did the arts degree because I like hippie chicks. If you want to catch fish, you go where the fish are.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415336)

He also said:

I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
My own interpretation of that is, he appreciates the beauty and intelligence of how the world is put together, almost reveres its symmetry -- but certainly doesn't believe that there's a white-bearded man in the sky. The idea is that one can have an almost religious experience in the form of an equation, but the "I do not believe in a personal God" says that he doesn't believe praying is going to do any good -- if God is Nature, then Nature certainly doesn't care about your personal problems.

Oh, that, and does anyone want to date these quotes? It seems very likely that his beliefs changed; after all, how many of us were born or raised atheist? It seems mostly something that you come to on your own -- having once believed, you start to have doubts, which eventually turn into disbelief.

He just does not believe in the Christian God. (1, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415432)



And honestly, I don't believe in the Christian God either. This does not mean the man did not believe in a God concept.

Einstein did not believe the universe was randomly generated, this means he believed in intelligent design whether or not it's a Christian God or just some self aware universe, he believed in a God.

Athiests believe the universe is a complete accident and that everything in the universe is random. Nothing Einstein has ever said in any of his writings support that he believes that the universe is random. All we see here is that he's not a Christian and perhaps he was drifting away from being a traditional Jew.

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415466)

Einstein did not believe the universe was randomly generated, this means he believed in intelligent design whether or not it's a Christian God or just some self aware universe, he believed in a God.
Nope. Fail.

He never said self-aware, nor did he suggest anything about how it was created. That's more Hawking's department, anyway.

Athiests believe the universe is a complete accident and that everything in the universe is random.
And you know pretty much nothing about atheists.

Nothing Einstein has ever said in any of his writings support that he believes that the universe is random.
No, in fact, he said just the opposite. He ignored quantum mechanics because of that.

However, the fact that he recognized a symmetry in the Universe in no way suggests that he believed in a creator, or that the "God" he believed in was even sentient. He claimed to believe in Spinoza's God. [wikipedia.org] Quoting that Wikipedia article:

Spinoza viewed God and Nature as two names for the same reality, namely the single substance (meaning "to stand beneath" rather than "matter") that is the basis of the universe and of which all lesser "entities" are actually modes or modifications, that all things are determined by Nature to exist and cause effects, and that the complex chain of cause and effect is only understood in part.
Sounds to me like Spinoza's God created nothing, but is everything. You could almost say that Spinoza was very much an atheist -- he believed in nothing more than matter, the physical world that we see. But he believed that this was what the Jewish God really is -- kind of like the world being created in six days has to be a metaphor, because we know it wasn't.

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (1, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415614)

Nope. Fail.

He never said self-aware, nor did he suggest anything about how it was created. That's more Hawking's department, anyway.
His theory proves the universe is self aware. Mass is simply energy like everything else, and energy is never created or destroyed. It's his theory that allows people today to say that the universe is self aware.

So while there might not be a personal God, we do know that time is relative. If you travel at a faster speed time slows down, because distance shrinks. Now we have discovered non-locality and we see that distance itself is the illusion and that when an object is on the quantum level, distance ceases to exist.

And you know pretty much nothing about atheists.
Athiests have faith in the idea that a God doesn't, and shouldn't exist. How they rationalize it is their business, but these beliefs are the core of athiesm.

No, in fact, he said just the opposite. He ignored quantum mechanics because of that.
If there is no randomness in the universe, then everything in the universe is deliberate, and this is the entire basis for intelligent design. The only way to logically dispute intelligent design is by proving that randomness exists somewhere in the universe.

You can't say the Big bang was random if nothing in the universe was an accident. If all events are caused, then even the big bang had to have a cause.

However, the fact that he recognized a symmetry in the Universe in no way suggests that he believed in a creator, or that the "God" he believed in was even sentient. He claimed to believe in Spinoza's God. [wikipedia.org] Quoting that Wikipedia article:
I'm a philosopher myself. Nature is self aware. So if he believed in Spinoza's God, then his God is self aware and "alive" just as nature is self aware and alive. Whether or not that self awareness has a personal relationship with humans is another question.

Sounds to me like Spinoza's God created nothing, but is everything. You could almost say that Spinoza was very much an atheist -- he believed in nothing more than matter, the physical world that we see. But he believed that this was what the Jewish God really is -- kind of like the world being created in six days has to be a metaphor, because we know it wasn't.
No, thats panthiesm not athiesm. Nature is not nothing because life is nature. Space is nothing, the void is nothing. The universe however is self aware, and I say Einstein believed this based on everything you just said.

If the universe is nature, and nature is just self awareness, then the universe is self aware. Nature is not "nothing" or "space".

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (2, Interesting)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415666)

Mass is simply energy like everything else,
No. Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather.

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415782)

Mass is simply energy like everything else,

No. Matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only dream, and we're the imagination of ourselves. Here's Tom with the weather.
Thats not exactly what I was saying. But Mass is energy in another form, just as all things in the universe are.

As far as there being no such thing as death, thats up for debate, I'm not that much of a true believer.

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (1)

Roxton (73137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415780)

Nature is self--

*FORCE CHOKE*

Seriously, how to you create these perverse labyrinths of semantics and then live in them? You're one lonely fuckin' minotaur.

How can nature be dead (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415810)


If you believe nature is dead, do you believe you are any more real than a rock or some sand?

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (3, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415688)

this means he believed in intelligent design

What a disgraceful slander.

"Intelligent design" is a sly relabeling of creationism. Einstein was above all a scientist. He would certainly not want to be associated with such intentionally deceptive pseudoscience.

No it's not (0)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415804)


Just because I believe in a God, it doesn't mean I believe the universe was created in 7 days.

I believe in an intelligently designed universe. I'm not a creationist. Science can explain how a universe could be intelligently designed.

But I guess you don't see that science is neutral and only explains how the universe was designed and you have a choice to choose whether to believe it was designed intelligent or randomly.

I believe the athiest randomized universe to be pseudo-science and just as much of a myth as the theory of God creating the universe in 7 days.

Re:He just does not believe in the Christian God. (2, Insightful)

Awptimus Prime (695459) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415838)

Athiests believe the universe is a complete accident and that everything in the universe is random.
This is a much better explanation of atheism:

The natural condition of all humans at birth and prior to indoctrination in or self-invention of Theism.


Honestly, it seems there's a silent majority of agnostics out there who would rather be left alone regarding religious matters. I also suspect a lot of people who claim to be atheist are agnostic, because it's only natural to play with ideas over time and not be quite as resolute as most attempt to appear when posting on internet forums.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415502)

having once believed, you start to have doubts, which eventually turn into disbelief.
That's a very friendly way of putting it, on course with what the various religions bash into our heads: That not believing in their bullshit is a kind of "fall from grace", that it has to do with "doubt" and "disbelief".

I'm not sorry, and I'm not buying it. You don't call the sane people "dis-paranoid", or "un-shizophrenic".

We don't "doubt". I "doubt" the christian god about as much as I "doubt" the flying spagetti monster, invisible pink elephants and moon-cheese. It's not a matter of "doubt", which is a negatively-loaded word and implies that there is some truth that could be believed. But in fact there's only a load of made-up bullshit. Not believing every shit someone came up with while on drugs isn't properly expressed with the word "doubt", and using that word indicates a tendency already.

Re:Well... (4, Interesting)

Adhemar (679794) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415514)

Spinoza didn't believe in a personal God either. In Ethica, his philosophical masterpiece, Spinoza says that God is "immanent" in nature, not some supernatural entity beyond the world, interfering or having feelings.

Spinoza's concept of Deus sive natura (the God from nature) does not fit in the concept that most people mean when they speak of God. Schopenhauer wrote that because Spinoza called the substance God, he created his own problem of people misunderstanding him. Schopenhauer thinks Spinoza used the term God to make his ideas less objectionable. If only Spinoza choose to call his God-concept by any other name, his ideas would be understood more frequently for what they are: atheism in awe for the Beauty of Nature and the Universe; not theism, or pantheism, etc.

Einstein has the same problem: he stated many times not to believe in a personal God; the quote from this letter is just one quote among many others, many times equally clear as in this letter. But because Einstein, like Spinoza, did use the term God (for instance in the dice comment), even if it meant something that falls outside of most people's definition of God, theists like to talk about him as if he were one of their own.

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins explains why Einstein's God-quotes do not contradict his unbelief.

This is a quote from Albert Einstein, which summarises his position best (in my opinion):

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion. 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. The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive.

Re:Well... (1)

Standard User 79 (1209050) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415686)

Spinoza is selling pantheism. Also it is not correct to say his god-concept would can be understood as atheism. Pantheisitic concepts are quite common in all major religions/religious thinkers.

Re:Well... (1)

Auckerman (223266) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415566)

If you read the translation of letter that's being sold, you can see a little further into his views of religion and Spinoza, more specifically:

"As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one.

A belief in a world with natural and supernatural causes is on par with merely accepting supernatural causes. His reference to Spinoza is to his art work as it relates to his philosophical views on pantheism and substance. His creation of art was an expression of "God" in the form of "substance". This relates to Einstein's reference to "God" when he talks about science, to him, "God" is science. He's not supernatural, he's all around you and expressed in equations.

Combine those two sentences with the rest of the passage and I interpret Einstein as being VERY atheistic and a natural extension of Spinoza's work, which at his time was also thought to be far to materialistic to be of any value in expressing "God". This letter clearly puts the matter to rest, when Einstein talks of "God" he's not talking about any "God" the people in the society around you believe in, he's talking about the expression of nature in it's physical form.

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415646)

how many of us were born or raised atheist?

Er... all of us were born atheist. Many of us were later taught theism, and then some of us still later rejected that. Nobody is born believing in God, any more than they are born believing in Father Christmas.

All it says (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415416)


Reading it, you'd think this would stop the theists from repeatedly dragging the man unwillingly into their camp; but since this well-known remark...


"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


...didn't do it... somehow, I doubt this new letter will, either, clear as it may be.

All it says is that Einstein does not believe in a personal God. The God in the bible is a personal God that cares about the fate of humanity.

I don't believe in a personal God either, but I do believe in a God. Einstein also said that God does not play dice with the universe. If the universe is not random, there must be a God.

Re:All it says (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415468)

Einstein also said that God does not play dice with the universe. If the universe is not random, there must be a God.
No, it simply means that there is some kind of non-arbitrary system determining the outcome of events. This does not eliminate the possibility of a superbeing who makes consistent decisions, but I think Einstein meant that there are laws that govern the universe, and that they do not change unpredictably.

Views on Religion? (1, Interesting)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415314)

This is the same man who said "God does not play dice with the universe".

Re:Views on Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415328)

With "god" he meant order and structure in the universe. He believed that there is order and structure in the universe so there cannot be randomness. I think he was commenting on Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle.

Re:Views on Religion? (1, Insightful)

Saxmachine (1045648) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415338)

This is the same man who said "God does not play dice with the universe".
Not inconsistent. It's tough for one to play dice if one does not exist, yes?

Re:Views on Religion? (-1, Redundant)

orzetto (545509) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415340)

If he does not exist, how could he play dice? Seems consistent to me...

Re:Views on Religion? (5, Insightful)

totallyarb (889799) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415346)

There's a good lesson here: Poetic/metaphoric language can get you in trouble when people take you too literally. The dice comment is regularly trotted out as "proof" of his religious convictions, but the later statements in which he unequivocally denies that he believes in God somehow get missed.

In any event, this is all a rather sad reverse ad hominem; whether or not Einstein believed in God has no bearing on whether or not God exists. But both theists and atheists try to "claim" Einstein, because having a genius on your side *seems* to add weight to your argument. It doesn't, but there you go.

There is no god, there are no gods. (1)

Shturmovik (632314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415366)

Those who wish there were need to grow up and take responsibility for their lives.

Yes, yes, I know... (Score:-1, Flamebait)

Yawn.

Actually, appeal to false authority (4, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415470)

Actually, that "reverse ad hominem" has a name: appeal to false authority. You know, X is accepted as a smart and authoritative guy on his domain, X said Y, therefore Y must be true. It's used all the time, sadly. Franklin sad this, Churchill said that, Einstein said that other thing, etc. Often raising somethig that's little more than a wisecrack or thinly veiled jab at one's opponents (Churchill for one was quite the wisecracker) to the rank of absolute truth, beyond all questioning. Just because the great man said it, and obviously someone that great can't be wrong about something outside the domain of his expertise. And very few people seem to be aware that it's a fallacy. In reality, even _within_ one's domain of expertise, one can be wrong all right. Einstein was against quantum mechanics. Tesla didn't believe in relativity. (And in quite the fighting words: "[a] magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king") Lorentz was _rabidly_ against Einstein's relativity, and even denounced it as bolshevism, although it was based on his own equations. Go figure. There's a reason why the scientific method assumes that anything is falsifiable, and nothing is above questioning, no matter how big a genius said it. (Although, you're still supposed to present your evidence if you want to challenge it. Just personal disbelief or contradicting one's pet dogma aren't enough.) Move outside what one really knows, and the association with some authority figure becomes fully irrelevant.

Re:Actually, appeal to false authority (1)

sinewalker (686056) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415778)

Indeed. After all, the Big Bang itself was originally a wisecrack term, coined by an opponent of the theory.... I'm not sure if the name's stuck simply because no-one's thought of a better term, or because proponents enjoy the irony ;-)

Re:Views on Religion? (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415354)

When person A comes to visit his neighbour and sees him lying in a pool of blood and shrieks "Oh my God!", does that mean that person A is religious, too?

The word is pretty deeply rooted in the language, so even if you completely dismiss the concept of God, you may find yourself using the word more or less frequently.

Re:Views on Religion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415644)

When person A comes to visit his neighbour and sees him lying in a pool of blood...

Interesting choice of example there.

Re:Views on Religion? (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415364)

He also said:

I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.
And also:

I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.
So in this case, he did not believe that the "lawful harmony of the world" could allow for randomness, or could itself be an emergent pattern from randomness.

Here's a question: Has he ever said anything about faith? Or about how God loves... anything? Or how God will do anything? That would be a clear mark of a man with religious convictions: "God will protect me," or even "In God we trust."

Instead, we get the equivalent of, really, "God bless you" when someone sneezes.

Re:Views on Religion? (1)

iapetus (24050) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415472)

Here's a question: Has he ever said anything about faith?

How about "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."?

Re:Views on Religion? (2, Insightful)

blank89 (727548) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415376)

He was using a metaphor. When Einstein said "God does not play dice with the universe" he was saying that he did not think a quantum theory based on probability alone was correct. He was saying that there must be some good reason for the seemingly random quantum effects that we use statistics to predict. Science doesn't have a perfect explanation for what happens in the most extreme circumstances in the universe, and he was merely trying to express that.

Metaphor, dude (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415412)

It may come as a shock, but people use metaphors or analogies or funny quotes all the time, without actually believing in the thing used as a metaphor.

E.g., we may spew or quote stuff like "Mother Nature always sides with the hidden flaw" or "Mother Nature is a bitch", without actually believing that there is such a sentient entity. Or when Stalin said that "artillery is the god of war", chances are he didn't mean it literally.

E.g., you may have noticed quotes from Futurama's characters before on Slashdot. I'll take a wild guess that most of those people don't actually believe that Bender or Dr Zoidberg are real.

More importantly, look at the context in which he said that. There was _nothing_ theistic about it. Einstein's view of the world was based on the evidenced-based large-scale physics, where stuff is very deterministic. More importantly, there seemed to be no obvious way to reconcile relativity with quantum physics, so one or the other had to be false. Einstein obviously favoured his own relativity, and had plenty of experimental confirmation (at macro level) that it's correct.

If anything, it just shows that even really really smart people can be occasionally wrong, when talking about stuff outside their expertise domain.

But the crucial thing is that it was based on falsifiable evidence, not on some belief in a deity whose will is absolute and whose habits can be guessed. There was nothing inherently theistic about that belief.

Yes, he used the word "god". It was just a metaphor/anthropomorphisation of the universe. He could have just as well used "mother nature" or just personified the universe itself. It was just supposed to get the point across, not be some declaration of faith in a god.

Re:Views on Religion? (4, Insightful)

haeger (85819) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415418)

Do I have to be religious to ask you to go to hell?

Can an atheist use the expression "The devil is in the details?"

.haeger

If the universe isn't random, there must be a God. (-1, Flamebait)

elucido (870205) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415448)


The only way to interpret that statement is to believe Einstein was a man who believed in intelligent design. Intelligent design has nothing to do with Christianity.

I believe in an intelligent self aware universe. I don't believe in a personal God. And I'm not an athiest, and many other people agree with me.

The pagans, buddhists, and panthiests tend to see a similar view of the universe. People assume buddhists are athiest, but it's simple, you can believe consciousness is God and that the universe is self awareness.

To put it simply, this is to believe that the universe exists only if there is a self aware force to perceive it into existence. No self awareness, no perception, no universe.

The existence of the universe depends entirely on the ability of self awareness being able to perceive it and outside of self awareness, nothing is real.

Re:If the universe isn't random, there must be a G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415620)

Props to douglas adams.

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable."

"There is another theory which states that this has already happened."

Not changing a thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415408)

Sadly, theists will still claim he was a religious man, how he changed after this letter was written (despite it being written only a short time before his death) and so on.

They will probably to point to other things in his life and say that he was in conflict with his own belief or even say that the letter is fake.

Don't underestimate the power of faith.

Re:Not changing a thing (0, Troll)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415708)

Sadly, theists will still claim he was a religious man, how he changed after this letter was written (despite it being written only a short time before his death) and so on.

Well, naturally. Spend enough time with these people and you'll realise that everybody of interest accepted Jesus Christ on their deathbed, and renounced all the heretical doctrines for which they are famous, and said so only to some unattributable Christian who was apparently there at the very end despite appearing in no other accounts.

Do people still write letters? (4, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415450)

Einstein's letter raises another issue - do scientists, the great, good and so forth still write letters? My feelings are that people nowadays just type out emails or long journal articles. The letter writing industry seems to have disappeared - which would be a terrible shame. Letters written by big historical figures like Einstein provide important insights into their thinking that other forms of communication seem to lack.

Re:Do people still write letters? (3, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415550)

What do emails fail to achieve ?
We already have a few historical emails about the creation of internet, spam, linux, and so on...

Re:Do people still write letters? (4, Insightful)

teslar (706653) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415654)

What do emails fail to achieve ?
Well, for one I guess just-another-printed-copy of an email will never sell for as much as the original of a handwritten (or even typed) letter :)

Re:Do people still write letters? (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415558)

Letters written by big historical figures like Einstein provide important insights into their thinking that other forms of communication seem to lack.

emails and blog posts don't?

Israel (2, Insightful)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415498)

I believe in Spinoza's God, Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God Who concerns Himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.


This probably goes a fair way to explaining why he turned down the offer to be the second president of Israel. To do that job I would suggest that a belief in a god who does concern himself with the fate and the doings of mankind is something of a prerequisite.

Re:Israel (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415570)

Was it at the time ? He refused to acknowledge the "chosen people" dogma but identified with Jewish culture. There is no reason he would not have been a good president. Dismissing a humanist scientific genius because he is not religious seems one of the worst reason I can think of.

Re:Israel (1)

SimonGhent (57578) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415632)

Apologies, I was in no way dismissing him.

I agree, he would probably have been an excellent president, but at the time (1950's) I think his lack of agreement with the Jewish religion's beliefs would have been a major obstacle for him and for the people.

Re:Israel (1)

FlatWhatson (802600) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415754)

Surely this would have been more an issue of his own motivations...

I don't think many theoretical physicists would relish the thought of having an entire nation on their back.

good choice of words (1, Flamebait)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415508)

Excellent choice of words there. "childish" is perfectly adequate. "God" is of the same order of things as Santa Claus, the tooth fairy and the easter bunny.

Except I don't know anyone murdered or tortured in the name of the easter bunny, and I'm not aware of anyone blowing himself up to honour the tooth fairy.

Translation of "man"? (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415526)

In the translation: "In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew."

Is "man" here meaning "adult male human", or just "human"? Is there a German speaker with access to the original text who can clarify this?

Prophetic statement? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415596)

As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power

Did he foresee their actions in Gaza and the West Bank when they did get power!

A present to Richard Dawkins (1, Interesting)

AceJohnny (253840) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415602)

For some reasons, I think it would be very appropriate for this letter to end in the ownership of Richard Dawkins [wikipedia.org] .

Can you think of anybody else who you'd like to end up with this letter?

(I won't go as far as to propose a fund to buy the letter for these people)

Offtopic maybe, but ... (1, Troll)

geekymachoman (1261484) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415606)

.. believing is .. the same as not believing. Since, you still believe. You believe that there's God or you believe that there isnt a God. Anyway, objectivization of God is not good (but some people like that), and I think Einstein said that he don't believe in "the man on the sky with a beard", but he hasn't been specific about it. Anyway, IMHO, the only true path is to doubt/question everything, but it's easyer to believe that someone is watching us, and that we will "live" after death, since it gives us a meaning and security.

Atheism. (1)

wizards_eye (1145125) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415738)

IMHO the fastest growing religion these days is atheism.

Even though most atheists will hardly claim that it is not a religion :-)

everything made by man fails (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23415664)

not a criticism, or meant to be derogatory, just a fact. where is einstein now? see you on the other side of it. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

amused (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 5 years ago | (#23415710)

Am I the only one in deep bewilderment why this even makes it to the /.?

It is just a letter by one of the scientists. Well, renowned scientists in the field of photoeffect (just kidding), but hardly a great philosopher or metaphysicist or actually anyone who's opinion on religion should matter for the rest of the mankind who consider religious experience to be outside of realm of science and deeply personal experience.

Who cares what Einstein says about religion? Did he "disprove" religion?
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