Another opinion on religion from Albert Einstein: Belief in God is "childish superstition".

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    May 14, 2008 12:43 AM GMT
    Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.

    The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fueled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.

    As a Jew himself, Einstein said he had a great affinity with Jewish people but said they "have no different quality for me than all other people".

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

    "No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this," he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper.

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  • ShawnTX

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    May 14, 2008 12:47 AM GMT
    That's nice. Everyone has the right to their own opinion regarding religion and spirituality. It's just a shame when some non-believers feel superior to religious individuals and treat them like weak, mindless idiots.
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    May 14, 2008 12:51 AM GMT
    yes much like most religious people who treat me with contempt because I refuse to believe in any god or after life..

    Apparently I'm going to hell with all the other fags.. AND I'm SOOOOO looking forward to it!

    icon_smile.gif
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    May 14, 2008 12:55 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidIt's just a shame when some non-believers feel superior to religious individuals and treat them like weak, mindless idiots.



    It's just a shame when most believers feel superior to every 'other' individual and treat them like weak, mindless idiots.

  • ShawnTX

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    May 14, 2008 12:56 AM GMT
    lilTanker saidApparently I'm going to hell with all the other fags.. AND I'm SOOOOO looking forward to it!
    icon_smile.gif


    We're all going to be in the VIP line and will have the best seats in the house! icon_twisted.gif
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    May 14, 2008 1:00 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidIt's just a shame when some non-believers feel superior to religious individuals and treat them like weak, mindless idiots.

    I'm not sure who you're referring to, but personally having been both a believer when I was younger and a non-believer now, I don't have contempt for religious believers so much as I have pity.

    It really is a childish superstition and it took me more than 30 years to realize that. Those who still fervently cling to religious beliefs have no problem rejecting every other religion and deity except the one they were born into. I find that curious and I find it curious that they don't find that curious in the least.
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    May 14, 2008 1:03 AM GMT
    Buckwheet said
    It's just a shame when most believers feel superior to every 'other' individual and treat them like weak, mindless idiots.

    Amen to that. But if only it were that innocuous. Most religious believers view atheists as evil and dangerous people, to be avoided, shunned, rebuffed in social and professional matters, and not to be allowed to speak to children.
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    May 14, 2008 1:09 AM GMT
    Personally it seems that it would be foolish of me, and foolish of Albert Einstein also, to have the hubris to think that its impossible for a higher power to exist.

    We can't possibly know everything there is to know. So it seems to me that instead of focusing on the beliefs of others, we should focus on their actions.
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    May 14, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    The problem with "revelations" like these is many of us arrived at similar conclusions when we were like, twelve. It does not take a genius to realize that organized religion as it has unfolded in our world may well be a crock. Chile I knew that before I was ten.

    But it does not logically follow that therefore there is nothing more to our "experience" in this narrow manifestation of physical "reality" except what we can observe with "reason" and "rationality." Lovely concepts. I'm sure the ants think they have it all figured out too.
  • ShawnTX

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    May 14, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    Global_Citizen said[quote][cite]ShawnTO said[/cite]I'm not sure who you're referring to,


    I'm referring to some non-belivers that act superior to believers. I said some, not all. And the reverse is true also, as buckwheet pointed out and which I really should have added to my OP.

    There have been many discussions here about religion, and I think what I found so surprising is how very similar religious zealots and atheist zealots are. Both sides love to make sweeping generalizations about the other, which drives me crazy. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when people make sweeping generalizations.

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    May 14, 2008 1:59 AM GMT
    Kudos Shawn! I suggested in another thread that atheists sometimes come across like religious fanatics because they believe in their own absolute truths. I'm a non-believer who hedges his bets.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 14, 2008 2:12 AM GMT
    We're all affected by the same virus that is religion
    brain washed from the moment we're brought into this world
    we're re-infected again and again as children and adults
    to the point we believe that certain people are going to be banished to hell because of who they are and what they believe
    we believe in some cases that violence against these people is what this blood thirsty man in the sky wants
    we believe that men who claim to know this man in the sky know better about what we should do and how to act here on earth
    we believe that the belief itself in the very absence of reason is the best form of faith
    Earth is infested with this virus... and it very likely will have a lot to do with its end

    "Viruses of the Mind" (1991) is an essay by Richard Dawkins using memetics and analogies with biological and computer viruses, and with disease and epidemiology, to analyse the propagation of ideas and behaviours. Its particular focus is on religious beliefs and activities. The essay is included in the books Dennett and His Critics: Demystifying Mind (ISBN 0-631-19678-1) and A Devil's Chaplain. In this essay, Dawkins coined the term faith-sufferer.
  • ShawnTX

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    May 14, 2008 2:25 AM GMT
    And that's the sweeping generalization that makes me want to pull my hair out. I don't know who this Richard Dawkins guy is, but I can't imagine he is educated on world religions. That little quote of his is basically saying all religions belive in a hell and all religions believe in a man in the sky. To me, that just shows a lack of intelligence.

    I'm not religious, but I am spiritual. It doesn't offend me as a spiritual person, it offends me as an intelligent person. He's proselytizing his personal truth with as much zealotry as a street corner preacher. They're cut from the same cloth.
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    May 14, 2008 2:48 AM GMT
    ShawnTO saidI don't know who this Richard Dawkins guy is, but I can't imagine he is educated on world religions. That little quote of his is basically saying all religions belive in a hell and all religions believe in a man in the sky. To me, that just shows a lack of intelligence.

    Dawkins is anything but unintelligent. On the contrary, he's one of the most witty, insightful, and incisive scholars on the subject of religion. Put his name in Google and spend some time reading up on him.
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    May 14, 2008 2:51 AM GMT
    The real question is, will this be the thread that finally convinces the stupid deists that their make believe fairy tale gods are a lie?

    Cause you know, the last sixty threads have been successful intelligent dialogues rather than flame wars.
  • ShawnTX

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    May 14, 2008 3:19 AM GMT
    Global_Citizen said[quote][cite]ShawnTO said[/cite]I don't know who this Richard Dawkins guy is, but I can't imagine he is educated on world religions. That little quote of his is basically saying all religions belive in a hell and all religions believe in a man in the sky. To me, that just shows a lack of intelligence.

    Dawkins is anything but unintelligent. On the contrary, he's one of the most witty, insightful, and incisive scholars on the subject of religion. Put his name in Google and spend some time reading up on him.[/quote]

    I did not know that. Too bad his writings doesn't show his intelligence (well, that quote, at least).
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    May 14, 2008 4:26 AM GMT
    What? And this from a man who said "God doesn't play dice".

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    May 14, 2008 4:34 AM GMT
    He said God did not play dice because he could not grasp the random chaotic nature of quantum particles that thus far dont mesh too well with relativity which is what his whole life and work was based on.

  • MikePhilPerez

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    May 14, 2008 10:23 AM GMT
    ShawnTO said[quote][cite]Global_Citizen said[/cite][quote][cite]ShawnTO said[/cite] Too bad his writings doesn't show his intelligence (well, that quote, at least).




    Fear, can make intelligent people, say unintelligent things. Just look at GQjock's post icon_rolleyes.gif

    I'm starting to think this keeps Global_Citizen up at night icon_smile.gif

    Mike
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    May 14, 2008 10:52 AM GMT
    ShawnTO said Both sides love to make sweeping generalizations about the other, which drives me crazy. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when people make sweeping generalizations.


    Ironic remark, considering that is ITSELF a sweeping generalization.

    To me, atheism is not just about not believing in God, it's not giving the existence or non-existence of a higher power more consideration than, oh, about ten seconds in the last three decades.
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    May 15, 2008 11:56 AM GMT
    *phew* At least they'll stop quoting Einstein now as evidence of the ultimate religious scientist, as if that will ever justify blind faith anyway.

    And btw, shawn, sweeping generalizations apply when they true to MOST people it's aimed at hehe. Just because SOME here actually only believed in God without the religious trappings and superstitious bullshit doesn't make those generalizations any less true.

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  • roadbikeRob

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    May 17, 2008 12:04 AM GMT
    What took so damn long to find this valuable circa 1953 quote from Albert Einstein. I am not suprised at Einstein's view on religious belief as chidish superstition. A man with his tremendous, powerful intellect would only reject the ancient religious beliefs as untrue. As for the statements from Shawn TO saying that atheists and non-believers look down on believers like mindless idiots, I say how about these religious, right wing zealots that look at atheists and agnostics like myself with contempt and hatred. You know there are two sides to every story. One I do find highly annoying is when some conservative holy roller tries to tell me that the ancient fairy tale, Adam and Eve is how modern man really originated. I say that is baseless bullshit. Adam and Eve is a fairy tale.
  • JohnDallas

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    May 17, 2008 12:42 AM GMT
    The entire bible and it's so called teachings is entirely made up of fairy tails. Despite the few believers on here that refuse to wake up and see reality. It is always refreshing to see so many people are finally accepting the truth about religion and releasing themselves from that way of thinking.
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    May 21, 2008 3:22 AM GMT
    It's always a laugh to see people who think they know what 'reality' is or isn't.

    In my occasionally not entirely humble opinion.

    Charlie
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    May 21, 2008 3:25 AM GMT
    CarlosGringo saidIt's always a laugh to see people who think they know what 'reality' is or isn't.


    Oh, I think there is such a thing as objective reality. It has nothing to do with SkyThing.