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(Some Guy)   Einstein's God is Irrelevant   ( opednews.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Einstein, god, empirical science, Flying Spaghetti Monster, deism, quantum physics, natural phenomena, intellect  
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4073 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 Jun 2013 at 11:39 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-26 09:54:00 AM  
Atheism is a religion.

1-media-cdn.foolz.us
 
2013-06-26 09:57:39 AM  
What the blistering f*ck did I just read? This person is a professor?
 
2013-06-26 10:31:48 AM  
LOOKIT ME I'VE GOT A BOOK COMING OUT LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT

Einstein's "Ich glaub' noch nicht, dass (der Herrgott) nicht wuerfelt" is not greatly different than every empirical physicist's belief in symmetry.  The search for the top/truth quark was not driven because people found the top quark and needed to explain it - it was driven because there were six known leptons and only five known quarks, and people had 'faith' that there should be a sixth quark for symmetry.  The Eightfold Path of the Standard Model is also based on a faith in symmetry.

Einstein felt that the universe was inherently deterministic, not random.  To that degree, he was ultimately correct.  The results of an individual measurement may not be predictable, but the probability distribution of the results is extremely predictable to many significant figures.  The throw of a die/Wuerfel is predictable using Newtonian mechanics if you exactly know the starting geometry of the die in the hand, imparted torque from the throw, coefficient of kinetic friction and elasticity of the surface the die lands upon, geometry of the back wall of the craps table, etc.   Perhaps "der Herrgott" is indeed throwing dice behind the scenes and knows exactly what the outcome of each throw will be, but we lack the starting data to calculate that outcome ourselves.

But hey, don't miss an opportunity to use "Flying Spaghetti Monster" in an attempt to seem hep on the Interwebs.
 
2013-06-26 10:31:51 AM  
Command-F -> "spinoza" not found.  Didn't read.
 
2013-06-26 10:46:29 AM  
Additionally, by repeatedly and adamantly insisting that "God does not play dice," Einstein betrayed a fateful conceit: Einstein immodestly equated his own thinking with that of a supernatural being.

And annudda thing - it's pretty stupid to use a mistranslation as a strawman, much like people who get obsessive about the King James Bible's English translation as if Jesus spoke 16th century English.  A better translation of Einstein's quote is along the lines of "...however, I still don't believe that he (the Lord God) cubes (throws cube-shaped dice)."  That's a passive statement indicating Einstein's personal belief, not an arrogant assertion that Einstein feels his judgement is godlike.
 
2013-06-26 11:44:18 AM  
I don't know what sophomore level class he wrote this for, but I hope he got a solid C
 
2013-06-26 11:48:51 AM  
BUT is HE relative?
 
2013-06-26 11:50:34 AM  
And so are you, professor.
 
2013-06-26 11:51:15 AM  

surewewang: Command-F -> "spinoza" not found.  Didn't read.


THIS.

"You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all."
 
2013-06-26 11:53:12 AM  
Christ, what a moron.  Einstein was pretty classically atheist, but felt no need to advertise that fact.  His use of "god" or more accurately translated "the old man upstairs" not playing dice was an analogy for the intellectual discomfort he felt towards unpredictable mechanics of the universe.

The fact that he felt the need to include citations in an article where the very basis of it was completely ill-informed is baffling.
 
2013-06-26 11:56:07 AM  

surewewang: Command-F -> "spinoza" not found. Didn't read.


Bingo. Thread over
 
JW
2013-06-26 11:59:10 AM  
They'll let just anyone have a blog these days.
 
2013-06-26 12:05:22 PM  
Tim McGettigan is silly person and I do like him.  Science zealots make religious zealots look sane.
 
2013-06-26 12:08:36 PM  
Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.
 
2013-06-26 12:10:37 PM  
Because his hair was a bird?

/makes as much sense as that article
 
2013-06-26 12:16:41 PM  
*blink*

That was one of the stupidest things I have ever read.  And, I've read Atlas Shrugged.
 
2013-06-26 12:16:53 PM  
This reads like a highschool term paper. I don't even know what he said because I was so appalled by how he said it.
 
2013-06-26 12:17:38 PM  

syrynxx: The search for the top/truth quark was not driven because people found the top quark and needed to explain it - it was driven because there were six known leptons and only five known quarks, and people had 'faith' that there should be a sixth quark for symmetry.


If physicists had "faith" in the top quark they wouldn't have, you know, run extensive experiments to prove its existence.  Hell, deductive reasoning probably would've been enough, but they went ahead and applied the scientific method anyway.

The Titius-Bode hypothesis drove searches that eventually led to the discovery of Neptune and Pluto, but when Neptune was found to be at 30AU instead of the predicted 39 they didn't re-write its damn orbit.  Instead, it was Titius-Bode that got thrown away -- after 130 years.

Einstein was a bit of a satirist and often used "God" metaphorically.  When one of Einstein's quotes is taken out of context, it not only smacks of desperation; it misses the point.
 
2013-06-26 12:18:10 PM  

Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.


Now i gotta go play Alpha Centauri. I may as well play it now and get it out of my system, otherwise i'll just be thinking about it for the next two weeks.
 
2013-06-26 12:21:39 PM  

Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.


God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.
 
2013-06-26 12:22:59 PM  
Any references to God's presumptive influence on the design of the cosmos represent an abdication of scientific reason. God is a supernatural conceptual construct, whereas science seeks naturalistic explanations for enigmatic empirical phenomena. As such, science and theology operate in two entirely distinct ideological ballparks (Gould, 2002).

Sorry guys, I have plenty of science buddies who are also religious, it doesn't harm anything. Of course, they are the 'God probably set everything n motion and let it play out' type of people, they don't believe there's really a magic deity watching our every movement, ready to jump in and help whatever athlete prays the hardest. More like if you looked at this as a giant science experiment and God was responsible.

Not me, but to say that they can't coexist is silly. I know people who make it work all of the time.
 
2013-06-26 12:26:13 PM  

doglover: Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.


But does the dealer have a really big rack to distract you with? That's the important part.
 
2013-06-26 12:31:13 PM  
 doglover: Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.


How can you tell the Dealer is smiling? it's pitch dark in the room.
 
2013-06-26 12:31:26 PM  
Everyone else's god is irrelevant too.
 
2013-06-26 12:40:13 PM  

ikanreed: Einstein was pretty classically atheist


Not really.
 
2013-06-26 12:47:59 PM  

NoGods: Everyone else's god is irrelevant too.


Came here to say this.
 
2013-06-26 12:51:07 PM  

xaldin: doglover: Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

But does the dealer have a really big rack to distract you with? That's the important part.


If you're Hindu, yes.
 
2013-06-26 12:54:22 PM  
Anyone who starts out by saying that Einstein was wrong automatically gets an "F" from me.  No need to read further.  If you could actually prove that something he said was wrong, then you give us the proof first. Don't be so prancing with your own intellect that you put yourself above him before saying anything else.

You'd better be the smartest person anyone's ever met, or part of a very large team of well-funded theoretical scientists before you fark with Einstein.
 
2013-06-26 12:59:37 PM  

midigod: Anyone who starts out by saying that Einstein was wrong automatically gets an "F" from me.  No need to read further.  If you could actually prove that something he said was wrong, then you give us the proof first. Don't be so prancing with your own intellect that you put yourself above him before saying anything else.

You'd better be the smartest person anyone's ever met, or part of a very large team of well-funded theoretical scientists before you fark with Einstein.


At the risk of getting an F  ...  I thought it was pretty well accepted that Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics being deterministic.
 
2013-06-26 01:06:48 PM  

doglover: Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [i.e. everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex variant of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.


You can't second-guess ineffability, I always say.
 
2013-06-26 01:08:54 PM  

ikanreed: Christ, what a moron.


syrynxx:  it's pretty stupid to use a mistranslation as a strawman, much like people who get obsessive about the King James Bible's English translation as if Jesus spoke 16th century English.

kronicfeld: What the blistering f*ck did I just read? This person is a professor?


syrynxx: LOOKIT ME I'VE GOT A BOOK COMING OUT LOOKIT LOOKIT LOOKIT
...
But hey, don't miss an opportunity to use "Flying Spaghetti Monster" in an attempt to seem hep on the Interwebs.


And that pretty much sums-up my feelings...
 
2013-06-26 01:09:19 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: ikanreed: Einstein was pretty classically atheist

Not really.


Ya really.
 
From your link:

So, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God.

The rest is all subtle inference, most of it bullshiat pedantry in which this idiot writer assumes that Einstein was incapable of understanding basic philosophical arguements, concluding with this lovely poop nugget:

No, Albert Einstein was not a Christian or even a theist (one who believes in a personal God), probably because he failed to understand why evil existed.

Right, big guy...  I'm sure it's that Einstein's tiny brain just couldn't comprehend Thomas Aquinas, and not that the religious arguments completely fail to convincingly address the Problem of Evil.  The truth is, Einstein didn't want to associate himself with atheists because he didn't want to offend people.  He was still an atheist at the end of the day.
 
2013-06-26 01:11:19 PM  
Einstein's Spinoza's God is Irrelevant

ftfy subby.
 
2013-06-26 01:18:53 PM  

draypresct: At the risk of getting an F  ...  I thought it was pretty well accepted that Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics being deterministic.


It's generally accepted, yes.  And coming to that conclusion took a great deal of time and effort.  This author is presupposing a number of other things that must have made Einstein wrong, and in postulating those supposed aspects of his personality, diminish his work in that field to simple hubris.  That's actually offensive to me.

But yes, that's a little bit of rationalization to keep (what I think is still) my valid point.
 
2013-06-26 01:34:02 PM  
This guy's blog sucks.
 
2013-06-26 01:34:28 PM  

Z-clipped: From your link:

So, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God.

The rest is all subtle inference


It interferes with what you want to believe, yes.

He didn't believe in a personal god, like the Christian notion. But that's not the only concept of god there is. He explains his concept of god there pretty clearly, and people can find that other places if they don't trust the source.

And why does it even matter so much what he believed? I've never seen him include god in any of his formulas or theories, so it's unimportant.
 
2013-06-26 01:35:26 PM  

Fano: Not only does God play dice, but the dice are rigged.


Everybody knows that the dice are loaded 
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
 
2013-06-26 02:01:46 PM  

syrynxx: The Eightfold Path of the Standard Model is also based on a faith in symmetry.


Not really, no. Or at the very least, not in the sense you're implying. The Standard Model is based on the fact that an absolute mountain of experimental evidence is consistent to an astonishing degree of precision with the predictions that it makes. The symmetry of the Model is an output, not an input.

Scientists don't presume symmetry, then discard any evidence that contradicts it. Sometimes they deduce the existence of a symmetry from an apparent observed conservation law (e.g. conservation of electric charge), then go searching for what that symmetry might be. Sometimes they suspect or hypothesize that a symmetry is present, and then go looking for the details and underlying reasons. Scientists didn't propose that there are six leptons because it would be neatly symmetrical; they did so because the proposed explanation for five leptons requires that there be a sixth (much like the periodic table implied the existence of previously unknown elements). But in every case, the proposed symmetry defers to experiment.

And incidentally, these symmetries don't look much like most people's naive picture of what "symmetry" meant in high-school math. They are much more abstract. Dirac didn't predict a positron because there is an electron and they needed to fill in the other side of the table; he predicted a positron because the underlying law that explains the properties of the electron is symmetrical in time in certain very specific ways, and the time-reversed version of that law requires a positron. If there's no positron, the underlying law must be wrong. (And this is a particularly simple example.)

Sometimes symmetry is used by physicists as a guide, for example in the development of SUSY. But when the theory fails to match experiment, they discard the theory. That's why numerous prominent physicists are giving up on SUSY (and even more will do so when the LHC comes back on line and fails to find it at even higher energies).

And in some cases, theory requires a symmetry that is missing in nature, and that's when things get really interesting. For example, at face value there should be a symmetry between electromagnetism and the Weak nuclear force, implying that the W and Z bosons of the Weak force should be massless like the photon. They aren't, and that requires an explanation for the symmetry breaking. In this case, the symmetry breaking implies the existence of the Higgs field, which in turn, as the eponymous Higgs pointed out, implies the existence of a Higgs particle with certain specific properties. If the Higgs boson had been shown to not exist, all of that would have unraveled and (barring some exceptionally clever escape clause), physicists would have to have given up the belief in the electroweak symmetry.
 
2013-06-26 02:03:32 PM  
img5.imageshack.us
Hindu god Ganesha is irrelephant.
 
2013-06-26 02:06:03 PM  
I think the list of citations was longer than the article.

It's pretty common knowledge that when Einstein talked about God, he wasn't referring to the personal god of religion. He, like many physicists, saw God as being the impersonal order that governs the universe. Einstein personified this God not because he believed in a personal deity, but because it helped him to explain the precise order he believed was present in the universe.

Einstein's great belief was that the universe was ultimately elegant and that everything fit together such that all of physics could be unified under a simple unifying law. To date, our understanding of physics has determined that the universe is far more complex than Einstein understood, thanks to quantum mechanics (which provided theories he was not a fan of because they went against his understanding of the universe  -- hence the line about God not playing dice).

You don't have to read a lot of documents to understand this, or rely on unreadable articles like this one. Michio Kaku explains it quite lucidly (and readably!) in  Hyperspace. I highly recommend that (or his other books) for those who are interested.
 
2013-06-26 02:07:47 PM  
J. Frank Parnell:
And why does it even matter so much what he believed? I've never seen him include god in any of his formulas or theories, so it's unimportant.

Newton, on the other hand, seemed to include the Big G everywhere in his equations.
 
2013-06-26 02:13:57 PM  
If that article was traveling at the speed of light, it would still suck
 
2013-06-26 02:27:38 PM  
There's no need to be like that, dude! Atheist Dude!

Einstein's God was the God of mathematicans, physicists and philosophers. Not a person, not even a special kind of force or thing. A metaphor.

If Einstein had anything even remotely like a religious God, it was the God of Spinoza, the Jewish philosopher who got into equal trouble with the Jewish religious establishment as the Christian theists for a deistic God who was more abstraction than metaphysical.

Theists constantly misquote and misrepresent the statements, let alone the thoughts, of men like Einstein in their apologetics. This is all propaganda and bumf.

As for saying that atheism is a religion, that is so fallacious (for it assumes ONE atheism and absurdly equates NO GOD to GOD or GODS).

It is the old schoolyard chant translated into adolescent or quasi-adult terms:  I know you are, but what am I?

These statements are not equivalent: There is no God. There is no evidence supporting the existence of God.

The Fool may say in his heart, "There is no God", but a scientist can only say there is no compelling evidence of God. It's not quite the same, because one is a dogmatic statement with no evidence and the other is a skeptical statement about evidence.

Theists often try to have it both ways. They want to deny science, but they want scientific proofs and evidence to shore up their belief systems. They want "Real Science", which is to say a posteriori confirmation of everything they believe a priori.

Science does not work like that. Religion does not work like that. Proof doesn't work like that.

Religionists should stick to cherishing their evidences, but these are not evidence. Evidences is the little psychotic voice that whispers in your ear confidental information direct from God. You can train yourself not to listen to the voices that tell you to kill the heathens and unbelievers and tools of Satan. You can also believe in your God without evidence. In fact, you must. You are never going to get evidence and evidences to be congruent because one is based on Faith and the other is based on Doubt.

Personally I believe the concept of God is as overbuilt as Hong Kong. It has become self-contradictory. Mathematicians and physicists have their quantum mechanics to tell them that you can never get any sufficiently advanced system to be coherent and complete. There's Gödel and Heisenberg and so forth. There are inherent and unavoidable limits to human, even to superhuman or divine knowledge. The paradox of Laplace's Demon should be reviewed by the author of this blog post. He might also want to take a look at Maxwell's Demon and thermodynamics. Quantum mechanics. The confused and tentative state of the Standard Model, and so forth. He clearly does not get it yet.

Dogmatic atheists (and worse yet, "rationalists") piss me off. Thank God I am not that kind of atheist. I'd almost sooner be a Baptist or a Scientologist or a Mormon.

I rather like liberal Quakers, though. And Universalists. They have a sort of Zen thang going on!

Imagine somebody so nice that they don't want a God to damn everybody else! Is such a thing possible?

I hope so. It would prove that not all religionists are complete and utter psychotic monkeys.

Faith, Hope and Charity, and the greatest of these is Charity. Saint Paul, that bandy-legged, bald, short Pharisee said that. If he can say something so beautiful, there is hope for the True Believers, although probably not in this life time. Until then, cling hard to charity, for God is Love and in Love there is no fear. He who says he loves God but hates his brother is a liar.

Word, man! And you heard it from an atheist, so bonus points!
 
2013-06-26 02:29:45 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: Z-clipped: From your link:

So, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God.

The rest is all subtle inference

It interferes with what you want to believe, yes.

He didn't believe in a personal god, like the Christian notion. But that's not the only concept of god there is. He explains his concept of god there pretty clearly, and people can find that other places if they don't trust the source.

And why does it even matter so much what he believed? I've never seen him include god in any of his formulas or theories, so it's unimportant.


Sorry, upon a second clicking of your link I realized that I initially mistook its object for a different article, which was poorly-written religious nonsense.  I was only bothering to tear it down because it was such a ridiculous attempt at refutation that it irked me.  In retrospect, I'm not sure how a tab in my browser got opened to it in the first place.  Given that my quotation doesn't actually appear in your link, I would have expected you to have realized this before I did, but whatever.

I don't really find your Washington Post article to be a definitive refutation of the claim that Einstein was an atheist, but I also don't find it to be intellectually dishonest, so you can disregard my objections.
 
2013-06-26 02:31:55 PM  

J. Frank Parnell: ikanreed: Einstein was pretty classically atheist

Not really.


I was going to go into a tirade about how by "classical atheism" I was referring to the term as I had heard it was originally used: "One who denies the influence of god in the affairs of man."  What I discovered, upon researching that claim to provide a citation is that is very likely a misrepresentation of the term, which was a broad-based insult that was on at least one occasion used to refer to people with believes such as those.

Given the new evidence, I must withdraw my claim.  I apologize for my mistake.
 
2013-06-26 02:33:07 PM  

czetie: Sometimes symmetry is used by physicists as a guide, for example in the development of SUSY. But when the theory fails to match experiment, they discard the theory.


That's probably a better way of saying it.  Although that evokes one of Einstein's cheekier quotes, which I don't know in the original German, about how the gravitation lensing effect of a supernova confirmed his General Theory.  Some reporter asked him how he would've felt if the results hadn't agreed with his theory, and he said something like "Then I would've had pity on our dear Lord.  The theory is correct."
 
2013-06-26 03:23:23 PM  

syrynxx: Additionally, by repeatedly and adamantly insisting that "God does not play dice," Einstein betrayed a fateful conceit: Einstein immodestly equated his own thinking with that of a supernatural being.

And annudda thing - it's pretty stupid to use a mistranslation as a strawman, much like people who get obsessive about the King James Bible's English translation as if Jesus spoke 16th century English.  A better translation of Einstein's quote is along the lines of "...however, I still don't believe that he (the Lord God) cubes (throws cube-shaped dice)."  That's a passive statement indicating Einstein's personal belief, not an arrogant assertion that Einstein feels his judgement is godlike.


"Dices" is also a verb, so "zu wuerfellen" could be translated "dices."  The usage is probably more correct, if a bit archaic.

Criticizing faith using the scientific method is just as stupid as criticizing science because it doesn't conform to holy writ.  Yet you see scientists and priests doing it all the time.
 
2013-06-26 03:30:17 PM  
"Dices" is also a verb, so "zu wuerfellen" could be translated "dices."  The usage is probably more correct, if a bit archaic.

Apologies - I was operating on the assumption that "wuerfelt" could be conjugated like most other German verbs.
 
2013-06-26 05:03:16 PM  

tillerman35: Criticizing faith using the scientific method is just as stupid as criticizing science because it doesn't conform to holy writ.  Yet you see scientists and priests doing it all the time.


If a faith is true it would stand up to scientific scrutiny.
 
2013-06-26 05:18:23 PM  

Ed Grubermann: tillerman35: Criticizing faith using the scientific method is just as stupid as criticizing science because it doesn't conform to holy writ.  Yet you see scientists and priests doing it all the time.

If a faith is true it would stand up to scientific scrutiny.


Science (including logic) deals with the finite.  Theology deals with the infinite (God).  We use science to understand the universe, but not to understand God because it is an inadequate tool for the task.
 
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