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Poll
Question: Do you believe in God?
Yes, there is a God - 35 (46.1%)
No (atheist) - 31 (40.8%)
Unsure (agnostic) - 10 (13.2%)
Total Voters: 75

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Religious Discussions

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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4095 on: October 30, 2012, 12:30 AM »
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I cant remember posting that quote but actually I do think it is right. What you are talking about with the guns, wars, intolerance etc. is not religion itself but man's response to religion affected by many other factors such as tribalism, fear, poverty and ignorance. There is nothing in the Christian faith which should lead anybody to fire a bullet nor I suspect is there in the teachings of Islam. It is compassion that will lead the world out of the mess it is in. I don't care if that is felt by a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or atheist but I do know that compassion forgiveness and tolerance are the paramount messages of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Some of the most vociferous secular commentators are also the most genuinely Christian- they just label it differently.

Only someone who has no knowledge of those texts would suggest that they offer no justification for killing.
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4096 on: October 30, 2012, 10:22 PM »
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Only someone who has no knowledge of those texts would suggest that they offer no justification for killing.
Well I don't know much about the old testament sure but the new testament is about as non murderous as it is possible to be. Never heard the ones about turning the other cheek, do unto others, blessed are the peacemakers ? All JC.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4097 on: October 31, 2012, 01:31 PM »
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A few great Einstein quotes re: God, Religion, Science, Human beings etc.

- God is subtle but he is not malicious.

- My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind.

- Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

- God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.

- Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.

- Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.

- The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.

- Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

- Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.

- Two things are infinite: the Universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the Universe.

- The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.

And this is the most meaningful one - my personal favourite:

- A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4098 on: October 31, 2012, 01:42 PM »
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For those who are not aware, Einstein's use of the word God was as an alias for the Universe.

Stephen Hawkins is another atheist scientist who has used the word in this way.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4099 on: October 31, 2012, 01:52 PM »
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For those who are not aware, Einstein's use of the word God was as an alias for the Universe.

Stephen Hawkins is another atheist scientist who has used the word in this way.

Well, only a fool would think that God is a human being.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4100 on: October 31, 2012, 01:54 PM »
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I'm just pointing out Einstein is an atheist because those quotes could be misinterpreted to mean otherwise.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4101 on: October 31, 2012, 02:38 PM »
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I'm just pointing out Einstein is an atheist because those quotes could be misinterpreted to mean otherwise.

lol. Einstein was never an Atheist. He was an Agnostic. In fact, all the polls from the WWW II show that 30% of all scientists are very religious (they go to Church etc.); rest are Agnostics. Only a few are hard core Atheists.

Also, the scientists can’t afford to be Atheists because the purpose of science is to seek truth and in order to do that, you need to keep all your options open, so that you can examine the incident/claim that will allow you to arrive to the actual truth. So when something happens be it paranormal or an experience that’s not the norm, it has to take an open approach before it can dismiss it – just like the laws are – not guilty until proven. An Atheist’s approach is just the opposite of that as it tends to dismiss things it can’t process with its traditional scientific approach. Mind you, Science is still taking baby steps and it may take another few million years for it to figure half the things out. But then again, theory has it that, every time you are even close to figure it out, the Universe will change itself and will replace it with something else, so the mystery will never be solved and it can’t either, because then it would defeat the whole purpose of it. It’s an adventure for us all and if all stands explained, then there will be no purpose of experiencing it.

Furthermore, science doesn’t have the equipment to experiment the subjective matter of things as it can only experiment objective matters, so the science that exists now, will have to change its approach, otherwise they’ll never get to the bottom of the truth but then again, it’s a paradox because it will never be solved anyway, but it’s always fun trying to figure things out. If, for example, PseudoFed reveals who he/she is, then the whole purpose of it will be defeated. It’s not a very ideal example but parallel to what I am referring to.

Both Skeptics/Atheists and Religious beliefs are sitting on the far edge of the truth but eventually, they will both have to compromise and find a middle ground. Religions have their dogmas which are a lot of the time contradictory and as to science, well, it’s simply not capable of experimenting things that aren’t of physical nature. Basically it dismisses any theory it’s not comfortable with as it has its boundaries which limits it to material Universe only.  A theory that something can exist beyond time and space is simply beyond them. If you ask any Scientist what caused the Big Bang, which is still a theory btw but perhaps the most established one, they are clueless because the Big Bang as it turns out, was the start of Time, Space, matters etc., but nonetheless, there's no specific answer to that or even a theory to suggtest anything to truly support the Big Bang. The ones I have heard so far are either there was "nothing" or "it" has always existed. And by "it" they are not so clear as to what they are referring to, because the Universe is about 14 billions years old, so clearly it wasn't always there.   
[ Last edit by Emma Jean October 31, 2012, 05:05 PM ] IP Logged
Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4102 on: October 31, 2012, 02:42 PM »
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He was a very open atheist actually and many people didn't like it.

A lawyer working on behalf of an ecumenical coalition wrote this to Einstein:

We deeply regret that you made your statement in which you ridicule the idea of a personal God. In the past ten years nothing has been so calculated to make people think that Hitler had some reason to expel the Jews from Germany as your statement. Conceding your right to free speech, I still say that your statement constitutes you as one of the greatest sources of discord in America.

The president of a historical society in New Jersey wrote this:

We respect your learning, Dr Einstein; but there is one thing you do not seem to have learned: that God is a spirit and cannot be found through the telescope or microscope, no more than human thought or emotion can be found by analyzing the brain. As everyone knows, religion is based on Faith, not knowledge. Every thinking person, perhaps, is assailed at times with religious doubt. My own faith has wavered many a time. But I never told anyone of my spiritual aberrations for two reasons: (1) I feared that I might, by mere suggestion, disturb and damage the life and hopes of some fellow being; (2) because I agree with the writer who said, "There is a mean streak in anyone who will destroy another's faith." ... I hope, Dr Einstein, that you were misquoted and that you will yet say something more pleasing to the vast number of the American people who delight to do you honor.

And here's a letter from the Founder of the Calvary Tabernacle Association in Oklahoma:

Professor Einstein, I believe that every Christian in America will answer you, "We will not give up our belief in our God and his son Jesus Christ, but we invite you, if you do not believe in the God of the people of this nation, to go back where you came from." I have done everything in my power to be a blessing to Israel, and then you come along and with one statement from your blasphemous tongue, do more to hurt the cause of your people than all the efforts of the Christians who love Israel can do to stamp out anti-Semitism in our land. Professor Einstein, every Christian in America will immediately reply to you, "Take your crazy, fallacious theory of evolution and go back to Germany where you came from, or stop trying to break down the faith of a people who gave you a welcome when you were forced to flee your native land."
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Emma Jean
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4103 on: October 31, 2012, 03:22 PM »
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I believe that the real problem with all those letters is that, they are more or less from Christians and it does not explore any other religion. I am not sure how Bible describes God but in our religion, God is timeless, shapeless, non-material intelligent being and it specifically tells you to believe only one being, that created the whole Universe through evolution. There’s also no mention of a personal God. So Einstein is very right on that, there can’t be any personal God; however there is such a thing called a higher self and it’s your very own. So it’s quite foolish to think that only one religion speaks for all others; quite the contrary, Hinduism for example, is probably the most advanced one though it’s one of the oldest ones, but not too many people explore that.

But Religion, IMO, was laid out on us in layman’s term because we weren’t as advanced as we are now back then – let’s say when we first came into this world, so if you, Mark, somehow to go back in time and explain that there’s such a thing as smartphones, you know very well that you will only confuse those poor people. Therefore, it was a much better approach to tell them that there was more to this physical experience in the way they’d understand and embrace the most. Now it’s not needed as we’ve advanced and evolved quite a bit since then and can now seek our own truth.

This is a Universe of free will and it was created with that intention in mind, so nothing can intervene us or else it will defeat the purpose; however, there are karmas as well so you are not completely free to do anything you want. In other words, if you do something terrible, you will have to suffer its consequences as well, but once you become aware of your choices, you are more than likely to do the right thing. Most people aren’t aware, unfortunately because we live in a world of productions and consumptions and we almost always fall into these traps more often than not.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4104 on: October 31, 2012, 05:32 PM »
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You can debate about the types of God that might exist but it doesn't change the fact Einstein was an atheist. The vast majority of scientists today are atheist as well so it shouldn't come as a surprise to you.

I think it would really upset Einstein to create this speculation - his non-belief seems to be important to him.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4105 on: October 31, 2012, 07:09 PM »
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lol. Einstein was never an Atheist. He was an Agnostic. In fact, all the polls from the WWW II show that 30% of all scientists are very religious (they go to Church etc.); rest are Agnostics. Only a few are hard core Atheists.



Uh, those numbers are well off. Could you provide some links?

93% of the National Academy of Sciences are atheist or agnostic. And the agnostics are very much in the minority.

http://recoveringagnostic.wordpress.com/tag/national-academy-of-sciences/

http://www.humanevents.com/2010/06/17/the-atheistdominated-national-academy-of-sciences/

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

Moreover, agnosticism isn't a belief. There is ontological agnosticism and empirical agnosticism. The latter is a redundant concept, almost entirely without content.

We are all empirical agnostics. The truth is that those who claim to be agnostic are functional atheists who don't understand the term properly.

I should probably point out that Einstein was actually a deist, which basically means he had a deep reverence for the natural world. He didn't believe in a personal god, so he was an atheist, in a sense.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4106 on: October 31, 2012, 07:11 PM »
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I believe that the real problem with all those letters is that, they are more or less from Christians and it does not explore any other religion. I am not sure how Bible describes God but in our religion, God is timeless, shapeless, non-material intelligent being and it specifically tells you to believe only one being, that created the whole Universe through evolution. There’s also no mention of a personal God. So Einstein is very right on that, there can’t be any personal God; however there is such a thing called a higher self and it’s your very own. So it’s quite foolish to think that only one religion speaks for all others; quite the contrary, Hinduism for example, is probably the most advanced one though it’s one of the oldest ones, but not too many people explore that.

But Religion, IMO, was laid out on us in layman’s term because we weren’t as advanced as we are now back then – let’s say when we first came into this world, so if you, Mark, somehow to go back in time and explain that there’s such a thing as smartphones, you know very well that you will only confuse those poor people. Therefore, it was a much better approach to tell them that there was more to this physical experience in the way they’d understand and embrace the most. Now it’s not needed as we’ve advanced and evolved quite a bit since then and can now seek our own truth.

This is a Universe of free will and it was created with that intention in mind, so nothing can intervene us or else it will defeat the purpose; however, there are karmas as well so you are not completely free to do anything you want. In other words, if you do something terrible, you will have to suffer its consequences as well, but once you become aware of your choices, you are more than likely to do the right thing. Most people aren’t aware, unfortunately because we live in a world of productions and consumptions and we almost always fall into these traps more often than not.

Why do you think this is a universe of free will? Determinism destroys the traditional notion of free will.

And don't even get me started on your signature. Materialism is a dying paradigm? Do me a favour.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4107 on: October 31, 2012, 08:45 PM »
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The truth is that those who claim to be agnostic are functional atheists who don't understand the term properly.
I assume you're just talking in context of the scientific community? As in you can of course have genuine agnostics due to ignorance and lack of interest in the subject.

Oh and by the way, I'm glad you mentioned about the statistic at the National Academy of Sciences - it immediately came to my mind also when I read that part of Emma's post.
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Clydey
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4108 on: October 31, 2012, 08:55 PM »
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I assume you're just talking in context of the scientific community? As in you can of course have genuine agnostics due to ignorance and lack of interest in the subject.


I think it's the same thing. If you don't hold a belief in god, for whatever reason, you're functionally an atheist.

Agnosticism is a term that lots of people get confused about.
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Mark
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Re: Religious Discussions « Reply #4109 on: November 01, 2012, 10:02 AM »
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I do agree with you but that definition, even though correct, is ahead of its time. So to avoid confusion, I think it's better to use the definitions that most people go by.
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