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Did Einstein's God differ from Hawking's God?

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9 minutes ago, mistermack said:

My bias is towards things supported by what I see as good evidence. I'm happy to examine contrary evidence, and change my bias, if I find it convincing. That's nothing unique to me, but it's different to most indoctrinated people. 

To be honest, I think Einstein just didn't want the label atheist. And maybe it was a wise move, in his day. Maybe still is, if you don't want to get involved. Your wiki link says it all really in on sentence : 

"He clarified however that, "I am not an atheist",[4]preferring to call himself an agnostic,[5] or a "religious nonbeliever."[

I think he preferred to preserve an air of uncertainty in his thinking, which is consistent with a good scientist regarding anything.

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1 hour ago, Eise said:

...if the awe you feel for the universe contributes to a deeply felt, meaningful life to you, brings you to being at peace with life and death, including your ethics, then it is religious.

Instead if saying its complete bs I’ll go with: I think you went a little over your heels with this Eise.

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11 hours ago, coffeesippin said:

Einstein:   "He clarified however that, "I am not an atheist",[4] preferring to call himself an agnostic,[5] or a "religious nonbeliever."[3] 

"Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist."

"Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.[21]"

Hawking:  “I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science,” he said. “The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.”         Einstein said he did not believe God intervened directly into man's daily life, (as the laws of nature do, my words.)  Those statements refer to much more than the rules of nature, how can the rules of nature intervene in themselves?

      From those statements it's easy to see that the idea of God was at work in their thinking in more than an abstract way.  Does quantum mechanics for instance have anything to do with the soul?  Both men had much exposure to faiths when young, Einstein's Jewish and Catholic, and Hawking Church of England.  Einstein became a strong Zionist.  Hawking's wife was strong in her Church of England faith, even singing in the church choir,  so Hawking could not have had strong objections to the idea of God in his home. 

      My statements above are repeats of what I wrote earlier in the topic.  Had they been read I doubt you would have been so quick to say either man's idea of God related only as if they were the universe at work.

 

Good thing I didn't say that, then.

What I did say was that the quotes in question were comments on QM, and not religion. Any extrapolation from those two quotes will not give you insight into either man's religious views. I made no claim about either one's general view on a supreme being.

 

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32 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think he preferred to preserve an air of uncertainty in his thinking, which is consistent with a good scientist regarding anything.

String, I gave you an upvote, I wish I could have given you a hundred upvotes. 

15 minutes ago, swansont said:

Good thing I didn't say that, then.

What I did say was that the quotes in question were comments on QM, and not religion. Any extrapolation from those two quotes will not give you insight into either man's religious views. I made no claim about either one's general view on a supreme being.

 

I enjoy your quoted response, Swan, it's wonderfully temperate.  I'll place the comment commented on here:  "God does not play dice" is a statement about quantum mechanics, not religion. As is the response. They are claims about how the universe behaves. In this exchange, God is a metaphor for the rules of nature, nothing  more."  The inclusion of the word God, especially with the capital 'G,' along with Eintein's quote that he is not an atheist,  is not merely a comment on the rules of nature, but a reflection of his deep thinking including "soul."  "Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one." 

Likewise with Hawking,  “I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science,” he said. “The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.”  How can the laws of nature intervene in their operation, so Hawking too believed in something greater.  He did not say, "If there is a God, God does not intervene to break the laws." 

I'm greatly surprised that there is so much evidence in so brief a search that both men DID believe in a God greater than the universe.  Hawking is said to declare in his last book that there is no God, but even the most ardent believer seems to have doubt in difficult times, and Hawking was in a very difficult time, the relationship with the woman he had left his wife for had ended, he and his wife were divorced, he no longer had the support of an intimate other .. yes he would feel alone and abandoned by God he obviously once believed in. 

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38 minutes ago, coffeesippin said:

I'm greatly surprised that there is so much evidence in so brief a search that both men DID believe in a God greater than the universe. 

Both men did not accept any need for any god of any type as reflected by religions today. If and when they used the word, it was in an analogous or metaphoric sense only. They, also particularly Einstein needed to be diplomatic in those days. I often look up at the night sky in awe and wonderment, but I don't imagine any bloke with any long flowing white beard, and as I said, I also do not class myself as an atheist for the reasons I stated earlier. 

It seems to me that you are reading far too much into isolated quotes from both men, simply as a crutch for your own beliefs. On the other hand, we obviously do have some great scientists that do accept the old bloke with the long white beard, the Father of the BB, Lamaitre, a Jesuit priest being one.

Edited by beecee

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26 minutes ago, beecee said:

Both men did not accept any need for any god of any type as reflected by religions today. If and when they used the word, it was in an analogous or metaphoric sense only. They, also particularly Einstein needed to be diplomatic in those days. I often look up at the night sky in awe and wonderment, but I don't imagine any bloke with any long flowing white beard, and as I said, I also do not class myself as an atheist for the reasons I stated earlier. 

It seems to me that you are reading far too much into isolated quotes from both men, simply as a crutch for your own beliefs. On the other hand, we obviously do have some great scientists that do accept the old bloke with the long white beard, the Father of the BB, Lamaitre, a Jesuit priest being one.

I think you are wrong. You want him to be an atheist but he wasn't. What he said is a historical fact:

Quote

You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."[13] In an interview published by the German poet George Sylvester Viereck, Einstein stated, "I am not an Atheist."[10] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."[25]

 

1 hour ago, coffeesippin said:

String, I gave you an upvote, I wish I could have given you a hundred upvotes. 

Thanks. I think either side of the divide wants to own him on the matter but he was having none of it. He was content with how he thought and could live with uncertainty.

Edited by StringJunky

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1 hour ago, coffeesippin said:

String, I gave you an upvote, I wish I could have given you a hundred upvotes. 

I enjoy your quoted response, Swan, it's wonderfully temperate.  I'll place the comment commented on here:  "God does not play dice" is a statement about quantum mechanics, not religion. As is the response. They are claims about how the universe behaves. In this exchange, God is a metaphor for the rules of nature, nothing  more."  The inclusion of the word God, especially with the capital 'G,' along with Eintein's quote that he is not an atheist,  is not merely a comment on the rules of nature, but a reflection of his deep thinking including "soul."  "Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one." 

Likewise with Hawking,  “I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science,” he said. “The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.”  How can the laws of nature intervene in their operation, so Hawking too believed in something greater.  He did not say, "If there is a God, God does not intervene to break the laws." 

The quote you you provided was "Not only does God play dice but... he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen."  Hawking. Not what you provided here, which irrelevant to my comment. Hawking was responding to Einstein’s quote. You can’t assume he was commenting on anything more than that.

You do not have to believe in God to write or say the word. You can even capitalize it. See, I just proved that it’s possible.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think you are wrong. You want him to be an atheist but he wasn't. What he said is a historical fact:

 

Thanks. I think either side of the divide wants to own him on the matter but he was having none of it. He was content with how he thought and could live with uncertainty.

And thanks again, tremendous thanks actually.  I'm not on my home computer, and I've emailed it to myself.

This one especially is priceless:  "You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervor is mostly due to a painful act of liberation from the fetters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being."[13] In an interview published by the German poet George Sylvester Viereck, Einstein stated, "I am not an Atheist."[10] According to Prince Hubertus, Einstein said, "In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."[25]"

I wonder how much of many people's negative reaction against the idea of God is not based on the idea of God, but on the reality of the often corrupt operation of many institutions using the name and/or symbols of God?  I believe that is the overwhelming cause for the reaction against the idea of God, especially the vehement reactions. 

7 minutes ago, swansont said:

The quote you you provided was "Not only does God play dice but... he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen."  Hawking. Not what you provided here, which irrelevant to my comment. Hawking was responding to Einstein’s quote. You can’t assume he was commenting on anything more than that.

You do not have to believe in God to write or say the word. You can even capitalize it. See, I just proved that it’s possible.

 

 

I see.  I was providing additional support that Hawking at one time held a belief in God.   I have seen in many current examples where some Jews will not use the word God .. but spell it G_d.   I have to take a break, an unwashed person sat down beside me at this public library, and is giving me the beginning of a sinus problem.

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36 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think you are wrong. You want him to be an atheist but he wasn't. What he said is a historical fact:

Not really....I recognise many scientists, including some of the greats were religious, and I find nothing wrong with that. I simply see Einstein as being more diplomatic in some of the quotes that have been attributed to him. Some here have also labeled me an atheist, and I disagree with that also for reasons already stated to coffeesippin.

Anyway if by any chance there is any old bloke up there watching over humanity, I certainly hope he keeps watch over me and 10 other old farts today as we have our 59th old boys reunion! :P

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18 minutes ago, coffeesippin said:

I wonder how much of many people's negative reaction against the idea of God is not based on the idea of God, but on the reality of the often corrupt operation of many institutions using the name and/or symbols of God?  I believe that is the overwhelming cause for the reaction against the idea of God, especially the vehement reactions.

I hope you aren't lumping all us neutral people in with the negatives. This tends to happen when one is overly positive.

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To be honest, what Einstein or Hawking thought is an irrelevant bit of gossipy history to me. If they were both staunch deists or theists, it wouldn't influence my thinking in the slightest. 

On the other hand, if the smelly old man in the library showed me a bit of genuine evidence for a god, I'd be highly interested. Still waiting. 

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15 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I hope you aren't lumping all us neutral people in with the negatives. This tends to happen when one is overly positive.

Good to hear from you Phi.  My statement was, "I wonder how much of many people's negative reaction ..."  Negative people are not neutral. 

I wish I was overly positive .. I wouldn't even need to walk on water, I could fly (without an aircraft, jumping off a cliff with or without wingsuit.) 

Definition of flying 

1amoving or capable of moving in the air

bmoving or made by moving rapidly flying feetflying leap  (oops, I guess we CAN fly!)   :)

                           

  

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9 minutes ago, coffeesippin said:

Good to hear from you Phi.  My statement was, "I wonder how much of many people's negative reaction ..."  Negative people are not neutral. 

I wish you had taken a little more time before misunderstanding my point.

Are you sure you aren't lumping neutral reactions in with the negative? I don't see a lot of negative responses to the idea of God on this site. What I see most of is neutral, waiting to be persuaded one way or the other by a preponderance of evidence. From what I've read from you, it seems like you think everything that isn't positive is negative.

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14 minutes ago, mistermack said:

To be honest, what Einstein or Hawking thought is an irrelevant bit of gossipy history to me. If they were both staunch deists or theists, it wouldn't influence my thinking in the slightest. 

On the other hand, if the smelly old man in the library showed me a bit of genuine evidence for a god, I'd be highly interested. Still waiting. 

The mind is powerful, and with someone demonstrates his mind is used in powerful ways, that person has an effect on me, even though Hawking's last book stated 'There is no God,' his effect of even feeling the need to mention God strengthens my faith that there is. 

The smelly man wasn't old.  Probably middle aged.  He would probably take you into his home rather than allow you to freeze to death, it's winter in Canada, whether he believes in God or not I have no idea, I can't remember having seen him before.  I think that's evidence of the goodness that God is described as having, an effect of God, as much as Black Holes are said to be impossible to see, but their effects are seen.   

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10 minutes ago, coffeesippin said:

I think that's evidence of the goodness that God is described as having,

You're conveniently selective with your evidence. You obviously ignore the mountains of similar but opposite evidence. 

I see that kind of reasoning as a self-induced stupidity. Not born, but acquired. Sort of deliberate blindness. 

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1 hour ago, coffeesippin said:

I wonder how much of many people's negative reaction against the idea of God is not based on the idea of God, but on the reality of the often corrupt operation of many institutions using the name and/or symbols of God?  I believe that is the overwhelming cause for the reaction against the idea of God, especially the vehement reactions.

I can assure you that I actually have no vehement reaction against any god, as long as any god proponents do not use or attempt to use it as a means of denigrating science. 

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1 minute ago, Phi for All said:

I wish you had taken a little more time before misunderstanding my point.

Are you sure you aren't lumping neutral reactions in with the negative? I don't see a lot of negative responses to the idea of God on this site. What I see most of is neutral, waiting to be persuaded one way or the other by a preponderance of evidence. From what I've read from you, it seems like you think everything that isn't positive is negative.

I understand that neutral is not negative or positive, although how many variations of neutral, positive and negative are there in physics or in conviction?    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0959-5309/59/1/303  I wanted to use a bar magnet to demonstrate, but I began getting angry at my inability to understand the complexities :blink: so chose that url instead, I hope it explains itself.  I'll look at it soon.     

My experience on this forum and others is that a bible believer like myself is most often assumed to be a flat earther, and that opinion prejudices many people of science to misread what I write, along with my intent in writing it.  Although I said earlier I have never met a flat earther, I had forgotten the one I met, a hard core flat earther, thinking we would be fried to dust if we passed through the Van Allen belt regardless of time or shielding in the belt, etc.   

4 minutes ago, mistermack said:

You're conveniently selective with your evidence. You obviously ignore the mountains of similar but opposite evidence. 

I see that kind of reasoning as a self-induced stupidity. Not born, but acquired. Sort of deliberate blindness. 

Your use of the word stupidity is not positive in any way.  Of course I'm selective with evidence, I support what I believe.  Can I present a mountain of evidence in either direction?

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15 hours ago, mistermack said:

If Einstein agreed with your wording, and agreed that he complied with it, then he would qualify as religious as mentioned in those words.

Yes. Nailed on the head. Did you read the Wikipedia link StringJunky provided?

Oh, well you did:

14 hours ago, mistermack said:

"He clarified however that, "I am not an atheist",[4]preferring to call himself an agnostic,[5] or a "religious nonbeliever."[

A 'religious nonbeliever' is a pretty good description of what I mean.

14 hours ago, koti said:

Instead if saying its complete bs I’ll go with: I think you went a little over your heels with this Eise.

Really? Explain.

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2 hours ago, Eise said:

Really? Explain.

„...if the awe you feel for the universe contributes to a deeply felt, meaningful life to you, brings you to being at peace with life and death, including your ethics, then it is religious”

I think you’re generalising quite a bit here which in result renders a person like me and millions of others completely non-existant. According to you,  me (and many others) have a choice either to accept to be religious or accept we’re not in awe for the universe and not in peace with life and death and our ethics do not exist. You’re not leaving any room for an atheist to have those feelings and convictions you mention. 

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22 minutes ago, koti said:

I think you’re generalising quite a bit here which in result renders a person like me and millions of others completely non-existant. According to you,  me (and many others) have a choice either to accept to be religious or accept we’re not in awe for the universe and not in peace with life and death and our ethics do not exist. You’re not leaving any room for an atheist to have those feelings and convictions you mention. 

I am afraid it is a battle of words again. Do you see (see3) the differences between these three meanings of 'religious':

Religious1: Believing in (some) God (personal God: theist; creator God how retracted himself after the creation (big bang?): deist; divinity of everything that exits: pantheist)

Religious2: Following a religious institution, its dogmas, its rituals etc

Religious3: Coping with your existence as individual in a far greater world

In this sense even a 'religious atheist' is not a contradiction. Everybody has his/her way to live their lives. One can try to get completely at peace with the world as it is: its joys and drawbacks, its gains and losses, with birth and death, with our smallness in a giant universe. But of course many people choose for religiosity1 or 2. Or one does not even think about it, blind out all these problems and just live avoiding pain and strive for happiness without bothering about the big questions. In that case you are a non-religious atheist.

So what do you think? Where do you stand? And how would you call yourself?

 

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26 minutes ago, Eise said:

I am afraid it is a battle of words again. Do you see (see3) the differences between these three meanings of 'religious':

Religious1: Believing in (some) God (personal God: theist; creator God how retracted himself after the creation (big bang?): deist; divinity of everything that exits: pantheist)

Religious2: Following a religious institution, its dogmas, its rituals etc

Religious3: Coping with your existence as individual in a far greater world

In this sense even a 'religious atheist' is not a contradiction. Everybody has his/her way to live their lives. One can try to get completely at peace with the world as it is: its joys and drawbacks, its gains and losses, with birth and death, with our smallness in a giant universe. But of course many people choose for religiosity1 or 2. Or one does not even think about it, blind out all these problems and just live avoiding pain and strive for happiness without bothering about the big questions. In that case you are a non-religious atheist.

So what do you think? Where do you stand? And how would you call yourself?

 

I'm appologise for being so blunt Eise but: "Religious3: Coping with your existence as individual in a far greater world" is word salad to me.
Words have meaning and my command of the English language is more than sufficient to understand the word "religious"
 

Quote

In this sense even a 'religious atheist' is not a contradiction.

I must agree. If you start changing the meaning of words you can then draw any conclusion from any assertion. 

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42 minutes ago, koti said:

"Religious3: Coping with your existence as individual in a far greater world" is word salad to me.
Words have meaning and my command of the English language is more than sufficient to understand the word "religious"

Then tell me where it contradicts the dictionary:

Quote

relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity

(notice the 'or').

If you have a naturalistic worldview, couldn't be this ultimate reality just what I said? 

42 minutes ago, koti said:

I must agree. If you start changing the meaning of words you can then draw any conclusion from any assertion. 

Well, at least Einstein would agree with me...

Quote

He clarified however that, "I am not an atheist", preferring to call himself an agnostic, or a "religious nonbeliever".

Is that word salad too?

 

Edited by Eise

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1 hour ago, koti said:

I'm appologise for being so blunt Eise but: "Religious3: Coping with your existence as individual in a far greater world" is word salad to me.
Words have meaning and my command of the English language is more than sufficient to understand the word "religious"

Defining "religion" is notoriously difficult. It is usually one of the first exercises in a Religious Studies course. Coming up with a definition that includes everything most people would consider religion (e.g. Buddhism) but doesn't also include, say, football is almost impossible.

I don't think Eise's attempt is too bad (if he will forgive me for that faint praise). Perhaps some people might prefer "spirituality" for his sense (3). Or just "a sense of something greater". These are, indisputably I would say, feelings identical to those whose beliefs are part of mainstream religion. Some people ascribe those feelings to an external god, others to "human spirit", others to an appreciation of "nature". 

 

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35 minutes ago, Strange said:

I don't think Eise's attempt is too bad (if he will forgive me for that faint praise).

It is the maximum I can hope for when I write a posting between two different database maintenance tasks...

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2 hours ago, Eise said:

Then tell me where it contradicts the dictionary:

(notice the 'or').

If you have a naturalistic worldview, couldn't be this ultimate reality just what I said? 

Well, at least Einstein would agree with me...

Is that word salad too?

 

I can't relate to the thread topic as I have too little insight on both Einstein and Hawking to try to conclude what was in their heads religion wise.
 

33 minutes ago, Strange said:

"...Some people ascribe those feelings to an external god, others to "human spirit", others to an appreciation of "nature". 

I just realized I lost those completely somewhere along the way so I no longer can relate.

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