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Einstein letter on Religion up for auction.

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BoogieMonster
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« on: October 15, 2012, 09:20:13 AM »

Quote from: The Atlantic
On January 3, 1954 -- one year before his death -- Albert Einstein wrote a letter to Eric B. Gutkind, whose book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt, Einstein had recently been reading. The handwritten letter, which is in German, has been kept in good condition over the last six decades will be auctioned off on eBay over the next two weeks. Bidding will begin at $3 million. (An image of the letter is available here.)

In the letter, Einstein offers some pointed and characteristically brief thoughts on God and religion. In a key passage, he writes:
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. "


The article has some interesting thoughts on how Einstein viewed God.
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Hermes
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 13:26:29 PM »

I fail to see why Einstein's views on the god hypothesis either way is of much significance.  It remains an hypothesis that cannot be verified, or to use Popper's criterion, is not potentially refutable.  It therefore follows that there can be no experts in the field, because nobody can be an expert in something unknowable.  Under such circumstances any attempt at deference to experts would be fallacious.  All one can say is that there exists no evidence in support of the hypothesis and that it contains extraordinary claims, on which basis it should be regarded as highly improbable.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 14:16:47 PM »

I fail to see why Einstein's views on the god hypothesis either way is of much significance.  It remains an hypothesis that cannot be verified, or to use Popper's criterion, is not potentially refutable.  It therefore follows that there can be no experts in the field, because nobody can be an expert in something unknowable.  Under such circumstances any attempt at deference to experts would be fallacious.  All one can say is that there exists no evidence in support of the hypothesis and that it contains extraordinary claims, on which basis it should be regarded as highly improbable.

It's of interest because fundies make it of interest by using Einstein as an example of a religious man. Sometimes you don't even have to be dead to be claimed for the fold. For one, we should point out the above, what Einstein believed is of no consequence. But, it's nice to have clear evidence that Einstein did NOT hold their beliefs so you can bury their argument entirely. Weaker minds need this, and serves as a clear example that what they believe may not be particularly true.
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