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Cosmology, Quantum Mechanics & Consciousness Message Board › Einstein's view of religion

Einstein's view of religion

user 59633972
Cambridge, MA
Post #: 2
Dear Ian,
The mathematical evidence of our universe points to a set of values that are so précis that they
have been set by something. One way of explaining this is a multivers , but another is a value setter.
my over use of the Infinite has more to do with I do not like to use the word God for the common
Images brought to mind are so different than the facts would suggest. My philosophy is that the
Infinite its self is the value setter.
But this is just the philosophy of an old boat builder.
lan B.
user 10895495
London, GB
Post #: 219
Hello RIW

Nothing wrong with being an old boat builder -- aged or otherwise -- after all Einstein himself was a mere clerk in the Zürich Patent Office before he stormed the world of fundamental mathematical physics by storm!

No, my objection stemmed -- as it does and would, impartially, no matter who is writing or what their background (mathematical physicist or otherwise) -- from the fact that you are posting a sequence of non sequiturs -- and you've just repeated the performance in your reply to me! (For which thanks, by the way.)

So, to stress the point: if someone comes up to me and proclaims that "X, Y, Z, .. (etc.) is the case!! (but l'm not going to give you any reasons; l'm just going to keep you guessing)" then I end up none the wiser, do I? (I would be in the same position as everyone else who shows an interest, necessarily.)

You I am sure -- as I said yesterday -- actually believe or at least strongly want to believe what you are claiming, but all responsibly held beliefs (i.e. those most likely to be acquired by others on the basis of one's own personal assurance when addressing those without the matching corroborative direct personal experience held on their part) in non-ordinary, everyday contexts) need to be backed up, either:

1) By some credible assurance that such direct personal corroborative experience would certainly be had by one's interlocutor if she were to put herself into the appropriate sensory circumstances, and for specific, located, phenomena, specifically at the right place and at the right time or ..

2) By some concatenation of valid reasons which is ultimately based either on someone's experience -- which must itself be believable in accordance with the criteria advanced in 1) above -- or because the denial of any of the links either in the chain of reasoning or in the conclusion would entail either an internal contradiction (as in the reductio ad absurdum proof procedure employed by all working mathematicians apart from Brouwerians) or would contradict some other either singleton or set of facts (which are held as such because they in turn conform to criteria 1) and 2).)

Does all that sound reasonable? (Alright, I know it does. I was being rhetorical.)

Kind regards


lan B.
user 10895495
London, GB
Post #: 220

Well it's great to see that some people out there are taking the trouble to educate themselves. Thanks, Tony, I've no idea of your profession but you're clearly no English teacher!

How's your quantum mechanics BTW?

user 59633972
Cambridge, MA
Post #: 3
Dear Ian Buxton
Thank you for your reply. You have given me some good advice for me. I do tend to philosophizes without backing it up with scientific facts to explain my point. Which I can, and will do in the future. But right now that would take us way off topic. I also find myself with egg on my face after rereading and finding little that Albert Einstein said that would back my view of a none personal God. Oh I believe that something set things in motion. This puts me in between science and religion a great ocean to cross and to cross a ocean one first needs a boat builder. I hope this gives light to the line just an old boat builder.
lan B.
user 10895495
London, GB
Post #: 236

Many thanks for the courteous and considered response, RIW.

Whenever one exposes oneself to the possibility of facing critics, it's always best to be well-armed with the relevant facts. (It goes without saying. I think we've all been bitten at some time or other!)

Funnily enough, I think the foregoing correspondence between myself and others earlier on within this thread does pretty well vindicate Einstein's view of an impersonal God, since he was clearly neither polytheist nor monotheist but (as said and agreed by all) pantheist. For what it's worth, my own incomprehension of the position arises precisely because pantheism asserts the impersonality of "God". This being the case according to this school of thought, one then wonders -- or at least I do! -- what exactly is supposed to be left to warrant the label "God" after the "personhood" has been thrown out!

Otherwise .. Well, you believe that something set things in motion. Yes, the Aristotelian notion of continuous, linear-incremental time -- within which, exactly like the integers, any chosen entity (either number or "moment") has a predecessor -- does tend to bolster such a common-sense-seeming viewpoint, but from the standpoint of general relativity such an assumption is no longer in play, and the relevant mathematics is perfectly consistent on this point. Hence the concept of the Big Bang: the ultimate physical singularity (dimensionless!) which is the unfortunate evil which we necessarily inherit whenever we abandon the Aristotelian model (unless one endorses cyclical time, which seems to be radically unconvincing given the current evidence).

A concluding philosophical note: To say that "something set things in motion" unfortunately fails to solve the problem which such askers demand of the question, because it simply sets the question one step backwards .. For what created or set in turn in motion whatever-it-was that (ostensibly thus) "set things in motion". If "God" is supposedly endowed with the mysterious property of necessary self-existence -- and as it happens no evidence of "His" existence has ever been found -- then why not take the more parsimonious (and, therefore, the more logical) step of simply ascribing that property to the cosmos as a whole or (the perhaps infinite!) succession of Big Bangs, each eventually budding off at least one successor spacetime via the agency of black holes (or whatever) a la Lee Smolin?

I'm not claiming that I endorse the latter viewpoint either. I think we simply have too little information at least for now to be in any position to pronounce judgement, but such logical issues must be conscientiously addressed by both sides -- religious and non-religious -- if the debate is to make any meaningful progress.

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