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JJ50

The Bible influenced my disbelief

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When I read the Bible in its entirety instead of picking out chapters and verses here and there, I realised that it read like a very human production. Every time I read the book it convinces me that my disbelief in the deity, featured therein, is justified.

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You forgot the final step.When finished you have to ask God if it's true.

I forgot that step too because it's obvious by just reading it.

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When I read the Bible in its entirety instead of picking out chapters and verses here and there, I realised that it read like a very human production. Every time I read the book it convinces me that my disbelief in the deity, featured therein, is justified.

Oh, it's you. Big shock. Regardless of the bible being entirely fiction, partly fiction, or entirely true, that does not mean there is no God, no creator, no willful sentient force.

Let's say that the bible is 100% untrue. How does that disprove the existence of God?

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The Bible was a major factor in my move to agnosticism. After careful study, I realized that most (maybe all) of its "miracles" have very rational explanations and are not miracles at all. If there are no miracles, then there is no way for a god to perform them. And without the ability to perform miracles, any entity is not a god. Especially, that all-important miracle distinguishing men from gods: men die; gods don't. Without miracles, gods must die, too. And that means they are not gods.

Doug

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Oh, it's you. Big shock. Regardless of the bible being entirely fiction, partly fiction, or entirely true, that does not mean there is no God, no creator, no willful sentient force.

Let's say that the bible is 100% untrue. How does that disprove the existence of God?

Um.. because the god of the Bible depicted in the Bible, so logically if the Bible is completely untrue so is the main character within.
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Atheism is not a statement that there is no Gods, or God, but that there is no evidence for any.

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When I read the Bible in its entirety instead of picking out chapters and verses here and there, I realised that it read like a very human production. Every time I read the book it convinces me that my disbelief in the deity, featured therein, is justified.

I'm in the same boat. It convinced me that I don't believe in a tangible anthropomorphic deity and that the OT is in many ways like myths of many other cultures, older, newer, and on different continents.

I don't disbelieve in some greater entity but I doubt it would be very aware of us.

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Thanks for sharing your views. I'd just like to share mine and say that the Bible influenced my decision to believe. The story of Jesus made great sense to me and the years since my conversion have been great (not always, naturally, ups and downs of life and all that jazz, but for the most part).

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I tried to read the bible, but I must confess that I never managed to finish it. To me it is mostly a long list of names and rules.

It is surely the most boring book I have ever read, so respect to the people who have actually managed to read it all.

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Oh, it's you. Big shock. Regardless of the bible being entirely fiction, partly fiction, or entirely true, that does not mean there is no God, no creator, no willful sentient force.

Let's say that the bible is 100% untrue. How does that disprove the existence of God?

It is just possible a higher intelligence of some sort set the universe in motion, I would be a fool if I denied it was just possible. However until there is evidence to back up such a supposition, which there isn't, I remain in a state of disbelief.

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It is just possible a higher intelligence of some sort set the universe in motion, I would be a fool if I denied it was just possible. However until there is evidence to back up such a supposition, which there isn't, I remain in a state of disbelief.

Fair enough. I always keep in mind that Einstein believed in intelligent design. By all accounts he was probably a bit smarter than I am.

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Fair enough. I always keep in mind that Einstein believed in intelligent design. By all accounts he was probably a bit smarter than I am.

Religious apologists cannot entirely be blamed for claiming Albert Einstein as one of their own. He was fond of quoting "God" as a poetic metaphor, in rather irresponsible fashion although, to be fair in turn to Einstein, he couldn't have anticipated the extent of today's dishonest quote-mining. So it is good to see this letter, written shortly before his death, which should lay to rest, once and for all, the eager myth that Einstein believed in God. Along with various other sources, this letter finally confirms that Einstein was, in every realistic sense of the word, an atheist. When the letter came up for auction in London, in 2008, I made a futile attempt to buy it as a gift for the Richard Dawkins Foundation. I could offer only a small fraction of the eventual price, and even that was far less than the $3M now being asked as a minimum. I hope that whoever wins this auction will display it prominently, complete with translations into English and other languages.

http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/646768-albert-einstein-s-historic-1954-god-letter-handwritten-shortly-before-his-death

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Fair enough. I always keep in mind that Einstein believed in intelligent design. By all accounts he was probably a bit smarter than I am.

Just because Einstein thought it possible it doesn't mean an intelligent designer exists. The most intelligent person in the world cannot prove such exists.

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Fair enough. I always keep in mind that Einstein believed in intelligent design. By all accounts he was probably a bit smarter than I am.

Pity that Einstein can't provide any more evidence of it than anyone else Do you also keep in mind all the people a bit smarter than you who don't believe in God at all?

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Posted (edited)

I often think of the Bible's influence on people's suffering.

It's a historical fact that passages like Leviticus 25:39-46 was used as divine support for slavery in the South up to the Civil War.

https://new.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus+25:39-46

Edited by davros of skaro
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In American English, "Intelligent Design" means something different than Einstein ever professed. His beliefs are deist on the question of God, and Spinozan on most other "religious" issues. He specifically did not hold that there was a personal God, or that this God took part in human history, revealed himself to prophets, expected worship, etc.

Which brings us to the "God" letter. Dawkins, like many people, relied on a faulty English translation produced by an employee of the 2008 auction house. For reasons that never have been clarified, this mistranslation was attributed by the Guardian newspaper to Joan Stambaugh, the name of a retired American philosophy professor, known for, among other work, translations of German philosophical works into Englsih. Dawkins may well have been attracted by the provocative lapses in decorous speech that are nowhere in the German, and the fantasy that Einstein's writing would be as coarse, abusive and graceless as Dawkins' own.

The bottom line is that the letter affirmed, but stated nothing new about Einstein's beliefs on the question of God and the properties Einstein thought God might have. That Einstein was a cultural, rather than an observant, Jew was well known. His practice remained unchanged from his adolescence to his death.

A survey of source material on the adult Einstein's remarkably constant religious views is available here:

http://uncertaintist.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/04-einstein-irreligion.pdf

A series of stories on the two auctions (2008 and 2012), and what emerged with better quality photos of the letter is here

http://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/tag/einstein-gutkind-letter/

The stories include an item from last year, reporting a Bible (containing both testaments) was auctioned, which Prof. & Mrs Einstein had given to an employee of theirs when they were at Caltech. Albert Einstein wrote on the flyleaf (in German, translated here into English:)

This book is an inexhaustible source of wisdom and comfort. Read in it often and gifts for you,

Yours,

A. Einstein

(Dies Buch ist eine unerschöpfliche Quelle der Lebensweisheit und des Trostes. Lesen Sie oft darin und geschenken Sie dabei)

Ooops.

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All I can say, is God does not live in a book. Try thinking bigger. Much BiGGER.

IMO, it's a training manual, with lots of room for improvement. A history of those who lived in the past.

My knowledge of God was learned, not by books but from spirit. One need not even know how to read to know God. Missionaries have no idea that Gods love is unconditional. Something they will deal with afyer this body disapears and truth be known.

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Ooops

http://uncertaintist.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/04-einstein-irreligion.pdf

^From what I get from your linked pdf is that Einstein is more

Agnostic than Deist.

It looks obvious to me he fought off labels and mentioned Spinoza's Pantheistic God when pressed, especially by the Rabbi.

People are going to see what they want to believe, but his 1954 letter is very telling to me.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

http://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/tag/einstein-gutkind-letter/

^Your other link just shows that even though Einstein found some wisdom and comfort in the Bible, he did not see it divine, but more superstition.

Comparison with comments in 1954

Nor was Einstein hostile to the Tanakh as adult reading material. Bonhams included a notorious non-quote in its lot description, saying incorrectly that Einstein had told Gutkind that the Bible is a 

collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish

Bonhams covers itself, however, by attributing the canard to the 2008 Bloomsbury auction literature. That is within arguable “trade practices,” for one auction house to rely upon another house’s statements.

The “Bible” Einstein described in 1954 was the Jewish Bible, as it had been discussed by Gutkind in his book. Gutkind wrote about the Tanakh, and wrote about it from a distinctive, highly personal perspective. And when the pretty childish embellishment is removed, what Einstein said to Gutkind about the Tanakh wouldn’t deter a mature reader from finding wisdom, comfort and gifts there, among honorable legends, albeit primitive ones.

[Your book] is written in language that is inaccessible to me. 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.

Eistein had E=MC2 not E=MC2=God

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All I can say, is God does not live in a book. Try thinking bigger. Much BiGGER.

IMO, it's a training manual, with lots of room for improvement. A history of those who lived in the past.

My knowledge of God was learned, not by books but from spirit. One need not even know how to read to know God. Missionaries have no idea that Gods love is unconditional. Something they will deal with afyer this body disapears and truth be known.

God is in your Head....Literaly!

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Posted (edited)

who cares if einstein believed in a god or did not believe in a god? It is not relevant.

In order to believe in god of the bible, you first must believe the bible is gods book/word inspired by god, therefore factual and can stand up to all tests of time and be never changing, but always fact.

it does not.

This can be said of every holy book.

In the beginning 'cave man' (for lack of a better term for now) believe in MANY gods.. god of fire, god of death.. et et et et. they had no book .just a lot of fear... and wanting answers. superstition became god.

i am agnostic/atheist. I see no proof of god, no sign there is a god/s.

So I do not believe in god/s. I am not stupid either, there may be a god. I do not know for sure, but i seriously doubt it. I am 100% there is no god that you think of as in bible/koran whatever.

If we are able to prove without a shadow of doubt there is a god, then I would believe in god.

No one can/has been able to do so. I seriously doubt there is one. IF you must use a holy book that does not stand up to every test of time, or if you have to use 'feelings' like 'i feel it, therefore it is true', then it is a weak weak weak proof, which is no proof at all.

Edited by willowdreams
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Posted (edited)

I am 100% there is no god that you think of as in bible/koran whatever.

I am 100% the other direction. One of us is likely correct, one day we'll find out for certain. Until then, best of wishes in your life journey :tu:

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android
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Davros

From what I get from your linked pdf is that Einstein is more

Agnostic than Deist.

As has been discussed here many times, in the context of many people's opinions, there is a place in opinion space where pantheism, deism, atheism and agnosticism meet, and it may be difficult to say exactly in which category a particular set of views resides.

Einstein was plainly a Flintian agnostic (he did not ptofess to "know" much about God with certainty), and equally plainly was not a Huxleyan agnostic (the opinion that the question of God's existence cannot be resolved with any useful confidence, or profitably investigated). It is fairly typical for deists to be Flintian agnostics, since deists do not profess to have sources of information about a God who doesn't reveal himself, or in Einstein's case, has any personal attributes at all. Einstein did, however, teach that there was sufficient reason to infer and confidently profess a God who exists apart from his creation, and so his was not an agnostic (not a "Huxleyan" agnostic) view on the question of God.

It looks obvious to me he fought off labels and mentioned Spinoza's Pantheistic God when pressed,...

Einstein was definitely an admirer, and an accomplished expert about, Spinoza's thought. Einstein hedged about the term pantheism - it is, after all, nearly his view, not much different from his view, and in so many other things Einstein was a faithful disciple of Spinoza. It might also be noted that "pantheism" isn't Spinoza's term, but later commentators' summary of his view on God. It is possible that Einstein thought, based on his own reading of Spinoza, that they were in closer accord about God than the later term would suggest. I just don't know.

Your other link just shows that even though Einstein found some wisdom and comfort in the Bible, he did not see it divine, but more superstition.

Einstein believed that human religious thought progressed over time, and that the Jewish Bible documented an earlier, more primitive form of religion than is prevalent today, or that would (Einstein hoped) prevail in the future. The 1954 letter is not directly about the Bible, but about Gutkind's book which presents a view about the Bible, and a particular conception of God. (Nothing at all in the letter comments on the New Testament.)

Realistically, Gutkind's book is not representative of contemporary Judaism as a whole, and anybody's comments about it can be generalized only with care. It is telling, I think, that Einstein mentions that he read part of it... I can see why he didn't read the whole thing. So, I can boast that have something in common with Einstein :).

Nothing in the letter that does generalize beyond Gutkind's book cannot be found in earlier published writing of Einstein. In any case,

collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish

Primitive is an exact and apt description of anything from that time that informs a still-going enterprise; "which are nevertheless pretty childinsh" is pure invention, and occurs nowhere in Einstein's letter. That the phrase was bogus was first observed shortly after the 2008 sale, and is easily confirmed by the recent high quality photographs (widelly available online)and Einstein's secretary's transcription of the letter, which is available through the Einstein archives.

The whole incident is indeed an illustration of how some people with an axe to grind will see things that simply do not exist. Funny, then, that it is the counterapologists who promote this fantasy wish-fulfillment, while accusing theists of the same cognitive deficiency.

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Posted (edited)

The whole incident is indeed an illustration of how some people with an axe to grind will see things that simply do not exist. Funny, then, that it is the counterapologists who promote this fantasy wish-fulfillment, while accusing theists of the same cognitive deficiency.

You should check out the cognitive dissonance in some of the reply comments in this article.

http://m.livescience.com/23758-einstein-god-letter-auction.html

Einstein handwrote the letter in German to Jewish philosopher Eric B. Gutkind on Jan. 3, 1954, a year before Einstein's death. The letter was a response to Gutkind's book "Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt" (1952, H. Schuman; 1st edition).

This was a private letter that was not for the public.To me it's very telling, and I see him publicly using God metaphoricly, also using a form of political correctness about it.I know because I used to be the same way, but now I am vocal about it.

To me Eistein saw the Universe that followed natural laws, and he had to deal with relatives, and part of the public that saw different.

Edited by davros of skaro
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who cares if einstein believed in a god or did not believe in a god? It is not relevant.

I agree with most of what you go on to say, so I don't quote it but quote only the part that I don't quite agree with. I think we ought to be aware of and think about and honor the views of the great men -- the really great men.

I know Einstein's words have influenced me, softening my attitude perhaps. He tended to avoid confrontation on such things, something I suppose I could emulate. I don't know that he was actually a deist (where God creates and walks away) as he seems to have seen God as still around but not and never directly involved. No I do not think there is a God: what I would say is there is something, and naming it is harmful as it causes not only others but also oneself to assume things. And it is not a creator; natural processes do that; it is not natural processes either but what gives reality to the causation that is behind natural processes and what gives reality to mind and sensate existence. Wow that is really more than I should say cause I just guess.

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I agree with most of what you go on to say, so I don't quote it but quote only the part that I don't quite agree with. I think we ought to be aware of and think about and honor the views of the great men -- the really great men.

I know Einstein's words have influenced me, softening my attitude perhaps. He tended to avoid confrontation on such things, something I suppose I could emulate. I don't know that he was actually a deist (where God creates and walks away) as he seems to have seen God as still around but not and never directly involved. No I do not think there is a God: what I would say is there is something, and naming it is harmful as it causes not only others but also oneself to assume things. And it is not a creator; natural processes do that; it is not natural processes either but what gives reality to the causation that is behind natural processes and what gives reality to mind and sensate existence. Wow that is really more than I should say cause I just guess.

I agree with you on this aspect of it.. I adore Einstein, Carl Sagen, Isaac Asimov, Isaac Newton (my orange tom cat is named Isaac Asimov-Newton). And Neil Degrasse Tyson. HOWEVER.. as much as I respect these intellegent men.. (and in one case.. very very sexy man).. and hang on to most every word i hear from them (even though with all but one its through youtube/tvshows and written word).. I do not base my believe system on these men.

I doubt any of these men would want us to decide our spiritual beliefs or faiths based on what THEY believed.. rather I think they would prefer us to use their knowledge as tools to jumpstart us on our own researches and our own thoughts and for us to make a decision on our belief of god/s on our own.

That is of course my opinion on that, I honestly don't know if they feel this way, but I know they all were/are smart pple and I imagine them as wanting us to make up our own minds without them being the main source of information.. kind of like how pple use the bible as their main foundation of determining the world as being 6000 yrs old

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