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At The Right Hand of Einstein

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." [Einstein]

I was trying to decide if I should submit this to iBrattleboro, but the Frank C’s comment in Spinoza’s recent piece “Doing as Silence Dogood Did” made me think it’s time to speak up (again) about religious bigotry. I quote, therefore, the (incomplete sentence) by the seemingly uncivil Mr. C : : “When the rest of the named people wake up and realize that, Brattleboro will find it’s true place at the right hand of the lord.”

I’m not entirely against insulting people when there’s a need. But, for too long, it is and has been tiresome to hear anyone belittle others because they find no need for someone’s unproven and unprovable hypothesis they call god, or in this case, “the lord.” His above quote accuses both believers and nonbelievers of a different persuasion in Brattleboro that they are asleep, that the place they hold is false or wrong, all of which is underlined by the unbelievable arrogant insertion into an article about signed identities, to wit: that everyone in town needs to find the “true place at the right hand of the lord.”

Even the concept of the “right-hand” of a god underscores Einstein’s assertion of a “god” as manmade in nature. Does a right-hand suggest there is a left-hand? What would an allegedly omnipotent creature need such a primitive anatomical extremity for?

Whether Mr. C thinks this is “crotchety” or not (his supercilious description of me), I agree with dear old Albert Einstein that religious people suffer from “an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.”

And, whether or not Einstein was a believer, agnostic or nonbeliever doesn’t matter. What Einstein did believe in was his own “unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

I’ll take Einstein’s remarkable cognitive abilities from that “extraordinary prefrontal cortex” of his - any day - over the tired, old biblical primitive nonsense that continues to plague us here in Brattleboro (and the world) today.

As Stephen Hawking also indicates, our modern (but relatively primitive) understanding of time suggests that the universe is just another dimension, like space itself, and therefore has no beginning.

If there is no beginning, there is no God.

Thus stated is the lowercase of god, a useless creation from the primordial minds of scared little men looking into a narcissus mirror of ignorance and superstition.


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Albert Einstein’s last written words

Even in the end, Einstein connected war and the struggle for power as “…once again presented to mankind in semi religious trappings.”

When Einstein died on the morning of April 18, 1955 he left a piece of writing ending in an unfinished sentence.
These were his last words:

In essence, the conflict that exists today is no more than an old-style struggle for power, once again presented to mankind in semi religious trappings. The difference is that, this time, the development of atomic power has imbued the struggle with a ghostly character; for both parties know and admit that, should the quarrel deteriorate into actual war, mankind is doomed. Despite this knowledge, statesmen in responsible positions on both sides continue to employ the well-known technique of seeking to intimidate and demoralize the opponent by marshaling superior military strength. They do so even though such a policy entails the risk of war and doom. Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that holds out any promise of peace, the course of supranational (worldwide) security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide. Political passions, once they have been fanned into flame, exact their victims ... Citater fra...

{The closest I could find in online dictionaries for the word Citater is:
The adverb “citate” as the present adverbial passive participle of citi, which means to “cite, to quote.”}


Dubious Solace

Einstein's affinities with Spinoza, and their shared incredulity towards the concept of personal God is well known. Both were men who saw the mysteries of nature with eyes of awe. And had little regard for the ideas of those who blindly accept archaic custom.

It seems the hardest thing is to buck one's programming, propaganda, and inherited beliefs. The risk is too great, the payoff uncertain. Apparently most people would prefer the illusion that we can tame the wild, buy our way into happiness, and avoid death.


The crux of the programmed beliefs


The crux of the programmed beliefs is that most humans are trained to believe they have somewhere to go – a life beyond death, as it were. It is, in fact, the topline thing that a majority of people desire the most. The desire for a place of permanence is far greater than even an alleged love of a “god” who in the scheme of things is incidental, merely a byproduct and tool of achieving their real goal of afterlife.

Quite naturally, unless one is belief-dependent there is no reason to assume any sentient, knowable, recognizable life exists or is there waiting for humans or any other living things beyond their point of expiration.


The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I'm for people making room or allowances for one anothers' beliefs, but not in favor of people putting one anothers' beliefs down. 'Copping an Einstein' for example - making out like just because Einstein said it, therefore it is 'Dictum'. Same with the 'Word of God'. Opening a window and letting light in is much different than pretending to be the Light, or aligned with the Light, yourself.


Antagonistic to the notion of belief-dependencies

Unlike you John, I make no allowances for people who are belief dependent, and therefore no allowances for other people’s beliefs.

Moreover, I have been and will always be antagonistic to the notion and actuality of belief-dependencies. Belief-dependency is the central core of all that is wrong and harmful to healthy humanoid existence.

When I quote Einstein it is because it simply makes sense, as when Einstein himself reveals his “unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” He didn't claim to be the world or as in your analogy "the Light" with an amusing capital "L."

It’s silly to think that assimilating and understanding concepts and information as best we can would be seen by rational thinkers as a dictum equal to the word of someone’s imaginary god.

One of the most exciting moments in science is when a concept or established precept is wrong and needs to be rethought and taken back to the drawing board. This is something doctrinal belief-dependent people could never understand.



I think with regard to spirituality, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs even if those beliefs are part of a mainstream religion. It's when people try to impose their beliefs on others or do bad things in the name of their god or beliefs that I think a line has been crossed. But I have lots of wacky beliefs myself and I'd like to keep them. I'm not convinced that scientistic skeptics have made us a better world, and I worry about the decisions they make with regard to people with their charts, graphs, numbers, and computer models. That, however, is probably fodder for different discussion.

As for not making allowances for other people's beliefs, you can certainly do that but you may find yourself in a lot of arguments... ;)


Believers lack respect for free exercise of thoughts/behavior

A lot of arguments? lol !
At fourteen, I had my first argument with my old man when John Lennon said that The Beatles were more popular than Christ. In the total population of the time, Lennon was right.

My point of belief-dependency does not breakdown believers into groups. They all fall into the same category for me (as I think other nonbelievers feel the same).

It is an interesting thing when nonbelievers are accused of imposing their beliefs on others. The irony is lost by many who say that. Nonbelievers do not express themselves in belief patterns anymore than scientist do. Like scientists, nonbelievers most often discuss the things of life “as best as they can.”

I don’t know of any nonbelievers who claim to have all the answers or that their analyses are chiseled into stone tablets. Neither do nonbelievers wish to deny the right for believers to express themselves, anymore than we want to stifle conversations about any mythologies. But a world dominated and ruled by belief-dependent people who make life and death decisions for “all” of us? Absolutely not!

It’s okay to believe in anything. Entitled to one's beliefs is one thing.

It is not okay to turn those beliefs into law or vital decision-making that has a bearing on a pluralistic population. And, that’s what we have had for far too long and it needs to be changed. Indeed, stopped.

Believers are the ones who most lack respect in a heavyhanded manner for the free exercise of other people’s thoughts and behaviors. That's not something nonbelievers would support or employ in a free, pluralistic society.


BTW Lise...on wacky beliefs

I should add that wacky beliefs are my favorite kind. I've had some of my most interesting conversations with people who believe in things well outside of the "dictum" mainstream. Wacky beliefs suggest that they are fun and tailored to the thoughts and feelings of an individual. If more people had wacky beliefs we wouldn't have such a tight-assed world of dogmatic demands, control and condemnations.

Now wacky beliefs that people want to keep to themselves are fair game to be published here anonymously (not to you and Chris, of course)

However, wacky beliefs sound like it would make for a fun article by itself. Maybe sometime you'll indulge yourself?



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