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Post Science without Religion, Religion without Science, and Einstein
Created by John Eipper on 12/28/17 3:14 PM

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Science without Religion, Religion without Science, and Einstein (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 12/28/17 3:14 pm)

I have carefully read the interesting postings by A.J. Cave, Nigel Jones, and John E's comments on my last post (December 27th).

Nigel attributed the statement "Science without religion is blind" to Albert Einstein. I totally disagree with it face value and have no idea whatsoever he is talking about. I agree with Nigel's main points which combined brought us back to the original question: Why do humans prefer myth and superstition over a more realistic God which requires science for us to understand and benefit from?

I assume that the posting by A.J. Cave is saying that humans are wired to be story-tellers and listeners, thus religion and science are and will be compatible alternatives for human existence. I think the evidence is clear that they are not compatible, that religion retards scientific development and education at the national level, and that science is mankind's only hope for survival and prosperity. Think about what Newton could have accomplished if he had not wasted so much time with religious nonsense.

John Eipper believes my statement "If you change the definition of God to be the Universe, then Atheists must logically accept Its existence" is a tautology, because the same truth would apply to God the King/Chief/Emperor, God the Tree in my Yard, God my Microwave Oven, etc.

The term tautology has several meanings.  At its worst a tautology, logically speaking, is a statement framed in a way that it cannot be denied without inconsistency. Call it what you want, but the only way I can truly believe that there is a real God is by defining It as the Universe. Further, defining God that way makes it logically impossible for anyone to deny Gods existence.

John also asked, "have there been instances of a technologically less developed society destroying a more-advanced competitor? Christianity's triumph over Islam in Spain is one example. Or the Barbarians overrunning Rome."

Apparently Moorish technology was not that significantly more powerful than Spain/Portugal's. While the Christians pushed the Moors out they did not conquer Islam. Also, the Crusades did not end well for the West. In the case of Rome, after centuries of total dominance, it first destroyed itself from within while the competitors learned to fight them more effectively, before they invaded and conquered. Also there are other cases such as Nazi technological supremacy in some areas but not enough to affect the outcome of WWII.

Nevertheless, the evidence is overwhelming for the national importance of science and technology in the long term.

JE comments:  Tor and I are in agreement about tautologies:  If you define God as X, and X plainly exists, then you cannot deny that God exists.

The precise Einstein quote is "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."  This suggests he put religion on an equal footing with science, but consider also this quote from a 1954 letter:

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this."



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  • Remember You Are Only a Man, from Classical Times to the White House (John Heelan, UK 12/29/17 4:48 AM)
    Tor Guimaraes's well-argued post (29 December) risks leading us into the quicksands of semantics and sophism--e.g. JE rightly summarised Tor's arguments as "Tor and I are in agreement about tautologies: If you define God as X, and X plainly exists, then you cannot deny that God exists."

    The quicksand beckons! Given the US predilection for deifying the President of the day (as well as past Presidents), the White House might argue that Trump exists for better or worse, as the next few years will demonstrate. Perhaps the Secret Service should copy the Roman tradition of seating a slave behind the victorious general being feted who whispers in his ear, "Memento homo" (remember you are only a man), to avoid that the excess of celebration could lead the celebrated commander to lose his sense of proportions.

    Might this be appropriate in today's America?

    JE comments:  "Respice post te, hominem te memento."  I agree that Trump needs a full-time humility team, but is the legend about the humbling Roman slave really true?  Some sources claim it was a morality lesson made up by later Christians.

    Classicists of WAISworld, we lend you our ears.

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  • An Awesome Offer from Tor Guimaraes (Tor Guimaraes, USA 12/31/17 3:10 PM)

    Regarding our recent conversation on Religion and Science, I wish WAISers would read my book before asking me to explain things which are in the book. Thus, if you wish, when someone makes a donation to WAIS, upon request I am willing to send them a copy of the book free of charge.

    JE comments:  Muito obrigado, Tor!  This is a splendid offer for the New Year.  WAISers on the 2017 Honor Roll:  If you'd like a copy of Tor Guimaraes's God for Atheists and Scientists, drop me a line and we'll make it happen.

    By the way, we're still looking for two new donors before the clock strikes midnight:  PayPal at donate@waisworld.org.  The champagne and twelve grapes can wait!

    Tor, a joyous New Year and a big thanks.

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