Einsteins Letter to Gutkind

Mottsapplejuice
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Einsteins Letter to Gutkind

Does anyone know where to find the full letter Einstein wrote to Gutkind in 1954? I have have parts of it but not the whole thing. Hopefully free and printable! 


cj
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Googled on "Einstein" +

Googled on "Einstein" + "Gutkind" and came up with zillions of links.  There are some that have most of the letter though even the most complete still has ellipses.

 

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Mottsapplejuice
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Thanks i didn't type it in

Thanks i didn't type it in that way but when i did on images i got some better results yea still nothing complete but Thank anyways! Smiling 


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The images were not clear

The images were not clear enough for me to read.  And it's been a long time since I took German 101.

I guess if you could find an image clear enough, you could figure out what was in the ellipses.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


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more information since 2008 sale

It has been known since 2009 that Einstein didn't write "childish." There is also a word he did use which was omitted from older, widely circulated translations which limits the scope of his "primitive superstition" remark. The original German of the letter is fairly consistent with views expressed throughout Einstein's adult life. He was an irreligious, Spinoza-influenced deist.

An unabridged 2012 transcription of the German text and English translation, along with other news about the letter can be found here:

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


Brian37
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uncertaintist wrote:It has

uncertaintist wrote:

It has been known since 2009 that Einstein didn't write "childish." There is also a word he did use which was omitted from older, widely circulated translations which limits the scope of his "primitive superstition" remark. The original German of the letter is fairly consistent with views expressed throughout Einstein's adult life. He was an irreligious, Spinoza-influenced deist.

An unabridged 2012 transcription of the German text and English translation, along with other news about the letter can be found here:

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

That is arguing semantics when the over all sentiment is the same. Dont feed the fundies. He still thought that the tribal book of antiquity was myth "primitive" and "childish" either way denotes the scientific ignorance of the writers of the time.

From everything I read about him, I think when he talked about a "god" it was lip service and to him was just a metaphor for the natural world. But either way he most certainly rejected the superstitious magic of holy books.

Alot like Jefferson liked some of the motifs and stories in the bible but rejected the bullshit like talking donkeys or talking snakes.

Religion in general tries over time to remain relivant by modern knowledge forcing it to become more earthy and natural in order to avoid the magic superstitions once widely believed. The problem with religion long term is that it becomes less needed as technology and science solves the problems gaps in knowledge.

I think if Eintstien were alive today, and Jefferson for that matter, would be fans of modern science and tottally bitch slap the sillyness of ID and Creationism.

I really hate it when theists take some famous person's quotes out of context and say "SEE SEE THEY BELIEVE IN MY GOD".

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Brian

It isn't a question of "feeding fundies," but getting facts straight. Nothing weakens an argument as reliably as asserting a demonstrable falsehood.

Authentic Einstein provides no comfort to an advocate of revealed religion, especially not the Abrahamic ones. However, he criticized those religions intelligently, not by calling their beliefs names like "chiildish."


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considering spinoza was much

considering spinoza was much more a pantheist than a deist, i definitely see no evidence for einstein being a deist.  for pantheists, the universe is god more or less.  "god" is sort of a semantic construct for the universe, and it's up to whatever stripe of pantheism you're dealing with whether or not that construct has any kind of consciousness or sentience that we can comprehend.  the classic expression of pantheism on the sentient end of the spectrum is the formulation of the vedanta of what the ultimate reality, brahman, is: sat-cit-ananda, or being-consciousness-bliss. 

a deist, otoh, tends to believe there was some intelligence or "architect" behind the natural order, which of course necessitates a creator/creation dichotomy.  pantheism does not necessitate intelligent design nor such a dichotomy, because in pantheism nothing was designed or created.  everything just is.  one cannot properly call it either order or chaos.

i've never seen any evidence that einstein believed in any kind of intelligent design or theistic creation, so i don't think it appropriate to call him a deist.  if one wishes to call him a pantheist, i've never seen any evidence that he believed the universe is sentient in any comprehendible way.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
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with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
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Hi, iwbleck

You might want to get the "Einstein (ir)religion sources" pdf from the Uncertaintist's Unlink page

http://uncertaintist.wordpress.com/unlinks/

Quote:
What was Einstein’s (Ir)religion?
A: He considered using the word pantheist, and thought highly of Spinoza, but spoke of God as being spirit or mind. That wouldn’t be the usual interpretation of Spinoza’s “God or Nature.” It might be fair to call Einstein’s conception deist, or something similar.


The on-point material presented in the pdf is his answer to a question about the character of scientific truth reprinted in Einstein & Seelig Ideas and Opinions, some Isaacson, and the full story of the Goldstein telegram ("I believe in Spinoza's God, ..." ), including clarifying remarks about it from the Viereck interview.

Einstein did look to Spinoza for other aspects of his worldview, as the topic letter's third paragraph alludes to. Many elements of that worldview, such as rejection of body-soul dualism, embrace of determinism in preference to free will, etc., are "religious" subjects for many people.

There is nothing in the topic letter that contradicts Einstein's deism. Adult Einstein never had any use for revealed religion or anthropomorphic gods. The headline supposed innovation would have been if Einstein had stooped to name-calling instead of reasoned argument in explaining his views as he got older. In the German he wrote, he didn't, but addressed Gutkind in peer-appropriate terms.
 


iwbiek
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uncertaintist wrote:He

uncertaintist wrote:

He considered using the word pantheist, and thought highly of Spinoza, but spoke of God as being spirit or mind. That wouldn’t be the usual interpretation of Spinoza’s “God or Nature.”

that might not jive with spinoza's pantheism (a label spinoza himself did not wholeheartedly embrace), but it certainly jives with other pantheisms, especially the vedantic one i referenced above.  "spirit" and "mind" basically give us "sat" and "cit."  for deism, on the other hand, a creator/creation dichotomy is still required.  while i was clearly wrong about the theistic nature of einstein's pantheism, i still see no evidence that "deism" is appropriate here, unless we want to conflate the term to include any sort of vague, nonreligious theism, which hardly seems helpful.

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen


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Hello again

It is unrealsitic to expect that anyone's religious opinions can be fully captured in a single word. On the other hand, Einstein made the distinction between supernatural and natural that divides deism from pantheism with respect to the most basic ontological questions of God (Does God exist? How does God relate to the natural Universe?).

So, with respect to those foundational questions, I think Einstein is better classified in one word as a deist than as a pantheist. If I had two words, then I would say Spinozan deist, by which I would hope to convey more than just how he answered the most basic questions.

The key thing for a rational response to an Abrahamic opponent's claim that Einstein was a fellow believer is the thoroughness with which Einstein rejected all revelation and revealed religion. As with any rebuttal, care must be taken not to overclaim. But if debate has narrowed to whether pantheist or deist is the better term, than the rational responder has already won the point.
 


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Double post

Apologies again.


 


iwbiek
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uncertaintist wrote:But if

uncertaintist wrote:

But if debate has narrowed to whether pantheist or deist is the better term, than the rational responder has already won the point.
 

very true.  if the whole world subscribed to einstein's conception of god, i would be content. 

"I asked my father,
I said, 'Father change my name.'
The one I'm using now it's covered up
with fear and filth and cowardice and shame."
--Leonard Cohen