Friday, February 29, 2008

When Einstein was Wrong


[Albert Einstein]

Occasionally, people wonder what exactly God is, why would He do this or that, why would He create earlier worlds, why would He create anything actually? And what exactly is God? What does He look like? How can any thing exist outside of time and space, matter and energy?

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying "The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible."

That is amazing isn’t it? That the few pounds of protein stuffed in our skulls are capable of understanding everything that exists in creation is unbelievable.

In fact, it is so unbelievable because it’s wrong.

If we choose to believe that nature is all that there is and in other words focus on the little area we do comprehend, then we indeed comprehend everything. However, we actually know very, very little about all existence. We are limited by the small capacity of our senses and by the limits of our tiny minds. We are like insects scanning the horizon a few feet away and imagining that nothing else exists.

In fact there exists the human soul, angels, other spiritual entities and finally the Creator Himself.

What is most relevant to us is that we have a Lord and Master, He has commanded to live in a certain way and He will reward and punish us accordingly. In regards to many other questions, the answer is that we don’t know and for obvious reasons we cannot know. To imagine that we can attain omniscience is the height of absurdity.

19 comments:

RaspK said...

So you agree with Socratic Ignorance?

jewish philosopher said...

Yes, I think so.

Unmolested Altar Boy said...

Now Jacob, if only science or religion, could detect angels and spiritual entities, like your imaginary friend we could ask him if the teachings of the Lithuanian rabbinical seminaries of the 1920s and 1930s were correct and you could have an objective morality.

Also, this post seems quiet. Have you been deleting posts again?

jewish philosopher said...

I have heaps of objective morality. How about the Talmud - there's about 6,000 pages. And apparently my readers are at the moment speechless, or are still commenting on "What Would Darwin Do".

DrJ said...

"I have heaps of objective morality. How about the Talmud - there's about 6,000 pages."

Any child knows that there is no such thing as objective morality. It changes with time, place, and culture. The Talmud's morality is different than that of the bible, and then it continued to change throughout the ages. Its history.

Consider the following thought experiment. Let's say during the US Civil War a northerner spied for the south. He would be considered an immoral scoundrel and traitor by the north, and a brave hero by the south. When the north kills him, to them they are delivering justice. To the south, he was murdered. The same action, the same person, viewed from 2 different viewpoints.

Another example. By modern rules of warfare, to kill a man in uniform is morally OK. But if he takes off that uniform, he is a civilian, then, killing him is murder (or terrorism). Thousands of years ago this distinction was not made. You wiped out your enemies cities, period. For better or for worse, morality changed and is relative, even if it makes us uncomfortable and we don't like to admit it.

JP, it seems to me that you want to consider YOUR morality as objective in order to place it above others, but it is in fact relative morality. The talmudic rabbis' morality reflected a combination of their traditions, surrounding cultures, current scientific knowledge and common sense. To claim it is "objective" is nonsense.

jewish philosopher said...

DrJ, to some extent, I can't win. If Judaism never changes, then we are fossilized, archaic, medieval, etc. If Judaism follows all the latest fads, so we are inconsistent, betraying tradition, desperate for popularity, etc.

The bottom line is that morality and values in the Orthodox Jewish community have changed very little from 2,000 years ago until today. In European society, they change in major ways from one decade to the next. Not too long ago, Communism was fashionable and homosexuality was a mental illness, even in Western Europe. Today, not so much. And in 50 years from now, it will probably all have changed again. So what is it all based on? Whatever sounds good at the moment?

DrJ said...

JP, I think that you got my point. Judaism changes, but slower than society. Perhaps this "lag" or inertia is good, I don't know. We have our "core" values and hold on to them the best we can in the face of an onslaught of changes in the world. Within Judaism, different movements also change at different rates, some embracing outside values more rapidly than others.

jewish philosopher said...

The difference between the secular person and the Orthodox Jew is that the secular person says “I want to be comfortable” and formulates his morality accordingly. An Orthodox Jew says “I want to observe the Torah” and formulates his morality accordingly. For example, the prohibition to write the Oral Law was lifted for the sake of the greater benefit which would result. Small changes are permitted not for the sake of greater comfort but for the sake of greater overall observance.

FACTSANDFACTS said...

God exists alright. Unfortunately much proof of this is being buried by Satan. For instance, there are valid Bible Codes, and so Satan's job was to convince the majority that bible Codes in general are nothing but a farce. A new and unique Bible code format says otherwise, and it also verifies the validity of the Shroud of Turin.

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode_shroud_turin.htm

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

Rebeljew said...

I had high hopes for this post "When Einstein was wrong". I thought you were going to call up the famous "greatest blunder", where Einstein would introduce a fudge factor rather than admit that the new evidence might imply a universe with a finite beginning (though philosophers have found escapes between the horns, none can deny that the facts are the facts). You might actually have then hit on the one true apologetic, that once all of normative science held that the universe was eternal, that Jews stuck by the Torah, and that science, overcoming its own closemindedness, was forced to sustain the Torah's version that there was indeed a "beginning".

Alas, you withered away into your usual nonsense, instead. To paraphrase Abba Eban, you never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. :(

(This is not to quibble with your point, it just has nothing to do with science, apologetics or Einstein. Angels and the like are only sustained by tradition, without any method of perception, nor even a clear definition.)

jewish philosopher said...

The foundation of atheism seems to be that the existence of a transcendent, non-physical being is incredible, therefore everything must have a natural, material, explanation, etc. etc. I reject that premise as baseless.

Rebeljew said...

Atheists tend to understand things as not including G-d, just as Jews understand the world as not including the salvation of Jesus. Any Christian ideologue will tell you that that tenet is central to a person's entire being, but Jews reject it wholly. Atheists feel the same about G-d, as I estimate it. No one argues this tautology.

You are trying to say that there is some proof of G-d, angels, the supernatural etc., that you can explain in terms of real scientific observation. To this end, you reject basic obvious science and insist on chanting mantra, rather than actual debate. There is a very obvious danger in floating around in a bubble.

jewish philosopher said...

Atheists tend to understand things as not having any consequences beyond the obvious physical ones. There is a very obvious danger in floating around in that bubble.

FACTSANDFACTS said...

By the way, the identity of G-d and the identity of HaShem, were both found via this new Bible Code format. Both pointed to the same name, as expected.

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode_shroud_turin.htm

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

On top of that, Einstein forgot to included the second plane of reality, the Holistic plane, in his understandings, and thus he did not reveal the location of G-d, nor did he explain particle/wave behaviour since this is due to there being two unique kinds of events due to there being two unique planes of reality that determine the cause of an event.

DrJ said...

With all of the fancy philosophical antics of you believers, you cannot skirt that you are believing in something that is innately, apriori ,and by your definition, untestible, unverifiable, unobservable and unprovable, that somebody else told you (you didn't discover/make it up yourself). Its a funny thing because according to the Bible itself God IS testable and verifiable, based on the biblical stories themselves. God makes a promise and its fulfilled. He answers prayers with miracles. Punishment and reward. Etc. How convenient that we no longer can test the truth or falsehood of its claims and we no longer have access to be able to verify...now you are reduced to resorting to the "afterlife" claim (itself unverifiable)to resolve the inconsistencies.

So just admit that it is emotionally satisfying to you and that's that, like somebody who believes in crystal therapy or colonic cleansing or anything else out there that that people made up to satisfy their needs.

jewish philosopher said...

There is no plausible atheistic explanation for:

the origin of the universe
the origin of the laws of nature
the origin of life
the origin of species
the origin of Judaism

Is the fact that we each have parents a testable, provable fact or did someone just tell you?

FACTSANDFACTS said...

http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode_shroud_turin.htm
http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2.htm

Believers drive me up the wall. A belief does not directly connect you to a truth, thus it is incomplete, thus it is limited to being simply a belief. A truth, on the other hand, is complete.

Therefore, if you present a truth to a believer, then it is immediately rejected, trashed, ignored, etc, since a truth does not agree with the incompleteness of a belief. Sitting beyond the limits of a mere belief, is truth. Thus truth is beyond belief. And so if there is anyone who has perfected the rejection of truths, it is none other than the believers.

A fellow who went by the name of Jesus Christ was all too familiar with this problem, and was spat at, flogged, and crucified for speaking truths. Truth is everywhere. It is a huge singularity. However, if one drifts away from truths, such as via the practice of beliefs, then the singularity becomes lost in a darkness, and division occurs instead. This division then leads to things such as wars, marriages falling apart, rich getting richer and poor getting poorer etc. Because of this ongoing drifting, the people of today are even further from truths than people were back in the days of Jesus Christ.

Thus if someone of his stature appeared today, his reception would be far worse than that received by Jesus Christ, and he would receive the most disrespectful reception of all from the religious believers, due to their intense focus upon, and bonding with, beliefs. This is quite shocking to say the least.

Friar Yid (not Shlita) said...

That is amazing isn’t it? That the few pounds of protein stuffed in our skulls are capable of understanding everything that exists in creation is unbelievable.

In fact, it is so unbelievable because it’s wrong.


This is actually exactly why I am an agnostic. Creation and existence, etc., are such large and vast processes, and we humans are so tiny and fallible. It does not seem like the twain can ever meet, and therefore makes it impossible for us to ever truly KNOW whether there is a God and if so, what his/her/its attributes are (assuming that such a thing ever could be definitively known or proven in the first place, which I don't believe it can.)

All we are left with is speculation.

jewish philosopher said...

If there would not have been the Mt. Sinai revelation, you might be right.