Post by Cloud Hobbit Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you atheists gonna claim you are smarter than they were??????
It doesn't matter if they believed or didn't and some of them would
have been risking their lives if they had said they didn't believe.
It is no surprise that Gregor Mendel was a theist. It is no surprise
that any of these people were theists for most of them were not
involved in philosophy and Einstein did not have a typical religious view.
Princeton, 3. 1. 1954
Dear Mr Gutkind,
Inspired by Brouwer's repeated suggestion, I read a great deal in
your book, and thank you very much for lending it to me. What struck
me was this: with regard to the factual attitude to life and to the
human community we have a great deal in common. Your personal ideal
with its striving for freedom from ego-oriented desires, for making
life beautiful and noble, with an emphasis on the purely human
element. This unites us as having an "unAmerican attitude."
Still, without Brouwer's suggestion I would never have gotten
myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a
language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than
the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection
of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are
nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle,
can change this for me. For me the Jewish religion like all other
religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the
Jewish people to whom I gladly belong, and whose thinking I have a
deep affinity for, have no different quality for me than all other
people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than
other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers
by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything "chosen" about them.
In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position
and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man
and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a
dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege
of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at
all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably
as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions
of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such
walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral
efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.
Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual
convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each
other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior.
What separates us are only intellectual "props" and "rationalization"
in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each
other quite well if we talked about concrete things.
With friendly thanks and best wishes,
The original is also posted on that website.
The simple fact is we will never know for sure exactly how a lot of
the people on the list felt about the existence of a god. It doesn't
matter because they did not have access to the information that we now
have provided by archaeology, paleontology, and cosmology. Even then
it wouldn't matter because it is a personal choice, the argument from
popularity does not make god real. Atheists are already greatly
outnumbered in the US but are not stopping people from being atheists.
The only thing that could ever change our minds is evidence that can
not have any other explanation. For me, that requires a live
performance from the big that every person on earth could see and hear
in their own language simultaneously. The down side would either be
that he is the God of the bible and all atheists are fucked, or what
seems much more likely is that he would be pissed at how he has been
portrayed over the centuries and either kills every idiot theist on earth.