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Do atheists ever post on religious forums?
Posted: 22 September 2013 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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I agree, and therein lies Einstein’s irony. Similar to his expressions about the naivety of belief in a personal god.

Einstein expressed his skepticism regarding an anthropomorphic deity, often describing it as “naïve” and “childlike”.

and

In his 1949 book The World as I See It, he wrote: “A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Cosmic_spirituality

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Posted: 22 September 2013 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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TimB - 22 September 2013 02:27 AM

In either reading, it did not occur to me to consider an implication that Einstein was referring to consciousness as a delusion.  I assumed in both cases that he was saying that our experience of separateness is the delusion.

Einstein obviously did not, but the changed version of what he wrote has that implication without including “our consciousness” in the 2nd sentence.

BTW, I can’t figure out why he used the term “optical” delusion, rather than just “delusion”, unless he was just trying to say it in a way that would not tend to turn people off.  (It might be difficult for people to accept that we are deluded, but less difficult to accept that we are subject to optical illusions.  Anyone who has seen optical illusions, knows from subjective evidence that we are subject to sometimes see things not as they actually are.  Delusions OTOH involve believing something rather than seeing something.)  Or perhaps he was saying, in a short hand way, that the delusion of separateness that we have is analogous to an optical illusion, but is a natural product of our consciousness, just as optical illusions are a product of our visual perceptual and visual processing abilities.

How about double vision? Is it an optical illusion or delusion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplopia

Diplopia, commonly known as double vision, is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically, or diagonally (i.e. both vertically and horizontally) in relation to each other.

Temporary double vision:

Temporary diplopia can be caused by alcohol intoxication or head injuries, such as concussion.

When I was really drunk, I definitely saw two moons even with one eye closed.  cheese

Or voluntarily:

Some people are able to consciously uncouple their eyes, either by over focusing closely (i.e. going cross eyed) or unfocusing. Also, while looking at one object behind another object, the foremost object’s image is doubled (for example, placing one’s finger in between one’s face while reading text on a computer monitor). In this sense double vision is neither dangerous nor harmful, and may even be enjoyable. It makes viewing stereograms possible.

Bold added by me.

It could be spiritual delusion which is like a kind of optical delusion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion_(spirituality)

On the most fundamental level, it is a misunderstanding of the nature of reality; more specifically–a misunderstanding or mis-perception of the nature of self and of phenomena.

Or audio delusion/illusion?

Stereophonic sound reproduction of spatiality can be considered as an audio delusion/illusion. All loudspeakers are tested in the anechoic chamber in mono. So, mono is true and stereo is false as mono is equivalent to listening through a doorway to the audio performance.

OTOH, biaural recording is the closest to what we hear in reality.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binaural_recording

Binaural recording is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, arranged with the intent to create a 3-D stereo sound sensation for the listener of actually being in the room with the performers or instruments. This effect is often created using a technique known as “Dummy head recording”, wherein a mannequin head is outfitted with a microphone in each ear. Binaural recording is intended for replay using headphones and will not translate properly over stereo speakers.

Bold added by me.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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kkwan - 22 September 2013 08:35 PM

How about double vision? Is it an optical illusion or delusion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplopia

It is illusory.  If it leads one to believe that there really are double of everything he sees, despite other evidence to the contrary, then it could be a delusion and perhaps even be called an “optical delusion”, I suppose.  But typically I would guess that most people with diplopia understand and accept that they are erroneously seeing double of everything, and are thus, not delusional.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Kkwan, when you saw two moons, you were not delusional, unless, perhaps, you were convinced that there actually were two moons.

Illusions are sensory misperceptions and/or sensory processing phenomena.

Delusions are non-reality based beliefs that tend to be immune to contradictory evidence.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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Write4U - 22 September 2013 05:41 PM

I agree, and therein lies Einstein’s irony. Similar to his expressions about the naivety of belief in a personal god.

Einstein expressed his skepticism regarding an anthropomorphic deity, often describing it as “naïve” and “childlike”.

and

In his 1949 book The World as I See It, he wrote: “A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein#Cosmic_spirituality

Einstein also said,
“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”

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Posted: 23 September 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Anyway, Einstein described himself as religious. Bend it how you want.

He despised the naive atheism you are exposing here.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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GdB - 23 September 2013 10:00 AM

Anyway, Einstein described himself as religious. Bend it how you want.

He despised the naive atheism you are exposing here.

Actually he qualified his statement with “If I am religious” and “my religion of a somewhat different kind.”

To me it sounds that he was trying hard to draw a distinction between a personal god (sentient being) and the structure of the wholeness of the universe. This is why the “if”.  And that brings the debate back to the definition of religion.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Some people see religion as Einstein saw it. Some people think the only religion is theirs. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of ways of looking at religion. It’s not up for debate. The very fact of casting it as though it is, is a main reason why these discussions never make any progress.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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TimB - 23 September 2013 04:17 AM

Kkwan, when you saw two moons, you were not delusional, unless, perhaps, you were convinced that there actually were two moons.

Being really drunk, seeing two moons (notwithstanding knowing there is only one moon and I was drunk) is surrealistic.  smile

Illusions are sensory misperceptions and/or sensory processing phenomena.

Delusions are non-reality based beliefs that tend to be immune to contradictory evidence.

What is an illusion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusion

An illusion is a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation. Though illusions distort reality, they are generally shared by most people.

What is a delusion?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delusion

A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary.

And:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/delusion

: a belief that is not true : a false idea

: a false idea or belief that is caused by mental illness

So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.

cheese

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Posted: 23 September 2013 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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kkwan - 23 September 2013 02:18 PM

So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.

No, that is mental illness. It may not meet the criteria for a DSM classification but by definition it is a malfunction, or unhealthy functioning, of the mind.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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kkwan - 23 September 2013 02:18 PM

...So, a false belief or idea held with strong conviction despite contrary evidence can be described as delusional for people with no mental illness.

cheese

Indeed.  In fact, I consider most religious people to be delusional but not mentally ill.  And as Einstein suggested our consciousness pre-disposes all of us to experience the delusion of ourselves as separate from the Universe.  But that doesn’t mean we are mentally ill.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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Posted: 23 September 2013 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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Write4U - 23 September 2013 01:01 PM

Actually he qualified his statement with “If I am religious” and “my religion of a somewhat different kind.”

Yes, but Einstein wrote more about this topic than these few lines. He considered himself religious, more or less in a ‘Spinozian way’.

Write4U - 23 September 2013 01:01 PM

To me it sounds that he was trying hard to draw a distinction between a personal god (sentient being) and the structure of the wholeness of the universe.

Do not try put your world view in Einstein’s mouth. You are right concerning the personal God: Einstein did not believe in such a God. But specially that ‘wholeness of the universe’ is a bit too Bohmian to my taste. That time is a kind of illusion that physically must be resolved into space-time is as close to wholeness you can get with Einstein.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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GdB - 23 September 2013 11:49 PM
Write4U - 23 September 2013 01:01 PM

Actually he qualified his statement with “If I am religious” and “my religion of a somewhat different kind.”

Yes, but Einstein wrote more about this topic than these few lines. He considered himself religious, more or less in a ‘Spinozian way’.

Yes, he said that himself. But it is my opinion that Einstein used the word god only for convenience and usually to deny the existence of a personal god. I believe he spoke of religion in context of an abstraction in philosophical rather than in a spiritual sense as expressed by his declaration of humility and awe while describing the limitations of the human mind to understand but a very small part of it.

Practicing the “scientific method” is Physics is not very much different than practicing a “ritual method” in Theism. IMO, this was Einstein’s “different kind of religion”.

Write4U - 23 September 2013 01:01 PM

To me it sounds that he was trying hard to draw a distinction between a personal god (sentient being) and the structure of the wholeness of the universe.

Do not try put your world view in Einstein’s mouth. You are right concerning the personal God: Einstein did not believe in such a God. But specially that ‘wholeness of the universe’ is a bit too Bohmian to my taste. That time is a kind of illusion that physically must be resolved into space-time is as close to wholeness you can get with Einstein.

I stated it was my opinion.
You are right, I am not sure if Einstein ever used that term. Many times he did use the terms “our world” and the “natural world” in his philosophical writings.
I personally used Wholeness as a neutral interpretation of his use of those words. I am confident that he was not specifically speaking of the Earth, but more in context of the universe and ultimately a natural singularity (of any size or scope) of which we are all part in every respect.


p.s. I don’t agree with (or understand) all of Bohm’s propositions, but Bohm and Einstein had many discussions on his concept of a dynamic zero state condition and wavelike functions, from which everything springs that is ultimately only partly expressed in our reality. It did not even rule out the existence of separate universes. This was advanced theoretical thinking.
From all the letters Bohm send to the many great minds of that day, only Einstein (and one other scientist) responded and they spend considerable time together discussing Bohm’s work.
IMO, Einstein used “natural world” in the same context as Bohm’s “wholeness” (not separateness”).

[ Edited: 24 September 2013 02:50 AM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 24 September 2013 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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(I misread GdB’s post so I’ve redacted mine.)

[ Edited: 25 September 2013 03:10 AM by PLaClair ]
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Posted: 24 September 2013 05:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Clearly Einstein had some strong feelings about the nature of the Universe as he conceived and experienced it.  He also lived in a world in which it was less socially acceptable than now, to be non-religious.  I imagine his statements concerning religion were strongly influenced by these two factors.

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As a fabrication of our own consciousness, our assignations of meaning are no less “real”, but since humans and the fabrications of our consciousness are routinely fraught with error, it makes sense, to me, to, sometimes, question such fabrications.

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