T Nation

Open-Mindedness: Do You Understand It?


#1

There have been too many logical fallacies on this site concerning religion and science to count, made by individuals allegedly on both sides of the argument. Hopefully, this helps everyone out.


#2

Was Einstein open minded when he spoke this?

"A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty - 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."


#3

Yes. Do we all agree with his definition of religious? Who knows. He's simply stating that he doesn't know and that feeling of not knowing is what he associates with religion.


#4

For someone to become openminded s/he must be able to admit to being wrong.

If one believes to be right [even in light of evidence to the contrary] s/he can't be swayed.

The abortion threads are a wonderful example of how a certain mindset becomes entrenched and solidified upto the point where actual [partial] solutions, that work towards the goal they [the closes minded] long for, are ignored.

Another important factor is the ability to listen/to take in information. No matter how obvious it seems to most, many people are unable to listen and take in information. What generally happens is that, in a conversation or discussion, they hear the first sentence and start to think abou their answer.

By doing this, whatever is said following that first sentence is not absorbed. Besides, people love to be right. Or like to hear themselves talk.

[ahem]


#5

That is a different explanation than I came away with, though it might be what he was getting at. I agree he meant that knowledge that there is something out there undiscovered is something that gives him religious feelings (and I don't mean theistic feelings).

I took it to mean that knowledge of the existence of the impenetrable (untestable, unproveable) is the drive, that at the end of science we will be left with the proveably unknowable. This may have gone against his realism, but maybe not, maybe he believed that in the end we would arrive at first principles which we could only observe, but not analyze.

What is the "knowledge of the existence of something we CANNOT penetrate?"


#6

I believe I do :slight_smile:


#7

Who knows? :slight_smile:

That could refer to a million and one things and also it's not clear whether he means "Can't ever penetrate" or "can't penetrate at this time due to lack of equipment or knowledge". Einstein was always trying to find a way of penetrating everything at once through a unifying principle, so I can also see how this might mean that the fear that he would fail or the conviction, which didn't believe fully, but scared or wowed him at certain moments that there was truly no way to know, lends to a religious feeling.

While we're on the topic, I always wonder what his exact thought process behind working on the atomic bomb was. I mean, I highly suspect he knew the implications of what he was working with and thought it would end the ever-escalating wars using more and more dangerous little weapons. Who knows if it turned out the way he thought it would in the course of history.


#8

Well made video; of course the people who need to hear what he is saying never will and will continue to think of others as close minded while they do so lol


#9

I am not open minded and have never pretended to be. It is the most horrific of all vices while masquerading as the chief of virtues. The perfect deception.


#10

Einstein himself did not actively work on the bomb. The atom bomb was only conceived of after his work was done, but his theories showed others that it was possible. He wrote a letter to FDR urging him to build it, and this is despite having been a pacifist.

Actually the fission bomb really did not need any of his theories to be "discovered". People discovered fissionable material and new it to release energy, and later found the mass defect and that it was consistent with E=MC^2, but E=MC^2 actually works in chemical explosions, its just that the energy released, and mass destroyed is thousands of times less so what I'm saying is that people didn't need to know that E-MC^2 to figure out that a fission chain reaction would release enormous energy, any more than they would need it to know that dynamite would do so.

As for Dynamite, you may know that Alfred Nobel invented it and described it as a potential weapon of such power that it would surely end war forever, and he made his fortune from it which he later left to promote peace.

And the real whopper of E=MC^2 is not fusion or fission, which like chemicals only transform a fraction of matter into energy, but rather matter-antimatter annihilation in which ALL of the matter is turned into energy.


#11

Oleena. If there is a God do you feel that by definition he could NOT in any case or manner be credibly disputed with? Could he ever be wrong? Could anything contradictory to him ever be true? I will be a good guy and tell you up front that you will look foolish if you assume you know where I'm going with this.


#12

You are a very good guy and I feel really bad for you.


#13

Olee, did you have a mirror in front of you as you were watching your own video?

edit BTW I be joking, kinda ; ) lol


#14

I did not watch the video. I am working. I am responding to the still picture dialogue presented in this thread.

Your argument, if it is essentially what is represented by that opening dialogue of text, is fallacious. Basically what you are implying is that anyone who disagrees with your position--or the figure on the left of the video--is wrong by default. What you are discounting is the fact that YOU might be the one rehearsing your own prejudices when you respond, or argue.

Do you really believe that scientists and/or atheists are immune to that flaw? I am a scientist, and I have worked with them and drink with them, and relax with them. They are JUST AS GUILTY of that as "normal" people are. Sometimes they couch things in better, more erudite or obscure terms. Sometimes they are phrased just as poorly as everybody that video seems to be making fun of. And sometimes, believe it or not, these "experts" are even more retarded or prejudiced than relgious people.

Just because you don't like the sound of something doesn't mean theu might be right and you wrong. And just because someone is religious does not make them incapable or rational argument. And just because someone is a scientist does not make them immune to rehearsing their prejudices.


#15

...really? No seriously dude.


#16

ON another note, it amuses me to no end that the person "rehearsing their prejudices" is red-headed with a popped collar.


#17

Believe it or not some people work at night, dude. I am on my phone, dude. I will watch the video later, dude.


#18

Yeah, I didnt read that book you gave me, but I did glance at the title and I'm gonna make some assumptions by taking it out of context and talk about what I think it might say.

Dude, you should, like, watch the video and then, like, comment on it - not the other way around.


#19

Well, you asked what I feel, not what I think is logically possible, so I'll answer you with a more emotional answer than I normally would.

I feel that if there is a god power, the closest idea of what he might be is well described by the Taoist texts. They don't describe a thinking, feeling, decision-making entity, but rather a universal pattern/force that underlies everything. This force is universal; it excludes nothing, chooses nothing, drives everything, and cannot be avoided. For this reason, nothing contrary to it could ever exist.


#20

LMAO! Watch the video.