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God's Thoughts

  1. Aug 9, 2005 #1
    "God's Thoughts"

    Does the physics community agree on what A. Einstein meant by "I want to know God's Thoughts" and I'm hoping this was somehow a comment/question from Einstein concerning actual science, (physics, mathematics...)

    Thank you,
    If this has been gone over many time here on PF please may I have a link to previous comments.

    Suzanne Elizabeth Seitz
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2005 #2


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    So we are asked to explain both Einstein's and God's thoughts? Please be patient since it may be a while before an adequate response occurs. (Maybe I could speculate on Gary Trudeau's thoughts, or W's.)
  4. Aug 9, 2005 #3
    Well this is the reason I placed this post in General Physics to begin with from where it was moved to this section.

    I am NOT asking what PF people think Einstein meant and more over what God (whatever God is) thinks.

    I asked what the physics community in general agrees on what Einstein may have meant by the comment.

    It was a historical question including any changes in direction on what that thinking by professional scientists might be today.
  5. Aug 9, 2005 #4


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    well that clarifies that. let me ask what do you think it meant, since probably you have thought about it more than I have.
  6. Aug 10, 2005 #5
    I'm pretty sure that most of Einstein's comments of that nature are taken to be at least somewhat more "secular" than they might appear. "God does not play dice," etc. are statements about physics and ontology, not about the traditional notion of God. Don't get me wrong, Einstein probably wasn't quite an atheist, but his quotes about God seem more rhetorical than religious.
  7. Aug 10, 2005 #6
    Secular is pretty much all his comments could have been since no human has really understood what God is.

    I was wondering if scholars have come to any kind of an agreement on what a scientist with that kind of thinking ability was reaching for when he refered to God. And if God doesn't work for you then FROG...I want to know FROG thoughts> FROG does not play dice.....
  8. Aug 10, 2005 #7


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    Einstein believed in scientific determinism. In other words, if you had an accurate and detailed enough picture of the present, you could predict the future and determine all of past history.

    "Many scientists are like Einstein, in that they have a deep emotional attachment to determinism."

    Here's a lecture by Stephen Hawking that talks about this problem: Does God Play Dice?

    Here's the homepage of the website, in case you're interested in some of his other lectures: hawking.org
  9. Aug 10, 2005 #8

    Thank you very much BobG, Thank you.
    A good Day.
  10. Aug 10, 2005 #9


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    One thing you have to remember is that God has a really strange sense of humor!
  11. Aug 11, 2005 #10

    Strange can mean many things, that's fine.

    Sense of humor, perceived differently in cultures, IQ's, gender, agreed generally funny is funny.

    But since this is now on "Philosophy of Science and Mathematics"....

    WHAT is the God..(FROG) that now other mathematicians and scientists are referring to?


    HallofIvy are you referring to God in the deterministic way that BobG speaks of?

  12. Aug 11, 2005 #11
    yeah thats what Newtonian physics predict isn't it?

    einstein didn't agree with the probability character of the quantum physics

    if einstein really had the mind of God, them he would have been able to expail everything... and he didn't so he didn't have the mind of God.


    ps: i believe that God = Nature (like Spinoza?)
  13. Aug 11, 2005 #12
    All your thought are belong to God.
    We are God's thoughts.

    I will tell you of an experience I had this week. I came up with a functional explanation of the phenomenon, and yet I know it is a living allegory of some sort, just like when I visited the town of Paradise, Utah, I know that is not my metaphor.

    I was in a high mountain meadow, that is about 10 square miles in size. It is at the top of a pass, and I had been out of the car on this empty dirt road a few times that day, to take pictures and linger to experience the most amazing fragrance. This fragrance was a very large meadow at high altitude full of herbs, whose essential oils were oxidizing in the August sun. It was the most surprising odor. The ozone was high on that day, the herbs were burning in the fields, just not on fire.

    While out of the car I saw no one, heard no birds or bugs, nothing. On my fourth sortie out, I took pictures of the sun on the nearby hills and was so moved, I decided to do a Buddhist chant I know, and to sing it out loud, and long, to the four directions. It is the mantra of compassion.

    I don't usually do this kind of thing, because something surprising always happens, like the time that a coyote sang along with me, in broad daylight, from some bushes six feet away, and startled me into leaving the scene at high speed. I studied Kundalini yoga at one time, and so I took a deep breath and started this chant, that begins and ends with a protracted Om. Well, on the third repetition, I was suddenly surrounded by large meadow wasps. I finished the fourth repetition, and stood there, and when I listened to them, wondering what drew them to me, so suddenly; I realized that the long Om at the beginning and end of the chant was exactly on the same frequency as their buzzing. They sounded exactly like me, and I realized that I had called them. Within a minute they were gone. There was nothing about me personally they found appealing, just the soundwave that echoed their song. The best con men are the best mimics, setting people at ease by seeming to be like them. There is, however, no conning God.

    My old yoga teacher used to say, "If you call on God, God must answer." This is remarkably like for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, or like, there is no energy lost or gained in the Universe, or in the vernacular of this time, "What goes around, comes around."
  14. Aug 11, 2005 #13


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    Dearly Missed

    In addition, according to Haldane, he is very fond of beetles.
  15. Aug 12, 2005 #14


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    Einstein believed in Spinoza's God. Tough to let go for some isn't it. God I mean. Big decision right? What do they say, "what if you're wrong? Banished to hell". It's all so Midevil to me: it's just not there . . . like a flat earth.
  16. Aug 12, 2005 #15
    Einstein believed in Spinoza's G-d.
    They were both Jews.
    The foundation of Spinoza's thinking came from Torah learning. He is even thought to have learned Kabbalah.

    We all know that. It was a Jewish G-d. Torah training and free thinking that still gets learned people tossed out of the Orthodox community today....TODAY!

    A scientific paper written with all consideration to Torah in every respect on geomagnetic field reversal, quoting source material from the Journal Nature, stating the world is older than the Hebrew year will get a student excommunication from the Jewish community the very same way Spinoza was.

    So if Einstein believed in Spinoza's G-d, who was a Jewish G-d understood with extensive Torah training and maybe even Jewish Kabbalah, then WHAT are these thoughts that Einstein wanted to know?
    What time is candel lighting?
    What's a good chicken dish for the Sabbath>?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  17. Aug 12, 2005 #16


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    Shoshana, what are you sayin' up there?

    My understanding was that Spinoza believed God was Nature. This is an excerpt from the web address below:

    "Spinoza asserted that for a concept of god to make any sense at all, it must simply be nature. That is, god cannot be something outside nature that controls it, but must necessarily be part of it. According to Spinoza, God IS nature."

    Link to Spinoza's God

    Personally, I think Nature is Nature and God is an historic relic still tormenting our demon-haunted world.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  18. Aug 12, 2005 #17
    The Jewish G-d IS all inclusive. But Spinoza and Einstein were both Torah trained. Einstein a very short time.

    If I were to understanding why a person thinks the way they do I might look to the learning community they began in.

    It is very possible that Spinoza's ideas would not have been so far out in today's world when Madonna is selling holy water and the Zohar like a thief.

    No one is allowed to make money off the Kabbalah, but I think your "historic relic still tormenting our demon-haunted world" will get her "VIRGIN" act!

    I want to know this particular thing because if one follows the thinking out in the same manner Einstein and Spinoza did you might come to some interesting conclusions. At least a foundation to take the next steps.

    Einstein's G-d which was Spinoza's G-d, which was the Hebrew G-d is NOT an uncharted G-d.

    Niether one of them had ultimate questions rooted in any visible nature, but nature none the less.

    While watching the landing of the shuttle the other day, Miles O'Brien was speaking to an astronut who had been on a previous mission. She said regarding the plasma effect that she had seen it in equations for years and amazed when seeing it with her eyes for the first time.

    How much G-d do we have scribbled on the boards that we just have not seen yet?

    What was G-d thinking when we put chalk to board....The Question....
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  19. Aug 12, 2005 #18

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    Why do people write G-d instead of God? Is there a different meaning?
  20. Aug 12, 2005 #19

    Jews in the orthodox tradition do not say God they say Hashem which means The Name.
    When refering to God in the secular world where most people would not know that, they take the O out and replace it with a dash to break up the name.
    Also the O is recognized to have part of the secret of the Name that is being revealed thought the english secular spelling so it is removed.

    Everything in the life of an orthodox Jew is Kabbalistic even though they may not have a clue that it is. EVERYTHING!
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2005
  21. Aug 12, 2005 #20

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    ahhHHhh! OK, now it makes sense. Thanks. I was in an online philosophy class and a couple of the students were writing G-d, and could not figure out why they were doing this or if I was supposed to be writing it that way, too! :redface:
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