Einstein: The Life and Times (Bloomsbury Reader)

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Was Einstein Really Religious?

Woolf has translated an often discombobulating idea into a lovely image with the grace of balloon. The Ramsays, formerly the focus of the novel, are reduced to brief, minimalist parentheticals. In one astonishing instance, Mrs. Ramsay dies in brackets, and, in another, Andrew Ramsay is blown up during war. It literally feels as if time is moving differently for the Ramsays and for their home.

In The Waves , structural relativity is taken to an extreme. Eliot, whose conversion to Anglo-Catholicism irked the Bloomsbury skeptic.

Was Einstein Really Religious? - Not Even Past

I was shocked. A corpse would seem to me more credible than he is. As she put it in Mrs. Her views were influenced by her famously agnostic father, Leslie Stephen caricatured as Mr. Unlike his more materialistic philosophy, however, Woolf fostered a loose mysticism in which art and life were connected, in which the borders between people and experiences were permeable.

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For all her interest in science, she did not really adhere to an adamantine scientism; her mind was closed to religion, but open elsewhere. Woolf made reality itself transcendent, sacred.

A passage from her diary gorgeously demonstrates a mundane experience of secular transcendence:. It is not exactly beauty that I mean. The universe was never quite the same again after Our understanding of space, time, matter and energy was transformed by a year-old civil servant working a hour week at a Swiss patent office.

But at the Patent Office, the man who had failed to find an academic job had a secret drawer — it was, he told his friends, the department of theoretical physics. And in , after six months of intensive thought, five scientific papers emerged from this drawer that would revolutionise the laws of physics.

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My illustrated biography of Einstein was published in Over half a century after his death, his face and unruly hair are still synonymous with genius. He never courted fame and unlike many scientists he was not interested in positions of power and influence, though many — including the presidency of Israel — were offered. The film makers also arranged access to the former patent office in Bern where Einstein worked for many years.

The building is now owned by Swiss Telecom and the room is just another anonymous office. But the view from the second floor window of the Bern roof-scape is largely unchanged.


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Forgive me for making an unscientific analogy. Suppose someone tells us that he really loves pizza, but then he says that he prefers no sauce, dislikes dough, is allergic to cheese, and believes that anyone who asks for toppings does not really like pizza.

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Then we ask: but how can you say that you really love pizza? The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends aplenty.

enfantdeterresainte.com/includes/fivozaxu/waq-application-to-root.php Such refined interpretations are naturally highly varied and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the unmodified Jewish religion, like all other religions, is an incarnation of primitive superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mindset I have a deep affinity, have no different quality for me than other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better at anything than other human groups, though at least a lack of power keeps them from the worst excesses.

Overall, I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and seek to defend it with two walls of pride: an outer one as a man, and an inner one as a Jew. As a man you claim a certain exemption from otherwise valid causality; as a Jew, a privilege for monotheism.


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But a limited causality is no longer causality, as our wonderful Spinoza had first said in the strongest terms. And the animistic interpretations of natural religions are also through monopolization not invalid. With such walls we fall essentially into self-deception, but they do not help us in our search for a higher morality. On the contrary. Now, though I have in all honesty expressed our different beliefs, I still have the certainty that we largely agree on important matters, e.

Source: Albert Einstein to philosopher Eric B. Gutkind, 3 January , Einstein Archives, item

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