The area of scientific knowledge has been enormously extended, and theoretical knowledge has become vastly more profound in every department of science. But the assimilative power of the human intellect is and remains strictly limited. Hence it was inevitable that the activity of the individual investigator should be confined to a smaller and smaller section of human knowledge. Worse still, this specialization makes it increasingly difficult to keep even our general understanding of science as a whole, without which the true spirit of research is inevitably handicapped, in step with scientific progress. Every serious scientific worker is painfully conscious of this involuntary relegation to an ever-narrowing sphere of knowledge, which threatens to deprive the investigator of his broad horizon and degrades him to the level of a mechanic …
It is just as important to make knowledge live and to keep it alive as to solve specific problems. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
The individual feels the futility of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. Individual existence impresses him as a sort of prison and he wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear at an early stage of development, e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learned especially from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer, contains a much stronger element of this. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend personal God and avoid dogma and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things natural and spiritual as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description .. If there is any religion that could cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism. (Albert Einstein)
In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this religious feeling and keep it alive in those who are receptive to it. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death. (Albert Einstein, 1930)
There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. (Albert Einstein, 1934)
For the scientific method can teach us nothing else beyond how facts are related to, and conditioned by, each other. The aspiration toward such objective knowledge belongs to the highest of which man is capable, and you will certainly not suspect me of wishing to belittle the achievements and the heroic efforts of man in this sphere. Yet is equally clear that knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be. One can have the clearest and most complete knowledge of what is , and yet not be able to deduct from that what should be the goal of our human aspirations. Objective knowledge provides us with powerful instruments for the achievements of certain ends, but the ultimate goal itself and the longing to reach it must come from another source. And it is hardly necessary to argue for the view that our existence and our activity acquire meaning only by the setting up of such a goal and of corresponding values. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
To make clear these fundamental ends and valuations, and to set them fast in the emotional life of the individual, seems to me precisely the most important function which religion has to perform in the social life of man. And if one asks whence derives the authority of such fundamental ends, since they cannot be stated and justified merely by reason, one can only answer: they exist in a healthy society as powerful traditions, which act upon the conduct and aspirations and judgments of the individuals; they are there, that is, as something living, without its being necessary to find justification for their existence. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
.. free and responsible development of the individual, so that he may place his powers freely and gladly in the service of all mankind. There is no room in this for the divinization of a nation, of a class, let alone of an individual. Are we not all children of one father, as it is said in religious language? (Albert Einstein, 1939)
If one holds these high principles clearly before one’s eyes, and compares them with the life and spirit of our times, then it appears glaringly that civilized mankind finds itself at present in grave danger. In the totalitarian states it is the rulers themselves who strive actually to destroy that spirit of humanity. In less threatened parts it is nationalism and intolerance, as well as the oppression of the individuals by economic means, which threaten to choke these most precious traditions. (Einstein, 1954. p43-4)
But if the longing for the achievement of the goal is powerfully alive within us, then shall we not lack the strength to find the means for reaching the goal and for translating it into deeds. (Albert Einstein, 1939)
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. (Albert Einstein, 1954)
Progressives should know the disinformers’ most commonly used arguments — and how to answer them crisply. Those arguments have been repeated so many times by the fossil-fuel-funded disinformation campaign that almost everyone has heard them — and that means you’ll have to deal with them in almost any setting, from a public talk to a dinner party. You should also know as much of the science behind those rebuttals as possible, and a great place to start is SkepticalScience.com. BUT most of the time your best response is to give the pithiest response possible, and then refer people to a specific website that has a more detailed scientific explanation with links to the original science. That’s because usually those you are talking to are rarely in a position to adjudicate scientific arguments. Indeed, they would probably tune out. Also, unless you know the science cold, you are as likely as not to make a misstatement. Physicist John Cook has done us a great service by posting good one-line responses and then updating them as the science evolves and as people offer better ways of phrasing. Below I have reposted the top 99 with links to the science. You can find even more here. Everybody should know the first 20 or so. For instance, if somebody raises the standard talking point (#1 on the list) that the “climate’s changed before,” you can say, “Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.” That is actually quite similar to what was my standard response, “The climate changes when it is forced to change, and now humans are forcing it to change far more rapidly than it did in the past” (see “Humans boosting CO2 14,000 times faster than nature, overwhelming slow negative feedbacks” and “New Science Study Confirms ‘Hockey Stick’: The Rate Of Warming Since 1900 Is 50 Times Greater Than The Rate Of Cooling In Previous 5000 Years“). Working in the “humans are now the dominant forcing” part is a good idea. Cook explains the origin of these one-liners in a 2010 post, “Rebutting skeptic arguments in a single line.” I have included the longer ‘paragraph’ rebuttals, which any CP reader who plans to speak out on this subject — in public or just with friends and associates — should also be familiar with.
Skeptic Rebuttal One Liners
via 99 One-Liners Rebutting Denier Talking Points — With Links To The Full Climate Science | ThinkProgress. via 99 One-Liners Rebutting Denier Talking Points — With Links To The Full Climate Science | ThinkProgress.
Controversial research published in New Scientist, demonstrating that apes suffer self-doubt, has given scientists an important clue into how religion may have originated in our early hominid ancestors.
Gorillas have a fascination with ‘magic’ underwear
In the research, apes first watched a human researcher place food in one of two covered plastic pipes. After a delay, giving the apes time to forget which pipe the food was in, they were allowed to check the pipes before opening one and claiming the food reward. The longer the delay the more often the pipes were checked before a decision was made.
“This behaviour clearly shows they are expressing self-doubt, something we thought was a purely human trait.” remarked Joseph Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig where the research was carried out.
To test the hypothesis in more detail, the animals were taught a rudimentary sign language so they could communicate with researchers. The results astounded everybody by clearly showing that apes have developed a rudimentary and primitive religion.
The clearest link, not surprisingly, was found amongst bonobos, the closest evolutionary relatives of humans. After one particularly long delay a young bonobo called Baa-baa showed particularly strong signs of self-doubt by signing, “Why I here? What it all mean?”
At that point an older Bonobo known as Papa, who had until then been sitting on his own wearing a funny hat, came over. He made signs meaning, “Man feeder too clever. We not know what he want.” before mounting Baa-baa in a simulated sex act, a typical dominance display in this species.
Following this activity, baa-baa retreated into a corner where he sat playing with his favourite toy, a string of beans, whilst continuously signing “Guilt, guilt, guilt”.
Papa, unmoved by Baa-baa’s obvious distress, signed, “What man feeder want. I not responsible. You not tell.” He then set about building a large construction out of cardboard boxes before demanding that the other bonobos bring him bananas.
“Other species of ape have shown less obvious displays of ‘religious’ behaviour.” said Mr Call. “One particularly interesting example was a chimpanzee named Malik. When he opened the pipe to get hisreward he signed ‘Ugh! Bacon. Kill infidels.’ then went on a violent rampage and mercilessly attacked other chimpanzees who didn’t share his aversion to pig products.”
The much more docile Orang-utans were the most disappointing subjects according to researchers. “They simply sat cross-legged in their cages, constantly repeating, ‘Ohmmm, Ohmmmm.’ for hours on end.”
According to Mr Call, the strangest bahaviour was observed in gorillas. “They love to dress up in a type of ‘underwear’ they have fashioned from old pieces of material and which seems to have an almost ‘magical’ fascination for them. Particularly irritating is their habit of getting up early on a Sunday morning and knocking on the glass of their enclosure until they get our attention. I really hate getting dragged out of bed at the weekend.”
“We’re not quite sure where this research will end but so far the results have been unbelievable. We can’t wait to see what happens next.”
Recently, CEO of Nestle Peter Brabeck declared in an interview that he believes it is an ‘extreme view’ to regard access to water as a Human Right, and that we should instead hand our water supplies over to private companies. It’s quite hard for me, if I’m honest, to find a suitable expression for this level of sociopathic stupidity.
Only the most utterly ignorant, greedy shithusk of a being would think that something like this is a good idea. I exclude the word ‘human’ from that sentence, because presumably you aren’t one if you want to control a substance that is absolutely essential for our survival to make bigger numbers on a computer screen. Being human requires some degree of empathy, and apparently Pete has none.
However, anyone familiar with Nestles’ ‘antics’, if I can use so light a word to describe them, may not be entirely surprised. We are talking about a company who has no fear of causing death and suffering on huge scales for their sacred profit margins. You might remember the baby formula scandal from the late 1970’s for example, which still runs on to this day to some degree, and their use of palm oil contractors who destroy rainforests, drive people off their lands, and kill off endangered species as a result.
But back to the issue at hand. I’d now like to explain why water is obviously a Human Right, and why Mr Brabeck is such a prick. Actually, it’s so simple that I’m sure a 3 year old would grasp the concept without question. Here is the definition of Human Rights from the American Heritage Dictionary:
‘The basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled, often held to include the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and equality before the law.’
There are lots of definitions, some more verbose, some more specific, but they all imply the same thing. I chose this one because it highlights a key point – ‘the right to life’. Perhaps Mr Brabeck, while staring intently at his computer monitor and masturbating over this months sales figures, is not aware of the fact that all human beings (even him – if he is one) are composed of around 70% water.
If we don’t have access to food or water, it’s dehydration that will kill us first, so it’s fairly obvious to anyone with even a modicum of a brain that this must therefore qualify as part of our ‘right to life’, thus being a key component of.. wait for it.. HUMAN RIGHTS. You simply cannot argue that the right to water is not a human right.
As much fun as it is to throw insults at Mr Brabeck and call him stupid, the unsettling truth, and in a way the real issue, is that actually all he is doing is following a preset precedent. Food is already privatised, medical care is privatised (although not entirely, yet, depending where you live), elements of education are privatised.
The problem is that we have already accepted many elements of our Human Rights being controlled by single minded corporations. For these people, the next step is water, because it’s a potential market. If you accept the above argument about water though, then you have to start applying the same argument to all the basic elements of Human Rights, in my mind.
Denying people the right to eat, or the right to shelter, or medical care is really equally as idiotic as what Petey is suggesting, so while he is certainly a valid target for those of us with a brain, we shouldn’t forget the bigger picture. He is, unfortunately, not alone.
A quick look at how we humans run our planet
It would appear we as a race are clueless when it comes to population control.
In relation to the distribution of resources and wealth we appear to be equally naive.
When it comes to the subject of Ecocide this is an area where humans appear to have developed considerable skills
The virgin birth of God into the world is perhaps the most amazing event ever described in any spiritual document. The notion of a virgin birth from an “immaculate conception” is so unfathomable to the human mind that it has caused many serious thinking men and woman to mock such a thing and embrace atheism or scientific secularism. Perhaps I can help offer a way to understand the Lord’s Advent that is more acceptable to human reasoning.
I will have to approach this topic from several directions. Each direction will be extremely challenging—especially within the limitations of a blog post.
Quantum mechanics suggests that nothing exists alone. This is also referred to as quantum entanglement. All finite things rely on something greater than themselves. If you follow the logical trajectory of such thinking you will have to conclude that finite things have their origin in the infinite—since anything limited must have come from something greater or less limited, and that ultimately, from something even greater and less limited as well (ad infinitum).
If you accept the premise that God is Infinite, then God is everywhere and sustains all things (theism). So the Lord God is equally and fully present in the ovary and eggs of a human female as with a giant galaxy containing billions of stars. However, according to scientist/theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, God’s Infinite activity is manifested in finite things according to their receptivity.
What does receptivity mean?
Swedenborg claimed that God’s creative spiritual action flows into (impregnates) matter with dynamic forms of usefulness. Physical matter simply provides a matrix for utility to emerge into actual form with greater and greater complexity (evolutionary process). Since Mary’s ovum is a matrix for human life, it already possessed the complexity to be more receptive to God’s living influence than other worldly structures. But even more importantly, since God focused on a particular female gamete, it would serve as a recipient form for the greatest of all uses—the glorification of the Lord and salvation of the human race.
This focus was a Divine seed, which fused with Mary’s haploid chromosome set, to allow the Lord to be born into the physical world and grow up to live among humans. Therefore, the Lord’s soul or spirit within this seed was Jehovah Himself, but His body was formed from Mary’s hereditary input.
To grasp what generative powers constituted the Divine seed we have to first ask ourselves “What is a seed?” Answer: A seed is a concept—a complete blueprint for something to take final shape. (For instance, a tree seed contains the complete idea and patterning principles of the mature tree). God’s seed contains the complete idea of His grand cosmic plan and purpose for creation—to create a heaven from the human race! (What else would be the “twinkle” in God’s eye?)
But the human race was on a downward trajectory. Divine intervention was called for.
The Divine seed and patterning principle that impregnated Mary’s ovum was nothing less than the Holy Word Itself. It was God’s Infinite Truth and living blueprint that, through Mary’s ovum, could become infused with a flawed human corporeal ego and its false sense of self. This human hereditary baggage would now be constantly matched against the ultimate Truth as the Lord grew up in the world.
By resisting human proclivities towards evil and the vanities and allurements of the world, the Lord’s life on earth served to bring what genetically belongs to man in harmony with what belongs to God.
What most traditional theologians are unaware of is that the narratives of Scripture (God’s Word) depict this combat between God and human imperfection when the natural meanings of its literal sense are distilled to reveal higher spiritual meanings. This higher-level exposition reveals profound details of the sacred process of how the Lord made the Word flesh by combating His human compulsions (and Hell’s influences) until He successfully united His Human essence with His Divine Essence. This is how the Lord Jesus became one with the Father and Glorified Himself as the Alpha and Omega. This is also why there was an empty tomb.
We all must go through a similar process to obtain salvation and eternal happiness. Our success can only come from imploring the help of the One who succeeded in overcoming all repugnant human traits. If we do this and adopt the spiritual principle of mutual love into our hearts, minds and lives we will indeed help God create a heaven from the human race! (The God Guy)