“We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.” -Gene Roddenberry
My reply ==> We must question the irrational logic of someone admitting to being a faulty human, who then fails to wonder why an omniscient and omnipotent God would create him, as if it made no sense to him. Of course it makes no sense to him, as he does not want to consider the answers to this question that he would know exist if he were to only have an open mind.
We must question the intellectual honesty of someone who wants to blame a Creator for his own decision to be faulty in his logic.
“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” -Edward Gibbon
My reply ==> An amazingly historically ignorant comment coming from such a historian, who must know that all of the major areas of study of modern science were men much wiser than he, and who believed in the Creator God as a fact of reality not always concomitant with what the ignorant know as “religion”. Let us see who is wiser among: Gibbons, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon, Michael Faraday, Johann Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle…
So does Gibbon determine truth by a majority vote of the smarter-than-thou elite, selected by degree of hubris? Sounds kind of “useful” for such an arrogant class.
Speaking of the wise, take it from the wisest man who ever lived, outside of Jesus Christ:
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise
Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” -Epicurus
This from one of those brilliant idol-worshipping scholars of ancient Greece? No wonder they believed in pagan gods that were no better than men, said women were lower than men but higher than slaves. They were so smart. Just like today’s version of the same intellectual smugness:
Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.
18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoics, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.
19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?
20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.
21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)
“A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties; 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
That sounds like the common protestation that “I’m not so bad”, or the very wrong commonly cited myth that “All people are basically good”. Look at toddlers in a day care. Some bigger ones walk around biting the others (I know two toddlers personally that were bitten, hard, unprovoked, while they were toddlers in day care). Some are born aggressive, others not so much. Jacob and Esau fought in the womb; Jacob emerged grabbing at Esau’s feet.
The best universal guide for ethical behavior does not need so much of any of what Einstein said. It’s a universal rule that has been expressed in many different ways everywhere even outside of Judeo-Christian philosophies, and that is expressed in the libertarian refrain, known as the non-aggression principle:
See the best definition at http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Principle_of_non-aggression:
…an ethical stance which asserts that “aggression” is inherently illegitimate. “Aggression” is defined as the “initiation” of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property. In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude violent self-defense. The principle is a deontological (or rule-based) ethical stance.
This much can be expected and indeed required of everyone. As a college student, my first disillusion with Marxism was a realization that came to me one day while musing on the issue of how to change the world for better, and wrestling with the self-contradictions of a dictatorship and the proletariat and the idea that a state would just fade away.
The idea that burst into my head was this: If you cannot trust a man, or group of men, to govern themselves, how can you trust them to govern other people? Of course some people you cannot trust with either situation, to either govern themselves or to govern others, and this is one of the biggest questions people have. Such questions have their answers, for those who seek them or accept them.
There is a much stronger ethic required of Christians, however. One of the Ten Commandments orders us to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. No, you don’t have to “love yourself first”, that is the opposite of the principle, because “no man yet ever hated his own flesh”.
Jesus made it stronger still in the Golden Rule, paraphrased as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The non-aggression principle, for example, says you have no right to steal from the poor. The Christian ethic says, take care of the poor that come across your path. That also means you don’t steal from others to do it, because the only legitimate source you have for helping others is what’s your own. In other words, Help the poor with your own money, not somebody else’s money.
Okay? If you don’t want anyone to steal from you, then don’t steal from others. Taking without the owner’s permission is stealing. To “steal”: “to take (the property of another or others) without permission or right, especially secretly or by force: A pickpocket stole his watch”. from http://dictionary.reference.com/.
Andrew Napolitano clarified that last point. If you don’t have the right to steal from your neighbor, you cannot designate any representative to steal from your neighbor either.
NOW THE SECOND ISSUE FROM THE EINSTEIN QUOTE:
THE WAY OF MAN IS ALREADY THE “POOR WAY”
“….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
The elephant in the logical room that Einstein missed is the fact that all men everywhere are already “restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death”. Is Einstein saying that he needs neither government nor self-defense to prevent attacks or theft by his neighbors? In the places where people are most conscious of posthumous rewards and punishments, of course, we already know that those selfsame places are where you have less need to lock your doors.
Did Einstein’s actions match his words? No he did not. Because he was visiting in the United States when Hitler came to power in Germany, and Hitler did not go back. Instead, he opted to live in a society where the regime did not embrace such a philosophy. For when the atheist has power, he does not believe in having to answer for his actions here or there, so self-delusion drives them to force everyone else into their box.