Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Einstein on God


An abridgment of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh

... I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common.

... The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the priviliege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual 'props' and 'rationalisation' in Freud's language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things. With friendly thanks and best wishes

Yours, A. Einstein



Friday, November 16, 2018

Beware




 click on images to enlarge

1953 comic book

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Big Picture

“You start to think, when you’re younger, how important everything is and how things have to go right—your job, your career, your life, your choices, and all of that. Then, after a while, you start to realize that – I’m talking the big picture here – eventually you die, and eventually the sun burns out and the earth is gone, and eventually all the stars and all the planets in the entire universe go, disappear, and nothing is left at all. Nothing – Shakespeare and Beethoven and Michelangelo gone. And you think to yourself that there’s a lot of noise and sound and fury – and where’s it going? It’s not going any place… Now, you can’t actually live your life like that, because if you do you just sit there and – why do anything? Why get up in the morning and do anything? So I think it’s the job of the artist to try and figure out why, given this terrible fact, you want to go on living.” ~  Woody Allen

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hole vs Soul


"Hole vs Soul"

I swallowed a camera to take a photo of the Hole.

At a conference across the street, celebrated speakers postulated theories
on this Vacuum whose hunger attracts, like gravity.
Passed the hat, pulled out a name: Soul.
And in the naming: infused it with a see-through substance,
a transparent soil where gods & demons could grow and crow,
A geography of imaginary lands providing jobs for amateur map makers,
and a history proposing additional lives, past and future,
Populated with super-hero spirits, with powers and abilities
claiming to match the odds of Lady Luck.
(forgetting their own hypothesis: the Sin of Pride),
And mathematics that propose answers to the cause of tears.
It was all there -
along with human sacrifice and sunday school lessons,
indigo conspiracies and pushpin chart connections,
magic walls and pillars, whispering invisible friends,
the face of the north wind, unidentified objects in the night sky,
and so much more.

But me,
I am looking forward to developing, and further examining,
the photos of the Hole.




Monday, April 21, 2014

Faith In Foxholes

In response to the infamous "There are no atheists in foxholes" aphorism . . .

"You'll never find a dead Christian in a foxhole who didn't pray."

" 'There are no atheists in foxholes'  isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes." - James Morrow

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jesus Behind Bars

It is Sunday, the Lord's Day, so you will just have to defer your longing for this very realistic likeness of Him until the boutique opens on Monday.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Conflict"


"Choosing to live with questions that may never be answered, rather than with answers that can never be questioned."

Without determined principals we are destined to stagnate as a civilization. This piece soberly presents the two sides to many issues facing modern society for what they are in their simplest terms.

 
"Conflict" Click on image 
to watch the video
"Conflict"



 

Winner of the 2012  Project Reason video contest.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Friday, October 25, 2013

Regarding the Idiot Box.


Photograph taken at art installation @ Burning Man 2005.

Monday, October 14, 2013

"If you can't determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Determine Something






















What is the frame of mind of a human - New York City, 2013 - that they would be drawn to this "Walk-In Special", put down an Alexander Hamilton or more, and have someone determine something from looking at patterns in wet tea leaves.