Good old Albert

Discussion in 'Faith and Religion' started by ghrit, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I haven't fact checked this, but I like to read this once or twice a year. I believe the smartest man known to mankind in the last century knew what he was talking about.
    "Let me explain the problem science has with religion."
    The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

    'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'

    'Yes sir,' the student says.

    'So you believe in God?'

    'Absolutely '

    'Is God good?'

    'Sure! God's good.'

    'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'


    'Are you good or evil?'

    'The Bible says I'm evil.'

    The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

    'Yes sir, I would.'

    'So you're good...!'

    'I wouldn't say that.'

    'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'

    The student does not answer, so the professor continues. 'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?'

    The student remains silent. 'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. 'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'

    'Er..yes,' the student says.

    'Is Satan good?'

    The student doesn't hesitate on this one.. 'No.'

    'Then where does Satan come from?'

    The student falters. 'From God'

    'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'

    'Yes, sir.'

    'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'


    'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'

    Again, the student has no answer. 'Is there sickness? Immorality?

    Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'

    The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'

    'So who created them ?'

    The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. 'Who created them?' There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. 'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'

    The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'

    The old man stops pacing. 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'

    'No sir. I've never seen Him.'

    'Then tell us if you've ever heard your Jesus?'

    'No, sir, I have not.'

    'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'

    'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'

    'Yet you still believe in him?'


    'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist... What do you say to that, son?'

    'Nothing,' the student replies.. 'I only have my faith.'

    'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'

    The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat? '

    ' Yes.

    'And is there such a thing as cold?'

    'Yes, son, there's cold too.'

    'No sir, there isn't.'

    The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. 'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'

    Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

    'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'

    'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'

    'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'

    The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. 'So what point are you making, young man?'

    'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'

    The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'

    'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains. 'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.' 'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

    Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.' 'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'

    'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'

    'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'

    The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

    'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'

    The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. 'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room. 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter. 'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so... So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.' 'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'

    Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers. 'I Guess you'll have to take them on faith.'

    'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues. 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?' Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'

    To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'

    The professor sat down.

    If you read it all the way through and had a smile on your face when you finished, mail to your friends and family with the title 'God vs. Science'

    P.S: The student was Albert Einstein.

    Albert Einstein wrote a book titled 'God vs. Science' in 1921....
    D2wing, Dont, KAS and 10 others like this.
  2. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  4. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    LOL .... nice ghrit, but old news. Obscure as it might be, largely forgotten in the many decades since 1921. Avid reader and searcher of the truth, as I am, this pearl of wisdom had passed before my eyes and was properly recorded.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

  6. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

  7. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    That's okay. Snopes does not see all and hear all. I have faith, I choose to give good old Albert a nod of approval on this. Famous men do many things that never get recorded or make it to print. Was anyone here or anyone from Snopes alive and along side of A.E. thru every class of education he took. I think not. So I will accept on faith that he did it, as no one can prove he did not. :rolleyes:
  8. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Don't care if it ain't true. Was a good story and I still like it. [tongue]
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  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If the Ferguson Protesters can ignore the "Facts" then what difference does it make if Albert said it or not????
    Sapper John likes this.
  10. Mindgrinder

    Mindgrinder Karma Pirate Ninja|RIP 12-25-2017

    Same reason you watch tv.
    Same reason you elect blue or red.
    Same reason you "identify yourself" with a pro sports team.
    Same reason you "identify yourself" with a specific denomination.

    Cuz you don't care if it's true.


  11. NotSoSneaky

    NotSoSneaky former supporter

    Grouch. [tongue]
    Yard Dart and Mindgrinder like this.
  12. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    My critique in this post, Ghrit, is not a criticism of you, but of the apocryphal anecdote featuring Bertie Einstein that seems to periodically get spammed via e-mail. .

    Albert Einstein as the smart @rse brilliant egg-head who trips up the evil, mad, (but intentionally cast), none too bright atheist professor, is an old trope (Urban Dictionary: trope) exploited by some theist apologists. The article fulfils many theist needs, not least of which is to make fellow self perceived persecuted theists, feel just a little better about themselves, and feel that their faith is justified by the example set by a mythical celebrity* standing up to supposed intellectual bullying by infidels. (* Albert Einstein actually existed, but the eponymous Albert Einstein in the fable, is undoubtedly a literary invention).

    The Albert anecdote contains a number of logical fallacies and scientific howlers that are just too implausible to have been committed by the actual Albert Einstein, rather than the folk tale Albert, portrayed in the anecdote by an anonymous author.

    Albert Einstein received a Nobel Prize for physics in 1921; although Einstein had much to say about the relationship between science and religion in his books, correspondence and papers; I have yet found no reference in Albert Einstein's bibliography that he wrote a book with the title 'God vs Science' in that or any other year. I would be happy to see any reputable citation of this book.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
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  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The truth matters. A "two wrongs make a right" fallacy Two wrongs make a right - RationalWiki does not excuse either wrong. People who examine the Albert Einstein fable, are as free to ignore the facts as the Ferguson rioters, (and it would seem that many do), but I would prefer to have a reasoned belief based on evidence in what is true, than what is false.

    The burden of proof is upon the claimant that Albert did say the things that were supposedly recorded in the spam e-mail. If the story is true, then citing the relevant sources ought not be such a problem. As I see it, the story dishonestly exploits a fallacious appeal to authority, by co-opting poor dead Albert, to act as the theist's ventriloquist dummy, in promoting the theist's agenda of blackguarding smarty pants atheists. Albert Einstein deserves better.

    This fable has been debunked many times by others...there is no need for me to forensically dissect the nonsensical argumentation that is contained within it.

    “God’s Not Dead,” But this Trope Is

    Did Einstein prove that God exists?

    Einstein Proves God Exists - Urban Legends

    Debunking an urban legend: "Evil is a lack of something" | The Rational Response Squad

    Einstein proves God in an encounter with a professor-Fiction!

    For those without too much politically correct sensitivity, an Australian variation on the Atheist Professor spam e-mail can be seen via the following link. definitely NSFW! (text-no images some offensive language)

    NSFW! LiterallyKesha comments on [Coll] Semper Fi/The Atheist professor and marine student/A liberal muslim homosexual ACLU lawyer professor... (+ variations) NSFW!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The libelled Professor exercises his right of reply!

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
    tulianr likes this.
  15. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

  16. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Thankyou for the link...very much appreciated @kellory. It goes to show, that Albert Einstein's actual life (as opposed to his fictional meme life) related in his papers and correspondence shows us much more about the man, than can be imagined by theist apologists. It is instructive that even a genius like little Albert could struggle with a second language (French), and needed catch-up work with his chemistry in high school.

    A comprehensive trove of Einstein documents in German and English translation are available at:

    Digital Einstein Papers Home

    Further archival material can be found at:

    Einstein Archives Online

    Although Albert Einstein wrote a number of essays in the late 1930's and early 1940's regarding the relationship between religion and science, I have still to find any evidence that he authored a publication called 'God vs Science' dated 1921. Albert Einstein had no belief in a personal god; his faith position being somewhat ambiguous. If one were to pigeon-hole Albert, then he would most probably have been most closely described as a pantheist. Pantheism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Albert Einstein: Religion and Science
  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2015
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