Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

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Empiricist-Bruno
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Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » October 28th, 2017, 8:01 pm

Instead of launching us in a new arms race, by trying to build the bomb before the Germans had theirs why didn't he simply argued that it was urgent to win the war because possible new german bombs might obliterate the Allies? Why didn't Einstein realise that nukes are not weapons but rather they are civilization destroying things, the kind of things that only a morally bankrupt person would think of using? In this respect hasn't Hitler won the war and now with Trump, the nukes are on his side?
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Albert Tatlock
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Re: Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 29th, 2017, 4:55 am

I can't think of any way in which Hitler could be said to have won the war.

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Re: Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Empiricist-Bruno » October 29th, 2017, 10:12 am

I'm sorry to hear that.

Hitler is two things, a human being (I presume) and he also was the head of fascim in his time. As the head of fascism, he is resurected in Trump. It's now Hitler's team acting up in the USA. Just like nobody killed and defeated Jesus by killing him, Hitler lives on as his views are being adopted by the very nation that helped to wipe him out.

Now, can't you still think of Hitler as victorious today Tatlock?

Hitler failed because he didn't have nuclear weapons. The USA is now planning to win for him. I have read reports that after Hitler survived his assassination attempt in his bunker, he claimed to be immortal, just like Jesus had before him. If what he stood for had died with him then yes, I could imagine that WW2 is now over but I really don't think it is over.

As long as the world isn't completely destroyed by war or nuclear bombs, or that one great race or nation isn't dominating all the others by violence and violent means, then the fight against Hitler still rages on.

So if Hitler is now taking commend of the greatest military in the world, the organization that forced him to disappear for a while, then you can say that people were wrong to think that the war ended with the apparent defeat of his groups. He tricked them and now he is on top. He may still not win the war, but he sure seems to have a powerful way to impose his vision at the moment.

But it's okay, you can think he lost the war then and not see him lurking behind you. Many people are that way, to my regret.
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Albert Tatlock
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Re: Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 29th, 2017, 12:21 pm

Empiricist-Bruno wrote: Hitler is two things,
Only two? I think Hitler may have been more complex than you imagine, Bruno.
As the head of fascism, he is resurected in Trump.
I'm sure there are many characters from history that resemble Trump more closely than Hitler.
Hitler lives on as his views are being adopted by the very nation that helped to wipe him out.
I remember Trump talking about building a wall and draining the swamp but I must have missed the bit about breeding a racially pure population and building death camps to dispose of the rest.
Now, can't you still think of Hitler as victorious today Tatlock?
No, I can't, Bruno. Hitler wasn't the only person to hold the views he did. He wasn't the first person either and the fact that there are still people with similar views doesn't amount to them being reincarnations of him.
I have read reports that after Hitler survived his assassination attempt in his bunker, he claimed to be immortal, just like Jesus had before him.
Well they both turned out to be wrong, didn't they?
If what he stood for had died with him then yes, I could imagine that WW2 is now over but I really don't think it is over.
And what did he stand for that is being perpetuated to such an extent as to cause you such concerns?
So if Hitler is now taking commend of the greatest military in the world,
Hitler is dead, Bruno. The World is full of tyrants and always has been. The only thing different about Hitler is that he managed to get himself into a position that made it possible for him to have a significant impact on the rest of the World. I don't know what Trump would do if he had complete and unrestrained power but I don't see what reason there is to think he would try to emulate Hitler. Trump will come and go like all the rest.

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Re: Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Alias » October 29th, 2017, 10:35 pm

Empiricist-Bruno wrote:Instead of launching us in a new arms race, by trying to build the bomb before the Germans had theirs why didn't he simply argued that it was urgent to win the war because possible new german bombs might obliterate the Allies?
Because he didn't know. He and his fellow scientists, mainly Szilard, who was closer to the research, were merely speculating about Hitler's plans and what his scientists might be capable of producing and delivering.
One crucial issue was access to the ore, which the German command seemed about to corner - and they thought the US should deny them a monopoly, while securing its own sources. Given their excellent reasons to fear the Reich, this argument must have seemed persuasive to European-born and educated men. BTW - it's not Einstein's letter.

This is August 1939; the war hasn't begun yet; it scope and progress complete unknowns; the USA has no intention of getting involved and won't even declare war for over two years.
They recommend vigilance, preparedness and research, nothing more.
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/ ... letter.png
Why didn't Einstein realise that nukes are not weapons but rather they are civilization destroying things, the kind of things that only a morally bankrupt person would think of using?
He did. Once the bomb existed. By 1945, the project was so surrounded by official secrecy that he wouldn't even know what they were doing, how successfully, or what he ought to warn the president about. Nobody knew their eventual destructive power.
At the time of the first letter to Roosevelt, nobody had made one yet or was even sure whether they could.

Why do you demand clairvoyance from physicists - when statesmen, prelates, generals and even philosophers show so little foresight?

In this respect hasn't Hitler won the war and now with Trump, the nukes are on his side?
This has nothing to do with the period or the subject. America created Trump and Americans - free, successful, prosperous Americans with no coercive pressures whatever - created the political climate wherein an elderly spoiled toddler could turn into an unchecked, unbalanced president.
Projecting the present state of affairs that far back; trying to attribute causes and apportion blame two or three generations ago, without reference to a thousand unrelated factors, events and personalities between then and now, is at best uninformative. It's far too easy to second-guess history.

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Re: Einstein's terrible letter to the US President

Post by Burning ghost » October 31st, 2017, 2:20 am

Bruno -

I imagine Einstein understood the use of 'speaking softly whilst wielding a big stick'? We could just as easily put all our eggs in one basket and pray to some figment of our imaginations (I gather you'd go for the later Bruno?)

Is there a point to this thread? Don't beat around the bush with a rather tenuous comparison of Hitler and Trump. Simply say what's on your mind and get to the point.
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