Which Camp Mr. Einstein? ……December 3, 2012.


Albert_Einstein1921                                          Albert_Einstein1921 a

During his life Einstein’s religious leanings were never clear. Many of his quotes seemed to support a bend toward spirituality. His famous quote, “God does not play dice with the universe” is taken as evidence of his religious belief.

“I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings,” he once said.

Spinoza defines “God” as a singular self-subsistent substance, and both matter and thought as attributes of such. There is much controversy as to what was meant by this, some claiming it was a pantheistic belief, others claiming it almost entirely materialistic.

In my own opinion the reason Einstein spoke in religious references so often is the same as every person living in America and Europe.
Religious gibberish permeates the languages of these areas and is used in many common instances without realizing their nature. People say “Oh my God” over the most innocuous occurrences, and “Thank God” in instances when God is the furthest thing from their minds. “Oh my Gosh” would serve as well in the first instance, and “Thank Goodness” in the second. In both cases actual belief in an entity is not inferred in the actual sense as these phrases are used as simple exclamations in the appropriate instances. Yet, there are some of the fervently religious persuasion to whom such innocent mouthing’s become faith incarnate.

Here I present excerpts from a letter Einstein wrote to  Eric B. Gutkind, on January 3, 1954, a year before Einstein’s death. These quotes should serve to clear up Einstein’s view of religion, and his stance. Of course there will still be those who because of their agendas will still claim the genius was in their religious camp, but this does not change the truth: Einstein was an atheist.

“For me, the word God is nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable but still exceedingly primitive legends. No interpretation, however subtle, could change that (for me).’’

“For me, the unadulterated Jewish religion, like all other religions, is an incarnation of primitive superstition.”


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4 Responses to Which Camp Mr. Einstein? ……December 3, 2012.

  1. “Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior 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 hopes of reward after death.”—-Albert Einstein , New York Times Magazine on November 9, 1930 pp 1-4

  2. One more: “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropomorphic concept which I cannot take seriously. I feel also not able to imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. My views are near to those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order and harmony which we can grasp humbly and only imperfectly. I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems.” –Albert Einstein, From a letter to Murray W. Gross, 26 April 1947

  3. drenn1077 says:

    What reasons do you suppose a theist who is a scientist would use to justify his/her faith? Assuming the scientist is also a biologist or geneticist how can they keep from exploding from holding such contradictory thought processes in their heads? Compartmentalization? Ever considered a dumb scientist?

  4. john zande says:

    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. For me, the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.”
    -Albert Einstein: Letter to Eric Gutkind, January 1954

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