Einstein Considered Religion “Childish Superstition”

13 05 2008

There has been a long standing debate about Einstein’s views on Religion. The devout will rightly point to quotes from Einstein saying “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind” or even his dismissal of the randomness of Quantum theory stating “He [God] does not throw dice”. To the less theistic these quotes always seemed to be flamboyantly hollow rhetorical devices used by the great thinker.

Now there is proof that our suspicions were correct.

The philosopher Eric Gutkind sent Einstein a copy of his new book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. Einstein sat down and on January 3 1954 penned a reply stating:

“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. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

“For me the Jewish religion like all others 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 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.”

Perhaps science isn’t so lame without religion after all.

The handwritten letter will go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in London later this week and is expected to fetch up to $16,000.

(source: The Guardian)

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7 responses

13 05 2008
chunque

Ah power and religion. This is what I think about it:

http://www.stuffwhitedbagslike.wordpress.com

More later on the mix of God and Power! Check it out!

13 05 2008
Kit

I adore that first quote. Thank you.

4 04 2009
apacherose97

This part does not seem to make it into your collection of information about Einstein.

“In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views.” (The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press, 2000)

“My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.” (The Human Side, Princeton University Press)

Although Einstein emphatically rejected conventional religion, he was affronted when his views were appropriated by atheists, whose lack of humility he found offensive, and once wrote. “The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility.”

Einstein was an intensely spiritual man and wrote extensively on the subject, perceiving a universe suffused with spirituality, while rejecting organized religion. In his later years he referred to a “cosmic religious feeling” that permeated and sustained his scientific work. In 1954, a year before his death, he spoke of wishing to “experience the universe as a single cosmic whole”. He was also fond of using religious flourishes, in 1926 declaring that “He [God] does not throw dice” when referring to randomness thrown up by quantum theory.

5 04 2009
apacherose97

I can understand why the post I have listed above would not be listed on an aesthetic website.

I also understand that religion in general has failed most people. Grace has never failed anyone who simply receives it.

Might I recommend the book – Jesus Without Religion by Rick James.

6 09 2009
Anders Branderud

In my website there is one formal logical proof: bloganders.blogspot.com (see the left menu)
It proofs the existence of a Creator and His purpose of humankind. And from that proof it is possible to deduce which religion that contains the instructions of the Creator.

So it presents the choice: to trust in Einsteins “intuition” reg. religion or to follow the conclusions of formal logic.

Anders Branderud

6 09 2009
SuperJesus

As the beginning of your argument aptly illustrates scientists make a best hypothesis about the state of the universe, test that hypothesis, and then revise their hypothesis as new supporting or contradictory evidence is uncovered. As such, scientists continue to hypothesize explore and test to understand what may have triggered the initial singularity. How you go from that to asserting that there must therefore be a “perfect” creator for our “perfectly-orderly” universe is a profound leap of conjecture.

Aside from ignoring the glaring question of the origin of this perfect creator being, you go on to assert that “An orderly Creator necessarily had an Intelligent Purpose in creating this universe and us within it and, being Just and Orderly, necessarily placed an explanation, a “Life’s Instruction Manual,” within the reach of His subjects—humankind.”

So to paraphrase, you went from “there must be a creator” to “he must be perfect” to “he must have sent us an instruction manual”. I don’t mean to be rude but your assertions are hopeful conjecture at best. Even if I were to go out on a limb to presume there is a creator (which I don’t) it simply would not follow logically that he must have provided an instruction manual for us. Your logic is staggeringly flawed.

22 06 2017
DaTruth

You can’t prove anything, but yes there are creators, they are scientists and we are all lab rats under a microscope, which explains all the illnesses and million ways to die. We create solutions for their problems and there are no rewards besides the ones on this planet.

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