Einstein on God

I came across a post on Facebook that I initially thought was bullshit. It claimed that Einstein said he believed in the God of Baruch Spinoza. He believed that perhaps a god exists, and you can find him in the revelry of the universe, in the sunset, in the eyes of a loved one. But a personal god was difficult to accept.

He did not call himself an atheist, which I somewhat recently stopped calling myself (one cannot prove a deity does or does not exist, therefore complete disbelief is an impossibility). But using the bible as both proof and a guide to the mind of God devalues and disrespects the entirety of human intellect.

Wikipedia backed up the claim with this post.

Some highlights below all come from the Wikipedia post:

Einstein had explored the idea that humans could not understand the nature of God. In an interview published in George Sylvester Viereck‘s book Glimpses of the Great (1930), Einstein responded to a question about whether or not he defined himself as a pantheist. He explained:

Your question is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.[22]

Einstein stated, “My views are near those of Spinoza: admiration for the beauty of and belief in the logical simplicity of the order 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.”[23]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s