MOD: EDIT – Repost from 2020! 🙂
“There must be something behind the energy” – Einstein
In school, my younger years, it was my understanding that Einstein was all science. And I thought he was an atheist. He was not. Doesn’t bother me either way, but perhaps was some group’s idea to ‘hide’ or ‘alter’ what he really said from the conscience of mainstream civilization post 1960. When finding this article on bethinking.org I thought I would share this incredible work with you.
What would Einstein say about God? I admire him and Edison very much, as Tesla. Who doesn’t?
Except, I wonder, what did he say about God specifically?
Dawkins explains that in dealing with Einstein’s religious views he relied on Max Jammer’s book Einstein and Religion.
What did Einstein really say?
The following quotations from Einstein are all in Jammer’s book:
“Behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force is my religion. To that extent, I am in point of fact, religious.”
“Every scientist becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men.”
“Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man.”
“The divine reveals itself in the physical world.”
“My God created laws… His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking but by immutable laws.”
“I want to know how God created this world. I want to know his thoughts.”
“What I am really interested in knowing is whether God could have created the world in a different way.”
“This firm belief in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God.”
“My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit, …That superior reasoning power forms my idea of God.”
“There must be something behind the energy”
What gives the lie to Dawkins’ claim that Einstein was an atheist is Einstein’s repeated references to “a superior spirit”, ”a superior mind”, “a spirit vastly superior to men”, ”a veneration for this force” etc. etc. This is not atheism. It is clear Einstein believed that there is something beyond the natural, physical world – a supernatural creative intelligence. Further confirmation that Einstein believed in a transcendent God comes from his conversations with his friends. David Ben-Gurion, the former Prime Minister of Israel, records Einstein saying “There must be something behind the energy.”
According to Dawkins, “Einstein was repeatedly indignant at the suggestion he was a theist.” The evidence from Jammer’s book is the exact opposite. What Einstein actually said is:
“I am not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist.”
“Then there are the fanatical atheists whose intolerance is of the same kind as the intolerance of the religious fanatics and comes from the same source.”
“There is harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, yet there are people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me to support such views.”
Very interesting. Check out the article for way more knowledge and more reasons to take a deep breath and explore all possibilities and think ‘outside the box’.