Einstein could neither accept nor reject God’s existence


Einstein could neither accept nor reject God’s existence.

He said he believed in “Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the lawful harmony of the world, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind.”

The second half of the sentence has been misunderstood, when taken out of context.

This is made clear in another article by the deist Bob Johnson, who puts Einstein’s letter into perspective (http://www.deism.com/einsteingodletter.htm) showing that what Einstein meant was belief in the biblical (Old Testament) God.

Elsewhere Einstein expressed himself more clearly:

My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God. (The Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press)

I find his view similar to that expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:20: “For the invisible things of Ηim since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.” (ASV)

I respect Einstein’s position, and I’ll bring one more of his quotes:

I’m not an atheist, and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. (Einstein and Religion by Max Jammer)

(I emailed the two quotes in red to the AKTINES today, Jan. 3, 2019)

I think any scientist, if he/she wants to be true to his discipline, should take a similar position.

Scientists deal with the physical. If they express an opinion about the metaphysical they do it not as scientists but as private individuals.

I respect more a scientist who publicly stays “neutral” making no pronouncements about God, pretending to speak with authority on a subject over which he/she is not competent (unless he is also an Orthodox theologian, but then he speaks as theologian, not as scientist).

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