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Albert Einstein's thoughts on God, religion, spirituality and mysticism

Verbl KintVerbl Kint The Usual Suspect PExer
"This document contains many of Einstein’s personal thoughts on God, religion, mysticism, and spirituality. Hopefully it will allow the reader to get a deeper understanding of what Einstein believed and why he believed them. All to often Einstein’s words have been misunderstood or misconstrued to represent a view that was not his own; though through honest inquiry, we see his views were very enigmatic and touching closest to the philosophy of pantheism."

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_einstein.html

Comments

  • Just remember this: Einstein often used the word "God" to describe the way he felt the universe to be -- structured and "beautiful" (in the physicists' sense of the word).

    Christians often grabbed on this little quirk to say Einstein was a believer.

    Einstein did not believe in god.
  • havok47havok47 .9 bar = 1 PExer
    albert_sy2 wrote: »
    Just remember this: Einstein often used the word "God" to describe the way he felt the universe to be -- structured and "beautiful" (in the physicists' sense of the word).

    Christians often grabbed on this little quirk to say Einstein was a believer.

    Einstein did not believe in god.

    No, he is not a Christian or religious for that matter, but he believed in a God.
  • Albert Einstein was born into a Jewish family and had a lifelong respect for his Jewish heritage. Around the time Einstein was eleven years old he went through an intense religious phase, during which time he followed Jewish religious precepts in detail, including abstaining from eating pork. During this time he composed several songs in honor of God. But during most of his life Einstein was not a practicing Jew.

    Einstein was opposed to atheism. Various sources refer to him as a mostly non-practicing Jew, an agnostic, or simply as a person with an idiosyncratic personal worldview.


    http://www.adherents.com/people/pe/Albert_Einstein.html
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    havok47 wrote: »
    No, he is not a Christian or religious for that matter, but he believed in a God.

    Could you define the God he believed in, then?
  • loc0loc0 loc0.deviantart.com PExer
    Yes, I'm curious too.
  • JongaJonga Banned by Admin PExer
    Spinoza type of god?
  • micketymocmicketymoc Oversized Member PExer
    Who knows?

    But I'd really really like to hear havok47's definition of Einstein's God.
  • havok47 wrote: »
    No, he is not a Christian or religious for that matter, but he believed in a God.

    my mistake. he didn't believe in the CHRISTIAN god.
  • havok47havok47 .9 bar = 1 PExer
    albert_sy2 wrote: »
    my mistake. he didn't believe in the CHRISTIAN god.

    No problemo, chief.
    Could you define the God he believed in, then?

    Hi micketymoc,

    I'm still not sure if Einstein was a pantheist or a deist (still have to digest his views on religion and God and perhaps we can further discuss it here :) ), but it is certain that he wasn't an atheist.

    Ergo,

    The God Einstein believed in was either the Pantheistic or the Deistic God.

    Much like Pope John Paul believed in the Christian God, Flew in the Deistic God and Caliph Umar in the Islamic God.

    (Now you'll have to excuse me, Xmas party mamaya eh, have to practice for our presentation...BLECH! :P )
  • loc0loc0 loc0.deviantart.com PExer
    He specifically said he believed in Spinoza's god. Spinoza was a naturalistic pantheist, that's the kind that calls nature "god".

    Do I have to paste links again :|
  • Verbl KintVerbl Kint The Usual Suspect PExer
    “When I was a fairly precocious young man I became thoroughly impressed with the futility of the hopes and strivings that chase most men restlessly through life. Moreover, I soon discovered the cruelty of that chase, which in those years was much more carefully covered up by hypocrisy and glittering words than is the case today. By the mere existence of his stomach everyone was condemned to participate in that chase. The stomach might well be satisfied by such participation, but not man insofar as he is a thinking and feeling being.

    “As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came — though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents — to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve. Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Mistrust of every kind of authority grew out of this experience, a skeptical attitude toward the convictions that were alive in any specific social environment-an attitude that has never again left me, even though, later on, it has been tempered by a better insight into the causal connections. It is quite clear to me that the religious paradise of youth, which was thus lost, was a first attempt to free myself from the chains of the ‘merely personal,’ from an existence dominated by wishes, hopes, and primitive feelings. Out yonder there was this huge world, which exists independently of us human beings and which stands before us like a great, eternal riddle, at least partially accessible to our inspection and thinking. The contemplation of this world beckoned as a liberation, and I soon noticed that many a man whom I had learned to esteem and to admire had found inner freedom and security in its pursuit. The mental grasp of this extra-personal world within the frame of our capabilities presented itself to my mind, half consciously, half unconsciously, as a supreme goal. Similarly motivated men of the present and of the past, as well as the insights they had achieved, were the friends who could not be lost. The road to this paradise was not as comfortable and alluring as the road to the religious paradise; but it has shown itself reliable, and I have never regretted having chosen it.”

    Albert Einstein, Autobiographical Notes, Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1979, pp 3-5.

    “The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.”

    Albert Einstein in a letter to Beatrice Frohlich, December 17, 1952; Einstein Archive 59-797; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 217.

    “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological 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 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.”

    Albert Einstein, 1947; from Banesh Hoffmann, Albert Einstein Creator and Rebel, New York: New American Library, 1972, p. 95.

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

    Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929; from Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p. 413; also cited as a telegram to a Jewish newspaper, 1929, Einstein Archive 33-272, from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 204.

    “Mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all.”

    Albert Einstein, to Guy H. Raner Jr., September 28, 1949; from Michael R. Gilmore, "Einstein's God: Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?," Skeptic, 1997, 5(2):64.
  • JongaJonga Banned by Admin PExer
    loc0 wrote: »
    He specifically said he believed in Spinoza's god. Spinoza was a naturalistic pantheist, that's the kind that calls nature "god".

    Do I have to paste links again :|

    i knew it...i kneeew it :lol:

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