What were Albert Einstien's Religious Beliefs?

by KateWild 110 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • KateWild

    This was covered a little on another thread and interested me. I have always been convinced Einstien believed in God. I assumed what I had learned was correct and never thought I was taught something wrong.

    I have seen some points posters have made. I have now attained a google degree in Einstien. I want to study and pursue this further. Even though my google degree was a 1st class honours degree, I feel most of what I have read is inconclusive at this stage. I am going to speak to some of my old lecturers and see what books they recommend.

    There have been a few recomnedations also from this site.

    At the beging of my journey now, I would say that Einstien, did not actually have firm religious beliefs. I feel he was Jewish by culture, and race not really by religious conviction. I think his beliefs changed during his life, but I don't think he died an athiest, possibly agnostic. But that is what I am interested in finding out.

    If you haven't already posted, what have you concluded about Einstiens Religious Beliefs, and why was it important for you to look into this side of him?

  • jgnat

    I trust the Wiki article, particularly because of the way Wiki works. Wiki is a collaborative tool where contributors with varying perspectives hash out an agreed text. Religious views are one of the few "hot topics" on wiki, and in a few examples, Wiki moderators declared that no consensus could be found. This article has found consensus, which to my eyes looks comprehensive, complete, and well-referenced.



    I think Einstein's views come up as a strawman argument. "See, Einstein was a scientist, and he believed in God!". As if that settled the matter. Particularly disingenuous because that as you pointed out, Einstein's religious views were not so cut and dried.

  • cantleave

    Why does it matter? Einstein's legacy is an understanding of space and time and the principles that underpin modern physics. I couldn't care if he was a baby eating satanist, or a worshipper of Zuess.

  • KateWild

    Why does it matter?-cantleave

    It doesn't really. I am interested in him, thats all. As a Jew I wouldn't let Jesus drop in the Synagogue, Einstien also was interested in reading the Gospels. I have more in common with him than I thought.

    I suppose I could watch celebrity Big Brother if I was interested in Carol Thatcher. But I'm not really.

  • rip van winkle
    rip van winkle

    Einstein did NOT believe in a personal God.

    He said:

    " I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals....My religiosity consists of a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we can comprehend of the knowable world. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."


    "I believe 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 doings of mankind."


    " 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."


    "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own--- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human fraility. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive, and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in nature."


  • KateWild

    Einstein did NOT believe in a personal God.-rip

    That's one way to phrase it, on reading the comment we could also write it the following way....................

    Einstein did not believe in a PERSONAL God.

    But for the sake of remaining unbiased lets turn off the caps lock.........................

    Einstein did not believe in a personal God.-This way lets the reader draw the conclusions

    Kate xx

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    given that einstein believing in some kind of (not so) supernatural power is mostly quoted by believers in a PERSONAL god, the emphasis on PERSONAl does make sense though.

    anyway, i'm in the "what does it matter" camp too.

  • tec

    You would have to ask Einstein perhaps, something we cannot do now... or at least one who actually knew him.

    Because otherwise it is supposition, quotes that may be taken out of context or at different stages in his life, or blown out of proportion. In some quotes it appears that he did believe in God, in some quotes it appears he did not. People WILL look for what they want to see.

    I personally agree with Cantleave. Although, would that be Dr. Zuess? ; )



  • KateWild

    J, Hofer, Thanks for posting even if it doesn't matter to you

  • RayPublisher

    Cool quotes. We like Einstein!

    Although I wouldn't like him if he ate babies cantleave...just saying.

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