What were Albert Einstien's Religious Beliefs?

by KateWild 110 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty

    when I say I believe in God..........I do not define God, I state my belief.- Kate

    And that is why there is so litttle real communication going on.

    If you said "I believe in god, by which I mean I believe ....................."


    "Einstein believed in god, by which I mean he believed in............"

    We would at least understand the question.

  • tec

    Can'tleave... Most definitely! Maybe even change their names to Sam... to show they are true devotees ; )

    Kate, for me this is Einstein .................

    "The search for truth is more precious than its possession." - Albert Einstein

    I also like this one, and it is one thing I think of when I think of Einstein (as well as e=mc2):

    Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

    And i just read this one to go with that one:

    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.



  • prologos

    on death in the trenches, berlin 1915: "where is Jehovah?" when we need him?

    on the immortal soul: " ach was" next question.

    On his equations: My theories are right, [if he disagrees] I feel sorry for the lord".

    on Quantum mechanics paradoxes: "the lord does not roll dice."

    on reality: "wirklichkeit" that which the result of WORK. has bee wrought.

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    You have to define "God" before asking these questions though. Did Einstein believe in a god: Yes if you say Spinoza's god is a god, but then you can materialize anything into a god and it would be true. No, if you say, the Judeo-Christian god or any other religious notion of a god. His god was devoid of any religiosity or superstition.

    I likewise recommend reading his books. I've read them (and they're very interesting and surprisingly easy to understand given the topics) and he does not ascribe any action to 'god'.

    a) He was not a Christian nor was he raised with the notion of a Jesus-type God.

    b) He was Jewish but rejected the notion of the Old Testament or it's God (El/Yahweh) at a young age

    c) He claims to be an agnostic, pantheistic believing in Spinoza's God (which is similar to what people like Richard Dawkins believe) where God is basically the entire Universe and it's laws.

    d) He repeatedly points to the internal harmony of the universe (as he knew it back then, they hadn't yet discovered that any galaxies existed outside our own) as being God

    e) When he talks about quantum theory he talks about a "God that plays dice" which he refused to accept vs. a deterministic behavior governed by causal laws. The context of these quotes is that this "God" is the harmony and the laws of nature.

    f) He never said he believed in a personal god, one that meddles with humanity or is likened to it

  • adamah

    Underlying assumption is that his opinion on the matter counts, i.e. it's an "appeal to authority". Unfortunately, there is no direct authority on the existence of God, but only those who are experts on the "creation" (eg biologists, cosmologists, physicists, archaeologists, sociologists, anthropologists, etc).

    Einstein (and note the correct spelling, Kate) was a deist in general, but he was most definitely an atheist for Jehovah, the Abrahamic God of the Bible, and repeatedly made that point clear when he said the "God" he was discussing wasn't the one you want him to be, eg the being who wanted to have a personal relationship with his creations, wasn't interested in human affairs, didn't send his son Jesus to die for your sins, didn't create the Earth as depicted in the Genesis account, etc.

    And just as long as he wasn't an atheist and didn't speak up too loudly about his deistic beliefs, he was OK and people didn't hate him for his beliefs in God. He was obviously smart enough to know that believers and non-believers alike would interpret it to mean what they WANT him to mean.

    Yes, he was raised in a secular Jewish household, but the German State forced all families to teach their children some religion in the home via mandatory rules (to supplement secular education in the public schools). Around 12, he discarded beliefs in the accounts found in the Torah, and wasn't a practicing Jew (i.e. he didn't observe the Sabbath, keep kosher, etc).

    Imagine that: Einstein, a genius, was smart enough not to get dragged into religious arguments! (And when he spoke of 'religion', he didn't mean what you thought he meant, but was speaking more to the sense of mystery, where his religion WAS, for all purposes, science. He makes that point clear in his autobiographical book, "The World As I See It", written in 1956).
    Another book on the subject is "Einstein's God", written by Krista Tippett and featuring interviews with his friends in the world of science, analysis of his writings, famous physicists, etc.Adam

  • KateWild

    Ok everyone I will define God. I believe in the Chemistry God. I worship Chemistry and love it and see it everywhere. But I am not going to define God for Einstien he defined God himself already.

    This definition is subject to change, as I want to be open minded.

    Kate xx

  • adamah

    Katewild, you said you're of Jewish ancestry? Huh, I've never encountered someone who claims Jewish ancestry who doesn't know how to spell '-stein' (a Germanic root meaning 'stone', but it's commonly found in the names of some pretty-famous Jewish people in history and fiction, eg Epstein, Finkelstein, Einstein, Frankenstein, etc)?

    Anyway, Einstein used the term 'religion' to refer to those who are engaged in the study of the mystery of the Universe, since both theologians and scientists are chasing the same answer via quite different methods. Hence for Einstein, he claimed to 'deeply religious', since for him the scientific method and endeavor was a synonym for religion. His attempts to redefine the commonly-accepted definition of terms frustrated others, who saw it as playing semantics and word games as if intending to obsfucate his goals. Later in life, Einstein was associated with humanist movements, and felt that the salvation of humanity rested in science, and not in waiting on some personal God to provide answers.


  • Giordano

    Try to look past a spelling error Adam.....this has been a worthwhile discussion Kate.

  • KateWild

    I've never encountered someone who claims Jewish ancestry who doesn't know how to spell '-stein'-Adam

    Yes you have, meeeee. Well spotted Adam, it wasn't just a typo, I have a problem with my "ie" spelling always have. Good job science is in pictures.

    this has been a worthwhile discussion Kate.-Giordano

    I am glad you think so

    Kate xx

  • cantleave

    Try to look past a spelling error Adam.......

    I concur ...........nothing worse than pedantry

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