The God of Einstein

Light of truth

Was Einstein a believer in God? Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of recent times was a Jew. Since he attended a Catholic school at the age of 5 to 8, so he most likely exposed to Christian theology at this young impressionable age.

So he could say: “As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.” Further, he emphasised: “No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

Still as he grew up, he rejected the Christian idea of a personal God, i.,e., a God who is involved with the lives of people, who hears and answers prayers, performs miracles, etc. He is rm: “I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws.” He adds: “I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws.”

He gives his reason for not believing in a God who rewards and punishes: “Scientific research is based on the idea that everything takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being.”

Einstein did not believe in an anthropomorphic personal God, but did not reject the concept of God entirely. He believed that a “spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe.” I suspect that his belief in “spirit” was a remnant of his early religiosity and an attempt to keep a toehold in the “paradise” he experienced as a child. So he affirms emphatically: “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.”

He is not an atheist either: “I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist.” He would call himself an agnostic. “My position concerning God is that of an agnostic.

Thus Einstein did not believe in the Christian personal God, but in a God as lawgiver, in a spirit that permeates the whole cosmos.

So he could boldly assert: “The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as all serious endeavour in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. To sense that behind anything that can be experienced there is a something that our mind cannot grasp and whose beauty and sublimity reaches us only indirectly and as a feeble reflection, this is religiousness. In this sense I am religious. To me it suffices to wonder at these secrets and to attempt humbly to grasp with my mind a mere image of the lofty structure of all that there is.”

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