Friday, May 29, 2009

Did Einstein believe in God?

On the nature of God: "That deeply emotional conviction of a presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."

SHOOT: I received an email today from a Christian friend claiming that one of the smartest people that ever lived believed in God. The short answer to this is 'No'. Einstein didn't believe in Jesus, or any other personalised God-figure. Christians have for years claimed that Einstein was a believer but this is a manipulation of reality, and he clearly indicates that he didn't believe in conventional religion. Neither do I.
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Did Einstein believe in God?

Albert Einstein is on record as saying that he did not believe in a personal God. He said:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

Einstein also said:

"I am a deeply religious nonbeliever. This is a somewhat new kind of religion. I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naive."
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Anonymous said...

Stephen Hawkins also does not believe in God. Makes u think eh........

Nick said...

well said.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Eintesin DID believe in God. In fact, his own work could not deny the existence of God.

"In developing the theory of relativity, Einstein realized that the equations led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. He didn't like the idea of a beginning, because he thought one would have to conclude that the universe was created by God. So, he added a cosmological constant to the equation to attempt to get rid of the beginning. He said this was one of the worst mistakes of his life.

Of course, the results of Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was expanding and had a beginning at some point in the past.

So, Einstein became a deist - a believer in an impersonal creator God:

"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."

However, it would also seem that Einstein was not an atheist, since he also complained about being put into that camp:

"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."

Anonymous said...

Also, the man's name is:
Stephen William Hawking

Not very well said...

More importantly, why base your personal beliefs on another person's life conclusions. Why not REALLY delve into the matter yourself. Stating that there is no God right off the bat is the easy way out. I think such a huge conclusion deserves a lot more evaluation and consideration on a more personal level.

Completely writing God off is not something to be done or taken lightly. You sure you want to do that? Give God a chance.

Nick said...

Well you assume a lot. It has taken me a number of years to write God off. And you're wrong about Einstein. He was a pantheist, not a deist. Like me.

Chris said...

Actually Stephen Hawking has said that a creator God is a possibility. He adamantly denies being atheist.

Einstein did believe in God, and said that he couldn't call himself a pantheist.

This is just another example of two brilliant individuals that have seen the evidence of God (or at least the possibility of God) through their studies.

I don't claim either man, and another person said it first - what they believe should have no effect on what you believe.

However, this is an example of non-Believers trying to take God out of everything - including a dead man's theology.

So, he didn't believe in Jesus Christ. Ok... got it, but that's not the point is it? Weren't you trying to prove that only stupid people believe in God?

FAIL. On two accounts.