Was Einstein Religious?

Albert Einstein quotes on God and religion:

“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 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.”

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text.”

“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 rejected the word “atheist”, but he was not a believer in the God of the Bible.

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3 thoughts on “Was Einstein Religious?”

  1. He did believe in religion. He did not approve of Religion against science. The popular Bible is the King James Bible, which he did not approve of and I don’t either.
    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
    ― Albert Einstein
    “The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text.
    I agree with him and you here.

  2. I think that he used the word “religion” in the (maybe incorrect) meaning of “wonder at existence”. (“Wonder at existence” is not religion.) I don’t think that he believed in supernatural beings of any sort.

    Many people are afraid to use the word “atheist”, because atheists are a strongly hated minority in US society. Also, even many atheists don’t like the word “atheist” for many reasons. I think that if labels like “religion” and “atheism” were removed, Einstein’s ideas would probably overlap with most non-believers. 🙂

  3. That is just my interpretation of it. I haven’t read Spinoza. It’s on my reading list though.

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