Response/ Midterm

Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. 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. May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things.”

 

This quote is one of Einstein’s many known responses to questions about his belief in God. Einstein was by no means a conventionally religious man. He did practice his Jewish faith, nor ascribe a to the Christian beliefs he was taught early in life. Instead, Einstein carried with him his own form of religion.

At many points in his career, Einstein denied he was an atheist, sometimes even denying himself a pantheist (though that title is closer to what he was).

Einstein’s God was what he called the spirit behind the natural physical laws he experienced in the world. He believed that were the set of natural laws to be understood one may arrive at the notion of a Creator more readily.

That is the reason why Einstein did no ascribe to the popular religions, he believed that the God of the Judeo-Christian faiths was subservient to people’s greed and not enough emphasis was placed in a natural order.

Whether Einstein did in fact believe in a God will always be a point of contention between many. Though it is undeniable the religious fervor that Einstein held towards the sciences and the way by which to describe the natural laws. This fervor Einstein described as his religion, his will to understand the Creator and his laws. Perhaps these were simply words lesser mortals could understand, but nonetheless his words did relate his passion towards that which he did.

 

-Jesus Diaz

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