Skip to comments.Does Einstein’s ‘God Letter’ Prove He Was Godless?
Posted on 10/07/2012 8:51:46 AM PDT by CHRISTIAN DIARIST
A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein goes on auction tomorrow on eBay. The online auction site has set the opening bid at a staggering $3 million. Thats more than seven times as much as the letter fetched just four years ago.
This is the most historic and significant piece we have listed on eBay, said Eric Gazin, president of Auction Cause, the Los Angles-based agency consigned to sell Einsteins two-pager.
So what makes this particular letter by the 20th centurys most renowned physicist so much more valuable than any other missive he hand wrote? Did he scribble his famous formula E =mc2?
No, its because Einstein offered his thoughts on God and religion.
The word God is for me, wrote Einstein, in a 1954 letter to Jewish philosopher Eric Gutkind, nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends.
No doubt the atheist community will seize upon that declaration as prima facie evidence that Einstein was one of them. And that, like the eminent scientist, they are on the side of reason rather than religion.
But the Bible foresaw this age in which we live, when the godless among us would attribute their disbelief in God and His Word to science and reason:
It is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Einstein was, indeed, as Gazin attested, one of the most brilliant minds to ever live. But he was not omniscient. He was not infallible.
Moreover, it is not the human mind however brilliant but the Spirit within us that informs that God is not merely an expression or product of our human weakness; that His Word is not merely a collection of primitive legends.
Notwithstanding some of thoughts Einsteins expressed in his so-called God Letter, as the letters auctioneers have dubbed it, it appears the Holy Spirit had at least some influence on the genius who gave us the theory of relativity.
For the celebrated physicist did not deny the existence of God. He simply did not believe, he wrote, in a personal God. He shared the view of so-called Deists that God created the world before stepping aside and leaving humanity to its own devices.
Even more interesting, while Einsteins God Letter does not mention Jesus, it is clear from previous public statements he made that he thought Christ no ordinary man.
In a 1929 interview with the old Saturday Evening Post, the physicist confided, I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.
Moreover, he said, 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.
Einsteins words quite unintentionally proved the Scriptures prophetic: That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(After the war Einstein wrote, Only the Catholic Church protested against the Hitlerian onslaught on liberty. Up till then I had not been interested in the Church, but today I feel a great admiration for the Church, which alone has had the courage to struggle for spiritual truth and moral liberty.)
While I have the utmost respect for Einstein and his work, his views on God have no more importance than anyone else’s. For all that science has already been able to reveal about the universe we live in, our science is nowhere near advanced enough to provide evidence for or against the existence of a creator.
True. Also, the problem of infinite regress. Any “beginning” initiated by an entity in a timeless paradigm won’t be able to summon the moment of the beginning, since the reference to the beginning cannot be achieved, as the past to that entity is infinite (no finite time implies no beginning and therefore no reference to any “moment of the present”).
This is partly why the Cyclic Model of the Universe was proposed, and recent revelations in Dark Energy and Dark Matter are its strongest support-points.
"I believe in Spinoza's God, who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and the doings of mankind." -- Albert Einstein
Does Einstein writing in one of his books that God does not play dice with the universe prove that he was confused and/or senile?
I see several problems with this discussion. First, you are smuggling in definitions of faith and reason that won't hold water.
The New Testament word for faith (verb form = believe) pisteuo, means to place confidence in something. It has no implicit notion of the rejection of reason. In fact, it isn't a religious term. Faith is simply trust. It is a universal experience. If you trust is reason, you have faith in reason.
Secondly, to say that the Bible presumes that faith is superior (rather than complimentary) to reason is simply a bare assertion. It is NOT true. For example, Isaiah writes, "Come let us reason together". Both Jesus and Paul "reasoned from the scriptures". There are many similar statements in the Bible.
The closest I can come to what you are baldly asserting with no proof that the "whole premise of the Bible is that faith is superior to reason" is Jesus statement to Thomas comparing his belief because of his direct experience of the risen Christ and that of those who had not seen and yet believe (have confidence in) the Resurrection. I do not have Thomas' direct experience and yet I believe based on, among other things, what I hold to be a reasonable trust in the eyewitnesses who died for their belief in that Resurrection.
The opposition of reason and faith is a secularist myth that itself cannot be sustained by reason.
I define reason as identification and integration of sensory perceptions of Objective reality by a process of logic or non-contradictory identification. Example: I believe the sun will rise tomorrow because it has risen every day for approximately 4.56 billion years. No one has ever observed the sun not rising precisely when it is supposed to. 2+2=4. Existence exists.
I define faith as belief in knowledge gained from some mystical or supernatural source not connected to sensory perception of objective reality. Example: I believe that man fell from grace and is being punished by God because he ate from the tree of knowledge because it says so in the bible. The Earth is not 4.56 billion years old because it says so in the Bible. The Bible is the true word of God because it says so in the Bible.
What problems do you see with those definitions?
It is implicit that Faith is superior to reason when God demands that one accept his words on faith and not walk by sight but by faith.
I forgot to mention that the things in the Bible which are supposed to be trusted in cannot be proven or dis-proven. They are outside the realm of reason.
Before anything can be reasoned from scriptures those scriptures must be accepted on faith.
The fact of the opposition of faith and reason can be proven by logic.
Reason is objective.
Faith is subjective.
logic says “It exists therefore I believe it”.
Faith says “I believe it therefore it exists”. Or worse yet, “millions of People believe it therefore it exists”.
If one is interested in the truth how are reason and faith complimentary in any way?
Where does logic come from, if not from our transcendent God?
I suppose one can assume that, and have faith in that assumption.
Einstein always said he didn’t believe in a personal God. At one point he claimed he believed in Spinoza’s God.
He didn’t believe in a God that was concerned with the fates and actions of human beings.
This is over 50-year-old news.
Nonsense. In fact the three basic logical axioms, as first stated by Aristotle and which comprise the foundation of the scientific method, cannot be proven logically nor can they be empirically proven by reason. The laws of Identity, Contradiction and The Excluded Middle as accepted as first principles or, in other words, as a matter of faith.
Who says reality has an "inherent fixed nature"? In fact I've yet to see a workable definition of "reality" which doesn't rely on the some synonym of truth words "truth" or "reality".
existence needs no proof. That is why it is an axiom. Existence is self evident and you either accept it reject it but as soon as you ask for proof you are presupposing that something exists. Don’t you know that you exist?
Logic rests on existence and the law of identity. Once again existence needs no proof it is its own proof. I will go further and say that existence needs no explanation. It just is and always has been and always will be. It is self evident.
Belief based on mysticism is irrational and there is no way around that fact. That is not my opinion that is simple logic. Logic is not man made. It is a process and the only process available to man by his nature to know anything.
If your neighbor tells you that he was abducted by aliens last night and they performed medical experiments but that they left no physical evidence of their abduction and you believe him that is irrational. That is faith. If you believe the holy spirit is showing you some new insight in the bible that is irrational. If you accept that Cain killed Abel and was punished by God that is irrational.
So the conflict is caused because people of faith want to demand the unearned status of rationality. They want others to abandon reason and join them in saying that faith in the supernatural is reason and it is that simple. Live by faith if you want to but don’t call it reason.
Prove that statement or concede that you can say the same thing about anything else. There is no third choice. In addition we accept the laws of contradiction, excluded middle and Euclid's axioms without any proof. Thus, EVERY single worldview accepts certain matters purely on faith without any rationale "proof".
Why is that irrational as opposed to improbable? Please define your terms if you are going to use them outside thier traditional meanings. Or are you saying anything improbable is irrational?
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