Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Do you believe in God?" - when Einstein was asked

[?] Do you believe in God?

Einstein - “I’m not an atheist. I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.

We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is.

That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see the universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws but only dimly understand these laws.”

[?] Is this a Jewish concept of God?

- “I am a determinist. I do not believe in free will. Jews believe in free will. They believe that man shapes his own life. I reject that doctrine. In that respect I am not a Jew.”

[?] Is this Spinoza’s God?

- “I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but I admire even more his contribution to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and body as one, and not two separate things.”

[?] To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?

- “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.”

[?] You accept the historical existence of Jesus?

- “Unquestionably! 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.”

[?] Do you believe in immortality?

- “No. And one life is enough for me.”

.: Quoted from a remarkable interview that Einstein gave shortly after his fiftieth birthday, in which he was more revealing than he had ever been about his religious sensibility. George Sylvester Viereck was the person who took the interview.

. credit Einstein and the Mind of God via On Faith, Washington Post / posted by Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and the managing editor of Time magazine. His new book, "Einstein: His Life and Universe," was published last month.

. [>] also a good read An Ideal of Service to Our Fellow Man by Albert Einstein via NPR.

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