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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Topic: Einstein and God
    Posted: 31 May 2006 at 8:45pm

Einstein and 'God'

Albert Einstein was not a Christian. He had no concept of the God of the Bible or trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. His views on religion and 'God' were evolutionary and pantheistic.

He wrote, 'I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts.'22

'The desire for guidance, love, and support prompts men to form the social or moral conception of God. The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events. A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him .'23

'During the youthful period of mankind's spiritual evolution human fantasy created gods in man's own image. The idea of God in the religions taught at present is a sublimation of that old concept of the gods. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God .'24

Answering a Japanese scholar who asked him about 'scientific truth', Albert wrote, 'Certain it is that a conviction, akin to religious feeling, of the rationality or intelligibility of the world lies behind all scientific work of a higher order. This firm belief, a belief bound up with deep feeling, in a superior mind that reveals itself in the world of experience, represents my conception of God. In common parlance this may be described as "pantheistic" (Spinoza).'25

It is thus clear that when Albert mentioned 'God', e.g. 'God does not play dice with the universe', and 'The Lord God is subtle, but malicious he is not',26 he was referring to something like rationality in the universe. He is recorded as saying that a 'deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God'.27 However, he certainly was not referring to anything like the God of the Bible, who is Creator, Lawgiver, Judge and Saviour.

Addressing Princeton Theological Seminary on May 19, 1939, Albert said, '[A] conflict arises when a religious community insists on the absolute truthfulness of all statements recorded in the Bible.'25,28

Christian apologist Dr Hugh Ross claims that, despite not believing in the biblical God, 'Einstein held unswervingly, against enormous peer pressure, to belief in a Creator.'29 However, in the normal meaning of these terms, Einstein believed no such thing (see aside below on starlight and time). Thus, Christians who inappropriately invoke Einstein in their preaching, writing or witnessing do so to the detriment of their cause.

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salman_s
 
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Quote salman_s Replybullet Posted: 01 June 2006 at 4:03am
This article clearly proves that Einstein was an atheist
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 04 June 2006 at 2:15pm
Wher ein the article does it say Einstein rejected God salman?
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Quote salman_s Replybullet Posted: 05 June 2006 at 12:32am

Originally posted by Israfil

Wher ein the article does it say Einstein rejected God salman?

From this article, I found that Einstein's concept of God was weird. He did not know who God actually is. I feel that this article itslef hints that Einstein was an atheist.

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Hayfa
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 05 June 2006 at 10:08am

Quotes by Einstein:

"Everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe - a spirit vastly superior to that of man...In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is indeed quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive." [Letter to a child who asked if scientist pray, January 24, 1936; pg. 152 Calaprice]

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind." [pg. 153, Calaprice, Quotable Einstein]

"I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature." [Albert Einstein, The World as I See It American Institute of Physics Online]

In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of the priests." [pg.153 Calaprice]

"I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. [He was speaking of Quantum Mechanics and the breaking down of determinism.] My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance -- but for us, not for God."
[Albert Einstein, from "Albert Einstein: The Human Side", edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press]

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

I think it is har at time to understand that many people raised in the Christian tradition often reject Christianity's view of life. Many Moslems get baffled over the the concept of the Trinity, Jesus as God's son, role pf priests etc. For Einstein to reject these concepts and man-made ideas is nothing different then many western people who were disillusioned by the church. Einstein it appears, believed in something greater than human, but refused to accept a particular explanation. Maybe as those explanations are often fruaght with human errors.  If you ask people if they beleive in a 'higher power' many would say yes. Just reject  other aspects of explanations. Allah gave us a brain to use. Einstein was using his.

 

 

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote ak_m_f Replybullet Posted: 05 June 2006 at 1:25pm
Originally posted by salman_s

This article clearly proves that Einstein was an atheist


man you are hilarious
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Israfil
 
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Quote Israfil Replybullet Posted: 05 June 2006 at 5:04pm

Well said Hayfa!

That is the point! Einstein was not rejecting God, but rejecting the idea of God in religion. He believes that God being all comprehensible is limited by religion through the religious usage of God through language such as religious laws doctrines etc which judges people on morals. Einstein was mor einto the mystery of the universe and to allow that mystery and God survive through submission of the limited human intelligence! like Hayfa said many people has variety of believes and over 90% of the people of the world believe in a higher power in one form of another Einstein was basically making a point. He was not an atheist not the least bit. An atheist may reject the idea of God but no true athiest plays with the idea that God is beyond comprehension. If Einstein were a true athiest he would reject the idea of God outright but he doesn't here as I and sister Hayfa have presented.



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