So are you smarter than Einstein?

Hello,

I stopped by your apologetics web site and thought I'd drop you an email. I think one of the greatest geniuses of our time was Albert Einstein. Einstein was very much against organized religion and blind faith. I can pull up hundreds of quotes that will go against much of what Christianity teaches. I would like you to tell me what you think of these quotes. Are they a bunch of s***? Is the man who unlocked the power of the atom a complete dumb***. The quotes are below.

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."
[Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955]

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."
[Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930]

"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."

"The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exist as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with the natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am persuaded that such behaviour on the part of the representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress .... If it is one of the goals of religions to liberate mankind as far as possible from the bondage of egocentric cravings, desires, and fears, scientific reasoning can aid religion in another sense. Although it is true that it is the goal of science to discover (the) rules which permit the association and foretelling of facts, this is not its only aim. It also seeks to reduce the connections discovered to the smallest possible number of mutually independent conceptual elements. It is in this striving after the rational unification of the manifold that it encounters its greatest successes, even though it is precisely this attempt which causes it to run the greatest risk of falling a prey to illusion. But whoever has undergone the intense experience of successful advances made in this domain, is moved by the profound reverence for the rationality made manifest in existence. By way of the understanding he achieves a far reaching emancipation from the shackles of personal hopes and desires, and thereby attains that humble attitude of mind toward the grandeur of reason, incarnate in existence, and which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man. This attitude, however, appears to me to be religious in the highest sense of the word. And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious imulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life."
[Albert Einstein, "Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium", published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941]

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing me. You did a good job of finding quotes from Einstein which coincided with your thoughts. The problem is that this is exactly what most people do with the Bible. They believe one thing then they go out to prove it. The reason I say that is that I also have some quotes of Einstein:

"Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind."

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."

"When the solution is simple, God is answering."

"God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically."

"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details."

"What is the meaning of human life, or of organic life altogether? To answer this question at all implies a religion. Is there any sense then, you ask, in putting it? I answer, the man who regards his own life and that of his fellow creatures as meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life."

So did Einstein believe in God as Creator of this world or not? Did he believe in religion or not? Maybe he changed his great mind through out his life as he believed different things at different stages of his life.

What all these quotes show me is that Einstein just like the rest of humanity was searching for something. Did he find it? I am not sure, I hope so.

There are a lot of things about organized religion I hate too. There are a lot of things which go by the label "Christian teaching" which I disagree with too. So what, does that mean it is all false? NO! I do believe God's word, it is when men try to put their own spin on it that we get into trouble.

I too am against blind faith. But what is blind faith? I can prove to you that Jesus walked this earth. I can prove to you that He was killed by crucifixion. I can even prove to you that His followers believed that they saw Him again three days later. I can prove to you that the beliefs of those social outcast believers have changed the world. But I can't prove to you that He was the Son of God. That God requires you to believe by faith. Not blind faith, because all the other things I just stated support the belief, but still faith.

You know a lot of what Einstein theorized supports the view of the Bible. Christians believe that God created everything, including time. We believe He is not limited by time. Until Einstein that would have made people laugh, now thanks to him most intellectuals would agree (if they agree there is a God) that it is possible for Him to be outside of what we know as time.

So now to answer your question. No I don't think the quotes you gave are garbage (I don't use the other word) nor do I think Einstein was a dumb***. But I also don't think that he had all the answers. If you could have asked him before he died if he knew it all, what do you think he would have said? I am sure he would have said he did not know much of anything. The greater the mind the quicker they are to realize they don't have all the answers.

Have you ever read the Bible? If not you owe it to yourself to read it. Read it as a skeptic that is okay, but read it, see what it says. One last thing. Your very first quote by Einstein. God is not a reflection of human frailty, so I would agree with that quote. I cannot imagine of a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own... I have tried not to quote a bunch of scripture to you, but I want to include one at this point: (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV) "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. {9} "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Here is one of the thoughts of God that we have a hard time understanding. He created us even though He knew if He gave us free will many of us would reject Him. He loved us enough that even though we reject Him and sin against Him (something for which His holy nature requires punishment) gave us a way to bypass the punishment. He paid the price and took our punishment on Himself. He can't change His holy nature, but He can do what we never would have thought of and take our death sentence on Himself.

So much of humanity, refuses to believe in a God who would judge them for their actions, who rewards or punishes His creation, yet they are in a death row cell and God has unlocked the door and is waiting for them to come out. Sounds pretty stupid doesn't it? We refuse to walk out of our death row cell because we refuse to admit we are in it in the first place. As if by denying it we won't be taken to the death chamber. I don't believe that God shares our frailty, but I do believe He loves us, so I am sure this hurts Him. Then we have the audacity to proclaim ourselves judge over Him and condemn Him for holding us accountable for our sins.

You know He is right our thoughts are not His thoughts. One day He will reveal Himself to every living creature and every knee will bow in submission to Him. The problem is that it will be too late for most. No one person will open their mouth and accuse Him of injustice then.

Well those are my thoughts. Remember God loves you, that is why He sent His Son to die for your sins. It is up to your if you walk out of your death row cell or if you deny that you are under a death sentence.

Take care and thanks again for writing.

Ralph

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