Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Einstein: The Bible Is An Expression Of Human Weakness

Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter to be sold in London this week, an auctioneer said Tuesday.

"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish.
"No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this," he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper.

And this from a man who has no regard for his own wife to boot!

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Because you are an expert in one field, does that make you an expert in another?
-Do you agree with his assessment of the Jews? (FWIW I do. IMO Christ is the "seed" of Abraham and all blessings, and promises given to the "seed" has been bestowed to us, the Church, through Christ)
-Does this change your opinion of Einstein?
-Does the Bible an expression of human weakness as posed by Einstein? (I think it is, but not how Einstein saw it. It shows our need for something outside ourself that reconciles us to one who is most holy due to our unworthiness. This need is for perfection; perfection we cannot attain by our own merit. Christ did and was able to sustain His perfection and He imputed it to us! So, indeed, the weakness of man is laid bare in scripture and points us to a need for a savior: namely Jesus! Einstein was so close.)


Doorman-Priest said...

Yes, this is in the British press today. Well the quality press anyway.

Ah well, the wisdom of man......

Aiden Tharsos said...

Because you are an expert in one field, does that make you an expert in another?

Clearly no. But in fairness, this is a two way street. How often do we see examples of the clergy dabbling in arenas in which they do not have a formal education (especially now in an election year)?

And again, let's remember this is also the man that said:

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

"God is subtle but he is not malicious."

"I want to know God's thoughts; the rest are details."

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

"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."

And he was aware of his own limitations, after all he also said:

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."

Do I think he was a Christian? Probably not. Do I think he was something akin to a Deist? Possibly. Did he go back and forth in what he thought about God? Clearly, as is evidenced be the contradictions in the various quotes I mention when contrasted with this letter beign sold.

In any case, it doesn't change my opinion of his value to humanity. If we tossed out everyone whose views we didn't align with completely, 100% of the time throughout their whole life, more theologians would be on that discard pile than many Christians would be comfortable with.

As to the Bible's standing as an expression of human weakness, I would probably agree with the basic tenants of your point.