Einstein’s (Non) Religious Views


Albert Einstein was, and is, of course one of the most famous scientists of all time and his (non)religious views get thrown around a lot by both theists and atheists. So, which one is he? Turns out he wasn’t either one. Einstein was a deist, he believed in Spinoza’s God.

“It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.”
Albert Einstein, in a letter March 24, 1954; from Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, eds., Princeton, New jersey: Princeton University Press, 1981, p. 43.

“My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and enablement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.”
Albert Einstein in a letter to M. Berkowitz, October 25, 1950; Einstein Archive 59-215; from Alice Calaprice, ed., The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000, p. 216

“I belief in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concert himself with fates and actions of human beings.”
Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 21, 2921, published in the New York Times, April 25, 1929; from Einstein; the Life and Times, Ronald W. Clark, New York: World Publishing Co., 1971, p.413

“I do not belief in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.”
Albert Einstein, letter to a baptist pastor in 1953; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, p. 39.

“I have repeatedly said that in my opinion the idea of a personal God is a childlike one. You may call me an agnostic, but I do not share the crusading spirit of the professional atheist whose fervour is mostly dus to a painful act of liberation from the letters of religious indoctrination received in youth. I prefer an attitude of humility corresponding to the weakness of our intellectual understanding of nature and of our own being”
Albert Einstein, Guy H. Raner, Jr., September 28, 2949; from Michael R. Gilmore, “Einstein’s God; Just What Did Einstein Believe About God?,” Skeptic, 1997, 5(2): 64.

“I cannot believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws. As I said before, the most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. And this mystically is the power of all true science.”
Albert Einstein; from Peter A. Bucky, The Private Albert Einstein, Kansas City: Andrews & McMeel, 1992, p. 86

“The idea of a personal God is quite alien to me and seems even naïve.”
Albert Einstein in a letter to Beatrice Forhlich, December 17, 1952; Einstein Archive 59-797; from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, p.218.

“Mere unbelief in a personal God is no philosophy at all”
Albert Einstein, letter to V.T. Aaltonen, May 7, 1952, Einstein Archive 59-059; from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, p 216.


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