Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Gambler

EOG Addicted
#1
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/may/12/peopleinscience.religion
Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"
<HR style="COLOR: #c6d7da" SIZE=1><!-- / icon and title --><!-- message -->In a letter that is going to be sold for ?8000, Einstein has claimed that he regarded religion as nothing, but "childish superstitions".

In the letter, he states: "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."

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Childish superstition: Einstein's letter makes view of religion relatively clear

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." So said Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of the 20th century as their own.

A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument - or at least provoke further controversy about his views.

Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as "childish superstitions".

Einstein penned the letter on January 3 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind who had sent him a copy of his book Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt. The letter went on public sale a year later and has remained in private hands ever since.

In the letter, he states: "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."

Einstein, who was Jewish and who declined an offer to be the state of Israel's second president, also rejected the idea that the Jews are God's favoured people.

"For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

The letter will go on sale at Bloomsbury Auctions in Mayfair on Thursday and is expected to fetch up to ?8,000. The handwritten piece, in German, is not listed in the source material of the most authoritative academic text on the subject, Max Jammer's book Einstein and Religion.

One of the country's leading experts on the scientist, John Brooke of Oxford University, admitted he had not heard of it.

Einstein is best known for his theories of relativity and for the famous E=mc2 equation that describes the equivalence of mass and energy, but his thoughts on religion have long attracted conjecture.

His parents were not religious but he attended a Catholic primary school and at the same time received private tuition in Judaism. This prompted what he later called, his "religious paradise of youth", during which he observed religious rules such as not eating pork. This did not last long though and by 12 he was questioning the truth of many biblical stories.

"The consequence was a positively fanatic [orgy of] freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression," he later wrote.

In his later years he referred to a "cosmic religious feeling" that permeated and sustained his scientific work. In 1954, a year before his death, he spoke of wishing to "experience the universe as a single cosmic whole". He was also fond of using religious flourishes, in 1926 declaring that "He [God] does not throw dice" when referring to randomness thrown up by quantum theory.

His position on God has been widely misrepresented by people on both sides of the atheism/religion divide but he always resisted easy stereotyping on the subject.

"Like other great scientists he does not fit the boxes in which popular polemicists like to pigeonhole him," said Brooke. "It is clear for example that he had respect for the religious values enshrined within Judaic and Christian traditions ... but what he understood by religion was something far more subtle than what is usually meant by the word in popular discussion."

Despite his categorical rejection of conventional religion, Brooke said that Einstein became angry when his views were appropriated by evangelists for atheism. He was offended by their lack of humility and once wrote. "The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility." </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>


 

janus

EOG Dedicated
#2
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

yeah, and...?

not really front page news, despite the propsenity for 7+ letter words, right?
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#3
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

yeah, and...?

not really front page news, despite the propsenity for 7+ letter words, right?
Actually, janus, it is rather noteworthy...as the article states....

"The handwritten piece, in German, is not listed in the source material of the most authoritative academic text on the subject, Max Jammer's book Einstein and Religion."

...if you google "Einstein and religion", a 30+ page preview of Max Jammer's 1999 book appears(isn't the internet great?). I just read it and it is abundantly clear that the genius, Einstein, was smart enough to know that he could never disprove God's existence(unlike the great intellects here at EOG, OSUCOWARD, dirty, and winkyduck among others). He was constantly searching for the truth. And the truth is that the title of this thread does NOT accurately describe his very complex thoughts and feelings about religion.
I would think the Shrink in particular, as a Jew, with a certain admitted propensity to Christianity, would find Einstein's views fascinating. Here's a snippet from the book preview which I found interesting...
....O shit, I couldn't cut and paste from the preview, but it's on page 22 of the preview, a quote from a 1929 Saturday Evening Post interview by G.S. Vierick.
 
#5
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Didn't read the whole thing, but I believe there were many reports that Einstein altered his view on religion as he got older. He still never truly had faith, but I think he was a lot less mocking of those that do.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#8
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

feel free to substitute pioneer for janus (just leave off the 'j')
There's no "j" in pioneer and why would I write a note to myself explaining how this article was noteworthy?(that's a rhetorical question as I never expect a rational reply from you)
 

janus

EOG Dedicated
#15
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

...feel free to substitute JJ for janus
that doesnt make much sense. i'll explain my rationale in an upcoming youtube clip, once i find that dead squirrel i use for a rug.

oh, you meant that other jj? apologies. its true, jeff jones and i are the same person. i devote lots of time ripping on myself. i'd hoped to fly under the radar, but leave it to a devout religionist to uncover the real truth behind the veneer.
 
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pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#17
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

that doesnt make much sense. i'll explain my rationale in an upcoming youtube clip, once i find that dead squirrel i use for a rug.

oh, you meant that other jj? apologies. its true, jeff jones and i are the same person. i devote lots of time ripping on myself. i'd hoped to fly under the radar, but leave it to a devout religionist to uncover the real truth behind the veneer.
Actually, it makes a lot of sense...I was addressing you initially when I said...
"Actually, janus, it is rather noteworthy...as the article states...."
...after you had said it wasn't really front page news, and then I explained how it was noteworthy. So then when JJ sarcastically thanked the initial poster for the "breaking news", I substituted JJ for you, in other words, to say...
"Actually, jj, it is rather noteworthy...as the article states...."
....how you inferred that I was saying you and JJ were the same person, I'll never know. Perhaps you might look for your brain also while you're looking for your rug? But I do thank you for calling me devout....devotion in regards to one's relationship with God is always a good thing!
 
#18
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

GWB, I love Carlin's bit on Religion, and in jest he actually makes alot of good points. But as born and raised Catholic, moved away from that religion to the Lutheran Church, and finally just decided to work on my relationship with my God and leave the "Church" out of it, not believing in something greater than thy self has to cause internal conflict often. Not that you don't believe in a power greater than yourself (I don't know you well enough to state that), but could a human that believes they are as good as it gets really be happy.
 
#19
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

When I speak of a power greater than ones self, it could be a door knob as far as I'm concerned. Just something.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#20
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

GWB, But as born and raised Catholic, moved away from that religion to the Lutheran Church, and finally just decided to work on my relationship with my God and leave the "Church" out of it,
DA MAN
Since you've decided to work on your relationship with God, here's some food for thought. Last Sunday, in addition to being Mother's Day, was also Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the "Church". I hope you honored your mother on that day. But just like you honor and appreciate your mother, why in the world would you consciously reject the gift of the "Church"? God instituted the "Church" on Pentecost Sunday when the Holy Spirit descended upon the 12 apostles and Mary, the Mother of Christ, in the upper room. It would be like you saying that you decided to work on your relationship with your earthly mother but you decided never to visit her home.
Many people leave the "Church" for various reasons and periods of time, but don't kid yourself, your relationship with God, your Creator, will be damaged if you consciously reject the gifts He bestows upon you. I'm thinking in particular of the gift of the sacrament of Holy Eucharist; Christ didn't suggest that you partake, He commanded..."Take this and eat/drink, this is My Body/Blood. Do this in memory of me."
Good luck on your journey, DA MAN, if you seek the Truth, He will find you.
 
#21
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Pioneer

Interesting, but nothing more than an attempt to keep the following of the church. Why, well we all know it is about money.

Writings according to Jesus Christ himself, confirmed and authenticated by a number of scholars on his handwriting as well as time period writing.

Jesus Christ said, "The Church is within" yet the Catholic Church refuses to acknowledge this because we all know what happens if every church going member believed Jesus told us we don't have to go to church to worship and find God.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#22
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Pioneer

Interesting, but nothing more than an attempt to keep the following of the church. Why, well we all know it is about money.

Writings according to Jesus Christ himself, confirmed and authenticated by a number of scholars on his handwriting as well as time period writing.

Jesus Christ said, "The Church is within" yet the Catholic Church refuses to acknowledge this because we all know what happens if every church going member believed Jesus told us we don't have to go to church to worship and find God.
Hmmmm....I didn't mention money. I've been going to "Church" for 50+ years and I've never seen anyone charged admission, have you? If you truly believe it is all about money, than I advise you not to contribute any money. I guarantee that no one will ask you to leave. What we all know is that this is just your excuse for not going....well, now you can't use that excuse!

Jesus Christ said, "The Church is within"...OK, I'm not sure what He meant by that but I am sure that He didn't mean that we didn't have to go to "Church" to worship and find God. I do know that God instituted the "Church" by sending the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; and Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper; if God didn't want us to use the "Church" and the sacraments, then why would He have instituted them?

ps. I realize I am wasting my time with someone who thinks it is the same thing to believe in a door knob as well as to believe in God, but maybe someone with some sense will read this
 
#23
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

i was told that accepting jesus christ as your lord and savior was all it took to get to heaven!
 

BCTTWR

EOG Dedicated
#25
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Of course religion is a childish superstition. If you read the bible, one can only conclude that. Who in the hell believes in talking snakes?
 
#26
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Religion is a Cult that makes folks feel good ....

Reality:

How did Noah build the Arc with no home depot around?

Lets see .... Noah was able to stay in the arc with Cobras, alligators, Lions,
Tigers, etc ..... how did he feed them?

Noah sits inside a whales mouth for 3 days?

Moses part a sea with a Cane ??

Guys like Carlin and Maher are very smart ... both ex Altar Boys .... they
express the views of many how Religion really fucks with a persons mind

Hell, Hitler got his concept for persecuting the Jews from where? The
Catholic Church itself and notice how the Vatican was silent for 6 decades
regarding the Holocaust?

If being "reborn" is the "in thing" I will pass as watching Bush chant "reborn" and get approval from asswipe millionaire "Men of God" like Haggard the ***,
James Dobson, Pat Robertson and the fat fuck Falwell then I think I will
stay just the way I am
 
#27
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Doc,

You have no choice but to stay the way you are. All you can do is switch posting names from time to time.
 

Rxx

EOG Veteran
#28
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

my favorite George Carlin line has him in sunday school and asking the priest: "father, father...if god is all powerful and can do anything, can he create a rock that even he cant lift?"
 

janus

EOG Dedicated
#29
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Actually, it makes a lot of sense...I was addressing you initially when I said...
"Actually, janus, it is rather noteworthy...as the article states...."
...after you had said it wasn't really front page news, and then I explained how it was noteworthy. So then when JJ sarcastically thanked the initial poster for the "breaking news", I substituted JJ for you, in other words, to say...
"Actually, jj, it is rather noteworthy...as the article states...."
....how you inferred that I was saying you and JJ were the same person, I'll never know. Perhaps you might look for your brain also while you're looking for your rug? But I do thank you for calling me devout....devotion in regards to one's relationship with God is always a good thing!
your muddled explanation is as clear as the basis for your faith. a fifth grader could rationalize the innocence of charles manson with more conviction.... your religious propaganda certainly has bases for logical argument, but you are completely unsuited for the job. do your cause a big service by shutting the fuck up.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#30
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

your muddled explanation is as clear as the basis for your faith. a fifth grader could rationalize the innocence of charles manson with more conviction.... your religious propaganda certainly has bases for logical argument, but you are completely unsuited for the job. do your cause a big service by shutting the fuck up.
muddled? you'd have to be a moron not to understand that explanation. there's nothing to argue here and you're certainly no one to argue with. I have no cause except the TRUTH and you have not challenged anything I've said. and I guarantee you that I will not be silenced by the likes of you
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#32
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

we ALL believe that statement... never doubt the power of faith to fuel an everlasting yap.
at least I say something of substance when I post....you've posted 4 times in this thread without saying anything substantial. You did erroneously post that this was not front page news, even though no one ever said it was supposed to be front page news anyway, but I corrected your error. You're welcome!
 

Woody

EOG Veteran
#33
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Of course religion is a childish superstition. If you read the bible, one can only conclude that. Who in the hell believes in talking snakes?
Harry Potter?

There are many ways of looking at the bible. If this were not true then there would not be the myriad number of sects and denominations. It must have some value since it is one of the oldest texts in existence.
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#35
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Einstein is 100% RIGHT

Religion is the BIGGEST "scam" out there today - suckering people to give up lots of time, money and faith - when they usually have little of these 3 to give
 

janus

EOG Dedicated
#36
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

at least I say something of substance when I post....you've posted 4 times in this thread without saying anything substantial. You did erroneously post that this was not front page news, even though no one ever said it was supposed to be front page news anyway, but I corrected your error. You're welcome!
yap.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#37
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Einstein is 100% RIGHT

Religion is the BIGGEST "scam" out there today - suckering people to give up lots of time, money and faith - when they usually have little of these 3 to give
He may be 100% right but he didn't say that religion is the BIGGEST "scam" out there today nor does the title of this thread reasonably reflect his feelings about religion(see post #3....O wtf, you'd get lost)....

...if you google "Einstein and religion", a 30+ page preview of Max Jammer's 1999 book appears(isn't the internet great?). I just read it and it is abundantly clear that the genius, Einstein, was smart enough to know that he could never disprove God's existence(unlike the great intellects here at EOG, OSUCOWARD, dirty, and winkyduck among others). He was constantly searching for the truth. And the truth is that the title of this thread does NOT accurately describe his very complex thoughts and feelings about religion.
 
#39
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Nor can you ever disprove the existence of a talking giraffe -- doesn't mean it's likely one existed.

Though I am not against religion -- it offers many valuable lessons and good guidance on how to live a "good life". Just not everyone needs that guidance.
 

pioneer

EOG Dedicated
#40
Re: Einstein: Religion is nothing, but "childish superstitions"

Nor can you ever disprove the existence of a talking giraffe -- doesn't mean it's likely one existed.

Though I am not against religion -- it offers many valuable lessons and good guidance on how to live a "good life". Just not everyone needs that guidance.
But whether a "talking giraffe" exists or not, is not important. Is it not important whether you were created by God or not?


Not everyone needs the guidance that a relationship with his Creator offers, only those who were created. If you weren't created by God, then feel free not to have a relationship with Him.
 
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