Albert Einstein on God, Science and Life

Albert Einstein – (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science.

Einstein never claimed to be an atheist. “I am not an atheist… the problem [of God] is too vast for our limited minds”. Einstein preferred to be called agnostic, because he humbly felt his imperfect human mind could not conclusively know there is no grand designer. In an interview published in _Glimpses of the Greats_, Einstein said that “our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations”. Ultimately, Einstein rejected all dogmatic belief systems as well as dogmatic atheism.

Einstein’s religious skepticism was in line with many of his scientific contemporaries. Still, Einstein was able to find spiritual wonder in the beauty of the natural world. Perhaps Einstein’s beliefs can be summed up in this single quote: “The most beautiful emotion we can experience is the mystical. It is the power of all true art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.”

In an interview with a reporter, Einstein said, “You may say that you have never heard of or seen God before. Under those premises, how could you believe that God exists? It’s true, you have five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. However, there is a limit to your senses. For instance, humans can only hear sounds in the range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, while other animals have a wider range.”

“It also holds true with sight,” he continued. “Humans can only see objects emitting light wavelengths that are observable to the human eye. However, the light that the naked eye can see is only a limited spectrum of the many wavelengths that are included in the electromagnetic waves.”

In another interview, Einstein said: “Some people think that religion is not compatible with science. As a scientific researcher, I understand that today’s science is limited in determining whether something exists or not.”

The scientist continued by giving another example, saying, “Thousands of years ago, we could not prove the existence of the nucleus of an atom. If we had just recklessly concluded that the atomic nucleus does not exist, and then proceeded to discover it today, wouldn’t we have made a big mistake by denying its existence in the first place?”

“Therefore, science today cannot prove the existence of God, because science is not yet developed enough,” he added. “It is not because God does not exist.”

Einstein identified himself as a follower of Baruch Spinoza – a 17th-century Dutch-Jewish pantheist philosopher who saw God in every aspect of existence as well as extending beyond what we can perceive in the world. He used logic to deduce his fundamental principles, and he believed that God is indifferent to individuals.

Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind. – Albert Einstein

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. – Albert Einstein

Every one 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, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble. – Albert Einstein

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious; It is the source of all true art and science. – Albert Einstein

Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. – Albert Einstein