This is the banner for Ray Comfort’s blog, Atheist Central. Such an odd name for such an anti-anything-but-fundamentalist-Christianity blog (I guess he decided on that name to drive up traffic). Down in the sidebar, then, Comfort lists some quotes from Einstein that show he believed in God – not a personal God, Comfort notes, but a god nonetheless. He was no atheist.
Okay, yes, Einstein was no atheist. He was a Jew, but for cultural and not religious reasons. This quote I think nicely sums up his view:
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.
For Einstein, “God” represented the harmony of the universe. Comfort is annoyed by atheists claiming Einstein as one of their own, yet turns around and claims him for his side. Einstein’s religious views are complex, and he does not fit neatly into any one side. It is interesting, though, that Comfort does not share this quote from Einstein, newsworthy in 2008 because the letter in which it is found sold at auction for a lot of cash:
[…] 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. These […] interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions 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 also 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.
Why, Comfort, do you have Einstein all over your blog?
Also see: Einstein’s God at The Lippard Blog