Sunday, May 25, 2008

Einstein's Letter

I had planned a post on the handwritten 1954 letter by Albert Einstein containing his views on religion which surfaced and was auctioned off two weeks ago but, because of the constraints of life and time I didn't get around to it. So here is what I can throw together now.

In the letter Einstein writes:

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.

For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.

It's not that Einstein's word on god carries more weight than most, it's that the religious blatherskites Dinesh Dsouza, Schmuley Boteach and Laura Ingraham always trot out the tired canard of: Great Scientist X (usually Galileo Galiei, Isaac Newton or Einstein) was religious who are you to think you know more than them.

Of course, ancient, medieval and enlightenment scientists who did not profess faith in god(s) are never mentioned nor is Aristotle. Aristotle's writings on science and philosophy dominated European thought (and islamic). Aristotle had the longest reign over mankind's thinking. Until the time of Nicholas Copernicus, Giordano Bruno and Galileo who questioned Aristotle's conclusions. Copernicus, of course hid his conclusions until after his death, Galileo was forced to recant his error by the Church and Bruno was burned at the stake.

Well, it's to be expected. The hundreds (or millions) of religions no longer hold the best explanation of the world from the movements of the stars to the twitches of the human nervous system. But, the religious zealots know they hold the truth (cause their imam, rabbi, preacher, sufi says so) and feel they must use every means available to them to convince the rest of us.

No comments: