Saturday, May 17, 2008

EINSTEIN THOUGHT GOD WAS A CHILDISH SUPERSTITION

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE - Albert Einstein described belief in God as "childish superstition" and said Jews were not the chosen people, in a letter, an auctioneer said. The father of relativity, whose previously known views on religion have been more ambivalent and fuelled much discussion, made the comments in response to a philosopher in 1954.

As a Jew himself, Einstein said he had a great affinity with Jewish people but said they "have no different quality for me than all other people". "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," he wrote in the letter written on January 3, 1954 to the philosopher Eric Gutkind, cited by The Guardian newspaper. . .

In it, the renowned scientist, who declined an invitation to become Israel's second president, rejected the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people. "For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions," he said. "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." And he added: "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."

9 Comments:

At May 17, 2008 9:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

let's see how long it takes poor Einstein to become a pariah.... I'm sure Jewish scholars should be dragging him down already!

 
At May 18, 2008 1:50 AM, Anonymous have you ever really read any Einstein? said...

So, let's do to Al as we've done to Rev. Wright.
How do we reconcile the following?---

"...But there is a third state of religious experience which belongs to all of them, even though it is rarely found in a pure form, and which I will call cosmic religious feeling. It is very difficult to explain this feeling to anyone who is entirely without it, especially as there is no anthropomorphic conception of God corresponding to it.
The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of developement---e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer especially, contain a much stronger element of it.
The religious geniuses of all ages have been distinguished by this kind of religious feeling, which knows no dogma and no God conceived in man's image; so that there can be no Church whose central teachings are based on it. Hence it is precisely among the heretics of every age that we find men who were filled with the highest kind of religious feeling and were in many cases regarded by their contemporaries as Atheists, sometimes also as saints. Looked at in this light, men like Democritus, Francis of Assisi, and Spinoza are closely akin to one another.
How can cosmic religious feeling be communicated from one person to another, if it can give no definite notion of God and no theology? In my view, it is the most important function of art and science to awaken this feeling and keep it alive in those who are capable of it." ---Albert Einstein The World As I See It Religion and Science

 
At May 18, 2008 10:07 AM, Anonymous robbie said...

Thankfully, Mr. Einstein has passed on. Were he still alive and those comments about Jews made public, you KNOW he'd be raked over the coals. As it stands, very little (if any) mention will be made by Israel or other Jewish groups. Better to let the comment pass than give attention to it.

 
At May 18, 2008 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously the three above posters are hopeless goys. Jewish religious skepticism regarding both god and the supposed 'chosen' status of the Jewish people is not exactly breaking news among us, folks.

 
At May 19, 2008 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While your statement is perfectly true, 9:09, the other posters still have a valid point. When statements of that sort are made in public by prominent people, some Zionist fanatic always drags out the anti-semitism charge thereby rendering the term meaningless when others try to apply it more appropriately.

 
At May 20, 2008 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That may be, 1224; but as a non-Jewish woman who's married to an intelligent, definitely non-fanatical Jewish man, I am getting a bit sick of comments being posted here by ignoramuses who conflate the words "Jew" and "Zionist fanatic" as being interchangeable, who probably have little or no actual understanding of the history of Zionism, and who are simply parroting the thinly-veiled anti-Jewish smears they've read in their so-called "underground" publications, and heard their trendy friends and (sometimes) professors iterate. Intelligent commentary on the Israeli-Palestine situation is always welcome in our house, because we don't believe it's an issue that allows for simplistic, one-dimensional stereotyping, but rather for full analysis in all its varying contexts--and the only real solution is the one that takes those contexts into full account--but too much of what passes for comment on this topic in TPR is exactly the kind of racist stereotyping that 909 is referring to in his post. I would hope the average TPR reader has the good sense to distinguish these nuts from the people who have something of actual merit to say vis-a-vis the subject of the conflict--but there seems to be a significant and very vocal percentage of readers here who use this forum as a soapbox for their own not very well hidden hatreds.

 
At May 20, 2008 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That may be, 1224; but as a non-Jewish woman who's married to an intelligent, definitely non-fanatical Jewish man, I am getting a bit sick of comments being posted here by ignoramuses who conflate the words "Jew" and "Zionist fanatic" as being interchangeable, who probably have little or no actual understanding of the history of Zionism, and who are simply parroting the thinly-veiled anti-Jewish smears they've read in their so-called "underground" publications, and heard their trendy friends and (sometimes) professors iterate. Intelligent commentary on the Israeli-Palestine situation is always welcome in our house, because we don't believe it's an issue that allows for simplistic, one-dimensional stereotyping, but rather for full analysis in all its varying contexts--and the only real solution is the one that takes those contexts into full account--but too much of what passes for comment on this topic in TPR is exactly the kind of racist stereotyping that 909 is referring to in his post. I would hope the average TPR reader has the good sense to distinguish these nuts from the people who have something of actual merit to say vis-a-vis the subject of the conflict--but there seems to be a significant and very vocal percentage of readers here who use this forum as a soapbox for their own not very well hidden hatreds.

 
At May 20, 2008 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize for the repeating of my post above.

 
At May 20, 2008 8:23 AM, Anonymous have you ever really read Einstein? said...

Once again, anyone who is actually familiar with the writings of Albert Einstein would be suspicious of one or two isolated statements, taken out of context, and reported without sufficient attribution. In effect, it is only hearsay.
To further amplify, I offer the following to augment the point implied in my earlier posting:

"Nationalities want to pursue their own path, not to blend. A satisfactory state of affairs can only be brought about by mutual toleration and respect.

The first step in that direction is that we Jews should once more become conscience of our existence as a nationality and regain the self-respect that is necessary to a healthy existence. We must learn once more to glory in our ancestors and our history and once again take upon ourselves, as a nation, cultural tasks of a sort calculated to strengthen our sense of the community. It is not enough for us to play a part as individuals in the cultural development of the human race; we must also tackle tasks which only nations as a whole can perform. Only so can the Jews regain social health.

It is from this point of view that I would have you look at the Zionist movement. Today history has assigned to us the task of taking an active part in the economic and cultural reconstruction of our native land. Enthusiasts, men of brilliant gifts, have cleared the way, and many excellent members of our race are prepared to devote themselves heart and soul to the cause. May every one of them fully realize the importance of this work and contribute, according to his powers, to its success!"
---Albert Einstein Ideas and Opinions

 

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